Category Archives: Canada

Port aux Basques declares state of emergency as Hurricane Fiona destroys multiple homes, floods streets

A social media post by former provincial cabinet minister Steve Kent claiming one person had been swept out to sea in Port aux Basques because of Hurricane Fiona has been shared nearly 3000 times as of 12:42 p.m. According to RCMP media relations officer Jolene Garland, a report has been received that a woman was washed out into the ocean in Port aux Basques when her home collapsed. Photos, Video clips, >click to read< 13:00

Hundreds of thousands without power in Atlantic Canada as Fiona makes landfall

Hundreds of thousands of customers in eastern Canada are without power as post-tropical storm Fiona brings intense, hurricane-strength winds and torrential rains to swaths of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Quebec’s Magdalen Islands. Fiona made landfall in Nova Scotia shortly after 4 a.m. AT between Canso and Guysborough. >click to read<New Brunswick – While the eye of the storm is well east of the province, post-tropical storm Fiona is causing widespread power outages through much of New Brunswick. >click to read< – Prince Edward Island – Tens of thousands of Maritime Electric customers are without power in P.E.I. as Fiona passes through the region, with wind gusts hitting 150 km/h and almost 100 mm of rain down. >click to read<Nova Scotia – Hundreds of thousands of customers in Eastern Canada are without power as post-tropical storm Fiona brings intense, hurricane-strength winds and torrential rains to swaths of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Quebec’s Magdalen Islands. >click to read<Newfoundland – Homes lost, residents flee as Hurricane Fiona approaches Newfoundland. >click to read< 08:40

‘This is going to be a bad one’: Newfoundland’s hardy fishermen, not usually ruffled, wait in fear for Fiona

Andy Francis points to the sky, where low-lying clouds race north. Francis, like so many Newfoundlanders along the island’s southwestern shore, comes from a long line of fishermen, known collectively as the Port aux Basques’ local meteorologists. They’re used to high winds and stomach-churning waves. But what’s on the way has most of them squinting in worry at the sea and sky Friday morning. Combined with a high tide, rain and winds, Francis says most of what’s close to the water, like docks, boats, fishing stages and even houses could be gone after Hurricane Fiona takes her leave. Dennis Stone spent the morning shoring up his trailer with cinderblocks, hoping the wind won’t tip it over.  He, too, doesn’t like the sound of the forecast. If the water rises high enough, it could be costly to fix the damage and get back on the water, he says. Photos, >click to read< 18:06

Canadian Hurricane Centre says Hurricane Fiona will be ‘historic, extreme event’

The Canadian Hurricane Centre says Hurricane Fiona will make landfall in eastern Nova Scotia as a powerful post-tropical storm early Saturday. In a Friday afternoon briefing, Bob Robichaud, a warning preparedness meteorologist with the centre, cautioned people not to focus on the hurricane’s track since its effects will be felt across a swath of eastern Canada. Environment Canada says this includes much of Nova Scotia, P.E.I., southeastern New Brunswick, western and southwestern Newfoundland, and some parts of Quebec bordering the Gulf of St. Lawrence. >click to read< – Current Hurricane Conditions – Environment Canada (weather.gc.ca)  13:54

SEA-NL recommends electronic auction pilot project for 2023 fishing season

Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador recommends the introduction of an electronic auction pilot project for the 2023 fishing season to address the industry chaos of recent months and help achieve fair market share for the inshore fleet. “This province is the only jurisdiction I know of outside of China or North Korea where electronic auctions and other free-market systems are not used to set the price of fish,” says Ryan Cleary, SEA-NL’s Executive Director. “That alone tells you there’s a problem.” SEA-NL recommended an electronic auction pilot project in its recent submission to a review of the province’s legislated system of fish pricing.  >click to read< 09:16

