Category Archives: Canada

Canada: Federal election night upsets

Two incumbent Liberal ministers along with two party leaders suffered defeat in the federal election on Monday. Liberal Fisheries and Oceans Minister Bernadette Jordan was defeated in the South Shore—St. Margarets riding in Nova Scotia by Conservative candidate Rick Perkins. Jordan was first elected as a member of Parliament in 2015 and has served as a minister in Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s government since 2019. Last year, she was criticized over her handling of the dispute involving Indigenous fishing rights in Nova Scotia when a conflict between commercial fishers and Mi’kmaq fishers escalated and made national headlines. >click to read< 07:50

Search resumes for missing Mary’s Harbour fishermen with Canadian Armed Forces, Coast Guard

The search for two missing fishermen from Mary’s Harbour has resumed with the help of the Canadian Armed Forces and the coast guard Monday, after the official search off the coast of southern Labrador was called off Sunday night. The JRCC tweeted around 9 p.m. Sunday that it had suspended the search for the Island Lady,,, Dwight Russell told CBC News on Monday morning his family was told the news around 7 p.m Sunday. After that call, he and his family pressed federal departments like the office of the prime minister, he said, and had been promised the search would resume. But come Monday morning and that promise “has not materialized,,, >click to read< 14:25

Lost Labrador fishermen

Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador has called on the National Commissioner of the RCMP to immediately request that the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre  in Halifax, along with the Canadian Coast Guard, continue search efforts for two missing Labrador fishermen. “We’ve asked RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki in her capacity as the lead agency in the now-recovery mission to order the resumption of the maximum level of search and rescue effort to locate the fishermen,” said Merv Wiseman, an outspoken search and rescue advocate and organizer with SEA-NL. “As long as there’s a chance that these men may be found — and there is that chance — we must move heaven and earth to find them,” Wiseman said. >click to read< 12:26

‘Our boys deserve more time’ – “This is unacceptable! This is absolutely the wrong decision! It is too soon!”

The father of one of the two men aboard a fishing vessel lost in waters off southern Labrador is appealing to the Canadian Coast Guard to reverse its decision to change its mission from one of search and rescue to recovery. Local fishermen began the search, which was later joined by the Coast Guard and aircraft at the direction of the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) in Halifax.,, Dwight Russell said the family learned of Coast Guard’s plans Sunday evening. “But as I write this, the Coast Guard has informed our families that they are pulling out and changing the mission from search & rescue to recovery, and operational control will be turned over to the RCMP. >click to read< 08:36

Search for Mary’s Harbour fishermen enters 2nd day as N.L. communities hold vigils overnight

The fishermen, Marc Russell and Joey Jenkins, were expected to land in Mary’s Harbour around 5:00 p.m. on Friday. Local fishing crews began the search that evening. The JRCC and the Canadian Coast Guard joined later that night after picking up radio chatter from the ongoing search,,, the provincial government and a significant number of local vessels have also aided in the search, which has greatly enhanced searching capabilities. Several vessels were on the water Saturday evening after Dwight Russell, Marc Russell’s father, made a call to fishers in the area to aid in the search.  >photos, click to read< 13:21

Search underway for missing fishers off Mary’s Harbour – The father of a fisherman missing at sea is asking boats from Southern Labrador and Northern Newfoundland to join the search effort for his son and a second crew member. The two-person crew aboard Island Lady was expected to land in Mary’s Harbour around 5:00 p.m. on Friday. >click to read< 17:22

DFO returns patrol boats back to the wharf in Meteghan

After a confusing week for both commercial and aboriginal fishers DFO’s patrol vessels have returned to the wharf in Meteghan. After stories on the move ran in The Chronicle Herald and Globe and Mail, the boats were returned on Sunday. Both commercial and First Nations fishers are glad they are back, though for different reasons. Chief Mike Sack said Friday they wanted a federal presence to prevent a repeat of the violence Sipekne’katik’s fishermen were subject to last fall. Commercial fishermen, meanwhile, want DFO to prevent what they allege is a large scale commercial fishery happening outside their season under the guise of a food, social and ceremonial fishery. “There’s a treaty right but where does it end and where does it begin,” said Nathan Cooke, a buyer who owns Atlantic Canada Seafoods. >click to read< 17:26

