Category Archives: Canada

When Lowestoft boats went to fish from Canada

There was an interesting time, way back in the early 1950s, when several drifter/trawlers and trawlers from Lowestoft were sent on the long trip to Nova Scotia to ply their trade, reports Mick Harrod. The first Lowestoft boats to make this voyage were Acorn LT 31, skippered by Ivan Down, and Boston Swift LT 377, in September of 1954. Acorn was a steamer, built in 1919 at Aberdeen and the story goes that, although she was filled with coal, including in the fish hold and ice lockers, she still ran out of fuel in the last few miles and was towed in by Boston Swift. The agreement with Mercury Fisheries Ltd, of Halifax, Nova Scotia, was that the crew initially signed on for six months and then, if they liked it enough, they could have permanent berths and their families would get assistance to move to Canada. click here to view more images, read the story 09:36

Most of P.E.I.’s 960-boat spring lobster fleet will set gear Saturday – Fishermen from Point Prim to Victoria will set a week later

Some lobster fishermen started transferring traps from the wharf to their boats on Thursday as preparations for Saturday’s opening of the spring lobster fishing season shifted into high gear. Many of the crews, however, are waiting until Friday to load up. “I hope everybody has a safe season, all across P.E.I and I hope the catches are good,” said Francis Morrissey, president of the Western Gulf Fishermen’s Association. Morrissey said many of the fishermen in his area have been able to catch a fair amount of spring herring for bait to get their season started, and he’s encouraged that the weather conditions for setting day, this Saturday are forecast to be good. click here to read the story, and we wish these fishermen well. Stay Safe! 11:55

FISH-NL calls for resignation of leader of province’s Federation of Labour, and they’re not alone!

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is demanding the resignation of Mary Shortall, president of the province’s Federation of Labour, for taking sides in the dispute between FISH-NL and the FFAW, as well as blatant conflict of interest. “Mary Shortall has no business choosing sides — standing by the executive of the FFAW over rank-and-file fish harvesters who are slowly being starved out by a combination of failed management and a union that has lost its way,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “Mary Shortall has also lost touch with workers in this province and should be forced to resign immediately, and it’s not just me who’s saying that — but at least one local union president.” click here to read the press release (image cbc) 11:34

Newfoundland and Labrador Fishermen don’t agree that crab, shrimp stocks are as bad as scientists say

The province’s fishery appears to be on the brink of a sea change. News over the past couple of months of continually declining snow crab and northern shrimp stocks in waters off Newfoundland and Labrador’s coasts have sent waves of concern washing over the fishing industry. The expected cuts this spring to crab and shrimp quotas have fisherman all around the province on edge. And there’s little else to fill in the gap — the northern cod stocks, while showing signs of strong growth in recent years, are still not ready for a major commercial fishing effort. Lying in the balance are huge investments in vessels and fishing gear, work for boat crews and plants, and the survival of rural areas of the province. But while scientific stock assessments of crab and shrimp reveal a dismal picture, many fishermen are not so sure that picture is accurate. In fact, many say they are seeing things a bit differently out on the water, and see some hope for the fishery of the future if fishermen are willing to branch out into other potential commercial species. click here to read the story 08:50

Training Great Lakes captains – Online education makes Marine Institute a hub for Canadian harvesters

When you think about Ontario, commercial fisheries aren’t something that necessarily comes to mind. But there is a thriving industry on the Great Lakes. In fact, according to the Ontario Commercial Fisheries’ Association (OCFA), “Ontario is home to the largest freshwater fishery in North America.”,,, But much as with Newfoundland and Labrador fisheries, the province of Ontario’s skilled fishers are aging. “The captains are becoming older and starting to retire,” said Jane Graham, executive director of the OCFA. “We wanted to have people trained to step into the role.”,,, The online version of Fishing Master Class IV program started as a pilot project back in 2010 to meet the same needs as those of the OCFA. The initiative was developed by the Marine Institute, in partnership with the Canadian Council of Professional Sea Harvesters and the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, as a way of improving training in the industry and filling the gap in (s)killed harvesters. click here to read the story 18:04

Researchers probing marine mammal genitals, copulation with simulated sex!

Dara Orbach is probably one of very few people in the world who regularly gets sent dolphin vaginas in the mail. “The boxes don’t usually smell very good when they arrive,” says Orbach, a post-doctoral fellow at Dalhousie University and a research assistant at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts. The marine mammologist has spent the last few years studying the genitals of whales, dolphins, porpoises, sea lions and seals to understand how they fit together during sex. It’s not an easy thing to do. First, she has to actually obtain the animals’ vaginas and penises. Orbach has a permit to receive the reproductive organs of marine mammals that have died of natural causes after a necropsy has taken place. It has taken her years, but at its peak, her collection included about 140 specimens. Second, she has to figure out how the penises and vaginas interact in real life when, in fact, they’re lying inert and disembodied on her laboratory table. click here to read this story 12:30

P.E.I. scallop fishermen propose temporary exclusion zone compensation go to rationalization

Prince Edward Island scallop fishermen are proposing the money Maritime Electric is promising as compensation be applied towards rationalization. The utility is offering $500,000 as compensation for keeping scallop fishermen out of part of their zone this year. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has agreed to a request from Maritime Electric to impose a fishing exclusion zone across the Northumberland Strait off Borden where the utility is currently laying new submarine power cables. The area, which includes some of the best scallop fishing beds in Scallop Fishing Area 22, is expected to be in place for most of the month of May. The five-week scallop fishery opens May 1 and involves fishermen from both sides of the strait. Of the 130 license-holders in New Brunswick and 60 in P.E.I., about 60 to 70 of them are active each year. click here to read the rest. 21:23

