Category Archives: Canada

How the blackbelly rosefish from South America could help Maine lobstermen who are short on bait

The state for the first time has approved using fish raised off the coast of Uruguay as lobster bait to help offset a bait shortage that could increase lobster prices. Cook e Aquaculture USA of Machiasport announced the Maine Department of Marine Resources’ decision on Wednesday, saying it could help lobstermen weather a drop in the population of their primary bait source, herring, off the Maine coast. The New England Fishery Management Council in June cut the amount of herring fishermen can catch off the New England coast in 2020 and 2021. >click to read< 21:44

Crab fishermen cashing in during windfall harvest in Northern B.C.

Crab fishermen in Northern British Columbia are pinching themselves to make sure they aren’t dreaming this season. Dungeness crab in the Hecate Strait, a shallow body of water between Haida Gwaii and the mainland, are bountiful this year and ship crews are crabbing around the clock to cash in. For many working on the water, it is the most rewarding harvest in recent memory. Paul Edwards, captain of the Sea Harvest, has been fishing for Dungeness since the 1990s and says it is the best haul he has seen in 25 years. Awesome!!! >click to read< 19:47

California chinook returns a ‘game-changer’ – California’s chinook may explain why Southern Resident Killer Whales haven’t shown up in BC

Last week, when southern resident killer whales failed to show up in B.C. coastal waters by the end of June, as they usually do, it caused some hand-wringing among whale watchers and Washington conservationists. But if the orcas are late showing up for dinner in B.C., it may be because they were still at the buffet in California, which is reported to be experiencing one of the best chinook returns in about a decade. “I think the California return was a game-changer this year,”  >click to read< 13:24

Stress-free Cape Breton lobsters sought – Quality testing began in 2013 as a way to combat low buyer prices

Some Cape Breton fishermen are working hard to make sure your lobster is stress free. Veronika Brzeski, a marine biologist who works for the Cape Breton Fish Harvesters Association, said this helps improve the quality of the lobster meat. Stress causes lactic acid buildup in the meat. Brzeski said she’s read research papers that have attributed high level of lactic acid to less taste and blanching of the meat. This is why Brzeski can often be seen on docks, testing things like oxygen levels in holding tanks, for members of the association. >click to read<17:26

Europe Runs Out of Fish

July 9 is European Fish Dependence Day, the moment when the E.U. has used up all its own seafood resources and must rely entirely on imports for the rest of the year to meet demand. This year it falls about a whole month earlier than in 2000. Illegal fishing and over-fishing are eroding food security, says the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) To end this, transparency in the industry must be improved, allowing consumers to make sustainable choices,,, Austria is the first country to run out of fish, only reaching January 17 before exhausting its own supply. The U.K., as a seafaring nation, would reach September 7, still leaving around four months relying entirely on imports. >click to read< 12:43

Porter family fights for safe passage of fish in the Minas Basin

When Darren Porter knows the tide and water temperature are right for the gaspereau to make their run, he calls the Department of Agriculture staff person capable of opening the gates in the causeway across the Avon River. “If it’s convenient for them to listen to me they open them, if it’s not they don’t,” said the Hants County fisherman. “All I can do is make the call and hope the fish get a chance to fulfil their life cycle.” For Porter the battle for fish passage in the Avon River is already largely lost. >click to read< 11:17

With billions at stake, Canada to show U.S. its fisheries protect whales

In an effort to maintain access to the lucrative U.S. seafood market, Canada will submit a “progress report” to Washington outlining steps to protect whales and other marine mammals that interact with more than 200 Canadian fisheries. The submission will be the first test of Canada’s ability to meet upcoming requirements in the United States Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), and comes as three critically endangered North Atlantic right whales are believed entangled in fishing gear in Canadian waters. Efforts to free them are set for Tuesday, a day after Canada announced additional measures to protect North Atlantic right whales. >click to read<08:37

Transport Canada – New protective measures announced for North Atlantic right whales

