Category Archives: Canada

Using Satellite Communication on Your Boat

When you’re offshore and waiting for your next bite, the cloak of isolation can be your best friend. But sometimes you can’t afford to be “dark” from your business or family for long stretches, so most captains opt for some type of satellite communication. There are a lot of options, but the trick is knowing what equipment you need and how to manage it.,,When you buy satellite service, you’re paying for the bandwidth and speed at sea. At home, 20 mbps is a good streaming rate. At sea, 1 or 2 mbps is tops. And it can cost as much as $1,000 per gigabyte. “Update a website like CNN,” says Comyns, “and you’ve used 2 megabytes. Suddenly your browsing adds up to real money.” click here to read the story 11:06

A Global Fish War is Coming

Nearly two decades into the 21st Century, it has become clear the world has limited resources and the last area of expansion is the oceans. Battles over politics and ideologies may be supplanted by fights over resources as nations struggle for economic and food security. These new conflicts already have begun—over fish. The demand for fish as a protein source is increasing. The global population today is 7.5 billion people, and is expected to be 9.7 billion by 2050, with the largest growth coming in Africa and Asia. Fish consumption has increased from an average of 9.9 kilograms per person in the 1960s to 19.7 kilograms in 2013 with estimates for 2014 and 2015 above 20 kilograms. The ten most productive species are fully fished and demand continues to rise in regions generally with little governance and many disputed boundaries. click here to read the story 17:36

What happens in the sea during a solar eclipse?

On July 20th, 1963, three scientists sat on a research ship 200 miles south of Woods Hole, MA, waiting for something remarkable. They were nearly 4000m above the seafloor, and using sonar, they could ‘see’ a line of creatures resting in the deep. By this time, biologists were beginning to unravel the mystery of this ‘false bottom’–a layer in the ocean that looks the the sea floor on sonar but isn’t–which covered much of the ocean. This false bottom rises in up at night and sinks down during the day. This rising and falling is in fact caused by the largest migration of animal on Earth–everything from fish, shrimp and jellyfish, moving hundreds of meters in unison up and down each day. But how and why these animals rose in fell in the ocean wasn’t clear. As the scientists watched their instruments, the light began to fade. Not from the setting sun, but from something else. click here to read the story 13:27

Price plunge: P.E.I. lobster fishermen say they’re losing $2/lb

Some P.E.I. lobster fishermen say they were told Thursday they would get $4.50 a pound for market lobster and $4 a pound for canners — a $2 drop. New Brunswick lobster fisherman received similar news, which led a number of fisherman to tie up their boats in protest. Shelton Barlow fishes lobster out of Howard’s Cove, P.E.I., and when he heard of the lobster pricing Thursday he couldn’t believe it. In his 40 years of fishing, Barlow said, this quick price drop is the worst he’s ever seen. click here to read the story 10:44

Capital Seafood rising from the ashes – literally

Eastern Passage-based Capital Seafood International is getting ready to rise from the ashes after a fire destroyed its lobster processing and storage building last November. “Last year, it was terrible,” Jiu Chang, vice-president of Capital Seafood, said in an interview Thursday. “Not only did we lose the working area and the equipment but also the production. We just can’t do anything.” The electrical fire that ripped through the two-storey building on Government Wharf Road last year took out processing equipment, damaged lobster holding tanks and burned through two offices. The total loss of last November’s fire is estimated at more than $1 million, including the building, equipment and inventory. click here to read the story 09:16

Twillingate fisherman ready to sell cod, but no one is buying

John Gillett is ready to start landing cod, but no one is buying. “I didn’t sell either cod fish in July and (as of Aug. 11) I haven’t got one sold yet,” he said. “I was told processors are dragging their feet on purchasing cod because capelin and turbot are coming into the plants at the same time. There is a shortage of workers, also a shortage of fish tubs to hold the cod. But with more than 40 ground fish processing licenses in the province, Gillett wants to know why only a few are processing cod.,,, “I really don’t think the provincial and federal governments want a successful inshore fishery. It’s a form of resettlement, because in the outports, what is there other than the fishery?” click here to read the story 17:22