Censored! No Media Allowed: FFAW Union Boss to meet with protesters but not interested in ‘spectacle’

The Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW) will meet with fish harvesters who protested outside the union building on Monday, but says media will not be allowed. “To have [media] in the meeting, and to really make something a spectacle is not really what we’re interested in,” Keith Sullivan, president of the FFAW, told CBC Radio’s St. John’s Morning Show. “Obviously [we’re] happy to meet with members, but to have a spectacle and something that’s only going to further embarrass our industry … we have no interest in doing that.”Protesters first rallied outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada building where Richard Gillett — vice-president of the Federation of Independent Seafood Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) — held his 11-day hunger strike and headed to the offices of the FFAW on Monday.  They demanded a meeting with the union, and that media be present during that meeting. click here to read the story 14:36

A protest that had the makings of turning ugly on Monday in St. John’s ended with handshakes between the fishermen fighting for their livelihoods and the police force charged with keeping public order and safety. Still, the fishermen drove away — back to home communities and boats scattered around the island — disappointed with not getting answers to a net load of questions. Fisherman Brent Adams from Marystown said the meeting should take place in the union building. “This is our building. We paid for this building. Why not meet here?” he said. “They (FFAW executive) should all resign.” click here to read the story and watch the video. 15:29

Maine fishermen could feel impact of proposed undersea cable

A Canadian company is proposing a 350-mile, sub-sea power transmission cable that could interfere with commercial fishing along the coast of Maine. If the project is approved, the Atlantic Link cable would be buried about 25 miles offshore of Harpswell, running between New Brunswick, Canada, and Plymouth, Massachusetts. It would affect about 400 lobstermen from Cape Elizabeth to Phippsburg, according to spokesman Gerald Weseen of the Nova Scotia-based energy services company Emera. Weseen and other project representatives, and staff from the Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association, conducted a meeting about the project April 21 that drew only two area lobstermen. click here to read the story 13:12

Meanwhile in the Straight of New Brunswick, Scallop fishermen worried about short- and long-term impact of electric cable installation. “Are we going to have a fishery there in the future, or are we going to have wait seven years to get it back up again?” Barlow asked. click here to read the story 14:20

Capelin count: DFO spending $2.4M to study fishery ‘linchpin’

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans is spending more time and money on understanding why capelin stocks haven’t recovered. “Capelin are a linchpin; that’s the simplest I can put it. If you don’t have a lot of capelin, you don’t have a lot of other stuff,” senior researcher Pierre Pepin told reporters at a department briefing. Pepin said the success of other species depends on a healthy capelin population.,, It wasn’t just cod that collapsed in the early ’90s. Capelin stocks peaked at around six million tonnes before collapsing to next to nothing. Recent surveys show a small recovery to about one million tonnes. Scientists don’t know what caused the collapse, but it came during a period of very cold ocean temperatures. click here to read the story 09:30

Scientists don’t need to do a better job of explaining themselves to fishermen — they need to do a better job of listening to them.

There’s currently a public spotlight on the plight faced by the province’s inshore fishers, due in part to the courageous 11-day hunger strike of FISH-NL Vice-President Richard Gillett that ended Sunday with his hospitalization, and to the increasing militancy on the part of desperate fishers, who have stormed, occupied, and barricaded Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) offices, burned their gear in public protest, and spoken out in myriad ways about the crisis they and their communities face.,, Their protests have provoked a range of responses, some of which are incredibly counter-productive. For instance, the suggestion that scientists need to do a better job of explaining their science to fishers.,, The implication is that if fishers actually understood the science, they would stop protesting — which misses the entire point of these protests on two counts. click here to read the article 17:45

FFAW – Statement on Fish Harvester Protest in front of their building.

FFAW’s Executive Board understands and agrees that this is a difficult time in the fishery. The fishery is in transition which creates uncertainty. FFAW has worked hard to help ease the difficulties created by changes in the marine environment. We are in daily communication with DFO on improving quotas, on finding a better approach to assessing fisheries science, and on ensuring that the voice of harvesters is clearly heard in matters of fisheries management. We have dozens of elected committees throughout the province engaged with DFO on a wide variety of issues. Over the past six months, these committees, in conjunction with FFAW staff, have conducted hundreds of meetings in communities across the province. We are engaged and the vast majority of our membership understand the support we provide and results we achieve. continue reading the press release, click here 15:29

Happening Now – Protestors on scene at FFAW building in St. John’s

A large group of fishermen are on the scene the Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW) union offices in St. John’s this morning looking for a meeting, while the police riot squad has assembled nearby in case the gathering turns violent. About 30 fish harvesters are protesting in front of the Fish Food and Allied Workers union office this morning over what they say is a failure to relay their concerns to Ottawa. Shortly after 12:30 p.m., RNC Supt. Joe Boland informed the fishermen that the FFAW is holding a conference call with its executive to determine if they will meet with the fisherman. If so meeting will likely go ahead around 2 p.m. today. click here to read the story 11:30

The Heat is On! Fishermen move protest to FFAW building after Richard Gillett addressed supporters outside DFO

Demonstrating fishermen have moved their protest from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to the Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW) building in St. John’. About 60 fishermen gathered outside the FFAW Monday morning asking for a meeting with the union. “We want a meeting with Bill Broderick, John Boland, Keith Sullivan and Dave Decker. The fishermen [are] fed up with the union here. Our voices are not getting to Ottawa,” said Rod Rowe, a fisherman from Fogo who has been fishing more than 30 years. “You all watched Richard Gillett starve himself. What did Ottawa do? What did our union do? What did our provincial government do? Absolutely nothing. They were willing to let him die. We’re not going to sit down and die either.” click here to see more images and video,  read the story. 10:23

