Category Archives: Canada

Already the most dangerous profession, drug and alcohol use an increasing problem on fishing boats

One of Canada’s largest and most lucrative fisheries appears to be facing a growing drug problem, with sources saying drugs ranging from cannabis to cocaine have become increasingly commonplace on fishing boats off Nova Scotia’s southwest coast.,,, “Drugs and alcohol are a big issue,” said Stewart Franck, former head of the Fisheries Safety Association of Nova Scotia. “It adds another dimension to the level of risk.” >click to read< 12:09

Fishing industry welcomes move, Emera forced to bury a third of Maritime Link’s submarine cable

Halifax-based energy conglomerate Emera buried 59 kilometres of electrical cables beneath the ocean floor between Nova Scotia and Newfoundland this past summer to protect the Maritime Link from “substantially increased” bottom fishing the company did not see coming. Completed in 2017, the $1.5-billion Maritime Link was built to carry electricity generated from the Muskrat Falls hydro project in Labrador into Nova Scotia and on to New England. The company is responding to an unforeseen explosion in the population of redfish in the Gulf of St. Lawrence,,, >click to read< 10:48

Whale Deaths and Ship Strikes: The casualty of a global problem

A humpback whale was recently spotted in the River Thames near London. This unusual sighting sparked national media interest, similar to “Benny” the beluga who also called the river home for several weeks last year. However, while Benny eventually left the Thames and headed home to the Arctic, the humpback whale was not so lucky. Ironically, despite the human-interest factor, the whale died as a result of human impact. In doing so, it had the dubious honor of being the first humpback whale known to have died in UK waters from being hit by a vessel. >click to read< 08:41

Salmon disease was present but Northern Harvest denies it was a factor in die-off

The aquaculture company at the centre of a massive fish die-off on Newfoundland’s south coast is on the defensive again after a revelation Tuesday that disease was detected in its sea cages this summer. But Northern Harvest Sea Farms denies that infectious salmon anemia was a factor in the disastrous loss of 2.6 million Atlantic salmon, with a total weight of 5,000 tonnes.  >click to read<  17:51

Fall lobster fishery now underway in Digby and rest of LFA 35 district

Lobster Fishing Area (LFA) 35 opened at 12:01 a.m. on Oct. 14 with the 93 full time and four part-time licence holders in the district heading to the fishing grounds in the upper Bay of Fundy. “When the season opens and the Digby fleet is coming through the gut,” looking from Delap’s Cove, “there’s a false sunset inside the Annapolis Basin,” said Colin Sproul, president of the Bay of Fundy Inshore Fishermen’s Association. “There’s 60 or 70 boats coming out of there with four or five crabs’ lights each. You can see it right over the north mountains. It’s unbelievable. It’s like a sunset coming out of the basin at midnight.” >click to read< 18:40

The failed ban

The coming year marks the 30th anniversary of the state of Alaska’s attempt to control world salmon markets by banning fish farming in the 49th state. It would seem an appropriate time to review what has happened since then: Farmed salmon production, a meager 271,000 tonnes per year at the time of the 1990 ban, has grown to more than 2.2 million tonnes per year – a more than eight-fold increase. Bristol Bay sockeye salmon that spent the late 1980s trading near an average, annual price of $2 per pound ($4.24 per pound in 2019 dollars, according to the federal inflation calculator) is now worth $1.35 per pound or about 32 percent of its pre-ban value , according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game figures. >click to read< 13:00

How a P.E.I. couple went from being on EI to providing 50 jobs at their clam factory

What started out four years ago with just a handful of workers selling frozen clam meat from a small building in a backyard in Ellerslie, P.E.I., has now grown into a commercial operation with more than 50 employees during peak season. Carla and David Annand have both worked for years in the seasonal fishing industry — David fished lobster and mackerel, while Carla worked in quality control at a seafood plant.  >click to read< 11:08

Sea Trials Begins for the Second Offshore Fisheries Science Vessel for the Canadian Coast Guard

The future Capt. Jacques Cartier, the second of three Offshore Fisheries Science Vessels (OFSV) to be designed and built by Seaspan at its Vancouver Shipyards (VSY), began sea trials today as scheduled from Seaspan’s Vancouver Drydock where final outfitting, set to work and commissioning has taken place since her launch at VSY in June. >click to read< 10:07

Police investigating fire of Membertou commercial fishing boat

Cape Breton Regional Police are investigating a fire that caused serious damage to the Membertou II commercial fishing boat early Saturday morning.
Kelsea MacNeil (spokesperson for Membertou Development Corporation), Hubert Nicholas (director of fisheries for Membertou) and Captain John Bonham Paul all confirm police are investigating the blaze. The boat was docked at the Dobson Yatch club when it caught on fire. Around 3:30 a.m. Membertou Chief and Council, Membertou Fisheries Division and Paul were notified of the blaze. >click to read< 16:54

2.6 million farmed salmon dead on south coast of Newfoundland, company says

A massive salmon die-off on Newfoundland’s south coast has led to the suspension of licences for Northern Harvest Sea Farms in Newfoundland and Labrador. The die-off first occurred on Sept. 3, but information about the incident did not go public until weeks later. No estimate for the amount of dead salmon in the Northern Harvest pens were disclosed until Friday, when the company announced 2.6 million salmon had died. “As a result of the ongoing investigation and evidence of non-compliance,,, >click to read< 14:45

