Category Archives: Canada

Regulators unveil new tool designed to help reduce right whale entanglements

Federal fisheries regulators demonstrated a new risk-assessment tool on Tuesday aimed at helping the survival of the North Atlantic right whale. It comes on the eve of regulatory decisions that could affect the fate of the endangered species — and the lobster industry, as well. Federal scientists said the new data model should help lobstermen and conservationists make collaborative decisions about reducing dangers that fishing gear poses for the endangered. >click to read<12:49

Judge issues caution to all commercial fishers, Logbook, “you are either in compliance or you are not,”

A Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge has issued a general caution to all commercial fishers when it comes to properly recording their catches. “Fishers have to understand that the court will not treat the failure to make a log entry as a mere lapse in accounting. There is no wiggle room in the conditions; you are either in compliance or you are not,” ruled Justice Frank Edwards, in a decision released Wednesday. Edwards made the ruling in overturning a provincial court judgement against a 36-year-old Halifax County fisherman who pleaded guilty to a charge of failing to properly maintain an up-to-date log book of his fishing activities. >click to read<22:09

Newfoundland: Equinor, Exxon given environmental go-ahead for exploratory drilling offshore

Equinor and ExxonMobil have been given the green light from Canada’s Environmental Assessment Agency to drill exploratory oil wells in the Flemish Pass and Jeanne d’Arc basins in the province’s offshore. Neither of the oil giants’ proposed drilling projects are “likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects when mitigation measures are taken into account,” according to a release sent by the federal agency on Wednesday afternoon. >click to read< 19:02

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 50′ x 4′ Ext. x 24′ Novi Lobster Boat

Specifications, information and 9 photos >click here< To see all the boats in this series, >click here< Vessel is in excellent condition. 14:35

FISH-NL condemns $20 million in spending on seismic blasting; Grand Banks ‘desperate’ for a break

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) condemns the decision by the Dwight Ball government to spend another $20 million this year on seismic blasting in the province’s offshore. “The Grand Banks are desperate for a break,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “Most commercial fish stocks are in hard shape, and plankton numbers are way down. Ottawa preaches caution with fisheries management, and Dwight throws that caution over the side of a seismic boat.” >click to read<10:48

Roe herring fishery meets DFO expectations; opposition continues to question sustainability

As with other years, the allowable catch was set at 20 per cent of the estimated 135,000 tons of returning herring. Both seiners and gillnetters came in under their quotas with seiners bringing in 7,178 tons of their 8,311 ton quota, and gillnetters catching 8,373 tons of their 11,472 ton quota. Neil Davis, director of resource management program delivery with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, says overall the fishery had good success and there were no surprises in terms of the catch versus the quota. Quincy Sample, a Comox fisherman, says he was a few tons short of reaching his quota,,, >click to read<11:34

N.S. seafood company accused of bilking 2 European firms out of $33K

Two European seafood businesses are buying Facebook ads and posting warnings in online seafood forums alleging they lost money to a Nova Scotia seafood company. Two firms say Oceanic Superfoods, run by David Brandal of New Minas, cheated them out of more than $30,000 when his company didn’t deliver the product they ordered. “Nobody should ever do any business with David Brandal,” said Willem Sodderland, founder of Seamore, an Amsterdam company that makes pasta, wraps and imitation bacon from seaweed. “That’s pretty clear.” >click to read<09:43

LETTER OF THE WEEK: MPAs an insult to our community

My family obtained Gerard Island on the Eastern Shore in the 1750s. They were fishermen, like many other families, and for hundreds of years kept stewardship of the natural habitat until the present day. There is a two-month lobster fishery here, part of Canada’s top seafood exports worth billions of dollars each year and a key player in the Eastern Shore’s economy. Conservation efforts by our fishery are well documented and have been successful for over 30 years in co-operation with Department of Fisheries and Oceans regulation. >click to read<Andre Gerrard, lobster fisherman, Spry Harbour 10:09

You should read this. Right whale extinction crisis gains momentum on Capitol Hill

