Long hours, hard work, at the whim of Maritime weather and sometimes, facing real danger in the rough waters of the Atlantic, this sums up how these men and women earn their living from the sea.
We thought you'd like to meet some of these extraordinary people who catch your fish!
I first met Brett around 1996 at the ripe old age of 10 years. I had just delivered swordfish gear to his father, Marty, who was leaving Sambro, Nova Scotia, for the tail of the Grand Banks in search of swordfish. This was to be Brett’s first fishing trip and the beginning of his career.
Some of you might remember him if you ever saw the CBC documentary entitled Voyage of the 7 Girls, shot in 1998 when Brett was 12 and aired in 2001. It can be found on YouTube (approx 1 hr doc). See first hand what life is like on an offshore longliner. Brett is again fishing with his father. Younger brother, Billy, is also along on his first trip. It is clear that Brett has already "learned the ropes" as he can be seen setting gear and dressing swordfish.
Like most young fishermen, Brett would start his career working on deck, but by 2008, he had earned his captain's papers. His first trip as captain was manning the helm of the “Ivy Rose”, a 100-foot longliner owned by his father and uncles, destination, tail of the Grand Banks in search of swordfish.
Preferring to be the master of his own destiny, Brett would move to be captain of the “On A Mission”, owned by another fishermen from Sambro and would fish for halibut in the winter and swordfish & tuna in the summer. As one of the most aggressive young fishermen on the east coast, Brett was a constant producer in both fisheries.
He would return to the family operation in 2013 to take the helm of the “Emry & Boys” along with his younger brother Billy. Brett would continue to fish for swordfish and tuna in the summer and halibut in the winter, with the goal of owning his own operation.
With his earnings, he would invest in his own swordfish license and in 2016 purchased the “Megan & Cole”, a forty-foot lobster boat, along with a lobster license and a groundfish license. With an enterprise of his own, he fished lobster from late November to June, swordfish and tuna from June until November along with some in-shore halibut trips through the winter and spring.
With an eye towards his offshore roots, Brett has acquired the fifty-foot vessel “On A Mission” that he fished earlier in his career, allowing him to extend his range and make longer trips for swordfish and halibut while continuing to fish lobster in the winter.
Brett has brought to your plate halibut, swordfish and yellowfin tuna, as some of you might remember from the vessel names on your deliveries, and I would like to wish him all the success he deserves with his latest vessel.