Category Archives: Canada

Efforts Underway to Reduce Lobster Fishing Gear to Help Rare Whale

Interstate fishing managers are starting the process of trying to reduce the amount of lobster fishing gear off the East Coast in an attempt to help save a declining species of rare whale. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission announced this month that it would consider options designed to reduce vertical lobster fishing lines in the water by as much as 40 percent. The commission said it would try to reduce the amount of gear with a combination of trap limits, seasonal closures, changes to gear configuration and other methods. The rules are under development and it will take months before they come up for public hearings. >click to read<10:45

B.C.-led international expedition to probe ailing Pacific salmon stocks

An unprecedented international collaboration could revolutionize salmon science and fisheries management, return forecasting and even hatchery output. Nineteen scientists from Russia, Canada, the United States, Japan and South Korea are set to probe the secret lives of five Pacific salmon species with a four-week grid search and test fishery across the Gulf of Alaska. The expedition begins next week aboard the Russian research ship MV Professor Kaganovsky. “We know virtually nothing about what happens to salmon once they leave near-shore waters in the Salish Sea,” said expedition organizer Dick Beamish. >click to read<13:56

MSC Sustainability rating drops for Clearwater’s offshore lobster fishery

Clearwater Seafoods’ offshore lobster fishery in Eastern Canada has lost its “recommended” rating from Ocean Wise, a seafood sustainability recommendation program of the Vancouver Aquarium. It’s more fallout from a 2018 conviction for what the Crown called a “gross violation” of a Canadian fisheries regulation by Halifax-based Clearwater. In a separate action, the Marine Stewardship Council, another much larger eco-sustainability organization, has moved up its scheduled “full surveillance audit” of Clearwater’s offshore lobster fishery by two months to April. >click to read<11:00

Bay of Islands fishermen supports opening market to outside buyers

A Bay of Islands fisherman believes a little competition among buyers can be a win for harvesters in this province.
In a news release issued earlier this week FISH-NL president Ryan Cleary questioned whether the province supports inshore harvesters being paid top dollar for their fish. ,,, Rick Crane is a member of the FFAW-Unifor (Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union) — because there is no choice not to be — and a supporter of FISH-NL. He said he sees both sides of the issue. >click to read<11:42

Down Memory Lane: The Blue Wave and Blue Mist tragedies

Grand Bank, like most other smaller communities in this province, has always depended on the sea for its very existence. From the days of small schooners and punts — powered only by the wind and sails — to the larger offshore banking schooners and then the wooden and steel trawlers, the men of that town have always looked to the nearby ocean to provide a livelihood.  The Bonavista Cold Storage fresh fish plant opened in Grand Bank in the early 1950s, just as the days of the wooden schooner deep-sea salt fishery were coming to an end. The first two steel side-trawlers purchased by the company came from the United Kingdom and were designed for the North Sea fishery. >click to read<14:13

Sustainability: a flawed concept for fisheries management?

The concept of sustainable fishing is well ingrained in marine conservation and marine governance. However, I argue that the concept is deeply flawed; ecologically, socially and economically. Sustainability is strongly related, both historically and currently, to maximum long-term economic exploitation of a system. Counter-intuitively, in fisheries, achieving this economic exploitation often relies on government subsidies. While many fish populations are not sustainably fished biologically, even ‘sustainably harvesting’ fish results in major ecological changes to marine systems. These changes create unknown damage to ecosystem processes, including carbon capture potential of the ocean. The spatial scale of commercial fishing processes can also lead to social and food security issues in local, coastal communities that rely on fish for dietary needs. A radical alternative proposal is provided to the current situation.,,, MSY, however, has been a mainstay of fisheries policy since the term was introduced in 1954 (Schaefer, 1954), and is covered in many basic ecological textbooks (e.g., Begon et al., 2006). The concept is simple: By Richard Stafford>click to read<21:13

Coast guard’s $227M ships rock ‘like crazy,’ making crews seasick, unable to work

Canada’s $227-million fleet of mid-shore coast guard vessels are rolling “like crazy” at sea, making crews seasick and keeping some ships in port during weather conditions where they should be able to operate, CBC News has learned.  Canadian Coast Guard records and correspondence obtained under federal access to information legislation raise questions about the patrol vessels’ seagoing capability and reveal a two-year debate — still unresolved — on how to address the problem. At issue is the lack of stabilizer fins — blades that stick out from the hull to counteract the rolling motion of waves — on nine Hero class ships that were built by the Irving Shipyard in Halifax between 2010 and 2014. >click to read<19:03