Leaders from industry, science and advocacy convened on Capitol Hill this week for a congressional briefing and panel discussion on the North Atlantic right whale extinction crisis. Despite being a busy week in Congress, the room was packed with attendees interested in learning more about the status of the right whale and opportunities for Congress to support the recovery of the species. NRDC cosponsored the briefing and I had the pleasure of presenting on the panel, which was held in cooperation with Representatives Seth Moulton (D-MA) and Jared Huffman (D-CA). The panel provided a compelling overview of the severe threat posed by entanglement, ongoing and future actions aimed at reducing right whale deaths, and the international cooperation needed to secure the whale’s future. >click to read<20:51

Climate change is now a fact of life in Atlantic Canada fishery

The Atlantic Ocean is one of the most productive marine environments in the world, with an abundance of marine organisms from crabs, to lobsters and wild fish stocks, supporting over 55,000 jobs in industries like fishing, aquaculture, and tourism. On April 10, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson released what is the first Atlantic Ocean status report, called Canada’s Oceans Now–Atlantic Ecosystems,2018 >click to read<15:52

With an acquisition in Nova Scotia, lobster dealers expanding into Canada to shore up their business

Ready Seafood in Portland is joining a handful of U.S. lobster companies that have opened Canadian operations, locking down year-round access to hard shell lobsters that can be exported to both China and Europe without the tariffs that have crippled other U.S. dealers. Ready is following in the footsteps of other American lobster dealers, ranging from Boston Lobster Co.,,, Dealers from both sides of the border who attended the Canadian-Maine Lobstermen’s Town Meeting in Portland last week said that having a footprint on both sides of the border is necessary >click to read<09:30

RCMP says man at helm of out-of-control fishing boat was 5 times the legal limit

A Port Hardy man has been charged in connection with a potentially dangerous incident last Fall. Jason Willie George Walkus faces charges including dangerous operation of a vessel and operating a vessel while impaired. RCMP say Walkus’s blood-alcohol level was 5 times the legal limit. On the morning of November 29th, RCMP received a report that a fishing vessel was being operated in an erratic manner and the operator may be impaired. >click to read<13:51

Provincial government creating more opportunity for Newfoundland and Labrador shrimp processors

The provincial government has struck a deal with offshore shrimp companies and onshore processors that will see more product handled in Newfoundland and Labrador.  As of April 15, offshore companies landing frozen-at-sea industrial shrimp — smaller shrimp, frozen with the shell on — will give onshore processors the opportunity to buy through a new process. Previously, only a small fraction of industrial shrimp was processed in this province. >click to read<12:12

DFO – Atlantic mackerel stocks down 86% over past 20 years

The latest stock assessment for Atlantic mackerel contains grim news for one of the region’s most iconic fish. Scientists say the spawning population is now at 86 per cent of pre-2000 levels, and the number of fish surviving to breed is at all-time lows. An assessment by DFO says mackerel are in the “critical zone” where serious harm is occurring and recovery is threatened by overfishing. Adding to the uncertainty are changing environmental conditions in the Gulf of St. Lawrence where mackerel spawn. >click to read<09:30

Bill C-60: Reviewing the Fisheries Act – B.C. North Coast residents to Ottawa: ‘We can’t make a living fishing’

Lax Kw’alaams Band Mayor John Helin called for more consultation as he painted a grim picture,,,“In my community we have a fleet of 70-80 gillnetters that can’t make a living,,, Prince Rupert resident, Chelsey Ellis,,, Ellis grew up on the East Coast, where she’s seen the benefits of the owner-operator policy for fish harvesters. In her statement, she said this is not the same in British Columbia, where there has been a steady increase of licenses and quota being transferred from fishermen and away from coastal communities.>click to read<15:44

‘Atrocious’: 250 Dungeness crabs dumped beside highway in Northern B.C.

