Category Archives: Canada

Investor confidence shaken by surf clam controversy: Fisheries Council of Canada

The Fisheries Council of Canada says the Trudeau government’s decision to seize nearly $25 million in surf clam quota from one company and give it to another is causing investors to lose confidence in the industry. Council President Paul Lansbergen said governments have established and maintained a consistent model for applying licensing rules over the years, which has led to expectations of their consistent application — something that’s critical for businesses to make investment decisions. But in the wake of the controversial expropriation of an Arctic surf clam quota by Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc, without any compensation, Lansbergen said “a clear lack of criteria and policy has created a climate of uncertainty and instability in fisheries management.” >click to read<17:23

Quit blaming the commercial fishermen

The recent letter by Gary Mills from Terrace on the Department of Fisheries & Oceans (DFO) management of the West Coast fisheries (B.C. getting East-Coast treatment) is misinformed and disrespectful to the hundreds of men and women working in the commercial fishing industry on the North Coast. Through 10 years working as a biologist, fisheries observer and commercial fisher on both the East and West Coast, my experience has been much different. First, casting blame solely on commercial fishing for declining fish stocks is not fair. >click to read<14:46

No mutiny: FFAW bans all FISH-NL supporters from running in its elections

All fish harvesters and processors who tried to split from Newfoundland and Labrador’s only fisheries union are now banned from running for executive positions. The Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union (FFAW) has altered its constitution to require anyone running in this summer’s election to sign an affidavit stating they have never signed a card with another organization. “If there’s people out there who are looking to tear down the organization, those people certainly cannot run for office,” Sullivan said.>click to read<10:00

5 things to know about Canadian Tire’s new acquisition, Helly Hansen

Canadian Tire Corp. announced Thursday its plans to acquire Norwegian outdoor apparel brand Helly Hansen in a $985-million deal. Here are five things to know about the skier and sailor-focused clothing company: Sea Captain Helly Juell Hansen and his wife Margrethe launched the company in 1877 out of Moss, Norway after the captain discovered a better way to protect himself from Norwegian weather by applying linseed oil to cotton canvas, according to the company’s website. That trick resulted in supple, waterproof clothing and the duo started producing and selling jackets, trousers and other items made this way. >click to read<16:28

FFAW-Unifor bans thousands of members from running for executive positions in communist-like move: FISH-NL

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) accuses the FFAW-Unifor executive of manipulating the union Constitution to project their own jobs, and punish the inshore harvesters who took a stand against them. “The upwards of 3,000 harvesters who support FISH-NL have been banned from running for executive FFAW positions — including president, and vice-president,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “So much for democracy — the labour situation in the Newfoundland and Labrador fishery is as bad as any communist regime ever was, and yet another reason why the Labour Relations Board must proceed with a vote.” >click to read<13:53

DFO scientists clarify the decline of cod

In a province where the fishery is foundational to its survival, the decline in cod stocks has many worried and searching for clear answers. This announcement was a particular shock as the same assessment in 2016 predicted a considerable increase in cod numbers for this year. But scientists and harvesters who had noted the declines in the cod’s food source, and the many starving fish of last year’s cod fishery, were not as surprised. Research scientist with the department of Fisheries and Oceans Dr. Mariano Koen-Alonso says the sudden and sharp decline in cod stock is something being seen across the ecosystem. >click to read<11:30

Links between minister’s wife and surf clam deal lead to renewed calls for ethics probe

The ethics commissioner has rebuffed a request from a Conservative MP to investigate Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc’s decision to award a license for the Arctic surf clam fishery to a group with federal Liberal ties. But Conservatives are now asking Mario Dion to take a second look at the deal — because they say they now have evidence that a member of LeBlanc’s wife’s family had a financial stake in the winning bid. The Conservatives claim that link may have influenced LeBlanc’s decision — an suggestion the minister calls “ludicrous.” >click to read<09:58

Fishermen frustrated as Placentia lift bridge leaves boats stuck in harbour

The $50-million Sir Ambrose Shea Lift Bridge in Placentia works great — if you drive a car or a truck. The current problem is a cable reel that broke April 30, and the replacement isn’t due for about a month. Ken Viscount, a Placentia-area fisherman for more than 30 years, says it feels like they’ve been dealing with bridge problems day-in, day-out since it opened almost a couple of years ago. “It seems like every time it’s a good fishing time, like crabbing is now, I mean, that’s the fishermen’s moneymakers, eh? The bridge is broke,” >click to read<20:29

