Empty Nets: How Greed and Politics Wiped Out the World’s Greatest Fishery


From the boardroom the once mighty Fishery Products International, Gus Etchegary witnessed the historic decimation of cod stocks in the northeast Atlantic. During a 40-year career in the industry, Etchegary battled to save his business, ultimately brought to its knees by overfishing, government mismanagement, and political interference. In this memoir, Etchegary recounts his youth in a pre-World War Two Newfoundland outport, and his role in in transforming a traditional family-based saltfish firm into an international frozen-fish powerhouse. Although he retired in 1988, Etchegary is still fighting, as fiery, outspoken, and impassioned as ever. This is his story, told frankly and without pulling any punches. He levels blame for the destruction of the fishery at governments for decades of neglecting the fishery, at Newfoundlanders and Labradorians for extreme apathy, and even at himself, for not yelling louder, sooner.

Author Bio

Gus Etchegary

Gus Etchegary is a renowned expert in the fishing industry, whose career as a corporate insider with Fishery Products International gives him unique insight into the historic collapse of one of the world’s greatest fish stocks, Canada’s Atlantic cod. In addition to serving eight years as president of FPI, Etchegary is a former Canadian representative to both the International Commission of the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries and the North Atlantic Fishery Organization, as well as a past board member and leader of the Fisheries Council of Canada and the Fisheries Association of Newfoundland. Since retiring, Etchegary has been a fisheries consultant and passionate advocate for a sustainable fishery.

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