A massive dump of dead crabs along a main northern highway has triggered a major investigation. The 250 male Dungeness crabs were found rotting beside a Highway 16 rest stop, west of Smithers, B.C., last week. Officials believe it’s linked to ongoing illegal seafood sales along B.C.’s North Coast. “I’ve never had an investigation like that, with a bunch of crab dumped,” said B.C. Conservation Service Officer Flint Knibbs. >click to read<14:50

Paq’tnkek Mi’kmaw Nation mourns 2 young men after fishing boat capsized

Two men from the Paq’tnkek Mi’kmaw Nation have died and a woman was rescued and taken to hospital after their fishing boat capsized Monday afternoon in the waters off Nova Scotia’s Antigonish County, according to RCMP.  They had been out in an oyster fishing boat in rough waters near Bayfield when someone called 911 around 3 p.m. The three people were employed by Paq’tnkekMi’kmaw Nation for oyster fishing. All of them were wearing personal floatation devices, the RCMP said in a statement.  The two men were identified as Ozzy Clair and Niko Clair. >click to read<14:14

Fishy Business | New Patagonia Film ‘Artifishal’ Highlights Devastating Impact Of Fish Farms

Salmon’s delicious, isn’t it? Laid out on a bed of rice, with a drizzling of teriyaki sauce over the top, yeah it’s making you drool just thinking about it. But, and we hate to be a buzzkill on you like this, have you ever stopped to consider where your salmon’s coming from? Or for that matter, where loads of that tasty-looking fish you see in your supermarket originates? These are the questions that sit at the very heart of Patagonia‘s new film ‘Artifishal’. Produced by the Patagonia founder, and big-cheese, Yvon Chouinard himself, the documentary looks to address wild fish, wild rivers, and the habitat destruction that’s come as a result of fish farms and fish hatcheries. Video trailer, >click to read<11:34

U.S. Senator Collins ‘misinformed’ on Canadian lobster fishery

Canadian lobster fishermen are challenging the “misinformed” remarks of a U.S. senator. Susan Collins, a Republican senator from Maine, has accused them of undermining conservation efforts by Maine lobster fishermen in a disputed “grey zone” between the two countries.,,, Collins incorrectly claimed Canadian fishermen are allowed to catch egg-bearing female lobsters that are notched and tossed back by Mainers.,,, The claim rankles New Brunswick lobster fisherman Brian Guptill, president of the Grand Manan Fishermen’s Association. He said it is untrue. >click to read<09:01

Annapolis Royal mayor says tidal turbine shutdown won’t hurt town’s coffers

Last week the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans ordered NSP to shut down the iconic electrical power generating station after a review of data, especially in relation to reported fish kills over the past three decades. “From the very beginning the Town of Annapolis Royal has reached out to Fisheries and Oceans to get updates on where the review and the monitoring was,,, SHUT DOWN – He said what the community is learning is that a lot of those reports never found their way to the people who should have been taking that into consideration all these years. >click to read<20:06

Fight or fold: FISH-NL on the brink

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) says it will close at the end of April if inshore harvesters don’t step up to pay membership fees. Of the more than 500 inshore harvesters who agreed to pay membership fees last year, only about 300 have done so leaving FISH-NL short of being able to continue on and launch another membership drive, and file another application with the labour relations board to be certified to represent the province’s inshore fishermen. >click to read<13:20

Opinion – Modernizing the Fisheries Act long overdue

Here we are in 2019 waiting for the passing of Bill C-68, a bill to amend the Fisheries Act. Wow! The oldest piece of legislation since confederation is being modernized, thus advancing social economics, Indigenous rights and protecting the environment where fish live and reside. This is a tremendous piece of work and although some (in the mining and farming industries) do not support the bill, it needs to proceed. >click to read<11:33

Canadian Coast Guard struggling

Reduced search-and-rescue coverage, ferry-service disruptions, cancelled resupply runs to Arctic and coastal communities and nearly $2 million in lost navigational buoys. Those are among the real safety, social and commercial impacts that communities across the country are starting to feel as the Canadian Coast Guard’s fleet gets older, according to new documents obtained by The Canadian Press. And the problems are expected to get worse: the documents warn that more than a third of the coast guard’s 26 large vessels have exceeded their expected lifespans and many won’t survive until replacements arrive. >click to read<09:21