DMR briefs legislature on impact of NOAA’s new lobstering rules, options for appeal

On September 14, the Maine Legislature’s Committee on Marine Resources met and discussed the impact new rules recently released by the NOAA will have on Maine’s lobster industry, as well as the state’s legal options for appealing the rules.,, The new rules not only close nearly 1,000 square miles to lobstering between October and January, a time of year when lobster prices are at their highest, but changes the kind of gear lobstermen can use. Also discussed were threats to the right whale posed by Canada. As Keliher pointed out, the NMFS’ biological opinion noted that even if Maine is 100% successful in taking steps to protect right whales, whales will continue to go extinct if they continue to be hurt in Canada. Keliher also stated that he has had conversations with the head of> NOAA, Richard W. Spinrad, Ph.D < who hasn’t yet had a meeting with the Canadian government, but has agreed to raise the issue of including state representatives in Canadian affairs. Keliher also said NOAA’s head considers these conversations to be a government-to-government issue. He stated he disagrees and continues to press the issue. >click to read< 15:51

‘A reckless approach to regulation’ – Aquaculture critic presses for answers after another salmon die-off

More than 90,000 salmon being farmed in an open-net aquaculture pen on Newfoundland’s south coast died over the weekend, the Department of Fisheries, Forestry and Agriculture announced in a media release Saturday. The event occurred at a site known as “the gorge,” which is operated by Mowi’s Marine Harvest Atlantic Canada, and was caused by “sudden low dissolved oxygen levels.” The dead fish have been removed from the site. The release said mitigation measures, including deeper nets and aeration equipment, “improved survivability” during the die-off. Friday’s die-off was only the latest in a series of mortality events on Mowi-owned aquaculture farms, White noted.  >click to read< 12:40

NOAA Ok’s plan to cut West Coast nontribal salmon fishing when fish are needed to feed orca

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries adopted the plan Tuesday as recommended by the Pacific Fishery Management Council. It calls for restricting commercial and recreational salmon fishing when chinook salmon numbers are especially low. It’s one of the the first times a federal agency has restricted hunting or fishing one species to benefit a predator that relies on it. The fishing restrictions would extend from Puget Sound in Washington to Monterey Bay in central California, and they would be triggered when fewer than 966,000 chinook are forecast to return to Northwest rivers. >click to read< 08:57

U.S. Shipowners Back Jones Act Penalties for “Canadian Rail” Scheme

ASC and its logistics affiliate Alaska Reefer Management  have access to a 100-foot-long “railway” in New Brunswick, Canada, which they use as part of a foreign-flag shipping route between two U.S. markets. Last month, U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Jones Act enforcement office issued penalties totaling about $350 million dollars to the firms involved in this novel supply network, including tens of millions in fines for foreign-flag shipowners. The action has effectively halted ASC shipments of pollock to East Coast customers, and ASC says that the shutdown threatens to cause significant harm to its business, along with regional shortages of pollock, an affordable staple for schools, institutions and government nutrition programs. ARM and terminal subsidiary Kloosterboer have filed suit against CBP, seeking to block the penalties. Video, >click to read< 07:41

B.C. fish harvesters protest salmon fisheries closures

The Canadian Independent Fish Harvesters’ Association addressed the media near Vancouver’s Granville Island on Sep. 15. The organization is upset over DFO’s salmon closures at the end of June. According to Bernadette Jordan, the move was made as “an initial step towards longer term reductions in fishing pressure on stocks of conservation concern.” DFO’s Salmon Integrated Fisheries Management Plan will likely reduce B.C.’s commercial harvest by 60 per cent this year. Commercial fisher James Lawson says “I started behind almost $70,000 and at the last second I found out I’m not going to be able to fish; so that’s not a great position to be in and there’s no light at the end of the tunnel.” Video, >click to read< 19:14

SEA-NL questions federal candidate Mary Shortall’s commitment to inshore fish harvesters

