Category Archives: Canada

Controversial bycatch monitoring program coming to Maritime lobster industry

Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans is rolling out a controversial bycatch monitoring program in three lobster fishing areas in Nova Scotia, but it won’t say when the program will be introduced across the Maritimes. The department is imposing at-sea monitors for the first time this fall in three lobster fishing districts in Nova Scotia from Halifax to Digby. The department said it needs to collect data on other species — such as cod, cusk and Jonah crab — that are inadvertently being caught in lobster traps, which is known as bycatch. The question is when the monitoring will roll out elsewhere. >click to read<11:14

NOAA findings on right whale endangerment could affect lobster fishery

A new report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center finds that the decline of the North Atlantic right whale population over the past eight years is due to multiple factors that include entanglement with fishing gear. The whales’ range expansion has exposed them to vessel traffic and fisheries in Canadian waters, which did not have protections for right whales in place until late last summer, the report says. Lobster populations are also changing distribution in the Gulf of Maine, causing U.S. fisheries to move farther offshore in pursuit of lobsters, thus increasing overlap between fishing activity and right whale foraging areas and migration corridors. >click to read<14:30

‘We can have peace’: Town of Tignish reflects on tragedy after both bodies found

As family and friends prepare for the funerals of Glen DesRoches and Moe Getson, both who were missing after their boat capsized last Tuesday, the community of Tignish is reflecting on a week of tragedy, and how they plan to move forward. Mayor of Tignish, Allan McInnis, said it’s been a difficult week for the town, but that finally finding both men’s bodies is a relief for everyone. “Now we’ll do our mourning properly and then we can put everything to rest where we don’t have to constantly be thinking of our lost comrades,” McInnis said. >click to read<13:29

CETA: U.S. lobster industry alarmed as European deal gives Canadians a ‘huge’ advantage

Canada may be getting beaten up at the NAFTA talks in Washington, but off the east coast, it is enjoying something of a free-trade coup. This country’s trade accord with Europe has given the Canadian lobster industry a sudden leg-up on American competitors in the lucrative market, adding to alarm in the U.S. lobster world over retaliatory tariffs from China. As European duties start to come off the crustaceans, Canada is gaining a price edge ranging from six to 20 per cent over shellfish from the United States, prompting the American industry and a prominent member of Congress to press the U.S. government for help. >click to read<

Canada, U.S. agree on quota cuts on Georges Bank, “significant concerns” with assessment methods

Canada and the United States have agreed to sharply reduce quotas for two key groundfish stocks on their shared Georges Bank fishing grounds off southern Nova Scotia. A joint transboundary government and industry panel is recommending a 25 per cent cut in haddock and a 32 per cent cut for cod in 2019. Co-chair Alain d’Entremont of Scotia Harvest Inc. in Nova Scotia, says there are concerns the huge numbers of haddock hatched in 2013 did not survive or were overestimated in the first place.,,, D’Entremont says predictions based on models have proven inaccurate when later checked against what actually occurred in the fishery. >click to read<08:55

Dismal returns for chinook salmon on B.C.’s Fraser River reveal latest threat to endangered orcas

A test fishery for chinook salmon on the Fraser River this year is reporting dismal returns, raising new concerns for the endangered southern resident killer whales who rely heavily on these fish for their survival. The federal government announced in May a reduction in harvest of chinook by roughly one-third and closures in some key whale foraging areas after declaring the southern resident killer whales are facing an imminent threat to their survival. The federal government acknowledges that lack of prey is one of the critical factors affecting the whales’ recovery. >click to read<20:36

Body of 2nd fisherman in Kyla Anne capsizing found, says family member

A body has been found on the shore in western P.E.I., on the Northumberland Strait, and a family member has confirmed to CBC News it is Maurice (Moe) Getson. Getson was one of two fishermen who died when the fishing boat, Kyla Anne, capsized off North Cape on Tuesday. The body of Capt. Glen DesRoches was recovered on the weekend. Getson’s body was found near Campbellton, about 45 kilometres from the site of the sinking. One of Kyla Anne’s crew members, Tanner Gaudet, was able to swim to shore after the boat capsized. >link<10:06

Fishermen facing cuts to Georges Bank stocks, Council considering catch limits for yellowtail, cod, haddock

The New England Fishery Management Council is expected to vote this week on the 2019 total allowable catch limits for three Georges Bank groundfish stocks the United States shares with Canada, with significant reductions expected for each stock. The council, set to meet Monday through Thursday in Plymouth, will discuss total allowable catch, or TAC, recommendations by both the science-based Transboundary Resource Assessment Committee and the management-based Transboundary Management Guidance Committee. The latter, however, is expected to hold more sway in developing the 2019 limits. The U.S. and Canada already have negotiated the catch limits within the TMGC recommendations for Georges Bank yellowtail flounder, Eastern Georges Bank haddock and Eastern Georges Bank cod. >click to read<21:42