Hunger Strike: Day 11 – Canadian Fisherman Richard Gillett taken from protest site in ambulance

Richard Gillett, on a hunger strike in front of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans building in St. John’s, has been taken off site in an ambulance. Gillett, a fisherman and vice-president of the Federation of Independent Seafood Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL), is in the 11th day of a hunger strike. Supporters applauded Gillett as paramedics took him from his tent on a stretcher and loaded him into the back of a waiting ambulance. Richard’s wife Joyce made the call to the ambulance. His father, John, said, “I got my son back.” He told CBC he didn’t want his son to embark on the hunger strike, but added, “He’s got his own conviction.” link 13:39  Ambulance takes hunger striking fisherman to hospital – Click here to read the story 13:44

Land Based Fish farm gets cash injection

Ottawa is pumping $1 million into Hants County’s Sustainable Blue’s fish farming operation to boost production of Atlantic salmon and commercialize cutting-edge marine water treatment technology. Federal funding will allow the company to build a 300-metric tonne land-based saltwater grow-out facility, which will bring its total capacity to 500 metric tonnes. This will allow production of Atlantic salmon year-round. In making the announcement, Kings-Hants MP Scott Brison said the money from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency will benefit the self-contained aquaculture operation, which is the first facility of its type in the world growing drug-free fish, produced sustainably on land. click here to read the story 11:17

Lobster Prices are Starting to Drop

It was tough cold weather season for local fish markets, but finally lobster prices are starting to drop. Schermerhorn’s Seafood in Holyoke has been in business for more than 100 years. They told 22News they’ve never seen lobster prices this high for this long. Low demand driven by high prices and low supply driven by cold fishing waters. Schermerhorn’s said this coming week, the lobster beds should open up and prices should drop. Video, read the story here 10:40

A Response – Speak plain English: Scientists can do a better job talking to fishermen

I have just read your recent article by Brett Favaro, director of the Fisheries Sciences at Memorial University’s Fisheries and Marine Institute. “Speak plain English, Scientists can do a better job talking to fishermen, CBC News”. It mirrors what the scientists at the Northeast Science Center at Woodshole have concluded. They are hiring someone to do exactly that, translate between the scientists and the fishermen. I can’t believe that so many brilliant scientists could be so very “intellectually challenged” and arrogant.
I have spent my entire adult life fluctuating between fishing and science. My husband is a full time commercial fisherman and my youngest son is a PhD bio mathematician. They understand each other perfectly well. My son fished with his father from the age of 12. He understands fishing and how to listen and how to explain science.
In my opinion the problem is not that the fishermen do not understand the scientists. It is that the scientists no longer understand fishing. The program that you need to add to the curriculum is a year on the back deck learning the ins and outs of actual fishing. How to garner the best data possible from a working fishing vessel. What we have lost is the ability of the scientist to really listen to the fishermen and value their observations.
We should take a lesson from the renown scientist, Henry Bigelow, who spent most of his working career on the back deck of fishing vessels and paying fishermen for their knowledge. Listening to their observations and carefully cataloging them.
Ellen Goethel
Biologist/Owner Explore the Ocean World,LLC
Hampton, NH USA 19:35

Day 10; Hunger Strike of Canadian Fisherman Richard Gillett – ‘Richard is very, very weak’

As Richard Gillett hits Day 10 of his hunger strike outside the Fisheries and Oceans building in St. John’s, his father wants him to stop it. His father, John Gillett, was standing outside in the misty rain on Saturday, with about 20 other protesters. “Richard is not doing well today. Richard is very, very weak,” said John Gillett. But, said John Gillett, somebody — “unfortunately, it’s my son” — has to stick up for the Newfoundland fishery. “This is a fish harvester who’s sick of kicking the can down the road and being bullied by the government, by DFO, and he’s going to be bullied out of the fishery just like a good many more people are.” (he’s right, you know. Set up to fail from poor fishery management.) click here to read the story 16:57

Speaking of Science, DFO says trust the science!

In the midst of ongoing protests outside of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans in St. John’s Friday, several DFO staff briefed reporters on fisheries science and the approach to resource management. At the Canadian Coast Guard building on Southside Road, they walked through an overview of ongoing scientific study and management work specific to Newfoundland and Labrador. The presentations spoke to the extent and effect of ecosystem changes, including the recent and painful quota cuts to both northern shrimp and crab. A biomathematician and employee for more than 30 years with DFO, Dr. Pierre Pepin spoke to the department’s seasonal ocean climate monitoring and trawl surveys, among other work. He said the science being conducted in the region is robust, and the reports and advice coming from DFO scientists can be trusted as a fundamental source of information. click here to read the story 09:46

Day 9 – Canadian Fisherman Richard Gillett continues hunger strike protest after call from minister

Richard Gillett is weak now and growing weaker by the hour. The once burly fisherman from Twillingate, N.L., known for his three seasons on the reality TV show “Cold Water Cowboys,” has lived in a tent on a water-only diet since April 13 on the grounds of the federal Fisheries and Oceans building in St. John’s. He spoke to reporters early Friday from his cot, his eyes glazed. His wife and daughter, one of his three teenaged children, were by his side as he apologized for mental lapses on Day 9 of a hunger strike to protest what he says is dire mismanagement of fish stocks. “It takes every bit of energy now just to talk.” Gillett, 45, said he has no plans to quit despite a phone call Thursday night from Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc. “He didn’t offer me anything that was solid other than a meeting in two to three weeks’ time. And that’s certainly not enough to warrant me, after my hunger strike, to get off this hill. That’s not what I’m asking.” click here to read the story 14:52:17

