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He aimed to improve fishery

SEELYES COVE - He thoroughly enjoyed it, yes, but there was nothing selfish about the advocacy work that knowledgeable career multi-species fisherman Robin Carter of Seeleys Cove did on behalf of those involved in the traditional Bay of Fundy fishery, says his wife and business partner Helen (Lewis).

"His goal was to better the fishery, keep everybody fishing and not over fish," she said Thursday. "He just loved meetings and having a voice and try to get things done."

Once people got to know him, she said, they knew he wasn't trying to pull the wool over anybody's eyes.


"He was honest," she said. "He only wanted to do what was best for the fishery and other people. He didn't just want it for himself, but for the whole industry as a whole."

Carter, 51, president of the Fundy Weir Fishermen's Association for the past six years, lost a five-and-a-half year battle with multiple myeloma - cancer of the bone marrow - on Tuesday.

He was also president of the Harbour Authority in Seeleys Cove, a former deputy chief and firefighter with the Pennfield Volunteer Fire Department, and a member of the local service district, the Masonic Order and Christ Church (Anglican) in Pennfield.

The funeral service is scheduled for 4 p.m. today at Pennfield Baptist Church.

Fisheries Minister Rick Doucet was quick to pay tribute to Carter, a 2007 appointee to the Minister's Round Table on Fisheries, an advisory group formed to provide government with advice on issues important to the future of the fishing industry.

"Although he had a quiet manner, he was not afraid to speak his mind - and when he did, people listened. His advice was invaluable to government and industry alike," said Doucet. "Carter was well respected by his peers in the southwest New Brunswick fishery and will be missed by all who knew and worked with him."

Allen Abbott of Chance Harbour, who becomes interim president of the Fundy Weir Fishermen's Association, said Carter "was one of those really unique individuals, a go-to guy, a person who worked very hard for his family and his industry.

"I would say his passing has diminished our fishing community," he added. "We need more Robin Carters in society. The community of interest he had was more than just how particular expertise. He was interested in everything that affects our fishing communities directly, or indirectly."

Association manager Bob Cochrane of St. George said Carter was "very hard-working, very honest and seemed to have a hotline to all the issues he was involved in," including his efforts to keep the aquaculture industry from entirely squeezing out weir fishermen.

"He was a leader, not a follower," he said. "He seemed to know the issues almost before they came up."

Born in Blacks Harbour on Jan. 20, 1957, Robin Glenmore Carter was the sixth of eight children of Belle (Sellars) and Delbert Carter, a Seeleys Cove lobster fisherman.

Besides his wife, Carter's survivors include one son, Aaron, who worked beside him in the fishery; two daughters, Jennifer Pitre and Stefany Carter (after whom his boat was named); four brothers; two sisters; and three grandchildren.

Carter left school in Grade 8 to fish with his father and his brother Eldon.

He met Helen, a Beaver Harbour girl, while she was working as a waitress at Smitty's (now Smith's) on the Pennfield stretch following high school graduation in 1979. They were married on Aug. 19, 1983, at Calvary Baptist Church in Blacks Harbour.

SOURCE: New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal (Saint John, NB) - August 8, 2008.

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