Commercial Crab Vessel Skipper Fined $15,000

On April 10, 2017, Van Tan Le, skipper of the commercial crabbing vessel Vitamin Sea Vl, pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act by harvesting Dungeness crab, between June 21 and June 30, 2015, in a closed area. Judge H J Seidemann III ordered Mr. Le to pay a total of $15,000, with $14,000 of that to be used for fisheries preservation and conservation projects in and around Haida Gwaii and Hecate Strait. The charges stem from Mr. Le setting more than 49 crab traps inside the Soft-shell Management Area 10 – McIntyre Bay closure area. A routine audit of the vessel’s logbook and electronic monitoring data revealed possible fishing violations and triggered a DFO fishery officer investigation in the summer of 2015. click here to read the story 13:48

Some N.B. lobster fishermen tie up in protest over price

Some lobster fishermen in eastern New Brunswick have tied up their boats in a protest over the prices they’re getting for lobster. Fishermen in ports such as Pointe Sapin and Richibucto remained at the docks Thursday, saying landings are down and prices are low. Michel Richard, an organizer with the Maritime Fishermen’s Union, says processors suggested much higher prices before the fall season began on Aug. 8, but instead they’re paying about $2 per pound lower. Fishermen say right now they’re being paid about $4.25 a pound for canners and $4.75 a pound for market lobsters. Richard says fishermen are upset because they aren’t getting a clear answer from the buyers and processors on a reason for the lower prices. link 12:22

Lobster fishermen tie up boats after meeting processors about low prices – Fishermen have been getting paid, but none have received official pay stubs, so Richard said there is no proof of what the current prices really are. click here to read the story 16:37

Another dead North Atlantic right whale found off Cape Cod

Another dead North Atlantic right whale has been spotted off Massachusetts, bringing the total number of confirmed deaths in North America this summer to at least 13. The U.S. Coast Guard documented and reported the latest carcass on Monday, Jennifer Goebel, public affairs officer for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Greater Atlantic region, confirmed on Wednesday. This is the third dead North Atlantic right whale discovered in U.S. waters, said Goebel. The news comes just one week after another whale was found floating off Martha’s Vineyard, the Massachusetts island south of Cape Cod. click here to read the story 09:04

Whale experts seek why of minke death – The whale had been found floating dead in Blue Hill Bay on Sunday. click here to read the story

FFAW admits error in handling Calvin Tobin death benefit

The Fish, Food and Allied Workers union has admitted it made a mistake in relaying false information to the family of a dead fisherman. The union was too quick to say Calvin Tobin’s family did not qualify for his death benefit, when in fact they may qualify for the entire $30,000, said FFAW project manager Robert Keenan. “We did communicate the wrong information to the family and we’ve been heartbroken by that,” Keenan told the Central Morning Show. “We should be there to be the pillar of support they need and not to cause any further complications.” click here to read the story 08:45

FISH-NL – Letter to Labour Board requesting the Board proceed immediately with a vote of inshore harvesters

FISH-NL e-mailed the following letter Tuesday, Aug. 15th, to David Conway, the new chair of the NL Labour Relations Board, requesting the Board proceed immediately with a vote of inshore harvesters to decide which union they want to represent them.,, As President of the Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL), I’m officially calling on the province’s Labour Relations Board to proceed immediately with a vote of inshore harvesters to decide which union they want to represent them. Before outlining the specific reasoning behind that, I’d like to give a brief overview of the labour climate the province’s inshore fish harvesters find themselves in. As it stands, inshore harvesters are the most controlled labour group in the province, country, and possibly Western World. click here to read the letter 11:39