Richard Gillett supporters block DFO exit as workers try to leave – click here to read the story 14:58

Newfoundland hunger strike Fisherman Richard Gillett speaks with federal fisheries minister

A spokeswoman for Dominic LeBlanc said the fisheries minister spoke with Richard Gillett for more than an hour on Thursday evening, covering a broad range of issues. Laura Gareau said the two agreed to speak again, adding that LeBlanc expressed concern for Gillett’s health, and urged him to make his health and family a priority. About three dozen protesters went to the federal fisheries office in St. John’s, N.L., on Thursday morning to show support for Gillett, who has been on a hunger strike since last Thursday. Gareau said LeBlanc also expressed concern that the protest prevented nearly 400 Department of Fisheries and Oceans employees from getting to work, interrupting their ability to serve fish harvesters across Newfoundland and Labrador. click here to read the story 00:50

Snow crab prices could be clawed back

Halfway around the world there’s an uneasiness that may land this year’s Newfoundland snow crab industry in troubled waters. While the announced increase in price between the province’s harvesters and processors this year appears to have somewhat offset concerns about a drastic drop in Newfoundland snow crab quotas, key Japanese buyers remain uncertain about paying a high price through the season. The minimum price per pound for snow crab this year for harvesters was set at $4.39 — the highest price ever in this province — by the Standing Fish Price Setting Panel, which chose the harvesters’ proposed price over the processors’ offer of $4.10. John Sackton, a longtime North American seafood market analyst and president and publisher of SeafoodNews.com, said Japanese buyers find themselves in an uneasy situation. He said their normal buying process — in which the buyers like to work on a single-established price — has been disrupted. click here to read the story 22:35

Richard Gillett Stands Firm, Determined, while FISH-NL executive accuses DFO and FFAW of playing politics in fishery protest

Ryan Cleary says the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and the Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW) union are killing Richard Gillett with politics. “This guy is a rock, but he’s hurting now and they’re playing with his life,” the Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador president said of the organization’s vice-president, who is now eight days into a hunger strike while camped outside the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Centre in St. John’s. Cleary was responding to a news release from the FFAW that he claims takes credit for the federal government’s decision to conduct a full assessment on northern cod stocks on an annual basis. (Ten yearold Lucas Wilkinson made the point it was important to show solidarity with Richard Gillett. click here to read the story! 21:54

Day 8: Richard Gillett hunger strike – Gillett joined by two-dozen supporters

As the eighth day Richard Gillett’s hunger strike began Thursday morning, he was joined by over two dozen of his fellow fish harvesters.  While the demonstration was peaceful in nature, the protestors were stopping Department of Fisheries and Ocean Employees from entering the road leading the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Centre. There were few vehicles to impede, however, as DFO management had already planned a delayed opening and decided just after 8:30 a.m. to keep the building closed until noon. RNC officers were briefly on the scene to speak with Gillett and his supporters. click here to read the story 11:44

‘It’s breaking my heart’: Richard Gillett’s father among fishermen supporting hunger strikerclick to read the story and a short video 13:27

Plenty to go around from this year’s Strait of Georgia herring spawn

It was another strong year for the local herring roe harvest — in line with a growing abundance of herring over the last decade that has led to “historic highs,” said the executive director of the Herring Conservation and Research Society, Greg Thomas. The Nanoose Bay resident said the prediction for this year was 150,000 total tons of herring in the Strait of Georgia. The numbers are provided by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, which assesses the strength of each year’s spawn, and sets the quotas for the following year. The quotas tend to be about 20 per cent of the total, said Thomas. While some reports have said the herring quotas in the Qualicum Beach to Nanoose Bay area were caught quite quickly, Thomas said that, overall, “(Fishing companies) didn’t achieve their total allowable catch, however they did catch a substantial amount of fish.” click here to continue reading the story 08:47

Happening Now! Fishermen block off DFO building in St. John’s for protest

Fishermen have set up camp outside the Department of Fisheries and Oceans office in St. John’s Thursday morning for another protest. The group of 18 protesters set up fishing gear at the entrance to the building around 8 a.m. DFO employees who have not yet come in for work are being asked to stay away until noon. This is the second such protest from the fishermen, who say they’re unhappy about inshore shrimp quota cuts. At the previous protest, the group broke a door and some of them walked into the DFO building. Link 08:14

UPDATED: Port aux Choix protesters get meeting with fishery officials

Since the April 18 protest, a meeting has been scheduled between DFO Area Director John Lubar and protest representatives for Friday, April 21 in Hawke’s Bay. Port au Choix harvester Stella Mailman has told the Northern Pen that seven or eight representatives from the area, representing different fleets and fleet sizes, will be attending the meeting – herself, included.
She is hoping they will address the issues the harvesters were protesting and advocating for on April 18. “The 4R lines, the adjacency, and talk about all the cuts to the fishery,” said Mailman. “All the things that was brought up during the protest will be put on the table.” She feels having a meeting means they’re making some progress and hopes that those in authoritative positions in the fishery will not just be willing to talk with them, but with people like Richard Gillett, the harvester undertaking a hunger strike, in St. John’s. click here to read the story 16:30

Day 7 – Newfoundland Fisherman Richard Gillett says he’s prepared to die on hunger strike against Ottawa

Celebrity Newfoundland fisherman Richard Gillett hasn’t eaten for nearly a week, and says he’s prepared to die for his protest over fisheries management.Gillett starred three seasons on the reality TV series “Cold Water Cowboys,” but is now living in a tent at federal fisheries headquarters in St. John’s. He has slept there six nights and says he has consumed just water since starting his protest on Thursday. Gillett’s demands include a teleconference meeting with federal Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc and an independent review of science and management for all provincial fish stocks. His father, John Gillett, says his diabetic son has had past heart issues and, though he supports his cause, wants him to eat. A spokeswoman for LeBlanc says the minister is not available to discuss the hunger strike or other recent protests about the fishery. Link 15:47

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 230ft. Steel Freezer Trawler, 4896HP, 12 Cylinder Wartsila 12V28B

Specifications, information and photo’s and videos click here  (click the square on blue header for menu, here ) To see all the boats in this series, Click here 12:42

The fishery in Newfoundland and Labrador is in turmoil and I wish to inform the public as to the reasons why.