Seal Fishery Set to Open Tuesday

The seal fishery opens this Tuesday. The fishery will open for longliners, small boats and speed boats on the front and in the Gulf, as well as personal use. DFO has tagged 12 harp seal beaters in the Gulf of St. Lawrence with satellite linked time-depth recorders to track the movement of young seals and determine how they respond to climate change. Harvesters are being asked not to take those tagged seals. The tag is clearly visible and fixed on the animal’s shoulders with an antenna extending over the head. >click to read<15:53

Little Port Harmon fish harvesters hoping for easterly winds

Renny Hickey and Dion Bennett, two fish harvesters out of Little Port Harmon in Stephenville, are wishing for strong easterly winds. That’s because St. George’s Bay is blocked up with the most ice that Hickey says he’s seen there in about 25 years, especially this late. Hickey said he learned Wednesday the crab season is opening this coming Monday and he’s waiting to go but can’t because of the ice in the bay. If the wind from the right direction doesn’t come up before that time, there’s no getting out.Then there’s the lobster season, tentatively set to open on April 18, and he certainly hopes the ice goes out into the Gulf of St. Lawrence before then. >click to read<09:39

UNACCEPTABLE – Strict right whale protection goal raises concerns among lobstermen

Patrick Keliher, head of the Maine Department of Marine Resources, announced the proposed target at a conference of U.S. and Canadian lobstermen in Portland Friday while defending a decision to cancel three meetings with Maine fishermen to talk about looming right whale protections.,,, The National Marine Fisheries Service estimates that fishing rope entanglement kills or seriously injures five to nine right whales a year,… A few minutes later, Keliher got an email from the fisheries service that spelled out its risk reduction target. Frustrated, he stood up and delivered apparent bad news – he told an already exasperated audience that the service now wanted a 60 percent to 80 percent reduction in the size of the lobster fishery. The room erupted with anger. >click to read<22:49

Overall 9% snow crab quota decrease, but one area gets 48% boost

A snow crab fisher on the south coast of Newfoundland is happy to hear that his area is getting a 48 per cent quota increase for this upcoming season. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans released its decision on Wednesday, which outlined an overall nine per cent decrease for the catch. Fishers will get $5.38 a pound for their catch, as well, the price suggestion put forward by the union. Calvin Young, who fishes in the 3Ps area and lands his catch in Branch, said he’s happy to see the big quota boost for his area, but it’s not as big as it sounds. >click to read<15:55

Bankrupt company ordered to remove defunct Minas Basin tidal turbine

The government issued a strongly worded order Wednesday to a company that is functionally non-existent. “(Cape Sharp Tidal) is now required to retrieve its turbine in the Minas Basin,” read the Department of Energy and Mines news release announcing the revocation of Cape Sharp Tidal Venture’s marine renewable electricity licence. “If that does not happen in a reasonable timeframe, government will begin the process of accessing the security that remains in place.” But Cape Sharp Tidal Ventures exists only in name. >click to read<14:09

Letter to the Editor – FFAW fighting for itself, not the fishery

The FFAW-Unifor demonstration March 20 through downtown St. John’s was described to me as a “march of deception.” I disagreed — no one’ s been deceived. The facts have been laid out for all to see over the two and a half years that FISH-NL has battled the FFAW. Instead, I would call the protest a “march of madness.” FFAW supporters demonstrated to “fight for the future of our fisheries” when it’s the union itself that has been threatening their survival. The FFAW-Unifor is in a conflict of interest in representing inshore harvesters/plant workers/offshore trawler men/aquaculture workers/oil tanker workers/cold storage workers/Long Harbour workers, etc. >click to read< by Ryan Cleary 11:31

Ottawa reverses cut to Gulf shrimp quota; FISH-NL savours win for inshore harvesters

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is pleased to learn that Fisheries and Oceans has reversed its decision to cut the 2019 northern shrimp quota in the Gulf of St. Lawrence for the province’s inshore harvesters. “Some fishermen from the Great Northern Peninsula see the decision as a sign that Ottawa may finally be listening to them,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “What we know for certain is our shrimp fleet in the Gulf has been hit particularly hard by quota cuts in recent years and they’ve worked hard to turn the stock around. FISH-NL savours the win for inshore harvesters.” >click to read<19:39