4R Harvesters want higher halibut quota

Harvesters in the 4R fishing zone may be seeing plenty of halibut this year, but it’s all getting thrown back into the water. Now, they want a larger quota. Some fisherpersons – including Ernest Decker of Rocky Harbour and Stella Mailman of Port au Choix – claim they’re seeing increased volumes of halibut by-catch. They feel, instead of having to release the fish, the quota – currently set at 1,297 pounds per harvester – can be increased substantially without damaging the stocks.  Decker says no matter what you’re fishing in 4R – located from Port aux Basques to the Labrador Straits – you’re bound to get a substantial by-catch.,, Mailman believes the quota can be doubled. “They can come in from the Magdalen Islands and have a 12-hour free-for-all, catch 1,400, 1,600, 1,800 pounds,” she said. “But we’re allowed 1,250 pound? Come on, there’s something wrong with that picture. click here to read the story 16:07

Hurricane Gert forms off East Coast, becoming second hurricane of the season

Gert became the second hurricane of the season Monday night (Aug. 14), National Hurricane Center forecasters said. Monday night, there were no coastal watches or warnings in effect, but forecasters warned that swells generated by Gert are expected to spread northward along the East Coast of the U.S., from North Carolina to Long Island, during the next couple of days. Late Monday, Gert churned about 445 miles west of Bermuda and was moving north at 8 mph, with forecasters calling for a turn toward the northeast and an increase in forward speed Tuesday night. click here to read the story 09:24

The surprising reason you might be seeing more jellyfish in the sea this summer

Scientists have discovered that offshore wind farms and oil and gas platforms provide an ideal habitat in which the creatures can thrive. Until now, the rapid increase in jellyfish numbers in oceans around the world has been largely blamed on overfishing, which wipes out their natural predators, global warming and nutrient run-off. The research suggests that man-made structures have played a role in the jellyfish boom by offering an enticing home for polyps — the tiny organisms which eventually grow into jellyfish. The results suggested a correlation between big jellyfish numbers and man-made structures such as energy platforms and wind farms. click here to read the story 13:41

Aww, shucks: shucking event a hit at Digby’s Scallop Days

You could say the 2017 Digby Scallop Days didn’t start off with a bang, but rather, a shuck. The scallop shucking event took place Friday, August 11. One of the first skills competitions held this year, scallop shucking has been around in Digby since the early 1920’s, when scalloping first became big in the area, according to event host Linda Gregory. Contestants used their own unique shucking knives – each with their own design and cut – to shuck like they’d never shucked before. Plenty of photo’s click here to read the story 10:01

Statement by Ministers Garneau and LeBlanc on actions taken to address the deaths of whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence

“In our efforts to do everything possible to prevent further whale deaths, our government is today implementing a temporary mandatory slow down for vessels of 20 metres or more in length.  Speed must be reduced to a maximum of 10 knots when travelling in the western Gulf of St. Lawrence from the Quebec north shore to just north of Prince Edward Island.  This temporary measure is effective immediately. ,, “We have taken extensive action to ensure the protection of North Atlantic right whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, including decisions around fisheries.  click here to read the press release 08:59

OPINION: Deadly year at sea reminds us that perceptions about PFDs are outdated

If you follow the news regularly, you read a lot of sad circumstances. Families die because of carbon monoxide poisoning from their stove, people perish when their car spins out of control on a winter drive, or someone gets buried in an avalanche. There is no doubt that living in Alaska has more inherent risks than more temperate locations and Alaskans, in general, take more risks than their brothers to the south. But there are some risks we take that are unnecessary, especially when it comes to the fishing industry, which is risky enough without throwing fuel on the fire. click here to read the op-ed 08:23

FFAW owes apology to family of dead fisherman for telling them they don’t qualify for death benefits when they do

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) says the FFAW-Unifor owes an apology to the family of a young fisherman who died tragically earlier this month for telling them they didn’t qualify for $30,000 in death benefits when they, in fact, qualify for at least half. Further, the question must be raised whether other families may have been denied death benefits based on misinformation from the union.,,, Calvin (Bud) Tobin, a 25-year-old fisherman from Southern Harbour, died Aug. 2nd in a car accident near Clarenville. Soon after, the family contacted the FFAW-Unifor about the union-administered $30,000 insurance policy, only to be told they didn’t qualify. click here to read the press release 16:05