Brazen thieves are pinching lobster from East Coast fishermen

As lobster fisherman Ken Wyatt rang in the new year with 40 friends in his sprawling shed, four kilometres away at the end of a winding, unlit dirt road, thieves in the tiny Nova Scotian fishing community of Port Medway positioned themselves for a heist. Unbeknownst to Wyatt, as he and his crew clinked beer bottles—and many others around the world feasted on lobster from these waters—thieves were pushing a small boat down a seaweed-covered slipway. The booty that night: 800 lb. of premium lobsters being stored out in the black, icy waters of the Atlantic. “They knew we were partying,” says Wyatt, 53. “They had balls to go down there. They scouted it out.” >click to read<16:12

FISH-NL questions whether complaints against Royal Greenland smokescreen to cover the fact local processors underpaying fishermen

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) questions whether the Dwight Ball government supports inshore harvesters being paid top dollar for their fish. “Local processors and buyers have been screaming bloody murder because Royal Greenland is paying harvesters more for their product — forcing them to increase their prices,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “That tells us the minimum negotiated price is too low, and reinforces our stand that the province should open the door to outside buyers.” “It’s time for the provincial government and the FFAW-Unifor to say which side they’re on — with inshore harvesters and free enterprise, or against them.” >click to read< 14:54

Record Lobster Production Defies Alarmist Climate Scare

Marine fisheries data show New England lobstermen are benefiting from a new golden age of lobster, thanks in large part to a warming Earth. Yet Democrats in Congress and even lobster lobbyists asserted in House climate hearings earlier in February that global warming is causing a lobster apocalypse. Thankfully, facts and scientific evidence can help us put this latest global warming scare to rest. On February 7, Democrats in the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Oceans, and Wildlife held hearings with the purpose of raising concern about global warming. >click to read<14:33

Subcommittee Hearing: Healthy Oceans and Healthy Economies: The State of Our Oceans In the 21st Century – Video, >click to watch<

Ottawa: Ruling that prevents corporate takeover of inshore fishery upheld

In a decision released Friday, the Federal Appeal Court sided with a 2017 Federal Court decision that upheld Ottawa’s right to prevent the corporate takeover of inshore fisheries in Atlantic Canada and Quebec. At issue are controlling agreements used by companies to get around longstanding policies that local fishermen control inshore licences and the profits that come from them. The ruling revolves around the case of Labrador fisherman Kirby Elson, who entered a controlling agreement in 2003 with Quinlan Brothers Ltd. and Labrador Sea Products Inc. that gave the companies total control over every aspect of a licence — even in death. >click to read<

Boat that sank off Eastern Passage raised as part of investigation

In a community where many make a living on the sea, the loss of a boat — and a life — means watching and waiting. On Thursday, people in Eastern Passage, N.S., watched as crews worked to recover the MV Captain Jim, which sank off Devil’s Island, near the mouth of Halifax Harbour on Jan. 29. The MV Captain Jim sank around 2 a.m. after the commercial boat began taking on water and lost power. After a massive search effort, two people were rescued from the icy water, but one crewman was missing. ?click to read<16:56

Please donate to the Max Hinch Memorial Fund – >click here<

FISH-NL calls for resurrection of arm’s-length body to bridge massive divide between science and inshore harvesters

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is calling on Ottawa to resurrect the Fisheries Resource Conservation Council (FRCC) to bridge the enormous divide between fishermen and scientists over the state of fish stocks — northern cod in particular. “DFO scientists and inshore harvesters are once again complete strangers, just like in the early 1990s when the commercial fisheries failed,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. >click to read<13:38

Canada: Scientist, fishermen applaud loosening of whale-protection restrictions

The federal government is easing restrictions aimed at protecting North Atlantic right whales based on data from last year, when no whales were found dead in Canadian waters. Fisheries and Oceans Minister Jonathan Wilkinson and Transport Minister Marc Garneau were in Shippagan on Thursday to announce the changes, which include reducing the area that is out of bounds to fishermen.,, Lobster and crab fishing will not be allowed in the static-closure zone, where 90 per cent of North Atlantic right whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence were sighted last year. >click to read<21:45

