Category Archives: Canada

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

ITQ’s: A crash course – How feds let fishing privileges be sucked up by big money, much of it foreign.

Wild fisheries are humankind’s greatest single source of protein. They are fully renewable, we don’t have to till soil, plant seeds, apply fertilizer or pesticide, water them or feed them; we just have to manage the harvest. As global populations continue to grow, much is at stake as we determine who benefits from the greatest renewable food resource. At home who benefits from fish harvested in B.C.’s waters? (or anywhere?) You’d be logical in thinking the answer is mostly people who make the B.C. coast their home and who fish for a living.  And you’d be wrong. >click to read<14:39

Shelburne company pleads guilty to 4 charges in fisherman’s death

A Shelburne, N.S., company has been ordered to pay $60,000 after pleading guilty Thursday to four violations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act in the 2017 death of lobster fisherman Jimmy Buchanan. Buchanan, a 44-year-old married father and grandfather, was working about 50 kilometres southeast of Cape Sable Island when he fell overboard on Jan. 7, 2017. >click to read<13:12

Claim that Annapolis tidal turbine violates Fisheries Act puts science under review

Is the Annapolis Tidal Generating Station killing a lot of fish? The protesters waving placards on the causeway crossing the Annapolis River on Wednesday and Thursday claim that it does. Scientists and stakeholders meeting over the same period at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography were attempting to answer the same question. But even as The Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat was performing its review of available data, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Nova Scotia Power may already know whether the turbine is in violation of the Fisheries Act. According to correspondence obtained via a freedom of information request between high level staff at both the federal regulator and the turbine’s owner, both already know it kills fish. >click to read<

N.L. skipper found guilty of trying to throw wife overboard, even after she told judge the story was made up

When a Newfoundland judge was about to sentence the skipper of a fishing boat for trying to throw his wife overboard, he suddenly found himself in a tricky legal position. The skipper’s wife — the victim of the crime that had just been proved beyond a reasonable doubt — came forward to say it never happened, that she made it all up because she was angry. This was a problem, raising fears of a miscarriage of justice, and the judge’s ultimate solution is a rare illustration of the law on victims who recant criminal accusations. >click to read<13:19

This Lobster Trap Aims to Protect Endangered Whales — and Fishers’ Livelihoods

So a team of conservation-minded engineers set about finding a solution for the problem of right whale entanglements—while also keeping in mind the needs of lobster fishing families. The winners of last year’s Make for the Planet Borneo hackathon at the 5th annual International Marine Conservation Congress came up with a device they dubbed the Lobster Lift. Here’s how it works: At its essence,,,, >click to read<12:03

25-year-moratorium could be lifted as redfish stocks continue to increase in Gulf of St. Lawrence

Island fishermen and the province are working together to make surGulf of St. Lawrence P.E.I. gets its fair share of the redfish quota if the the federal government decides to reopen the industry in the future. A significant increase in redfish stock in the Gulf of St. Lawrence is spurring an interest in reopening redfish harvesting after a moratorium has been in place for nearly 25 years. A renewed commercial fishery would be at least two years away, said Dave MacEwen, P.E.I.’s manager of marine fisheries. Other provinces will be looking for their share of the quota as well, and he wants to make sure Island fishermen are “full participants.” >click to read<19:51

Whale rule changes coming on two tracks

Maine lobstermen and their representatives, along with state fisheries regulators, continue in the trenches of debates about how much the Maine lobster fishery is implicated in the decline of the North Atlantic right whale. Ongoing efforts to protect the whales from entanglement with fishing gear may result in two different new sets of regulations, Sarah Cotnoir, resource coordinator for the Maine Department of Marine Resources, and Patrice McCarron, executive director of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association, told the Zone B Council last week. >click to read<11:03