Annual NAFO meeting adopts measures for Greenland halibut, Flemish Cap cod

The 40th annual week-long meeting of the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) ended on Friday in Tallinn, Estonia, where there were a number of measures accepted by Canada and other NAFO member contracting parties aimed at improving the monitoring and management of international fish stocks outside Canada’s 200-mile limit in the Northwest Atlantic. In addition to the traditional total allowable catch (TAC) and quota decisions made, other decisions included: >click to read<20:01

Body found believed to be one of the two missing Tignish, P.E.I. fishermen

The body of one of the two fishermen involved in a boating accident early last week has been found. The body was found around 7 a.m. Sunday wrapped in seaweed on the south side of the North Cape point by someone searching the shore. The coroner has taken possession of the body. A search was originally initiated the night of the accident, Tuesday, Sept. 18 and involved resources from RCMP, Ground Search and Rescue and community members in Prince County for Glen DesRoches, 57, the captain of the lobster fishing boat ‘the Kyla Anne’, and his longtime first mate, Maurice (Moe) Getson, 54, after their boat capsized on that afternoon.,, The identity of the body has not been officially released at this time. But according to multiple accounts on the scene rescuers believe it is the body of the ‘Kyla Anne’s’ captain, Glen DesRoches. >click to read<12:46

New proof that fish farm escapees interbreed with wild salmon: DFO

For as long as there have been fish farms in this province, there have been fish escaping from cages into the wild. Conservationists have suspected those escapees breed with native fish, changing their DNA. Now they say they have proof. One of the largest escapes in Newfoundland happened in 2013, when more than 20,000 salmon got away from a farm in Hermitage Bay. That incident inspired DFO scientists to study the genetic material of fish in salmon rivers on the island’s south coast. “We looked at 19 rivers in the first year and hybrids were detected in 18 of those rivers,” said lead researcher, biologist Brendan Wringe. >click to read<10:27

LETTER: Coal transportation plan earns a big ‘NO’ from Cape Breton lobster fishermen

There has been much said about the Donkin Mine, Kameron Coal and Cape Breton lobster fishermen lately and I would like to set the record straight on some matters. First and foremost, 99.9 per cent of fishermen are in support of the Donkin Mine, as am I. What we don’t support is seismic activity, and a pier and barge system. A new pier in Morien Bay will take up a lot of the fishing grounds, plus we will have to deal with a barge full of coal being transported to Mira Bay where a minimum 400-foot coal vessel will be waiting to off-load and take it. This will create coal dust not only in Morien Bay but also in Mira Bay. >click to read<15:13

Big dreams for tidal power: Irish company hoping to drop turbines in Minas Passage, expecting some cynicism

Simon De Pietro will have to mend burnt bridges before he can build the world’s largest tidal array. “I expect there to be some cynicism and it’s not a good thing that happened,” said the director of DP Energy, based in Ireland. “But that wasn’t us.” His company’s plan to install an array of five sub-sea tidal turbines and one floating turbine in the Minas Passage with a combined power output of nine megawatts makes him the latest Irish proponent with big dreams for tidal power. The last one was OpenHydro, which went bankrupt days after installing its turbine on July 22 — leaving local companies holding the bag for millions of dollars worth of work and a 1,000-tonne turbine on the seabed. A team brought from Ireland to get it working over recent weeks have determined that it’s not spinning as a result of an unknown mechanical failure. >click to read<

Family finding comfort at home, says son of missing fisherman

Lucas DesRoches says his mom is home now, surrounded by family and friends. Until Thursday, she stayed as close as she could to the shore of North Cape, P.E.I., where her husband and a fellow fisherman were lost at sea when their boat capsized on Tuesday. “It’s definitely hard on the family, on my mother, it’s very difficult,” DesRoches said Friday. “She’s feeling comfort at home. My sister as well is surrounded by family and friends. Both of my brothers are here and they’re doing the best they can to help and support.” The search for the bodies of Capt. Glen DesRoches and Maurice (Moe) Getson was suspended Friday. But residents of the Tignish area continue to do all they can to help the families. >click to read<19:40

The Official Search ended, but there are boats on the water searching for missing P.E.I Fishermen

The official search on the water for two fishermen missing off North Cape, P.E.I., has ended, but boats from the area will be back on the water continuing their own search Thursday. The Kyla Anne capsized a few kilometres from shore Tuesday afternoon. One crew member made it back to shore, but Glen DesRoches and Maurice (Moe) Getson did not. The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre called off its search, which involved coast guard vessels and helicopters, Wednesday evening. That search had continued for hours beyond any chance that the men would be found alive. >click to read<11:30