Fishermen push back on new approach to determine health of snow crab stocks

Fishermen are pushing back this week at a Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) plan to bring in a precautionary approach principle to help determine the overall health of snow crab stocks around Newfoundland and Labrador. The approach is used to assess the health of other fishery stocks. The proposal has three levels or zones of classification — critical, cautious and healthy. >click to read<17:15

US, Canada agree on 2019 halibut harvest limits

American and Canadian halibut fishermen finally have an approved set of catch limits for the 2019 season. With the discord of its last annual meeting hanging in the air, the International Pacific Halibut Commission agreed on a set of total allowable catch limits for Pacific halibut in American and Canadian waters during its meeting from Jan. 28 to Feb. 1. The overall catch limit of 38.61 million pounds is slightly up from the 2018 quota — about 1.4 million pounds more. That’s up from 29.9 million pounds in 2016 and from 31.4 million pounds in 2017.,,, >click to read<20:45

RCMP looking for pair suspected of stealing $1K in lobster from boat in Lunenburg, N.S.

Nova Scotia RCMP are looking for two men suspected of stealing $1,000 worth of lobster from a boat in Lunenburg, N.S. According to police, two suspects entered a boat that was along the dock at a business on Jan. 26 between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. About 130 pounds of lobster was taken. >click to read<19:37

Pressure mounts for a seal harvest in B.C.

Pressure is mounting for a commercial seal harvest in British Columbia after the United States announced it will allow the killing of up to 920 sea lions a year in the Pacific North West to protect endangered wild fish stocks. The American lethal removal program, passed by Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump last month, for the first time allows American native tribes to kill sea lions that are threatening endangered salmon and steelhead runs to extinction. Government authorities in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho are already allowed to lethally ,,, >click to read<

N.S. group seeks data on effluent leak from Northern Pulp pipeline

Friends of the Northumberland Strait issued a news release Tuesday saying its membership is frustrated that after more than three months, the province has released no information about the size or cause of the leak last year near Pictou, N.S. Jill Graham-Scanlan, president of the group, said the public should be told the composition of the effluent that leaked and why the pipe break went initially undetected by the pulp and paper firm owned by Paper Excellence. >click to read<19:21

‘Lobster-Whale Work Group’ Faces Complicated Balancing Act As It Works To Protect Right Whales

Under pressure from lawsuits and the requirements of the federal Endangered Species Act, the federal government is closely reviewing the health of the right whale population, which is hovering around 410 animals. The result could be the imposition of new gear and other restrictions to reduce the risk of whale entanglement with the rope lobstermen use to position and haul their traps,,, a new “Lobster-Whale Work Group,” made up of state officials in the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, has proposed a slate of possible actions with the dual goals of protecting the whales and the “viability and culture of the lobster fishery.” “We’re doing everything we can to appease the people who think it may be us,” says Stephen Train, a lobsterman in Long Island, Maine. >click to read<11:50

LETTER: Seals to blame

I would like to add my voice to those that disclaim the recent information provided by DFO’s (Department of Fisheries and Oceans) Dr. G. Stenson (In “The cull question: Part I”, published in the Jan. 16 edition of The Central Voice). Seals have destroyed our fisheries in Atlantic Canada and particularly that in Newfoundland and Labrador. The poor condition of harp seals in terms of age, previously measured body mass and survivability of pups, is a direct result of the seal population reaching a threshold capacity level. They are finding it more difficult to find fish (all species) to eat. Thus the recent influx in fresh water river systems — this is not their natural habitat and they are there to consume any fresh water species that might be available (salmon, trout, eels, etc.).  We have had a cod moratorium for 26 years,,, Bob Hardy >click to read<

FFAW-Unifor stoops to new low; committee members forced to sign ‘pledge of allegiance’

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) charges the FFAW-Unifor with stooping to a new low in forcing inshore harvesters to sign a pledge of allegiance to serve on area committees, potentially blocking thousands of dues-payers from taking part. “So much for democracy — the labour situation in the Newfoundland and Labrador fishery is as bad as any communist regime ever was,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. >click to read<14:12

N.S. lobster fishing industry delegation heading to Tasmania for study trip

Nova Scotia Fisheries Minister Keith Colwell is leading a fishing industry delegation to Tasmania in February on a trip that will cost taxpayers about $100,000. The purpose of the weeklong trip is to examine marine protected areas, aquaculture and a quality standards program used by Australia’s southern rock lobster industry. The province is contributing $5,000 toward the travel costs of 13 industry representatives plus the expenses of five government officials, including Colwell. >click to read<13:53