Calvin Tobin’s family should get $15K from Sun Life, says FFAW didn’t know insurance plan – click here to read the story

A day late, $30,000 short: Union blames insurer for denying death benefit to fisherman’s family

Keith Sullivan wants to make one thing clear — it was never his union’s decision to prevent a dead fisherman’s family from receiving benefits. Denying Calvin Tobin’s death benefit was a decision made by the union’s insurance provider, says the president of the Fish, Food and Allied Workers union.,, Tobin, 25, died after a car accident near his hometown of Southern Harbour on Aug. 1. His insurance coverage was terminated the same day, when he failed to pay his union fees by the 11:59 p.m. deadline on July 31.,, At the time of his death, Tobin owed $180 in fees from 2016, Carol Ann Brewer said. But she can’t figure out why the money owed wasn’t taken out of his first paycheque of the current fishing season. click here to read the story 08:45

Simrad Announces A2004 Autopilot Controller

The new Simrad A2004 is a dedicated autopilot controller designed to meet the needs of workboat, commercial fishing and passenger vessels. The A2004 is suited for vessels that don’t require SOLAS Heading Control Systems but do require a proven autopilot interface backed by Continuum software for accuracy and ease of use. The autopilot’s information is presented on a wide-angle and zero-fog color display and is engineered for responsiveness and ease of use with a precision rotary control dial and dedicated buttons for instant access to steering modes, a custom-configurable work mode and automated turn patterns. click here to read the story 13:53

Fishermen finding carapace increase hard to swallow

Fishermen returning to port in Miminegash on Wednesday were not so much concerned with the size of their catch as they were with what they were throwing over. “It’s scary,” said Peter Hustler, a fisherman’s helper with captain Michael Myers. He estimated the amount of lobsters he had to return that would have been legal size last year, would have meant eight to 10 more pans of canners. The carapace measure was increased by two millimeters this year following a one-mm increase last year, and Myers had plenty to say about that. “The measure is not going to prove out,” he said, suggesting Federal Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc should have listened to P.E.I. fishermen’s pleas and trimmed the carapace increase to just a millimeter this year. click here to read the story 11:35

Family of dead fisherman allegedly denied $30K benefit over owing dues to FFAW

The family of a fisherman who was killed in a car crash last week says they are being denied a $30,000 benefit because his union card expired the day before he died. Calvin Tobin was just 25 when he died in the crash near Clarenville on Aug. 1. Now his family is fighting to collect his life insurance policy, which they say is being held up by the Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union (FFAW). Tobin was 24 hours overdue on union fees when doctors were trying to save his life. “For the sake of one day really … they are refusing to pay out his benefits,” said Richard Brewer, Tobin’s uncle.,,, Tobin may have believed his union fees were already covered, his uncle said. click here to read the story 13:42

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: Novi Lobster Boat 49’x11’x20′ 335HP, 6 Cylinder Volvo Diesel

Specifications, information and 11 photos click here To see all the boats in this series, Click here 12:01

P.E.I.’s fall fishery facing falling lobster prices, surging dollar

Bobby Jenkins, Prince Edward Island Fishermen’s Association president, says there are a much smaller number of fishermen harvesting lobster in the fall, compared with the Island’s spring fishery. That, he said, may help maintain prices but there are storm clouds on the horizon. P.E.I.’s fall lobster fishermen set their gear in the Northumberland Strait between Victoria and North Cape on Tuesday. They share the lobster fishing zone with New Brunswick fishermen and a few harvesters from Nova Scotia. The first full catches of the season will be landed today. click here to read the story 09:59

Federal fisheries minister says he’ll ensure fishermen leave a ‘minimum amount of rope’ on the water