Maine lobstermen say ‘red listing’ a threat to their livelihoods without cause

“I truly believe the lobstermen have done everything we’ve been asked by National Marine Fisheries and the DMR,” said Gerry Cushman, who has been lobstering in Port Clyde for 38 years. “We’re not the bad guys here,” he said. “You ask us to do it, we do it. So why are you putting us on the red list? “ The Seafood Watch listing is recommending consumers not buy American lobster from either the U.S. or Canada. Maine is the primary producer of that lobster for the U.S. Cushman said he believes Seafood Watch has taken the action against Maine fishermen to pressure them to stop fighting proposed regulations in court. Steve Train, a lobsterman from Long Island in Casco Bay, echoed those points, saying Maine fishermen have followed all the whale protection rules, even though they have also been challenging them in court. Video, >click to read< 19:37

Hurricane Fiona threatens severe impacts across Atlantic Canada

Hurricane Fiona is roaring through the western Atlantic Ocean as a powerful Category 4 storm. The hurricane will brush Bermuda overnight Thursday before threatening major impacts across a large portion of Atlantic Canada. This is already a deadly hurricane. Five people died after Fiona produced devastating flooding across Puerto Rico as the storm traversed the Caribbean Island. Summer’s final sunset saw a powerhouse of a storm in Hurricane Fiona. The U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) found the storm had maximum sustained winds of 215 km/h on Wednesday evening. Some additional strengthening is forecast through Wednesday night, with some fluctuations in intensity possible on Thursday. Forecasters are keeping a close eye on potential impacts across Atlantic Canada for this weekend. Video, images, >click to read< 10:56

Digby County lobster boat wedding adds extra love to bride’s N.S. dream trip

Ontario resident Gypsy Provost-Larocque always had a major dream in life. She wanted to visit Nova Scotia because she wanted to see the ocean. To be near it. To hear it. To feel it. A widow of 22 years, she also had another dream – to be remarried in Nova Scotia not just near the water, but on it. Tamara Frost and her husband Kyle Redden have a dream too. Theirs is to offer passengers on their Bay of Fundy Scenic Lobster Tours the best possible experience they can have. Their tours operate out of Tiverton, Long Island, in Digby County. And so when they heard that Provost-Larocque and her then-fiancé Dennis Larocque wanted to be married on a lobster boat during their visit to the province, they and others made this dream come through. Lots of photos of happy people, >click to < 10:25

Lobstermen vs Whales?

To: Scientists at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. From: Uncle Joe. Subject: The Scientific Method. Dear scientific friends from away, I am not a scientist, although I did get pretty good grades in high school biology and chemistry. I am an old newspaper guy who learned my trade from elderly mentors who sipped cold beers at the loading dock after the giant presses rolled out the last edition. One of the questions I asked them was about verification. The other day, your public relations folks at the Sea Watch program urged the nation’s stores and restaurants to avoid Maine lobsters because they allegedly harmed right whales. Your pronouncement raised a big stink in our neighborhood as it threatens the livelihood of our lobster fishing friends who harvest lobsters in order to feed their families. >click to read< 07:48

FFAW, N.L. government team up in push back against lobster, snow crab being labeled foods to avoid

Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program which runs what it calls a science-based seafood recommendation list to inform consumers, chefs, and business professionals, placed all Canadian lobster and snow crab on an “avoid” list because of what the group calls a potential impact for North Atlantic right whales to become entangled in fishing gear. But Jason Spingle, secretary treasurer of the Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW), says the snow crab and lobster recommendation is “totally unfounded.” Spingle said of the hundreds of harvesters he has heard from, none have actually seen a right whale while fishing. What’s more, Spingle said, he only knows of two sightings in Newfoundland waters, neither during lobster fishing season and zero reports of entanglements. >click to read< 07:37

F/V Aleutian Isle Successfully Raised

The Aleutian Isle, the fishing vessel that sank on August 13 near Sunset Point on the west side of San Juan Island, has been raised to the surface. It had been 200 feet deep. Crews are currently dewatering the vessel. They successfully removed 250 gallons of waste oil and are trying to remove any diesel fuel remaining onboard. 5 Photos, >click to read< 14:12