Transport Canada has announced further protective measures in the Gulf of St. Lawrence for the North Atlantic right whale. The measures, announced Monday evening, include further reducing ship speeds in the area, increasing zones in which the speed restrictions will apply, increasing aerial surveillance and funding for initiatives to enhance marine mammal response. In 2019, there have been six whale deaths reported and on July 8, there were three North Atlantic right whales entangled in the southern waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence,,, >click to read<21:03

Lobster prices range from $7 to $8 per pound in Cape Breton

Lobster fishermen in Cape Breton are getting $7 or more a pound for the last two weeks of the season.  Starting prices were $7 and they dropped to $6.50 for a couple of weeks before rising again to $7 for many Cape Breton lobster fishermen. However, some are getting $7.50 or $8 a pound based on who the buyer is. “I don’t understand why in parts of Nova Scotia (like the South Shore) they get fifty-cent more than we do when we’re supposed to have the best product here in Eastern Nova Scotia,” said Garren O’Neil who fishes out of Main-à-Dieu and gets $7 a pound. >click to read< 12:29

Fewer fish, or fishy science? Commercial fishers, biologists at odds over the state of Lake Winnipeg’s walleye

Minutes before dawn, five boats speed out of Hecla Village Harbour on Lake Winnipeg, home to the second-largest freshwater fishery in North America after the Great Lakes. The seven-metre skiffs are small enough to allow gill nets to be hauled up over their bows and pulled along their gunwales, revealing the catch ensnared below the surface of the shallow but enormous lake during the previous 24 hours.,, Walleye is the lifeblood of their business,,, Walleye deteriorating, province says,,, Few fish, or fishy data? >click to read< 09:14

Fatal Port Hood fishing accident probe slowed due to backlog

The Transportation Safety Board says it’s dealing with a large number of marine incidents in Atlantic Canada and that’s slowing down the investigation process. For example, an investigation is still ongoing into a fishing accident that caused two deaths near Port Hood, N.S., more than a year ago. Hugh Watts and Glen MacDonald died after the Ocean Star II capsized about 100 metres offshore in May 2018. The TSB launched what’s known as a Class 4 investigation, which the agency said is a kind of probe that is limited in scope and usually completed within 200 days. It’s been more than 400 days since the investigation started. >click to read< 08:46

Mogul, wandering North Atlantic right whale, spotted off coast of France

A North Atlantic right whale that made headlines last year for his wanderlust in Iceland has decided to take a more southerly European vacation this year. Mogul, an 11-year-old male right whale, was spotted June 21 feeding off the coast of Penmarc’h, France, in the Bay of Biscay. It’s a curious spot for a young right whale to find himself, said Heather Pettis, associate scientist at the Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life at the New England Aquarium. >click to read<12:47

N.B. baby rides ‘rare’ gigantic lobster on lucky Canada Day catch

“Some kids get to ride a pony, not my grand nephew Ace,” said proud uncle Ed McHugh who shared pictures of his 12-pound nephew Ace on Facebook riding a gigantic lobster in Black River, N.B. The lobster was caught on Canada Day by Ace’s father, Nathan Crawford, who works as a lobster fisherman. The lobster was a 17 pounder, the first Crawford has ever seen. >click to read< 13:22

OPINION: #NoPipe activists won’t pipe down

Lobster traps are out of the water now, as fishermen along the Northumberland Strait wrap up a successful season. The wharves are quieter than they were a year ago, when 200 fishing and pleasure boats and 3,500 people readied for the #NoPipe Land and Sea Rally on July 6 in Pictou Town and Harbour. From three provinces and Pictou Landing First Nation, opposition to Northern Pulp’s proposal to discharge 60-80 million litres of treated pulp effluent daily into the Northumberland Strait was visible and strong. >click to read< 08:48

Grundéns and Gore-Tex® build rugged new line of fishing rain gear

Grundéns, producer of the world’s best fishing foul weather gear, today announces a new, rugged line of fishing rain gear in partnership with Gore-Tex®. 3 jackets and 2 bibs, all designed with specific fishing features and utilizing Gore-Tex’s® proprietary waterproof breathable technology, will provide exceptional wet weather protection to anglers in a variety of climates. Available to Grundéns top dealers and on Grundens.com in Fall 2019, the line will be widely available at all retailers in Spring of 2020. >click to read< 12:26