I am not taking sides with FISH-NL vs. the FFAW — this is a distinctly different matter that involves the right as to who represents fishers in collective bargaining. This is a matter of provincial jurisdiction that has nothing to do with fisheries management and DFO — a federal government responsibility. The Department of Fisheries and Ocean is denying the fishers their right to be consulted, and DFO has delegated its responsibility to the FFAW. The FFAW is a union constituted to represent fishers and plant workers for the purpose of collective bargaining. Click here to read the letter by Gabe Gregory Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s 20:56

Fishing gear burned in Port au Choix protest

Fish harvesters from Newfoundland’s Northern Peninsula burned crab and lobster pots Tuesday morning outside the Department of Fisheries and Oceans office in Port au Choix, saying they don’t have access to enough fish to make a living. “We feel we are completely abandoned,” said one of the organizers, Stella Mailman. “We are absolutely trash to them. That’s all we are.” Mailman, who fishes for lobster, groundfish and halibut with her husband, said protesters came from communities from Sandy Cove to Parsons Pond, with truckloads of gear. “Crab pots, drag nets, lobster pots, and they actually put them in the parking lot and set fire to them,” she said, estimating there were eight to 10 truckloads burned. click here to read the story 12:12

Day 6 – The hunger strike of Canadian Fisherman Richard Gillett continues

While Richard Gillett’s accommodations along the side of East White Hills Road have improved, his physical and mental state is headed in the other direction. Gillett, a Twillingate fisherman and vice-president of the Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL), is five days into a hunger strike outside the entrance to the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Centre. He is protesting what he considers mismanagement of Newfoundland and Labrador fish harvesting operations by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and its relationship with the Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW) union.,, Also on Monday, Gillett had a meeting with two representatives from DFO, a senior scientist and a member of senior management. The meeting, he says, was nothing more than “lip service” and an effort to gauge his level of determination and the expected turnout of supporters on Tuesday morning when federal employees return to work following the Easter long weekend. click here to read the story 10:50

Cold Water Cowboys – Season 4 returns for more danger and drama

Being a fisherman off the coast of Newfoundland is a dangerous career. Being injured by machinery or a sharp object is always a concern. If something bad happens, you might be hours away from shore. And if things go really bad, you’re dead. Filming what goes on aboard a fishing boat off the coast of Newfoundland is just as dangerous. Just ask showrunner Maria Knight, whose small team captures dramatic and triumphant footage for Cold Water Cowboys, returning for Season 4 this Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT on Discovery. “It’s not easy for my guys on a lot of levels,” says Knight. “They’ve all received emergency training—they can’t get on the boat without it—and they’re on a boat. It may look majestic on TV with them on the ocean, but there’s not a lot of space and it’s constantly moving. It puts the guys through a major workout.” click here to read the story 11:52

Researchers seek fishing ground closures off N.S., N.B., to protect right whales

Canadian researchers say they have a solution to a new U.S. government requirement that its seafood imports be caught in a way that minimizes harm to marine mammals. Sean Brillant, the report’s lead author, has recommended the summertime closure of Roseway Basin off southwestern Nova Scotia and areas around Grand Manan in the Bay of Fundy. Those are two areas where North Atlantic right whales usually congregate in summer. Closing them, the paper claims, would reduce the risk of gear entanglements by more than 30 per cent at a cost of 140 tonnes in lost seafood catches. click here to read the story 09:22

Easter Sunday marks the fourth day of Canadian Fisherman Richard Gillett’s hunger strike.

The vice-president of the Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) set up camp in front of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans headquarters in St. John’s on Thursday. One of Gillett’s requests is a meeting with Dominic LeBlanc, the federal minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, to ask for an independent review of science and management at DFO. “Up until right now we haven’t heard anything from Minister LeBlanc,” Gillett said. Gillett said he thinks the fishery in Newfoundland and Labrador is close to extinction. click here to read the story 17:25

Fishers, St. Vincent Harbour Authority pleased with ice breaker response time

“They did marvelous” says St. Vincent’s Harbour Authority’s president Jake Hunt. ‘They’ are the icebreaker crew who opened up the waters around Hare Bay this week. With cold temperatures and Mothers Nature’s latest snowstorm, the ice in Hare Bay was thick and frozen together. It would be a while for the ice to break apart and worse still, cause a delay before fisherman could get to work. With the crab season opened since April 6th, it would be difficult for local fishermen to set their crab pots. The seal fishery is also underway. An ice breaker became the best option. click to continue reading the story 14:00

Canada has MPA Fever – Atlantic Canadian fishermen not hooked on idea

A federal government plan to speed up the creation of more marine protected areas in Canada is getting pushback from some Atlantic Canadian fisheries groups. Marine protected areas are established to protect species at risk or unique species from human interference. These areas can close designated ocean and coastal areas to economic activities like offshore energy development and fishing. “This is a huge impact on all the fisheries in Canada,” said Ian MacPherson, the executive director of the Prince Edward Island Fishermen’s Association. MacPherson and other fishing industry representatives outlined their concerns this week in appearances before the parliamentary standing committee on fisheries and oceans. click here to continue reading the story 12:04

