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Fisherman Publishing Society Photographs

Fisherman Publishing Society Photographs image

The Fisherman Publishing Society was formed in 1937 to publish The Fisherman, a bi-weekly newspaper. Sponsored by the Salmon Purse Seiners Union and the Pacific Coast Fishermen's Union, and now the United Fisherman and Allied Workers' Union (UFAWU), the newspaper documents industry events and encourages unity among West Coast fishermen. The over 40,000 photographs held in the SFU Library’s Fisherman Publishing Society fonds were taken for possible publication in the newspaper and date from circa 1960 to 2000, with the vast majority dating from after 1980. The photographs document shore workers and other labourers working in the fishing industry; canneries; Indigenous peoples; commercial fishing (activities, equipment, and processes); union and alliance meetings and demonstrations; protests; and other aspects of the fishing industry in British Columbia. In particular, the activities of the UFAWU from the late 1960s to the late 1990s are heavily represented.

Donated to the SFU Library in 2016, the collection documents a tumultuous period in one of British Columbia’s oldest industries, with a significant focus on workers and union. It records visually important events in the province’s labour history and the evolution of the fishing industry, particularly after the 1980s. Over 4,500 of these photographs have been digitized and are available here. Issues of The Fisherman newspaper dating from 1937 to 1999 (missing 1949) have also been digitized, and provide contextual and other information for the photographs.

License and Usage Permissions

Images from The Fisherman have been made available by Simon Fraser University Library under a Creative Commons attribution, non-commercial license. A full legal outline of the license can be viewed at: We encourage the appropriate open use of images from this collection for educational and other not-for-profit purposes. Attribution/citation should be provided as follows:

Image [insert image number here, eg. MSC179-00035] courtesy of The Fisherman Collection, a digital initiative of Simon Fraser University Library. [Please include the website url when images are used in an offline or print-based context].

Parties interested in using images from the The Fisherman Collection for commercial purposes should contact Special Collections and Rare Books, SFU Library.


SFU Special Collections and Rare Books gratefully acknowledges the financial support provided by the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre's "B.C. History Digitization Program" to make this collection available online.

Contributed by Special Collections and Rare Books, Simon Fraser University Library.