Assault trial stemming from Ecum Secum lobster dispute starts with surprise confession

Someone beat up Blair Fleet in his own Ecum Secum yard over a lobster dispute last spring. But who did it is even less clear after the first day of the trial of one of the fishermen accused of the assault. “So this is the first time you’ve heard that Jesse Asprey went to the police to admit he assaulted you?” defence attorney Colline Morrow asked the victim in Antigonish provincial court on Thursday. “No one ever told you?” “No,” replied Fleet. No one had apparently told the judge either. >click to read<09:29

Right whale protections may not be enough, federal review shows

Measures taken to protect North Atlantic right whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence from being struck by ships and getting caught in fishing gear may not be enough, a scientific review by Ottawa shows.,, The review was done late last year by scientists who work in federal departments and universities across Canada, looking at data compiled by marine-mammal experts over the last three years.,, Aerial surveys estimate there were at least 190 right whales in the Gulf last year, half the total known population everywhere. (and none died) >click to read< 12:57

Immediate Action Needed to Save North Atlantic Right Whales – Chris Oliver, Assistant Administrator for NOAA Fisheries >click to read<

Kennebunk Town Column: Invisible lines threaten lobster fishery – Lobstermen are facing the real threat of being forced out of business and a livelihood that they have relied on for many generations. >click to read<

2 Wolastoqey bands sue federal government – fighting for rights to fish snow crab for almost 25 years

Two First Nations in New Brunswick have filed a lawsuit against the Canadian government over access to the lucrative commercial snow crab fishery.
Tobique and Madawaska First Nations are seeking permanent access to snow crab fishing and damages for lost revenues dating back to 1995, when they began requesting a commercial allocation in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The only year the bands got an allocation was 2017, when the quota was higher than average. The quota was raised again this year, but the two Wolastoqey bands did not get an allocation. >click to read< 11:27

Stolen lobster discovered in back of broken-down van, police say

Three men from the Charlottetown area are facing charges in connection with the theft of more than $25,000 worth of live P.E.I. lobster, RCMP say.
Sgt. Chris Gunn of the Kings District RCMP said the lobster was discovered when an RCMP officer stopped to help a cube van that had broken down on the side of the road in Shediac, N.B. Gunn said police had received a call the morning of June 27 of a break, enter and theft from LOL Seafood’s storage facility in Murray Harbour, P.E.I. >click to read< 09:30

I’m a 7th-generation Michigan commercial fisherman. 13 are left.

I am a seventh generation commercial fisherman on Lake Michigan. Our family has been fishing Michigan waters since 1826, since before Michigan was a state.,,, My Great, Great Grandfather Schyuler was one of the great pioneer fishermen and owned all of what is now J.W. Wells State Park in the Upper Peninsula. At one time back in the 1980’s our company, Ruleau Bros., employed over 100 people and produced over 50 million pounds of fish. We have about 15 employees today, due to continuing over-regulation by the DNR, invasive species, and down to having only one fish left to take … the whitefish. >click to read< 10:54

Crab boat damaged after crash at Red Point Rock

A crab boat has been damaged after it struck Red Point Rock, near Souris, P.E.I., Saturday afternoon. The rock formation is well-known to local fishermen and is considered dangerous. Jeffrey MacNeill, a volunteer firefighter, was one of the first to arrive at the accident scene. The boat had between four and five crew members and was towed back to shore, MacNeill said. The process took several hours. >click to read< 17:58

Necropsy on third North Atlantic right whale shows evidence of blunt trauma

Preliminary findings from the third necropsy of a 33-year-old right whale — named Comet – show evidence which is highly compatible with death due to blunt force, consistent with vessel strikes. Canadian conservationists are calling the death of a sixth North Atlantic right whale that was found last week devastating. >click to read< 11:52

N.L. regulators watching closely as B.C. requires life jackets on fishing vessels