Ground Search and Rescue mission at North Cape suspended – >click to read<9/21/2018 11:43

Canadian Coast Guard ends search for two P.E.I. fishermen missing off North Cape

The Canadian Coast Guard has called off the search for the two P.E.I. fishermen who went missing after their lobster fishing boat sank off North Cape on Tuesday, Sept. 18. Captain Glen DesRoches, 57, and his longtime helper Maurice (Moe) Getson, 54, have been missing since the vessel “Kyla Anne” sunk near the North Cape reef that afternoon. A third man, 22-year-old Tanner Gaudet, was able to swim safely to shore. The Coast Guard said in a statement that after over 33 hours of searching an area covering around 1,200 square nautical miles, the decision was made to end the search at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. >click to read<23:10

By-catch monitoring coming to inshore lobster fishery (some fishermen are pissed!)

For the first time, inshore lobster fishermen in southwest Nova Scotia will have someone looking over their shoulders when they head out to sea later this fall. It’s a change many are unhappy about, causing fishermen to snub their own associations — some of which have banded together to create a monitoring program. “We didn’t want this. None of the associations wanted this, but we have tried to make it better,” said Heather Mulock of the Coldwater Lobster Association on Wednesday. The federal Fisheries Department wants to gauge how many species, particularly cod and cusk, are being inadvertently caught in lobster pots. >click to read<21:34

Nova Scotia issues permit for new tidal energy project in Bay of Fundy

The Nova Scotia government is moving ahead with a project that aims to harness the immense power of the Bay of Fundy’s tides, despite the uncertain future of the Cape Sharp Tidal venture. The Department of Energy and Mines has issued a marine renewable energy permit to Black Rock Tidal Power allowing it to test a 280-kilowatt floating platform for up to six months. The floating platform will be installed in Grand Passage, between Long Island and Brier Island in Digby County. The permit will allow the Halifax-based company to learn how its device operates in a marine environment and “take a staged approach to deployment.” It comes as an Irish technical team works to determine why the rotor on the Cape Sharp Tidal turbine in the Bay of Fundy is not turning. >click to read<16:21

Additional boats to join search for missing fishermen, weather conditions kept many vessels off the water

With the weather improving, more vessels will be able to join in the search for two fishermen whose boat capsized near Tignish, P.E.I., late Tuesday afternoon. The distress call went out at about 5:30 p.m. The Kyla Anne, a 40-foot fishing vessel with three people on board, had capsized. One person had made it to shore to call for help but two were still in the water.,,, “Additional vessels in the area tried to assist initially, however very poor ongoing weather conditions prevented them from joining the search yesterday evening and last night,” Maj. Mark Gough, senior public affairs officer with Maritime Forces Atlantic in Halifax, wrote in an email to CBC News. >click to read<10:58

Search underway for 2 missing fishermen off Tignish, P.E.I.

A search is underway for two people missing from a boat that capsized late Tuesday afternoon in Tignish, P.E.I. The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Halifax is co-ordinating the search. “At approximately 5 o’clock local time, the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre here in Halifax received a report of two people in the water near Tignish, P.E.I.” said Maj. Mark Gough, senior public affairs office with Maritime Forces Atlantic in Halifax.,,, Local fishermen say the seas were rough and dangerous Tuesday in the area due to a strong wind from the northeast. >click to read<21:46

Fishermen block entrance to Donkin Mine – “We want the mine to shut down”

Angry fishermen say a blockage of the entrance to the Donkin Mine on Tuesday is just the beginning if something isn’t done about the mine’s plans to ruin their industry. “We need immediate action on issues or we’re going to come back and do this again,” said Port Morien fisherman Don Messenger. Messenger said many of them don’t want coal transportation by barging, rail or by road, they simply want the mine to close. They are hearing seismic testing is scheduled within the next couple weeks but other issues include barging, contamination of their lobsters and the impact on the fishermen’s livelihood. “When seismic comes and the contamination of the coal, it’s going to destroy this fishery,” he said. >click to read<18:35

N.B. fishermen feels boat sinkings racially motivated

A trio of fishermen in Northern New Brunswick are looking for answers after their boats were sunk over the weekend. The three boats, which were tied up at the Neguac wharf, are owned by Indigenous fishermen from the nearby Esgenoôpetitj First Nation. “We’re 2018 and the hatred and racism has no place in today’s world,” said Curtis Bartibogue, whose boat was targeted. “But it seems to be on the rise these past couple years.” “We do not suspect that racism would be a factor right now in the investigation,” said RCMP Sgt. Marc Beaupre. “But for some reason, the three boats were specifically targeting Esgenoôpetitj (First Nation).” >click to read<15:02