“As a labour leader Mary Shortall turned her back on the fishermen and women of Newfoundland and Labrador in favour of the union executive,” says Ryan Cleary. “The question must be asked, who will Mary Shortall stand for if she’s elected to Parliament: workers or the union and party executive?” Cleary points out that as President of the Federation of Labour, Shortall failed to react to a 2016 Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court decision, later upheld on appeal in favour of inshore scallop harvesters who took their union to court over a compensation fund for lost fishing grounds in the Strait of Belle Isle. In the court case, it was revealed the FFAW-Unifor had negotiated a compensation package with Nalcor without permission of scallop harvesters. >click to read< 09:41

Here’s what fish look like under the Squamish River and its tributaries

For several years, Fernando Lessa has been dipping his camera into the Squamish River and its tributaries to capture fish. The professional photographer creates stunning underwater images of salmon that make viewers feel like they are swimming alongside the fish. He began capturing these pictures in the Squamish Valley in 2017. He will walk the length of the river looking for unique images to jump in front of his lens,,, 14 photos, >click to read< 10:34

Mi’kmaw vow to keep fishing despite harassment from DFO officials

The crew of the Sadie C, a Sipekne’katik Mi’kmaw lobster boat was out on the bay exercising their treaty rights when it was surrounded by six zodiacs and one large coast guard vessel. The crew dropped ten traps, which the fisheries officers immediately seized. Marcel Marr, captain of the Sadie C, says he will keep fishing. “Someone’s got to stand here and fight the fight so it might as well be me if I want further generations or my children to participate in our aboriginal fisheries,” says Marr. >click to read< 19:54

DFO is responding to allegations from the Sipekne’katik First Nation

On Thursday, the band said they had lobster traps tagged ‘Food, Social and Ceremonial,’ confiscated by DFO officers in St. Mary’s Bay. DFO says of the 10 traps they seized that day, none had FSC tags, and no vessels were seized. The department says respectful, constructive dialogue is the best way to advance reconciliation, and implement rights-based fisheries. They say their officers take a progressive approach on the water, including education, issuing warnings and laying charges, while using discretion as they take situational factors into consideration. >click to read< 08:36

Shipping container traffic making waves on St. Lawrence/Great Lakes system

On Monday, the container ship Peyton Lynn C, which loaded in Antwerp, Belgium, passed through the locks in Massena and Iroquois, Ontario, on her way upriver on the St. Lawrence heading for the Great Lakes. In her wake, her owners believe, may be a new era in regards to a shipping method for the international waterway. Industry experts say that about 90% of non-bulk cargo worldwide is transported by container ships, with large coastal ports along the Atlantic and Pacific oceans the hubs of that activity. But the container vessel business model has begun to create ripples in the St. Lawrence and Great Lakes. photos,  >click to read< 18:19

Appeal and application process frustrates – Fish Harvester Benefit and Grant Program extended

The appeal deadline for the Fish Harvester Benefit and Grant Program has been extended by DFO to Oct.1 from Sept.15 following months of delays and online application issues. The appeal process has been plagued by an “online application nightmare” and a “communication cluster,” Problems included multiple vague error messages prompting harvesters to call Service Canada for help. The error messages numbered seven, 10 and 12, offered no definition. This left many harvesters clueless,,, >click to read< 14:20

Lobster captain found guilty on lesser charge in 2018 deaths of 2 men

Justice Gregory Cann has found lobster boat captain Clarence Barry White not guilty on two counts of criminal negligence causing death over a boat collision that left two men dead. He did find White guilty of dangerous operation of a vehicle causing death, however. Sobs broke out in a Charlottetown courtroom on Friday as the judge announced his decision. White’s boat, Forever Chasin’ Tail, collided with Joel ’98, killing two of the five people on that vessel: Justin MacKay and Chris Melanson. During the trial, court heard that White’s boat was on autopilot at the time of the crash, >click to read< 11:42

Fin whale entangled in a navigation buoy near Grand Manan last week is presumed dead