Hunger Strike – FISH-NL VP protesting outside DFO in St. John’s

The vice president of FISH-NL is camping outside the Department of Fisheries and Oceans building in St. John’s in protest. Richard Gillett, a fish harvester from Twillingate, says he will stay outside the building — without food and drinking only water — until his two demands are met. “I’m going to stay here as long as it takes to get a meeting with the minister of fisheries, and I’m prepared to go all the way on this one,” he said. Gillett is vice president of the Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL), a group of fishermen trying to break away from the Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW) union. FISH-NL is seeking to be ratified as the bargaining agent for the province’s fish harvesters. Gillett is requesting a meeting with federal Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc, and an independent review of the relationship between DFO and the FFAW. click here to continue reading the story 15:56

Twillingate Fisherman Richard Gillett enters Day 2 of hunger strike: ‘If I can’t fish, I’m no good to no one’

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—Friday, April 14th, 2017 – Richard Gillett, an inshore fish harvester from Twillingate and Vice-President of the Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL), began a hunger strike Thursday afternoon on the grounds of DFO’s NL headquarters in St. John’s. Gillett’s demands include: a meeting with the federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Dominic LeBlanc,  and his assurance of an independent review of DFO science/management; as well as an independent review of the relationship between DFO and the Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW) union. “Enough is enough,” says Gillett, “This is a desperate situation that needs to be looked into right now. The industry is in the worse mess it’s ever been in,” says Gillett, who’s been drinking only water since Thursday afternoon. “DFO science has been gutted and the management system we have today, when most of our fisheries are in crisis, is the same one that we had back in ’92 when the cod moratorium came down. And the FFAW, which is supposedly our union, stopped standing up for fishermen long ago and got in bed with DFO.” “If I can’t fish I’m no good to no one. I’m no good to myself. I’m no good to my family. I’m no good to my friends. I was meant to fish.” On Tuesday, April 11, Gillett, along with Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL, travelled to Ottawa and met with five of NL’s Liberal MPs, including: Gudie Hutchings, Yvonne Jones, Ken McDonald, Scott Simms and Nick Whalen. The MPs called the meeting to discuss the current fisheries crisis. click here to read the press release, and FISH-NL’s presentation 08:26

Minister LeBlanc Announces Increased Access for Indigenous Groups to Southern Gulf Snow Crab Fishery

The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, today announced the management decision for Crab Fishing Areas (CFA) 12, 12E, 12F, and 19. The decision includes a one-time setting aside of up to 1,100 tonnes from CFAs 12 and 19 for Indigenous groups in the area to increase Indigenous access to the fishery. The Total Allowable Catch (TAC) amount is the highest in Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence (SGSL) history because of a rare occurrence with the species which resulted in a significant increase of the snow crab biomass this year. The biomass is expected to return to normal in the following years. Current harvesters will also see significant benefits during this particularly lucrative year, including a historic increase in quota and forecasted market value. The decision follows extensive consultations with traditional crabbers, Indigenous groups, and other stakeholders in the industry. Details on share allocations for the 2017 fishery can be found in the Notice to Harvesters. click here to read the story 08:09

Seal hunt provokes fury from activists

Humane Society International strongly condemned Canada’s annual Atlantic seal hunt as “absolutely devastating” just hours after it began Tuesday morning. While the federal government says that strict protocols are followed when authorizing commercial seal hunts, HSI Canada says seals are dragged onto boats and clubbed to death after being impaled on metal hooks, while others die painfully after being shot. “Most adult people can’t bear to watch it on video,” said Rebecca Aldworth, HSI Canada’s executive director. Her organization says that Justin Trudeau’s government, by permitting commercial seal hunts to proceed, is “completely out of step with Canadian values and the international community.” But Adam Burns of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans said the seal hunt “provides really important economic activity” to Atlantic Canadian coastal communities.  click to read the story 14:53

CETA Deal could be in force for opening day of lobster season on P.E.I.

Canada’s free trade deal with Europe is only steps away from being ratified in Ottawa, and the Lobster Council of Canada is telling exporters to get ready. When CETA is passed an eight per cent tariffs on live lobster shipped to Europe will immediately disappear, and could happen as soon as May 1, the day the spring lobster season on P.E.I. opens. Lobster industry officials in Maine are worried that the disappearance of those tariffs, while tariffs on U.S. lobster remain, could eat into their exports. “For the lobster sector it will mean tariff free access to 27 countries in Europe over the next number of years,” said Geoff Irvine, executive director of the Lobster Council of Canada. Read the rest here 12:32

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 49ft.x27ft. Crab/Lobster vessel, 6 Cylinder Cat C-18

Specifications, information and 30 photo’s click here To see all the boats in this series, Click here 12:05

Japan embraces Russ George’s scheme for iron fertilization

Russ George is semi-famous for dumping over 100 metric tons of iron dust, iron sulfate fertilizer and iron oxide into the sea off British Columbia, Canada in 2012. The act, he claims, spurred a plankton bloom that fed a huge surge in pink salmon returns the following year and in chum salmon returns in 2016 – the difference in years reflecting the different lifecycles of the species. The plan sought to replicate the effect of the eruption of Kasatochi volcano in the Aleutians, which also deposited iron-rich dust and spurred a plankton bloom. Sequestering carbon – in the hard shells of diatoms that sink to the ocean floor – was a supposed secondary benefit. However, George’s experiment, undertaken with the backing of a Native American (First Nations) group, the Haida in the village of Old Masset, and carried out as a corporate activity of the “Haida Salmon Restoration Corporation,” was deemed a rogue experiment. click here to read the story 15:36  click here to read  “Japanese Salmon Fisheries In Historic Collapse Help On The Way” 15:40

