Category Archives: Canada

Canadian Coast Guard names new SAR boats as Bay-class

The first in a fleet of Canadian Coast Guard’s new search and rescue (SAR) lifeboats will be named after Conception Bay in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canadian minister of fisheries Dominic LeBlanc announced on Monday. Following the lead ship in the class, up to 20 new “Bay”-class boats will be named after geographical bays across Canada. The CCGS Conception Bay will be stationed in the Atlantic region. The new high-endurance, self-righting search and rescue lifeboats will operate up to 100 nautical miles from shore, delivering improved search and rescue capability. click here to read the story 08:42

Projects approved under NL’s seafood innovation and transition program

The provincial government has approved approximately $1.8 million so far this year as part of the $2-million seafood innovation and transition program for 2017-18. To date, applications from 62 projects have been approved for funding, up from 37 the previous year. “Last year, the production value of our seafood sector reached yet another record high, exceeding $1.4 billion,” Fisheries and Land Resources Minister Gerry Byrne said in a news release. The following is a list of project that have been approved click here to read the story 20:19

Atlantic salmon arrive in French Creek – Not in a good way!

Atlantic salmon, believed to be part of a cohort that escaped from a U.S.-based fish farm on Aug. 19, are being hauled in by anglers fishing out of French Creek on mid-Vancouver Island.
Cameron Wheatley, owner of the French Creek Store at the marina just north of Parksville, received the head of an apparent Atlantic salmon from a local angler late Sunday morning, Sept. 10. He is freezing the head, along with two more fish heads and one whole farm-raised salmon, to turn over to Fisheries and Oceans Canada. click here to read the story 16:33

Clearwater Seafoods Sees ‘Long-Term Opportunity’ in China

Over the past 40-plus years, Clearwater Seafoods has established itself as North America’s largest vertically integrated harvester, processor and distributor of premium shellfish. The company now sells 80 million pounds annually to more than 40 countries. But something happened in 2015 that prompted a major shift in its selling strategy. Nova Scotia-based Clearwater, which brands its product as wild-caught, premium seafood that is managed from ocean to plate, launched the Belle Carnell, a new fishing vessel that almost doubled the intake of one of its top products, the Arctic surf clam.  click here to read the story 13:32

Fishermen gather on Yarmouth wharf concerned that out-of-season lobster sales are taking place

Fishermen in Yarmouth have been gathering on Lobster Rock Wharf during evenings this week to draw attention to their claims and beliefs of commercial fishing taking place within the Aboriginal food fishery. Fishermen first gathered peacefully in the parking lot the evening of Sept. 6 and were back the evening of Sept. 7. The RCMP have also had a presence on and around the wharf, keeping an eye on things. During the Sept. 7 gathering RCMP Sergeant Stephen Power of Windsor spoke with fishermen to get a better understanding of why they were there. “I’m not here to do an investigation and I’m not here to arrest or charge anyone,” he said. “They just asked me to come in and help in any way I can. I want to hear what you have to say.” click here to read the story 17:14

Indigenous, commercial lobster fishermen clash in Digby County

The Sipekne’katik Band is accusing southwestern Nova Scotia lobster fishermen of throwing native fishing rights overboard. “There has been protesting and people are interfering with my people exercising their rights,” Chief Mike Sack said Thursday of a fleet of about 10 boats operated by the band that has been fishing lobster from different wharfs in St. Mary’s Bay in Digby County. “It has been escalating quickly over the last little bit.” Sack said local non-native fishermen from Lobster Fishing Area 34, the most lucrative lobster waters in Canada that encompasses an area from Baccaro Point to just below Digby, do not recognize native treaty rights to fish out of season. click here to read the story 22:57

Clearwater to lose monopoly on Canada’s lucrative Arctic surf clam

Halifax-based Clearwater Seafoods is losing its monopoly on Canada’s lucrative Arctic surf clam. Federal Fisheries and Oceans Minister Dominic LeBlanc announced Thursday that DFO will give 25 per cent of the current quota to a new entrant after a request for written proposals closes in November. Currently all three Arctic surf clam licences are held by Clearwater. The government says the fourth licence holder it is seeking must be majority Canadian-owned and be an Indigenous entity based in Atlantic Canada or Quebec. The licence will be for 2018. click here to read the story

Arctic Surf Clam – Decision to Reconfigure Access in 2018 – The new entrant in this fishery will be selected as a result of an Expression of Interest. Interested parties wishing to participate in this fishery must send a proposal to Jacinta Berthier through one of the options below: click here to read the press release 18:52

FISH-NL accuses FFAW-Unifor of hypocrisy, preaching ‘fair access’ for inshore harvesters while squeezing them out 

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) accuses the FFAW-Unifor of hypocrisy for preaching “fair access” to adjacent resources for inshore harvesters while, in practice, squeezing them out. “If the FFAW said the sun was splitting the rocks inshore harvesters would run for their oil clothes,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “When it comes to the deck of a fishing boat the union’s credibility is non-existent.” The FFAW-Unifor issued a news release earlier today (click here) announcing the formation of a new committee focused on securing “fair and reasonable” access for the inshore fleet to fish resources adjacent to the province’s shores. In particular, access to groundfish species such as greysole, turbot, redfish and American plaice, quotas for many of which are managed by the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO), which oversees fishing in international waters outside Canada’s 200-mile limit. click here to read the press release 13:27