A fin whale spotted near Grand Manan is believed to have died after becoming entangled in a navigation buoy, something rescuers say they have never seen before. Campobello Whale Rescue Team with the Canadian Whale Institute, said the rescue team responded to a report of an entangled whale spotted from the Grand Manan Ferry at around 8:30 a.m. on Sept. 1. The ferry was travelling from Blacks Harbour to Grand Manan. Brown said the team went searching with two boats, joined by a boat and aircraft from the Fisheries and Oceans Canada team. >click to read< 08:26

Grand Chief of Assembly of First Nations tells DFO – ‘Stop criminalizing our treaty rights’

The Grand Chief of the Assembly of First Nations is calling for an end to what she calls intimidation over the Sipekne’katik First Nation’s lobster fishery. So far this summer, hundreds of traps have been seized from St. Mary’s Bay and Archibald was on a boat that was boarded by DFO officers Thursday afternoon, who then seized the traps of the fisherman she was with. “Two DFO zodiacs with eight enforcement officers encircled and boarded the boat and later traps were pulled, confiscated and loaded onto a Coast Guard boat,” Video >click to read< 19:50

RCMP charge second man in relation to 2020 fish plant fire

RCMP in Nova Scotia have charged a second man with arson in relation to a fire that destroyed a fish plant in 2020 amid tensions over a Mi’kmaq lobster fishery in southwestern Nova Scotia.,, Investigators determined the fire was the result of arson. Police say they arrested Sean Roy Messenger, 29, of Shelburne County without incident on Wednesday. Messenger has been charged with arson. He was released on a promise to appear before a judge in Yarmouth Provincial Court. In July, 24-year-old Brendan Douglas James Porter, of East Pubnico, was also arrested and charged with arson,    >click to read< 17:08

151 Maine legislators call on Biden to rescind new lobster fishing reg’s, while the real threat remains

State legislators have submitted a letter to President Joe Biden requesting (DEMAND!) that his administration take steps to immediately rescind new regulations on lobster fishing. The new regulations, which are intended to protect the endangered North Atlantic right whale,,, Rep. Billy Bob Faulkingham, R-Winter Harbor, a lobster fisherman, initiated the letter. Maine Senate President Troy Jackson also criticized the new reg’s,, “The new federal regulations are an affront to the men and women who have made a living on Maine’s working waterfront for generations,,, I’m deeply disappointed that NOAA has decided to dismiss the voices of Maine’s lobstering workforce and chosen to go ahead with damaging regulations that do nothing more than hurt our fishermen, while the real threat to right whales remains, Canadian ships.” Video, >click to read< 16:03

Rep. Sherm Hutchins – Maine’s lobster industry is under siege

Maine’s lobstermen and women are under attack by the Biden Administration after a recent set of rule changes restricting seasonal lobster fishing in 950 square miles of federal waters off Maine’s coast. This is an inflexible and poorly considered attempt to protect the North Atlantic right whale population. The series of rule changes are the most heavy-handed in a long line of attempts to undermine the lobster industry here in Maine. If our fisheries are not protected, and if these rules are not reversed, Maine’s fishermen and women will not recover. >click to read< 09:47

More siege from the non-productive slugs of the enviroscam movement – Zack Klyver, science director with the group Blue Planet Strategies, has a different view on the issue. I’m sympathetic to them and know that they work extremely hard,,, >click to read< 11:25

Fishing boat Captain is grateful for the quick response of his fellow fishermen

Élie Dugas, captain of the fishing boat that sank off Miscou on Monday morning, said he’s grateful for the help from fellow fishermen. Within minutes of his distress call at about 6:30 a.m., about eight boats were in sight, ready to help rescue the crew,,, He said he bought the Maximilien two years ago. “It’s a hard blow,” said Dugas, who is based in Miscou and has been fishing for 46 years. Rescuers first tried to pump out the water and then tow the herring boat, but it was soon determined to be too dangerous. “We couldn’t save the boat,” said Fisherman Steven Hughes,, The four crew members of the Maximilien were taken safely to shore.  >click to read< 12:16

American Aquafarms salmon farm anxious to explain its vision. pssst, Eirik. No one wants it.

