In 1967, André Beaugé, a French worker priest, shared a vision of unifying the driving forces of Acadian fisheries in order to ensure their long-term development in the interest of the whole community. The 1967-68 winter gave rise to the organization called Association professionnelle des pêcheurs (APP). On April 6, 1968, a delegation of coastal and mid-shore fishermen adopted the Charter and regulations of the APP. It can be said that everyone was in the same boat.
Throughout the ’70s decade, there was an acceleration of the evolution of the fishing industry. It becomes more and more obvious that the APP cannot represent all of the groups of fishermen. Coastal fishermen establish their association, l'Union des pêcheurs des Maritimes, and the mid-shore and offshore fishermen establish an association of their own, the Association professionnelle des pêcheurs du nord-est (APPNE).
The year 1984 marks another important milestone in the evolution of the APPNE. Members cast a vote so that the association was from then on called Association des pêcheurs professionnels acadiens (APPA), a name that identified more clearly the identity and affiliation of the members to the Association.
In March 1996, the APPA undertook a significant transformation of its structure and became a federation of autonomous associations of mid-shore fishermen since known as the Fédération régionale acadienne des pêcheurs professionnels (FRAPP). Member fishermen could see two main advantages in choosing a federative formula. First, each of the different groups of member fishermen acquired an autonomous and duly constituted association able to represent and defend the particular interests of each group. Secondly, through the Fédération, all the associations involved were able to preserve a strong and efficient mid-shore group in order to defend the interests of each member fleet as well as the common files of all mid-shore Acadian fishermen.
During its implementation in 1996, the Fédération was made up of the five following associations:
- Association des crabiers acadiens
- Association des crevettiers acadiens du Golfe
- Association des pêcheurs professionnels de poisson de fond acadiens
- Association des senneurs du Golfe
- Association des pêcheurs professionnels membres d’équipage
Along the way, the Association des pêcheurs professionnels de poisson de fond acadiens (APPFA) and the Association des crabiers acadiens (ACA) decided to go their own way. They ended up leaving the Fédération.
As far as the Association des senneurs du Golfe is concerned, it was unfortunately dissolved following the sale of the seiners to Newfoundland financial interests.
Today, the Fédération régionale acadienne des pêcheurs professionnels is made up of 3 member associations as follows:
- ACAG : Association des crevettiers acadiens du golfe
- APPCA : Association des pêcheurs professionnels crabiers acadiens
- APPME: Association des pêcheurs professionnels membres d’équipage
Our Acadian fleets (crab, shrimp), which operate from the Gulf of St. Lawrence to Newfoundland and the Bay of Fundy, are equipped with ultra-modern boats measuring 55 to 85 feet in length.
Our fishermen are good sailors and have always travelled significant distances to reach fishing grounds in order to supply fish-processing plants; this is one of the distinctive features of our fleets.
Mid-shore fishing, such as shrimp, crab and herring fishing, was developed by Acadian fishermen; they are actually the pioneers of mid-shore fishing on the shores of Atlantic Canada.
Our federation also includes the only association of mid-shore crew members in the Gulf, which is made up of 125 crab, shrimp, herring and groundfish member fishermen.
It goes without saying that the fishing sector is the economic driver of the Acadian Peninsula.