As federal fisheries officials consider changes in the industry to avert whale deaths, some lobster fishermen are concerned about the potential effect on their livelihood. Last week, Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc said the federal government will bring “absolutely every protection to bear” to prevent further deaths of North Atlantic right whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.,,, LeBlanc said he’s mulled changes in fishing gear, including ensuring fishermen leave a “minimum amount of rope” floating on the surface.,,, But some fishermen say longer lines are necessary to make sure balloon and buoy markers, which are connected by rope to the traps, remain on the surface in strong currents. Susan Beaton agrees. Beaton said she’s worried a decision will be made too hastily. click here to read the story 21:51

Kings off limits starting Thursday: ADF&G cites low chinook salmon stocks coastwide

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game on Thursday will shut down commercial and salt-water sport chinook salmon fishing throughout Southeast Alaska. “Extreme management measures” are needed to protect kings originating from Southeast Alaska, Northern British Columbia, the Fraser River of British Columbia and the coast of Washington state, according to an announcement made late Monday by Fish and Game. The region wide commercial and sport chinook closures are effective 12:01 a.m. Thursday and will last at least through Sept. 30, according to the department. “We didn’t miss fish,” Fish and Game Deputy Commissioner Charles Swanton said late Monday of fishing efforts in the region. “The fish just aren’t there.” click here to read the story 14:30

Canadian lobster in the pink thanks to European trade deal

The Comprehensive European Trade Agreement (CETA), soon to be implemented, will give a significant boost to Canada’s harvesters over those from Maine. Europeans will pay for Canadian lobsters tariff-free, while they pay a surcharge to Americans. Once freight and shrinkage fees are calculated in, lobsters can get expensive, so the CETA could make a significant difference to the prices charged for Canadian lobster in the European Union. Europe imported more than $150 million in lobster from the United States last year, slightly less than what they imported from Canada.,, CETA, however, could also benefit Americans since they send a good portion of their lobster catch to Canada for processing. Americans can rely on Canadian-based processing to increase sales by passing through Canada. click here to read the story 12:06

Brian Locke’s marking setting day milestone, 100th season-opening

When Brian Locke sets sail Tuesday morning from Howard’s Cove with Captain Jimmy Reilly, it will be his 100th time participating in the lobster fishing industry’s setting day tradition. Locke, 64, got his start in the industry in 1971 as second man with Mick Gallant. They set from Arsenault’s Wharf in Cascumpec, out through Goose Harbour to the north side lobster fishing grounds. He crewed for Howard’s Cove fisherman Allen Cooke. From 1973 to the early 2000’s, with the exception of three years in the early 1980s, he fished full or part fall seasons out of Howard’s Cove with a series of Cookes, mostly with his uncle Cyril and his cousin Ricky. click here to read the story 11:40

Pacific bluefin tuna not considered engangered

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries branch has determined that Pacific bluefin tuna are not endangered and do not need protection under the federal Endangered Species Act. The determination was announced Monday by Chris Yates, assistant regional administrator for protected resources, NOAA Fisheries West Coast Region, in response to a petition from activists and environmental groups across the nation asking the Trump administration to list Pacific bluefin tuna as endangered.,, A scientific review team found that the population is large enough to avoid the risks associated with a small population, such as a year with low survival, and that Pacific bluefin has recovered from similarly low levels in the past. click here to read the story 09:17

FISH-NL reiterates call for province to lift ban on outside fish buyers

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is reiterating its call for the provincial government to lift all restrictions and allow out-of-province buyers into the provincial market place for all species. “The commercial fishery for northern cod reopened on Newfoundland’s northeast coast on Aug. 1st, but very few harvesters are at it because there are no buyers,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL.,, “Some fishermen are salting their cod with no idea of what they’ll eventually get for it — just like in my grandfather’s day,” says Richard Gillett. Vice-President of FISH-NL. “How far we’ve come.” click here to read the press release 16:11