Officials representing a controversial salmon farm proposed for Frenchman Bay hope to meet with the public in the coming weeks to explain their vision amid vocal and visible opposition. Ten days ago, a flotilla of boats showed their opposition to the project in the water surrounding Acadia National Park. Company vice president Eirik Jors said American Aquafarms wants to open a U.S. location to help meet the growing demand for salmon. “The U.S. imports about 90% of its seafood,”,,, Save it, Eirik. National Park Service blasted the proposal in July., Other groups, including Protect Maine’s Fishing Heritage and Frenchman Bay United, are worried about the loss of fishing grounds for lobstermen and others. James West, a fourth-generation fisherman from Sorrento, said the lease site is too big and he’s worried about impacts on lobsters and fish. >click to read< 15:39

SEA-NL: Province to review foreign investment in fishery

SEA-NL is encouraged by news that the province has finally commenced a review of its policies related to foreign investment in the fishery, with consultations planned for this fall. “Our message now is for complete transparency,,, Fisheries, Forestry and Agriculture Minister Derrick Bragg wrote SEA-NL on Friday, Sept. 3rd, to reveal his department has begun work on a review of its policies regarding foreign ownership in the fishery. Bragg advised that consultations with industry stakeholders are scheduled for late October-November. The minister’s letter was in response to one written by Cleary to Premier Furey on Aug. 23rd requesting the province investigate foreign control/corporate concentration in the fish processing sector. >click to read< 10:29

American Seafood Corp. Fights Giant Jones Act Penalties

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has stirred up a storm in the Alaska pollock fishery by issuing Jones Act penalty notices totaling about S350 million. According to a lawsuit filed by an affiliate of factory trawler giant American Seafoods Corporation, the fines could raise the price of pollock and even lead to shortages in the eastern U.S., the region affected by the enforcement action. Through the operations of its Alaska Reefer Management affiliate, American Seafoods routinely delivers Alaskan fish to customers on the U.S. Eastern Seaboard using chartered foreign-flag vessels. These ships are loaded in Dutch Harbor, then transit through the Panama Canal and around the East Coast to the port of Bayside, Canada. At Bayside, the cargo is offloaded into truck trailers for delivery to the Eastern United States.  >click to read< 09:18

New Brunswick: 4 rescued from sinking herring boat off Miscou

Herring fisherman Steven Hughes was the first person to arrive at the scene. He said he and his crew were alerted around 05:00 that a boat was taking on water. “There was water over the engines and the engine stalled, so they had no more power for it to advance,” he said. “The water was coming up to the battery, so basically their radio, stuff like that, there was a time limit on that usage.” Hughes said they then called the coast guard and decided to tow the boat. >click to read< 17:41

$350M Bering Sea fish fight could hinge on a miniature Canadian railroad

The quickly escalating saga involves hundreds of millions of dollars in fines, and a miniature Canadian railway,,, American Seafoods’ shipping subsidiary and an affiliate company, Kloosterboer International Forwarding, sued U.S. Customs and Border Protection in federal court Thursday,,, The Jones Act, a century-old federal law, typically requires American-flagged ships to move cargo between American ports. But the legislation contains an exception known as the “Third Proviso,” ,,Vessels flagged in countries like Singapore and the Bahamas first pick up frozen seafood products in Dutch Harbor, then travel to the Canadian port of Bayside, New Brunswick, just across the border from Maine. From Bayside, the seafood would be trucked to a Canadian train, loaded and moved 20 miles between two stations,,, >click to read< 14:10

Political parties differ dramatically on moderate livelihood response

The major parties vying to replace the Liberals at Canada’s helm both promise a dramatic course change on the moderate livelihood fishery file. But it would be in very different directions. With the Liberal share of the popular vote,31.4 per cent as of Thursday, compared to the Conservatives with 33.7 per cent, and the NDP, with 20.2 per cent, there is a potential for a sea change on the most high profile issue to come out of this province in recent years. An NDP government would allow moderate livelihood and treaty based fisheries to continue or be launched,,, A Conservative government would take a harder line with First Nations, according to incumbent West Nova MP Chris D’Entremont. >click to read< 17:50