Why Was Lobster Red Listed? Defending Lobster Fishing

In the early 1970’s I was the youngest licensed lobsterman in the state of Connecticut (10 years old). I put my traps out off of Stamford harbor, pulling them in my 10′ Boston Whaler with a 8hp Envinrude. Sales of the lobster kept me in gas. Baiting the traps and dealing with the catch (mostly ghost crabs) put me off of crustaceans. I also love whales, although they do scare me ever since one bumped the boat I was sailing in the Gulf of Maine in the summer of ’81. So I had to read this The New York Times article: To Save Whales, Don’t Eat Lobster, Watchdog Group Says. And it’s….terrible. Graph, photos, >click to read< Written by Perry Boyle 08:55

Provincial Government Condemns Addition of Snow Crab and Lobster to Seafood Watch ‘Avoid’ List

The Provincial Government has said a decision by the organization Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch that adds snow crab and lobster harvested in Newfoundland and Labrador to the group’s “avoid’ list is unwarranted and irresponsible. The US-based organization recently released an updated seafood rating that placed North American lobster and Canadian snow crab in the ’avoid’ category. Some retailers and consumers in North America and worldwide use these rankings to help make seafood buying decisions. The listing is based on the potential impact for North Atlantic Right Whales to become entangled in fishing gear. >click to read< 10:01

Calls for change continue 1 year after fishermen die off Labrador coast

It’s been one year since fishermen Marc Russell and Joey Jenkins left the wharf in Mary’s Harbour to gather their nets for the last time. The two fishermen died off the southern coast of Labrador on Sept. 17 of last year. Their fishing vessel, the Island Lady, was last seen in the afternoon. No distress calls were received. “It can’t just be an anniversary, briefly. Something more needs to come out of it. No other family should have to grieve like this,” said Niki Greeley, a Lodge Bay resident and Jenkins’s common-law partner. The search on Sept. 17 last year started after Russell’s father noticed his son wasn’t on social media as usual that Friday night. His father called around and found out the boat wasn’t back at the wharf. >click to read< 08:24

East Coast lobster harvest sustainable, according to non-profit’s criteria — but a Seafood Watch report advises consumers to avoid it

A recent report by a California-based seafood assessment group has the East Coast lobster industry seeing red. While Seafood Watch has put lobster on its “red list” and recommend consumers avoid it, lobster fisheries in most areas of Atlantic Canada have been certified sustainable by another group that has significant credentials in the business of seafood accreditation. In existence for about 25 years, the Marine Stewardship Council is a global non-profit organization that works to end overfishing around the world. Catherine Pigeon-Dubeau, fisheries and commercial manager for MSC in Eastern Canada, said the last review of the East Coast lobster fishery was in July of this year, and the Blue Label certification remains in place. >click to read< 14:10

DFO promises enforcement on ‘out of season’ indigenous moderate livelihood fishery

DFO warned two Nova Scotia First Nations this summer that unauthorized lobster fishing would result in enforcement. When the bands went fishing, enforcement ensued. Fishery officers from DFO’s conservation and protection branch seized traps, released thousands of lobsters and made arrests in separate actions involving fishing by members of the Sipekne’katik and Pictou Landing bands. In the case of Sipekne’katik, DFO spokesperson Barre Campbell said officials wrote to the band on July 5 and Aug. 31 to invite Sipekne’katik fisheries managers to discuss the possibility of “working together towards a moderate livelihood fishing plan that implements their treaty rights while ensuring conservation and sustainability of stocks under transparent and predictable management.” >click to read< 09:23

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 52′ PMI Lobster Boat, Cat 3406

To review specifications, information, and 36 photos’, >click here<, To see all the boats in this series >click here< 12:33