U.S., China Reach Substantial ‘Phase One’ Trade Deal

The U.S. and China agreed on the outlines of a partial trade accord Friday that President Donald Trump said he and China’s Xi Jinping could sign as soon as next month. As part of the deal, China would significantly step up purchases of U.S. agricultural commodities, agree to certain intellectual-property measures and concessions related to financial services and currency,  The agreement marks the largest breakthrough in the 18-month trade war that has hurt the economies of both nations. Importantly, Trump said the deal was the first phase of a broader agreement. >click to read< 16:34

Green Party responds to FISH-NL questionnaire

When it comes to issues impacting Newfoundland and Labrador’s inshore fishery, the Green Party of Canada opposes a seal cull, but is open to the concept of an Atlantic Fisheries Accord. The Green party made its stand known in response to a September questionnaire prepared by the Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL), and sent to the federal parties in a lead up to the Oct. 21st federal election. >click to read<  08:53

‘No pipe’ placards popping up on P.E.I. election signs

Some federal election signs around P.E.I. are carrying an extra message — candidates are adding a second, smaller sign printed with the words “No Pipe in the Strait.” The signs are from the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association, and they oppose a proposal by the Northern Pulp mill in Nova Scotia across the Northumberland Strait from Prince Edward Island to extend a waste-water effluent pipe into the strait, part of its plan to improve its pollution control. Nova Scotia’s environment minister has to make a decision by mid-December. >click to read< 18:43

Stewart Lamont, Tangier: Finally! Salmon feedlots fall victim to federal election

Events are developing quickly. The federal Liberals and the Greens have made a pre-election pledge in British Columbia to transition from open-net pen feedlot fish to on-land closed containment only, by 2025. This policy advisory, issued 16 short days before a federal election, changes absolutely everything. It came out of the blue, and both parties are to be heartily congratulated. You and I might ask why the same commitments are not being made here in Atlantic Canada. >click to read<  12:46

B.C. is well positioned to become a world leader in land-based salmon farming, By Eric Hobson

I am writing to applaud the Liberal party’s recent commitment to transition the open net-pen salmon farming industry to closed containment by 2025. The Liberal party platform recognizes that, around the world, open net-pen salmon farming is a sunset industry, and the time has come to support movement to closed containment in B.C. to protect our wild Pacific salmon and revitalize our aquaculture industry, ensuring we preserve jobs in both aquaculture and the wild salmon economy. >click to read<  21:35

P.E.I. lobster season closes Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019

Despite missing about 10 fishing days, including four last week due to foul weather, Miminegash lobster fisherman Thane Deagle said Tuesday he’s quite satisfied with the Lobster Fishing Area 25 fall lobster fishery, which closes Wednesday. Deagle said his catch was up over last year, and he thinks just about every fall lobster fisherman saw an increase this year.,, Catches were not the only improvement P.E.I.’s fall fishermen witnessed this year. >click to read<  12:17

Nova Scotia premier should cancel China visits

Nova Scotia’s Opposition leader says the premier should stop visiting China – which he has done regularly throughout his mandate to promote local seafood and other industries – because of violent clashes between the state and pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong and the continued detention of two Canadians whose freedom the federal government has been trying to secure. “He shouldn’t be visiting there, that’s for sure,” Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Houston,,, >click to read<  17:06

Lennox Island chief says First Nation has right to fish lobster in July

Chief Darlene Bernard was reacting to a statement the PEIFA issued last week indicating it supports a mid-summer ban on all lobster fishing activity in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence. A news release indicated the ban, proposed as a conservation measure, would also include the food, social and ceremonial fishery, but as far as Bernard is concerned, that’s the only fishery that would be impacted by such a ban and she is having no part of it. “It’s still rights-based,” Bernard said of the First Nations’ food social and ceremonial fishery. >click to read< 09:09

Diver airlifted from Northern Harvest Sea Farms site in Fortune Bay, stop-work order issued

Northern Harvest Sea Farms hired several dive teams to empty its open-net pens, following a massive fish die-off that left thousands of pounds of salmon to rot. In a statement Monday morning, a spokesman for Northern Harvest Sea Farms said the divers are employed by third-party companies, and one of those companies reported an incident requiring occupational health and safety to get involved. The suspension of dive operations is a serious blow to ongoing clean-up efforts, but the company insists its “clean-up activity can continue despite dive activity being temporarily stopped.” >click to read< 08:21

Conservatives announce fisheries plan, pledges to consult with communities on MPA’s, rebuilding fish stocks

Conservative candidates at four separate events in Atlantic Canada on Sunday unveiled the party’s plans to support the fisheries and to try to build consensus on how to restore fish stocks. In Glace Bay, N.S., Alfie MacLeod and Eddie Orrell announced their party will consult with communities on Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), commit an additional $250 million to the Small Craft Harbours program and create a “modern aquaculture act.” “We’ve seen how over the last four years Justin Trudeau has taken this province for granted,,, >click to read< 18:50