U.S. imposes new seafood import rules – DFO says it’s too soon to know what fisheries in Canada will be affected

The United States is now requiring proof that its seafood imports are harvested in a way that minimizes harm to marine mammals like whales — and that has concerned some members of Atlantic Canada’s fishing industry. As of Monday, countries had to submit a list of fisheries measures in place to limit by-catch and gear entanglements with whales, turtles, porpoises and seals. The U.S. wants standards comparable to those imposed on American fisheries.,, “It could be a big problem,” said Bernie Berry, president of the Coldwater Lobster Association, a group representing fishermen in Canada’s most lucrative lobster fishing areas in southwest Nova Scotia.,, “It could be a big problem,” said Bernie Berry, president of the Coldwater Lobster Association, a group representing fishermen in Canada’s most lucrative lobster fishing areas in southwest Nova Scotia. click here to read the story 12:07

DFO files police complaint over shrimp fishermen who stormed St. John’s headquarters

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) has filed a police complaint about a shrimp protest that took a drastic turn Friday when fishermen broke a door and stormed the headquarters in St. John’s. Two doors were damaged Friday, as about 50 protesters gained access to the federal building on White Hills Road. RNC Const. Steve Curnew said a member of the general investigation unit is looking into the matter. There were also reports of DFO officials being intimidated, as fishermen walked the halls calling out the names of specific individuals in the building.  click here to read the story 11:28

TAC increase brings optimistic times for Lake Erie commercial fishery

The Canada-U.S. committee that manages the fishery likes the recent research data it has seen. As a result, the Lake Erie Committee has increased the amount of yellow perch and walleye commercial fishermen are allowed to catch this year. The total allowable catch for yellow perch has been pegged at 10.4 million pounds. This is a 13 percent increase over 2016. The numbers are even better for walleye, which is commonly served in lakeshore restaurants as pickerel. As a top predator in the lake, walleye are managed as individuals and not by weight. The Lake Erie Committee will allow 5.924 million walleye to be harvested this year. That’s a 20 percent increase over 2016. click here to read the story 09:38

Fundy fishermen lose bid to stop tidal turbine in Minas Basin

A group of Bay of Fundy fishermen have lost a bid to overturn the approval of a project in Nova Scotia’s Minas Basin. In February, the Bay of Fundy Inshore Fishermen’s Association argued in Nova Scotia Supreme Court that the province’s environment minister granted approval of the project without enough environmental data. The group, which represents 175 fishermen from Yarmouth to the New Brunswick border, says it believes the tidal energy program will harm marine life. The first turbine was deployed in November. In particular, the group has accused the operators of the turbine of failing to produce “relevant baseline data,” or a snapshot of the environmental state of the Bay of Fundy before the turbine was deployed. On Monday, Justice Heather Robertson rejected the claims by the fishermen, saying “extraordinary efforts have been made to evaluate risk” in the 2009 environmental assessment of the turbine project. click here to read the story 15:37

DFO needs to make science a priority in decision making, geography prof says

Following the recent protests at DFO, a geography professor at Memorial University is speaking out. Rodolphe Devillers, who specializes in marine conservation, says the Department of Fisheries and Oceans needs to make science more important in decision making. “I’m very sympathetic for fishers. I understand that they’re angry and they have to talk and DFO has to listen to them,” he said. “What I’m less sympathetic with is the organizations that are around the fisheries that are very strong at lobbying and that can pressure DFO to actually modify and increase the quota systematically despite the advice of science.” Devillers said if the scientific data states what is acceptable, the fishing industry will then push to make the quota higher. click here to read the story 17:35

Adjacency – Shrimp fishermen storm DFO building, come away with signed agreement

The protesters, members of the Newfoundland and Labrador Independent Fish Harvesters’ Association (NLIFHA), kicked in a window at the building’s main entrance, stormed the building and wandered the halls in search of specific staff familiar with shrimp science and fisheries management. At issue was not the shrimp quota, but the principles of adjacency surrounding the fishery in Area 6, specifically the 3K region on the province’s northeast coast and 2J off Labrador. Those closest to the resource, they argue, should have first access. “In these dire circumstances, while the shrimp is in the critical zone according to DFO scientists, we’re asking that the access to this shrimp only be given to people living adjacent to the shrimp,” explained Terry Ryan, a fisherman from La Scie and spokesman for the group of about 50. “All other fleets, including boats from Quebec, be denied access until such time as our shrimp recovers out of this critical zone.” Click here to read the story 10:25

Calvert fisherman Laurie Sullivan remembered fondly

People in Calvert, on the southern shore of Newfoundland’s Avalon Peninsula, are mourning the loss of fisherman Laurie Sullivan, 59, who died Wednesday after he was pulled from the water near the town’s wharf.  “It’s such a shock to everybody and his passing has had an impact on everybody,” said Denise Sullivan, a long-time friend and neighbor. Residents of the community say Sullivan was working alone on his boat, the Princess Shaneen, and somehow he ended up in the ocean near it. Like other fishermen in Calvert, he was getting ready to go crab fishing. It was icy at the time, and it’s believed no one saw or heard him fall from the deck. Sadly, continue reading the story here 15:54