Fishers in British Columbia now have a clear directive when it comes to life jackets: they must be worn on decks of fishing vessels. That regulation change is getting attention in Newfoundland and Labrador.,,, The amended regulation in B.C. has safety advocates in Newfoundland and Labrador talking. >click to read< 10:37

Fisheries and Oceans Canada Blunder – Expert says feds should have acted more quickly on right whale migration

Fisheries and Oceans Canada says it has sighted another dead endangered right whale drifting off the Gaspé Peninsula, bringing the total number of deaths in Canadian waters this year to six. The government was still assessing recovery and necropsy options for this sixth whale. The new information late Thursday came as an expert said Canadian officials did not respond quickly enough to this year’s migration of North Atlantic right whales. >click to read< 08:55

Canada Has a New Fisheries Act. How Does It Stack Up?

Canada has the longest coastline in the world, yet it has long been a lax outlier in fisheries management. But with an overhaul of the federal Fisheries Act now complete, the sense among advocates and fisheries experts is that the tide is about to turn. The passage of Bill C-68 on June 21 means that for the first time since the Fisheries Act was enacted in 1868, Fisheries and Oceans Canada is required to manage fish stocks sustainably and put rebuilding plans in place for those that are depleted. >click to read< 18:36

Malpeque lobster boat captain refusing to obey order to wear mandatory PFD

Malpeque lobster boat captain Chris Wall says he has no plans to follow an order to start wearing a personal flotation device. Wall was issued the order a week ago by an occupational health and safety officer with the Workers Compensation Board of P.E.I. “I’ve fished for 25 years, and I plan on fishing the next 25 years without one,” said Wall. “It’s your own personal decision to decide if you want to wear a life jacket or not.” >click to read<13:59

Transport Canada implements speed limits following death of another right whale

Transport Canada has implemented a speed restriction for vessels in the western part of the Gulf of St. Lawrence following yet another death of the endangered North Atlantic right whale on Wednesday. Fisheries and Oceans Canada confirmed a right whale was found dead on the shores of Anticosti Island near the Gulf of St. Lawrence, bringing the number of recent deaths up to five. Scientists are on scene collecting samples for analysis, and working with various partners to assess necropsy options, said a news release from the fisheries department. >click to read<18:07

Cod Populations Might be Losing a Migration ‘Supergene’

North Atlantic cod populations haven’t just decreased in number during the last century — their genetic diversity has plunged, too, which could ultimately impede cod from traveling long distances, according to a new study published in the June 26 issue of Science Advances. In particular, overfishing, climate change or a combination of factors may have led to the loss of a closely-linked group of genes — a “supergene” — associated with migratory behavior. Absence of this supergene may interfere with the cod’s ecological niche and could make populations more vulnerable to future collapse. Researchers investigated genetic variation in Northern cod around the Canadian province of Newfoundl,,, >click to read<15:23

Review of Atlantic halibut survey raises sustainability questions

For more than two decades, Atlantic halibut fishermen have baited their hooks and dropped them to the ocean bottom off Nova Scotia and Newfoundland as part of a collaboration between the fishing industry and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. The annual May to July halibut longline survey is used to predict halibut abundance in a thriving fishery worth $60 million. Dalhousie University biology student Isabelle Hurley wanted to know if the data told another story. She looked at what else was caught — so-called bycatch — in the survey between 1998 and 2016. >click to read<10:32

Researchers regroup in wake of 4 right whale deaths

It’s been a deadly month for the endangered mammals, with the carcasses of two other whales — an adult female and a 9-year-old male — reported June 4 and June 20, also in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Photo analysis of the carcasses found Tuesday identified one as a 33-year-old male named Comet and the other as an unnamed 11-year-old female who had no documented calf, according to New England Aquarium’s Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life. The two carcasses were seen near the Acadian Peninsula in New Brunswick and west of the Magdalen Islands in Quebec, according to Canadian officials.,,, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is taking part in preplanned talks with the Canadian government on North Atlantic right whale protections this week in Halifax, Nova Scotia, NOAA spokeswoman Jennifer Goebel said. >click to read<20:56