New rules in works to lift safety standards in fishing industry

Last year was the deadliest year for the Canadian fishing industry in more than a decade. Seventeen people died aboard fishing vessels in 2018, the most since 2004, prompting the Transportation Safety Board of Canada to sound the alarm about the industry’s safety culture. As it stands, fishing vessels are not considered a workplace, meaning they don’t adhere to any WorkSafeNB compliance requirements. Proposed legislative amendments would give captains binding safety obligations. >click to read<  08:07

Seafood society suspends its own MSC certification over lack of stock assessment

Canadian Pacific Sustainable Seafood Society has announced the “self-suspension” of the MSC certification for B.C. wild salmon, over concerns that the proper stock assessments required to maintain MSC verification are not being done. The society fears it will lose its MSC certification anyway, since it feels DFO is failing to do the science and monitoring required to maintain the certification, so it is voluntarily suspending it for B.C. sockeye, pink and chum salmon. It may be a moot point this year, since there are no wild salmon being caught this year for consumers to buy. >click to read< 20:12

Hundreds of spawning salmon killed in Squamish river; BC Hydro admits responsibility

Biologist Chessy Knight, who captured photos of the dead fish on Sept. 20, estimates about 300 fish were killed when the water levels in the Cheakamus River fell by about half over the course of a day. The pink salmon were trapped in shallow pools and couldn’t return to deeper, flowing sections of the river. “This has been happening for many, many years on the Cheakamus,” said Knight, who’s also president of the Squamish River Watershed Society. “But this is the first time that we saw adult spawners also affected by these flow manipulations.” >click to read< 17:59

Sipekne’katik harvesters sell lobster on Digby wharf to show solidarity for treaty rights

Harvesters with the Sipekne’katik First Nation in Nova Scotia dropped lobster traps in waters in the Annapolis Basin and sold their catch on the wharf in Digby Thursday to make a point they have a treaty right to earn a moderate livelihood from catching and selling lobster.,, “We’re here to exercise our rights and to support our local fisher people from our community,” Chief Michael Sack said. “There’s been a lot of dangerous activities going on and harassment (of) our people so we’re just showing support. >click to read< 11:25

A potent symbol of First Nations rights sat for years in DFO storage, but now it’s home

Jeff Ward was in the middle of a meeting last month in Truro, N.S., when he received a text that made him jump out of his chair.,, Sent to him was a photo of Donald Marshall Jr.’s eel nets, the same ones seized more than two decades ago when the Mi’kmaw man was charged with fisheries offences, a case that would reshape First Nations fisheries in Atlantic Canada. >click to read< 19:21

Washington tribe partners with Cooke to farm Northwest native species

The Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe is pleased to announce a joint venture with Cooke Aquaculture Pacific. The joint venture will initially work to rear sablefish (black cod) and sterile triploid, all-female rainbow trout. The venture will require reinstatement of the farm lease at Port Angeles, in exchange for significant investment by the venture in new infrastructure and local jobs in the area. The two partners will work together to rear these Northwest native species in Port Angeles Harbor. >click to read< 13:23

Northern Pulp focus report now available to public – Claims no impact on marine life

The long-awaited focus report filed by Northern Pulp states that the mill’s proposed effluent treatment facility would exceed stricter federal guidelines being developed for pulp and paper plants. The report also shows that treated effluent coming out of the proposed pipe near Caribou won’t be cleaner than what ultimately enters the Northumberland Strait now at Boat Harbour. The report’s contents and the more than 20 studies done by Northern Pulp to create it were made public by the Environment Department on Thursday. >click to read< 10:28

Cape Bald Packers abandons Richibucto-Village, but will rebuild in Cap-Pelé

The New Brunswick-based seafood processing company saw fires 17 days apart devastate plants in the two eastern New Brunswick communities in February. The Richibucto-Village plant housed about 150 workers. “I know this decision will come as a disappointment to our former workers and the broader community,” Louis Arsenault, manager of the company’s Richibucto division, said in a release. >click to read< 12:45

10 years after lives lost in Sea Gypsy sinking, safety regulation still not enacted

Ten years after the sinking of a small fishing vessel off the coast of Newfoundland, Sea Gypsy Enterprises off the coast of Newfoundland, a safety measure that was highlighted by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada in the wake of the incident has still not been enacted.,, The Sea Gypsy Enterprises sank 130 kilometres east of Cape Spear on Sept. 12, 2009. Three fishermen were rescued, the body of a fourth crew member was recovered from the scene, and another man was lost at sea. >click to read<  09:00

Pink liquid flows in Fortune Bay, Area fishermen want more information on whether cleanup will affect them

A cleanup operation is underway in Fortune Bay, where Northern Harvest Sea Farms is emptying out its salmon pens following a massive fish die-off. The company, owned by aquaculture giant Mowi, has been cleaning out its salmon farming equipment since September.,, The company is using divers and has hired large purse seiner vessels from Newfoundland and Labrador and New Brunswick to clean out their pens. On Wednesday morning, gallons of pink liquid flowed from the side of two large vessels at one cleanup site in Fortune Bay. >click to read< 18:58