Clearwater throws cold water on surf clam rival’s prospects in 2018

Halifax-based Clearwater Seafoods spoke for the first time Tuesday since losing a valuable arctic surf clam quota and raised doubts about whether a new Indigenous rival will be able to live up to its promise to harvest in 2018. The company suggested the licence for about 9,600 tonnes of the shellfish, worth an estimated $29 million, is on hold while the award is challenged in Federal Court. “Our understanding is with a judicial review process, the Department [of Fisheries and Oceans] would pause in issuing a licence until that process plays itself out,”,, >click to read<18:02

The Future of Lobstering May Mean Fishing by Computer

Lobster fishing used to be pretty straightforward. But there may be big changes ahead for fishermen in New England. “First thing you have to remember is, you’re taking the lobster industry and flipping it around on its head and shaking it,” Mike Lane said, sitting on his lobster boat in Cohassett Lane. Lane is a life-long fisherman. His dad fished for lobster before him. He’s concerned about the proposals. “How are you going to teach 60-year old men that don’t use computers to use a computer?” >click to read<08:51

Crew rescued as lobster boat sinks off Escuminac

A lobster fishing boat carrying four men and at least 100 lobster traps capsized and sank off Escuminac Wharf on Tuesday morning. O’Neil Hebert, owner of the Trina Margaret, said no one was injured. He and the three other men were in the water for about 10 minutes before other boats picked them up. The men went to the hospital to be checked out. “At least we didn’t lose [anybody] on the crew,” Hebert said.,, Robert Martin, Port Authority of Escuminac manager, said boats went out to set traps at 6 a.m. Some boats received the Trina Margaret’s distress signal at around 6:10 a.m. >click to read<19:01

Tories ask ethics commissioner to probe fishery bid they say favours Liberal insiders

A Conservative MP is asking the federal ethics commissioner to investigate the bidding process that awarded a lucrative Arctic surf clam license to a group with Liberal links. In his letter to Mario Dion, the newly appointed ethics watchdog, Cariboo-Prince George MP Todd Doherty alleges the government’s effort to diversify ownership in the fishery — by clawing back part of an existing quota held by Clearwater Foods and handing it to a group with Indigenous representation — violates the Commons conflict of interest code because it enriches the brother of a sitting Liberal MP and a former Liberal MP.>click to read< 12:57

Could a seal cull help cod recover? It’s not so simple, scientist says

The equation seems simple: seals eat fish, fish are declining, kill the seals, fish recover. But experts warn that many factors need to be considered before drastic measures are taken. With talk revived about ending the recreational fishery, some believe a seal would be a more effective way to help cod stocks recover. But is a cull the answer to our fish stock problem? (HELL YEAH!) Eldred Woodford of the Canadian Sealers Association is taking an even stronger stance, and calling for an all-out seal cull.,, Alejandro Buren, a research scientist at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, says many factors are at play when looking at food web relationships. >click to read<20:28

Crab fishermen struggle as season begins under strict new regulations making some fishing grounds off limits

Snow crab fishing began last week in northern New Brunswick, the first season under strict new regulations by Ottawa to protect the endangered North Atlantic right whale. The most drastic of the new measures has been the closing of a zone off the province’s northeastern coast to fishing, a location where 90 per cent of the whales had migrated to last summer. That area is also an area rich in snow crab. As many boats came back from their first trip out to sea, some fishermen couldn’t help but feel anxious about what the season would bring. >click to read<16:11

New Brunswick flooding leads to shortage of lobster bait on P.E.I.

The spring lobster season in P.E.I. hasn’t been open very long, but some lobster fishermen and buyers are concerned about the shortage of bait available to set their traps. One of the causes of the shortage this season is the flooding across New Brunswick, which is making it difficult for fisherman to get their boats in the water and catch gaspereau, a popular fish used as lobster bait in P.E.I. Jerry MacDonald, a buyer for Shediac Lobster Shop who works out of Naufrage Harbour in eastern P.E.I., said this season’s bait shortage is the worst he’s seen in years,,, >click to read<11:53

A seafood empire and a court battle over Trudeau’s push for Indigenous reconciliation