Canadian funding to improve onboard handling of lobster

The Government of Canada and the Province of Nova Scotia (NS) has announced funding support to the Maritime Fishermen’s Union Inc.’s Nova Scotia members through the Atlantic Fisheries Fund. On behalf of the Honourable Joyce Murray, the Honourable Sean Fraser, and the Honourable Steve Craig, Nova Scotia Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, announced a total contribution of over $400,000 to help the Maritime Fishermen’s Union deliver a project to its members that will improve the quality, vitality and value of harvested lobster. >click to read< 09:14

Maine’s lobster industry and its supporters are fighting back after Seafood Watch placed lobster on a list

Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch on Sept. 5 added the U.S. lobster fishery to a “red list” of seafood to avoid because it’s harvested in ways that are likely to harm wildlife or the environment. American lobster was included because of the risk that endangered North Atlantic right whales can become entangled in vertical lobstering lines. Fourteen types of seafood were added to the list. Members and supporters of the Maine lobster industry, which landed 108 million pounds of lobster in 2021 at a value of $735 million, immediately denounced the listing as unfair. No right whale deaths can be attributed to Maine gear, the industry backers said, and there have been no documented entanglements in Maine gear since 2004. >click to read< 19:17

FFAW Responds to Seafood Watch “Avoid” Placement of Snow Crab, Norther American Lobster

The FFAW is responding to the US-based Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch which has placed North American lobster and Canadian snow crab among seafood species to “avoid.” The reason is based on the potential impact of gear on the North Atlantic right whale which is prone to entanglements with surface gear. The Fisheries Union says the North Atlantic right whale is not commonly found in waters around Newfoundland and Labrador. According to the union, there have only been three sightings of North Atlantic right whales in waters around this province in the last number of years, and no reports of entanglements. >click to read< 07:59

Atlantic Canada snow crab sales slowed to a crawl in 2022 according to latest export data

In 2021 crab fishing crews landed just over 39,000 metric tonnes. With an average price of $7.36 per pound the landed value that season was $623 million. There were expectations that N.L. harvesters might land a billion dollars’ worth of crab in 2022, thanks to record high prices of $7.60 at the start of the season, and DFO’s decision to increase the overall quota by 32 percent. However, global financial uncertainty precipitated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the end of virus economic stimulus packages in the United States and rising interest rates, lead to consumers scratching high priced seafood from their grocery lists. Just over a month into the season snow crab prices plummeted. >click to read< 12:37

Well known Maine lobsterman Jason Joyce was featured on the Rob Schmitt Show.

Rob Schmitt Tonight locks in all the late-breaking stories that matter to you and delivers the up-to-the-minute news you need to hear before turning in. Last night’s program featured well known Maine lobsterman Jason Joyce who brought up many issues from the Seawatch “Red List”, to offshore wind farms and the North Atlantic Right Whale situation. Thank you Jason and thank you Rob Schmitt. >click to watch the video<, and key to around 43:30 to watch the interview. 11:46

Lawmakers issue strong rebuke after con group adds lobster to ‘red list’

Seafood Watch, a conservation organization based at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California, this week put North Atlantic lobster on its “red list” of seafood to avoid, as a hope to protect endangered species like the North Atlantic right whale. Since the announcement, lawmakers from both states, Maine and Massachusetts, have issued a strong rebuke against the conservation organization, coming to the defense of an industry they say is unfairly being targeted. Sen. Angus King, I-Maine., held a press conference with Maine’s Governor Janet Mills and joined a statement cosigned by Maine’s entire congressional delegation, calling the “red list” designation “reckless” and “irresponsible.” “Massachusetts Lobstermen know this issue, care about this issue, and have remained committed to doing their part despite regulations that entail major sacrifices by the industry,” Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass. Video, >click to read< 09:50

Moderate livelihood treaty right at centre of fishery trial in Nova Scotia

A trial involving three Mi’kmaw fishermen who say they were exercising their treaty right to fish for a living when they were charged with fishery offences is currently underway in Digby, N.S. James Nevin, 38, Logan Pierro-Howe, 24, and Leon Knockwood, 27, from the Sipekne’katik First Nation are each charged with four counts of violating the Aboriginal Communal Fishing Licenses Regulations and the Atlantic Fishery Regulations under the Fisheries Act. They’re accused of fishing and catching lobster without authorization as well as possessing lobster traps that either had unauthorized tags or no tags on them. >click to read< 08:10