Pacific Salmon Treaty – Alaska salmon negotiators accept fewer ‘treaty fish’

For more than 30 years, the Pacific Salmon Commission has allocated salmon stocks shared between the U.S. and Canada. It’s re-negotiated every 10 years, and the latest version expires at the end of 2018. Formal talks finished in mid-August. Now, the numbers are out: Alaska will accept a 7.5 percent reduction, compared to 12.5 percent for Canada. In Washington and Oregon, the cuts range from 5 to 15 percent. “There’s some that would consider it to be winners and losers and I think in this case, I think everybody was equally disappointed,” said Alaska Fish and Game Deputy Commissioner Charlie Swanton, who headed Alaska’s delegation. >click to read<08:55

DFO investigation leads to another lobster pound in southwest Nova Scotia

For the second time in a month, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans has moved against a lobster pound in southwest Nova Scotia. RCMP said fisheries officers went to the facility to seize lobster, though it’s unclear whether any was taken. Police were asked to assist “by keeping the peace, and help to maintain open lines of communication between DFO and the fishers who were involved,” RCMP Cpl. Jennifer Clarke said in a statement. DFO would not confirm if the investigation is connected to an ongoing probe into illegal sales of lobster caught under an Indigenous food, social and ceremonial licence, which does not permit sales. >click to read<20:30

Mi’kmaq chiefs reject any ban on Indigenous fishing in marine protected areas

Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq chiefs say Indigenous fishermen should be exempt from any prohibition on fishing within marine protected areas because of First Nations’ treaty rights. “Our concerns and our input should have a greater weight in the decision making process than those of, for example, non-Mi’kmaw commercial fishers,” said Twila Gaudet, director of consultation for the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs. That statement was part of a submission made to a federal advisory panel charged with developing standards for marine protected areas. The Trudeau government has committed to protect 10 per cent of coastal waters and oceans by 2020. >click to read<09:49

RCMP asking for public’s help with lobster boats vandalized in Neguac

RCMP are investigating what they’re calling a case of mischief after three fishing boats were damaged at the Neguac wharf on Saturday. Police believe the boats were damaged between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m., said RCMP Sgt. Chantal Farrah. “We’ve spoken to several people in relation to this investigation, we’re still gathering some information,” she said. RCMP are asking anyone with information to contact them. >click to read<19:05

Fire destroys fishing vessel in Witless Bay early Saturday morning

Fire destroyed a small fishing vessel in Witless Bay early Saturday morning. An official on scene told The Telegram that the fire was reported by fishermen from another vessel docked nearby. When firefighters from the Witless Bay volunteer fire department arrived on scene at the town’s fish plant, they found the boat fully engulfed in flames. It took them about an hour to completely extinguish the blaze, including some hard-to-reach hotspots between sections of the hull but by then, the boat was taking on water through some of the holes that had burned through the sides. >click to read<09:21

FISH-NL calls on DFO to take direct control of scientific quota of redfish in the Gulf of St. Lawrence

“The FFAW-Unifor should not be controlling science quotas,” says Boyd Lavers, an inshore harvester from Port Saunders on the Great Northern Peninsula, and Captain of FISH-NL’s over 40-foot fleet. “The only fair way to deal with this experimental quota is for it to be handled directly by DFO, so the FFAW doesn’t get a chance to show favouritism as to who fishes the quota, or to take a cut from the sale of the fish.”,,, Further, harvesters have been told by the union they will have to sell the redfish to a plant of the FFAW’s choosing, and pay the union half the money from the sale of the fish. >click to read<18:35

Fishing vessel F/V Haida Legend sinks off Langara Island

Four fishermen are safe after the 45-foot Haida Legend sank about 20 nautical miles off Langara Island last Thursday evening, Sept. 6. It’s unclear why the boat sank, but the crew, who were fishing halibut, heard a loud pop before it began taking on water. They radioed for help at about 5:30 p.m., and were safely evacuated to a Langara Island fishing lodge by sport fishermen who were nearby. “The crewmen are obviously shaken,” said the controller at Coldfish Seafoods, the Richmond, B.C. company that owned the Haida Legend, which was insured. The boat was already sinking quickly by the time they made for the island. >click to read<17:27

Many US lobster companies coping well with tariff impact

As the trade war between the United States and China continues, with indications that it may escalate even further, most U.S.-based lobster companies have seen their exports to China fall dramatically. Despite the decrease, many companies say the market for lobster is still strong enough to keep the impact to their companies at a minimum. Some companies that never invested heavily into Chinese exports said 2018 has been a better-than-average year. >click to read<12:36