One of the Trudeau government’s signature acts of Indigenous reconciliation is being challenged in court, exposing the fierce competition between First Nations for a shellfish quota worth millions — and the jockeying by one of Canada’s leading seafood companies to keep control of the fishery. Hundreds of pages of records filed in Federal Court offer new insight into the controversial decision in February to award 25 per cent of Canada’s Arctic surf clam quota to Five Nations Clam Company, led by Elsipogtog First Nation of New Brunswick and its industry partner Premium Seafoods of Arichat, N.S. >click to read<09:43

2 dead after fishing boat capsizes in Nova Scotia

Two people are dead after a boat capsized off the coast of Port Medway in the Region of Queens Municipality, N.S. The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Halifax says rescuers responded to a call Saturday morning reporting an overturned crabbing vessel. A woman, 55, was found unresponsive on the beach and was pronounced dead after being taken to hospital. A man, also 55, was found near the boat by a vessel and was also unresponsive. >click to read< 16:04

Lobster prices high, but dropping as summer approaches

Lobster prices are high in the U.S. right now, but members of the industry expect them to come down soon as the Canadian catch creeps up and America’s summer haul gets going. One-pound lobsters, which Mainers call “chicks,” are selling for about $12 per pound to consumers, which is a couple of dollars per pound more than six months ago. The U.S. lobster industry, based heavily in Maine, is in a slow mode as fishermen get ready to pull traps in the summer. >click to read<13:10

Lean year forecast for southern Labrador shellfish crews

Roy Mangrove is worried. After years of seeing cuts to his crab and shrimp quotas, the fisherman from St. Lewis in southern Labrador is facing a further 25 per cent cut in shrimp this season. That drops his quota to 61,000 lb. this year, from 82,000 last year. “Everything going good, you can make a bit of money on it, but for us we got … three trips of crab and one trip of shrimp. So four weeks and we’re finished,” Mangrove told CBC’s Labrador Morning this week. Mangrove and his crew fish in Shrimp Fishing Area 6. >click to read<12:03

Golden eagle rescued by crew of Cape Sable Island lobster vessel Wishful Dreams

The Cape Sable Island lobster fishing boat Wishful Dreams lived up to its name for a golden eagle rescued by the crew on May 2 after being found near death floating on the fishing grounds about a mile and a half northwest of Seal Island. “We were hauling gear and steaming to another string and I happened to see him in the water,” recalled crewmember Steven Nickerson. “I didn’t really know what it was. I knew it was a different kind of bird. I thought it was dead but then I happened to see his head bobbing up and down so I got Kevin (Swim, the boat captain) to turn around and go back. We got alongside it and it was still alive so we got him aboard.”>click to read<14:14

‘Concern and confusion’: Premier slams logic behind marine protected area choices

Premier Stephen McNeil personally warned a federal panel on marine protected areas on Friday its decisions could have dire consequences for Nova Scotians who make their living from the North Atlantic Ocean. Banning fishing and other activities in protected areas has a huge impact on communities, particularly those along the province’s Eastern Shore, he told the National Advisory Panel on Marine Protected Area Standards in Moncton.,, “To date, we are not seeing decisions based on science, research or fact,” he told the group during his eight-minute prepared speech. >click to read<12:02

For the Lobsterman that has everything, Feast Your Eyes on This Lobster-Themed Saucony Sneaker

END. and Massachusetts-based Saucony have teamed up to pay homage to one of New England’s most beloved dishes, the lobster. The American running brand’s GRID 8500 silhouette is used as the canvas for this special project. Alongside the shellfish-inspired white and orange colorway, END. and Saucony pulled out all the stops to make this sneaker look and feel authentic. A claw-printed insole and blue rope laces add fun details, while the packaging consists of a fish net and a bespoke display tank. photo’s >click to read<11:30

Offshore drilling on the edge of the Scotian Shelf too risky

BP’s lease sites take in the southeastern corner of the “Haddock Box” which is an important haddock spawning and nursery ground that is closed to fishing. The sites are about 50 km from our exceedingly beautiful and unique Sable Island National Park. The sites are also within a few kilometres of the Gully Marine Protected Area, which is home to rare deep-water corals and the endangered northern bottlenose whales. The Labrador current and the Nova Scotia current flow down the Scotian Shelf and the Scotian Slope to the southwest. These currents, combined with easterly prevailing winds at the lease sites, place the entire Scotian Shelf and all of our major fishing banks and lobster spawning grounds in jeopardy from any major spill.>click to read<09:08

Fisheries and Oceans standing committee question why owner-operator system can’t work in B.C.