South coast Newfoundland fishers angered by short notice on closure of 3Ps cod fishery

Ross Durnford of Fortune has seven deep freezers powered up to keep 1,000 pounds of bait frozen until next cod fishing season, after the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) shut down the cod fishery in his fishing zone. Durnford had 10 tubs of cod fishing gear baited up and ready to drop in the water, but the early closure of the fishery in zone 3Ps — on the south coast of Newfoundland — forced him to cancel his plans. >click to read< 11:19

BIG WIN! Supreme Court dismisses FFAW-Unifor appeal of FISH-NL’s union status; ordered to pay legal costs

The province’s Supreme Court has dismissed an FFAW-Unifor appeal of FISH-NL’s status as a properly constituted union, and ordered the FFAW to pay court costs. “The FFAW has used every legal maneuver in the book to try and quash the FISH-NL movement and drown their own members in legal fees, but the highest court in the land has seen through it,” says Ryan Cleary, President of the Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador. “Coming the day before FISH-NL’s convention in Gander, the decision is a huge boost.” >click to read<16:55

Survey results released- Majority of P.E.I. fall lobster fishermen favour fishing curfew

Prince Edward Island’s fall lobster fishermen have voted in favour of supporting the Maritime Fishermen’s Union proposal to have the Department of Fisheries and Oceans enforce a curfew in the Lobster Fishing Area the two organizations share. The result of the mail-in vote was announced at the Prince County Fishermen Association’s annual meeting Tuesday, Jan. 22 in O’Leary. Of the 149 fishermen who returned surveys, 78 of them, or,,, >click to read<13:17

Which Side Are You On? FISH-NL launches inaugural “netcast” leading up to Thursday’s Gander convention

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) has released its inaugural podcast episode, featuring an overview of the “cesspool of corruption” that is today’s fishery, and a local rewrite of the iconic labour song — Which Side Are You On? Which Side Are You On was written in 1931 by Florence Reece, the wife of a Kentucky miner, during a bitter strike. >click to read, listen to podcast<13:39

Cod mortality – Northern cod’s fate not the same as southern cousins

There are some fundamental differences between northern cod and their southern gulf cousins that could save the former from extinction, says Dalhousie University professor Jeff Hutchings. That will be a relief to anybody who saw newly published research that predicts Atlantic cod in the Gulf of St. Lawrence could be extinct by 2050.,,, There are a couple of fundamental differences in the two cod populations, Hutchings said, that make the situations difficult to compare. For one, southern gulf cod are being eaten by grey seals, while northern cod are affected by harp seals — a much smaller animal. >click to read<17:50

N.S. FREEZE ON ISSUING NEW SEAFOOD BUYERS/PROCESSTNG LICENSES

While 2018 as a year leaves us, many event announcements took place during this year. The two I personally felt got little action from the NS fishing industry, are the right whale lobster closures, and the announcement of ” NS Provincial Gov’t No Longer issuing New Seafood Buyers/Processors Licenses” – an indefinite freeze on new entrants. My old trusty dictionary states the meaning of “freeze” as an act of holding or being held at a fixed level or in a fixed state. Over my 50 plus years in this fishing industry, I recall the humble beginnings of today’s major buyers/processors as stories of starting with a single wheel barrow or perhaps NS largest buyer/processor today selling from a half ton truck on the Bedford Highway; or yes, here in my home town of an independent, family, fishermen writing an l.O.U. as a loan and today, that buyer/processor being one of the major largest players in the area. However l feel there are more of these success stories right across NS, so l ask you, the reader, to insert that success story here ( ) Sterling Belliveau >click to read<13:00

New Cat® C13B engine delivers more power in a compact, lightweight design that allows OEMs to downsize engine platforms

The new Cat® C13B leverages a proven, reliable core engine with over 109 million off-highway field hours combined with design improvements to create customer value, allowing OEMs to downsize their engine platforms, lower installation costs and maximize uptime. The 12.5-liter engine features a patented non-EGR aftertreatment system to meet EU Stage V and U.S. EPA Tier 4 Final emission standards and is available in multiple power ratings from 340 kW (456 hp) to 430 kW (577 hp) with peak torque reaching 2634 Nm (1943 lb.-ft.). >click to read<15:08