Lobster prices up slightly 3 weeks after protest

Lobster prices have rebounded a bit as the fishing season nears the halfway point in the Northumberland Strait area. Fishermen are now getting about $6/pound for their catches, said Luc LeBlanc of the Maritime Fishermen’s Union. That’s up from about $4.50 a few weeks ago, when hundreds of fishermen from along the east coast of New Brunswick protested in Shediac. Some of them said they would not be going out fishing because it would cost them more than they would get paid to do so. Most are fishing, however, because they need the cash flow. >click to read< 07:49

Seafaring Community Mourns Death of Queen Elizabeth II

MARITIME charities and the shipping community are mourning the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, who died on Thursday. Queen Elizabeth II was the patron of more than 500 charitable organisations including Mission to Seafarers, The Seafarers’ Charity and the Sailor’s Society. She is today being remembered for her service to the maritime community and to the welfare of seafarers. The Merchant Navy Welfare Board paid tribute with a message highlighting the Queen’s work as Master of the Merchant Navy and Fishing Fleets. >click to read< 06:59

Seafood more nutritious, produces fewer greenhouse gases than beef or pork, study finds

There is more evidence that seafood is a healthier and more environmentally friendly option than beef, pork and chicken, according to a study published Thursday in the journal Communications Earth and Environment. The authors assessed the nutritional content in dozens of globally important seafood species and the carbon emissions produced to harvest them and compared the results to the big three land-based proteins. The study developed a “nutrient density” score for 41 seafood species by measuring 21 beneficial nutrients like vitamins, fatty acids and protein in the edible portion of the species. It also measured less desirable contents like saturated fats and sodium. For 34 of those species, the authors were able to quantify carbon emissions per kilogram. >click to read< 15:20

Mi’kmaw treaty lobster fishery launches, fisheries officers seize lobster and gear

Fisheries officers seized crates of lobster at Saulnierville wharf, harvested by Sipekne’katik First Nation fishermen. A few days earlier, Mi’kmaw fishermen dropped their lobster traps in St. Mary’s Bay under the band’s own lobster management plan. The federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans confirmed that officers seized 82 crates containing approximately 6,000 lobster. Robert Sack of Sipekne’katik First Nation says his gear was also seized – but he will keep fishing, A day before the treaty fishery launched, James Nevin, of Sipekene’kaitk was in Digby provincial court, defending his treaty rights to harvest lobster to earn a moderate livelihood. >click to read< 11:34

ENGO recommends against consuming lobster over danger to whales

Seafood Watch, a program out of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, says entanglement in fishing gear is the leading cause of death of the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale population, and US and Canadian lobster fisheries aren’t doing enough to prevent it. Jennifer Dianto Kemmerly is vice president of global ocean conservation at the Aquarium. “We really want consumers and businesses to be aware of how dire the situation is,” Kemmerly said. Meanwhile, the international conservation group Oceana blamed the National Marine Fisheries Service for failing to update safeguards that would protect both right whales and lobster fisheries. To remove the red listing, it recommends using ropeless gear, expanding seasonal closures where whales are present, and improving transparency and monitoring of fishing vessels. >click to read< 18:11

Take a look inside this Cartwright net mender’s workshop as he passes on the traditional craft

In a shed the size of a small apartment, Josh Burdett has a net strung up in the centre of the space. The former fisherman has the door open in hopes of a breeze but sweat still gathers on his brow as he works during a hot August afternoon. Burdett started learning how to mend nets from his father as soon as he was able to hold a needle. Now he’s sharing his knowledge with whoever comes in the door. The elder is holding workshops through NunatuKavut during the annual gathering in Cartwright, on Labrador’s south coast, and more are being planned for this fall. Photos, >click to read< 09:17