FISH-NL – A statement on Friday’s protest in St. John’s

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) describes the protest Friday at the headquarters of the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans as a warning of rising unrest within the fishing industry. “Desperate times in the fishery lead to desperate measures,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “We do not condone violence or civil unrest, but some harvesters around the province are being pushed to the breaking point and have been openly talking about it for months.” “The federal government must realize that the crisis in the fishery today is unprecedented — worse than the groundfish moratoria of the early 1990s — because in most cases harvesters have no other species to turn to.” click here to read the press release 14:20

Updated – Protesters smash window, occupy DFO building in St. John’s over shrimp quota cuts

Police were called Friday as members of the Newfoundland and Labrador Independent Fish Harvesters’ Association protested at Fisheries and Oceans Canada headquarters in St. John’s, pushing their way into the building. Around 50 protesters went inside the federal building on White Hills Road, to protest against new quota cuts for the province’s inshore shrimp fishery. CBC has learned that employees are being asked to secure themselves in their offices. By 10 a.m., a window had been broken at the facility, moments after CBC recorded a video of a man kicking the window. RNC officers were on the scene by 10:30 a.m., as protesters entered the cafeteria in the building, and were meeting officials of the department Click here to read the story 11:15

Montauk 1915: When the Village Was on the Arc of Fort Pond Bay

The wooden shacks composing this village had all been built around 1895 by people who did not own this land. They were squatters on this arc of the bay on land owned by the Long Island Rail Road. The railroad did not stop this village from being built. In fact, they encouraged it. Probably it was because money changed hands between these people and the railroad. The people were commercial fishermen and their families. And they brought in tons of fish from the sea to that single pier and paid for the railroad trains nearby to transport their daily haul of fish to the thriving markets in New York City.,, These fishermen were not even Americans. They were Canadians. They were out of port towns in Nova Scotia, a long way from home, and they had full holds of fish to bring to market. And here, along the arc of this bay, was this nearly abandoned railroad station in the middle of nowhere. There was even a long pier. They’d tie up and meet the stationmaster there. Yes, the tracks led 110 miles straight into Manhattan. A very interesting read! click here to read the story, and click the link to the Pelican The Single Worst Fishing Disaster in the History of Montauk 09:40

Fishers blocks access to DFO building in St. John’s

Members of the Newfoundland and Labrador Independent Fish Harvesters’ Association were outside Fisheries and Oceans Canada headquarters Friday morning. They’re blocking employees from entering the federal building  on White Hills Road, to protest against new quota cuts for the province’s inshore shrimp fishery. The fishermen are outraged by lower quotas for the inshore shrimp fishery off the northeast coast of Newfoundland. The new quota for a fishing zone known as Area 6 will be just 10,400 tonnes, less than a quarter of the 2015 quota of 48,196 tonnes. Last year’s quota had been set at just under 28,000 tonnes. click here to read the story 08:56

Cluney Pardy’s family owned fishing vessel is listing at a 45-degree angle in Musgrave Harbour

A family’s fishing vessel — and their family business — is keeled over in Musgrave Harbour after wicked storms that blasted the northeast coast of Newfoundland. Fisherman Cluney Pardy says the Baccalieu Endeavour was discovered on Tuesday afternoon listing on the port side.  “When we got there the boat was listed out a bit,” he said. “We put a loader on her but we couldn’t hold her, she just kept going on her side.” Pardy says he has no idea what caused the boat to push over — but he knows it’s a big loss for him and his family business. A very sad situation. Click here to see more images, and read the story 15:43

“We’re adjacent to the shrimp, we’re adjacent to the shrimp,” Inshore shrimp fishermen raise a ruckus outside MP’s office

The chant at a rally of shrimp fishermen in Grand Falls-Windsor Wednesday may have sounded unusual to those who don’t follow fisheries issues closely, but demonstrators say it underscores a crisis that could wipe out their livelihood. “We’re adjacent to the shrimp, we’re adjacent to the shrimp,” chanted members of the Newfoundland and Labrador Independent Fish Harvesters’ Association as they staged a demonstration outside the office of Liberal MP Scott Simms. The fishermen are outraged by new quota cuts for the inshore shrimp fishery off the northeast coast of Newfoundland. Terry Ryan, who fishes from La Scie, said the principle of adjacency — the concept that those who live closest to a fishing resource should have priority access — is paramount. Two video’s read the story here 08:23

Shrimp industry instability ‘nerve wracking’

When Rodrick Cornick bought into the inshore shrimp fishery three years ago he expected a better future. Cornick operates the Atlantic Explorer, co-owned with Terrence House, based out of Port aux Choix. They fish for shrimp in area 6 out of St. Anthony. When Cornick bought a share of the enterprise in 2014, he says his shrimp quota would have been equivalent to 1.1 million pounds. At that time, he had little idea what was to come. “Here in the gulf area, the shrimp fishery has been on the go for 40 years and has been fairly consistent,” explains Cornick. “And down in area 6, the banks lent me money based on 20 years of steady allocations.” Then the bottom fell out.,, Cornick also questions the methodology used by DFO to determine the shrimp biomass. read the story, click here 14:11

Editorial: Fished out – It’s hard, hard times.

It’s a veritable seafood platter of bad news: a collapsing shrimp quota, falling crab numbers, and a cod stock not remotely healthy enough to even think about having as a fisheries mainstay. The worst part of the news came as a one-two punch: Friday, a 63 per cent cut in the Area 6 shrimp quota. Monday, a 22 per cent cut in crab quotas. The cod? Early last week, scientists made it quite clear that the stocks aren’t healthy enough yet to be any sort of late-breaking fisheries savior. Cod stocks are still in the critical stage; rebuilding, yes, but not anywhere near enough to support an expanded fishery. continue reading the op-ed here 09:57