Young West Coast fishers made the trek to Ottawa, two in gumboots, to testify and advocate for change in British Columbia’s fisheries management system, causing an immediate ripple effect. Federal policymakers who are amending the Fisheries Act, or Bill C-68, have submitted a motion to study owner-operator fleets after listening to the independent fishers who want the policy enforced on the West Coast. In B.C., fishers lease quotas from owners who have purchased the fishing rights. Multinational companies, or foreign investors, can own quota and licenses on the West Coast, but not on the East Coast of Canada. >click to read<18:31

Fisherman’s last stand: No one could save the captain who refused to abandon his boat

It sounded like a plane crash, a shuddering boom and scraping of metal as the Fisherman’s Provider II rammed up on Frying Pan Shoal, a lurking hunk of rock in the Atlantic Ocean, about two kilometres off Canso, N.S. The boat had pulled away from the wharf of the historic fishing village just a few hours before, geared up for a four- or five-day trip of catching halibut. Now she was in trouble. Stuck fast, while her crew — Roy Campbell, Anthony Cooke and Brian Sinclair —were panicking. The three men had been in their bunks and were jolted awake upon impact.,, The men wrestled into their survival suits, deploying the life raft, calling 911 and hollering for their captain, Roger Lynn Stoddard, to forget about the damn boat, put his suit on, get in the raft and come with them. But Stoddard wasn’t budging. And he wasn’t panicked. He was at the helm, reversing the vessel, trying to work her off the rocks,,, Big story >click to read<15:18

FISH-NL reiterates call for province to allow in outside buyers in light of shrimp fiasco on Northern Peninsula

“Inshore harvesters are blocked from earning the best possible price for their shrimp by a pricing system that doesn’t work for them,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “The situation is a mess, with harvesters warning of ‘war on the water,’ and it’s time for the province to get off its arse.” Inshore harvesters on the Great Northern Peninsula are reporting catch rates of shrimp in the Gulf of St. Lawrence to be “as good as they’ve been in their lifetimes,” but an unfair price is keeping 8-10 boats in communities like Port aux Choix and Port Saunders tied to the wharf. >click to read<10:47

Fishing lobster aboard the Jaxton Brock in the Northumberland Strait

The piercing sound of a winch shattered the predawn ocean calm as a yellow trap was hauled up from the Northumberland Strait’s pitch-black waters onto the Jaxton Brock’s deck at about 4:20 a.m. It was the first catch of many on Wednesday and inside the traps were a true Pictou County delicacy: lobsters..,, The Jaxton Brock is a brand-new vessel that still smells of fresh paint and is named for Warren and Suzanne’s grandson, expected later this year. Warren was proud of their boat’s performance. “It turns on a dime,” he said. >click to read<10:10

Lobster fishermen are putting canopies over the formerly open deck

Some lobster fishing boats are sporting a new look this year. Fishermen are installing canopies over the formerly open deck behind the wheel house. It’s all about keeping the catch fresher — and tastier. “For lobster quality,” said Lyman Getman, a fisherman in Tignish, P.E.I. “Keep the sun off them. Keep them cool.” The removable tops are becoming an increasingly common sight in Tignish and at other ports around the Island. >click to read<18:47

New Brunswick lobster fishermen anxious as start of season keeps getting delayed

Lobster fishermen in northern New Brunswick are increasingly worried about the fishing season, as they see delay after delay because of the conditions. The official start date was April 30, but the ice in many harbours, along with strong winds, has made it too dangerous to go out. The date has already been pushed back twice, and fishermen will only find out after a meeting Friday whether the season will start next week or be delayed once more. >click to read<16:29

New England Senators Threaten Trade Action Against Canada Over Right Whale Protections

A group of New England senators is calling on the U.S. government to speed up an analysis of Canada’s efforts to protect the endangered North American right whale, and to consider trade action if Canada’s rules do not prove as strong as in the U.S.,, Now they’re calling on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to investigate whether fishermen in Canada are being held to similar standards. If not, they say, then NOAA should consider barring the import of Canadian seafood from the relevant fisheries. “It’s really a double-edged sword,” says Patrice McCarron, executive director of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association. >click to read>19:12