Faces in the Crowd – Chartering a New Course

Posted on September 21, 2017 under Faces in the Crowd with no comments yet

The one that didn’t get away.


“ You get to meet some amazing people from different parts of the world.”

Meet Rob Boyd.

To say that fishing is “ in the blood’ would be an understatement for Rob Boyd and many others like him along St. George’s Bay. His father and grandfather fished for years out of Cribbon’s Point. As children, he and his brother Mark were on the boats all the time observing and learning the tricks of the trade and the meaning of hard work.

Commercial fishing has always been an unpredictable business so Rob obtained a university education in Business just to make sure he had something tucked away in case fishing didn’t work out.

Acquiring a fishing license is no mean feat so when a fisherman died in 2001, he and Mark snapped up the license and got into business together.

“ The work is very demanding and stressful. When the catch is landed there are three people to pay: The bank, Revenue Canada and the fishermen. It is not uncommon for there to be little or nothing after taking care of the first two.”

In the early days, they knew nothing about the tuna fishery. The first tuna they ever caught was close to 1000 pounds. They weren’t even sure how to land it and had to call a friend to come and help them. Call it beginner’s luck or whatever, but the boys thought that they would become millionaires overnight. “ We quickly learned that you could go an entire season without landing a tuna.”

Around 2010-11, a few fishermen in the Maritime provinces started tuna charters. This was in response to the proliferation of tuna in the region. Quotas were reduced and the season shortened. Fisheries officials decided that tuna charters would be acceptable as long as it was based on a catch and release basis.

The Boyd’s commenced their charter business in 2012 and have never looked back. They are fully booked every year and many of their clientele are repeat customers. “ Consumers have high expectations of a quality experience and those of us in the industry do our best to fulfill their needs.” Rob is quick to point out that his wife, Sonya is a key part of the team providing excellent food for their guests.

The economic impact in the region is huge and may be one of the best kept secrets. While lobster continues to be the mainstay for the local fisheries, tuna charters are fast becoming vital cogs in the tourism sector. Hotels, restaurants and  car rentals all benefit from travellers from distant locales.  “Besides the fishing itself, our guests comment on how friendly and laid back people are in this part of the world.”

It would appear that tuna fishing has an addictive element. “ Tuna fishing is more of an illness than a fishery. You keep chasing these crazy fish around all day. Saner people would have packed it in.”

Rob briefly tried his hands at the bagpipes years ago . “ As the first born, I was expected to learn but I didn’t have a musical bone in my body. “  Maybe he’ll pick them up again someday and use them to attract tuna from the bow of his boat rather than using sophisticated tracking devices!

Or maybe not!


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