All right whales survived visit to Canadian waters last year

No North Atlantic right whales died in Canadian waters in 2018, so protective measures will continue, a Fisheries spokesperson says. The year free of deaths means the protective measures implemented last year are working, said Adam Burns, director general for fisheries resource management with Department of Fisheries and Oceans. “In 2018 there were at least as many North Atlantic right whales in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence as there were in 2017, when we had all of those incidents, and we continued to have fishing activity in those same areas,” Burns said. In 2017, the death toll came to 18. Twelve of the whales died in Canadian waters. >click to read<14:17

Newfoundland town fears for safety of seals swarming its streets

Seals have been swarming the streets of a northern Newfoundland town, with residents fearing for the animals’ safety but being warned to stay away. Brendon Fitzpatrick of Roddickton said seals had been spotted in the area as early as October, but in recent weeks the animals have wandered into town, sometimes in the middle of the road. >click to read<11:24

FISH-NL renews call for halt to seismic testing – ‘If plankton isn’t protected you might as well say goodbye to the fish’

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is once again calling on the Canada/Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) to suspend offshore seismic work in light of new research that reveals plankton productivity has plunged. The research by the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) doesn’t link the dramatic and persistent drop in plankton to seismic activity, but other research has found the intense acoustic signals may damage the critical elements of the food chain. “It’s highly coincidental that as seismic activity ramped up plankton productivity plunged,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “Seismic activity may be necessary for offshore oil and gas development, but it must not come at the expense of our wild fisheries and marine ecosystem — cutting off our nose to spite our face.” >click to read<10:43

EDITORIAL: Change tack to save lives

At this time of year, we tend to focus our attention on road deaths, particularly the role drinking and driving plays in them. But as a province and a region surrounded by oceans and dotted with lakes, it is also vital to consider the dangers that lurk on the water as opposed to roads. The fact is, quite a few people die while working or enjoying leisure time on waterways. In its annual report, the Canadian Red Cross released unofficial numbers showing that there were 39 water-related deaths in Atlantic Canada in 2018. Nova Scotia’s share of that total was 16. Some of the deaths were related to commercial fishing while others occurred while people were involved in recreational fishing, boating and swimming at lakes and on beaches. >click to read<07:17

Researchers aim to find where Pacific salmon spend their winters

An international team of scientists is heading to the Gulf of Alaska for a ground-breaking research survey to uncover the secret lives of Pacific salmon in the winter. Discoveries coming out of a 25-day research cruise using a trawler in the North Pacific are expected to help countries do a better job of managing, conserving and restoring salmon stocks, including improving forecasting of returns. “I say it’s the great black box because we basically lose track of the salmon after they leave our coastal waters,” said Brian Riddell, president and chief executive of the Vancouver-based Pacific Salmon Foundation, a key backer of the endeavour. The team is made up of six Canadian scientists, eight from Russia, three from the U.S., and one each from Japan and South Korea.>click to read<13:41

Conservancy Hornby Island calls for government to shut down herring roe fishery

A Hornby Island organization is calling for the federal government to shut down a Pacific herring roe fishery scheduled to operate in the Strait of Georgia in March. According to Conservancy Hornby Island, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans is preparing to approve the catch of 20 per cent of herring that spawn in the Strait of Georgia. This is approximately 28,000 tons of spawning herring or approximately 200 million fish.,, Neil Davis, director of resource management with the DFO says determining a fishing allowance that will ensure the sustainability of a species is not something that is taken lightly. Each year prior to spawning season in late February or March, DFO does large amounts of research before setting a fishing allowance. >click to read<12:24

Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence cod could be extinct by mid-century: report

There is a high probability that Atlantic cod will be locally extinct in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence by mid-century — even with no commercial fishing, according to a new report. The paper, published in the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, says the death rate now stands at 50 per cent for adult Gulf cod five years and older.  The likely culprit? Grey seals. “That high a natural mortality is not sustainable,” says Doug Swain, a federal Fisheries Department scientist who co-authored the study. >click to read<10:12