Fishing Industry sees workers compensation rates hit 20-year low thanks to safety campaigns

Stuart MacLean says it was a particularly dark event that helped spark a culture change when it comes to safety in the fishing industry: the sinking of the Miss Ally. Five young men from southwest Nova Scotia were lost at sea when their fishing boat was hammered by a raging storm in 2013. The incident gripped fishing villages everywhere, and MacLean, CEO of the Workers’ Compensation Board of Nova Scotia, believes it had a dramatic effect on the way fishermen approach safety today. “What’s happened in that sector is people have moved from knowing about it to caring about it,” he said. “And I think what people said is, ‘It’s not OK to keep losing people at sea.'” click here to read the story 18:12

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 49’11” Dixon Marine Lobster/Scalloper, 6 Cylinder Lugger

Specifications, information and 29 photos click here To see all the boats in this series, Click here 11:48

From faithful to faith lost – Northern Peninsula fishermen weigh in on union debate

As issues abound within a particularly turbulent fishery this summer, the union debate among Newfoundland and Labrador harvesters still seems uncertain as ever. Since they came on the scene, the Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) has been stirring up a call for a labour board vote on whether the long-standing Fish, Foods and Allied Workers union (FFAW) still deserves to represent the province’s fishers. Maxwell Sexton has spent five decades fishing the waters of the Northern Peninsula. While he knows the common complaints, he says he’s never had any personal issues with the FFAW. But Dan Reardon of Goose Cove, a fisherman who retired just this year, says he’s had a rough history with the FFAW and is completely fed up with the union. click here to read the story 14:00

Scientists find Bluefin tuna quick to swim away after catch and release

Early results of a new study show catch and release has little impact on tuna. Gary Melvin, a research scientist with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and a team of researchers are catching, tagging, releasing and tracking the mortality and movements of bluefin tuna throughout the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Last week, the research team was tagging tuna off of Tignish, P.E.I. “It’s always the big question when you hook a fish and they fight, what happens? And it’s common thought that they recover and swim away,” Melvin said. click here to read the story 10:21

Scientists concerned over health of fish species as wastewater treatment plants fail to remove drugs

Human antidepressants are building up in the brains of bass, walleye and several other fish common to the Great Lakes region, scientists say. In a new study, researchers detected high concentrations of these drugs and their metabolized remnants in the brain tissue of 10 fish species found in the Niagara River. The discovery of antidepressants in aquatic life in the river raises serious environmental concerns, says lead scientist Diana Aga, PhD, the Henry M. Woodburn Professor of chemistry in the University at Buffalo College of Arts and Sciences. “These active ingredients from antidepressants, which are coming out from wastewater treatment plants, are accumulating in fish brains,” Aga says. “It is a threat to biodiversity, and we should be very concerned. click here to read the story 16:57

Hurricane Irma a Growing Concern for the U S: Hurricane Warnings Issued For Leeward Islands, Hurricane Watch Hoisted in Puerto Rico

Hurricane Irma is a growing threat to the continental United States, with impacts possibly beginning in Florida later this week. Before that, Irma will bring dangerous conditions to the Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, the Bahamas and Cuba. The center of Irma is located 560 miles east of the Leeward Islands and is moving west-southwestward at about 14 mph. Irma is a Category 3 hurricane and satellite imagery shows that it has become better organized in the past day with an eye now clearly evident. click here to read the story 13:44

As Irma intensifies, a disturbance churns in the Gulf of Mexicoclick here to read the story  Hurricane Irma Public Advisory– National Hurricane Center click here

Is There a Better Way to Farm Fish?

Aquaculture is a huge industry. In 2014, for the first time, more than half of all seafood consumed by humans came from fish farms, with salmon among the most farmed species. But aquaculture is also contentious — in large part because of the problems with existing open-net pens. Yet Jeremy Dunn, executive director of the BC Salmon Farmers Association, says the industry is already starting to move away from open-net pens. While Dunn says 90 per cent of new investment globally is in variations on the technology, leading salmon-farming countries such as Norway are investing in hitherto unfeasible technologies, such as land-based tanks and recirculating aquaculture systems. click here to read the story 10:54

Study links fish farms to spread of antibiotic resistance

New research that finds a possible link between fish farms and the spread of antibiotic resistance doesn’t surprise marine biologist Inka Milewski. “Anytime you have animals grown in very concentrated conditions in these intensive livestock operations, whether it’s pigs or chickens, or in this case, fish, you’re going to have the potential for disease problems,” Milewski said in an interview Sunday from her home in the Miramichi in New Brunswick. “The solution to a lot of these problems is to put antibiotics into the feed. And so it should come as no surprise to anyone that they have found antibiotic resistance associated with fish farms.” The study released last week by Jing Wang of Dalian University of Technology in China concluded that genes for antibiotic resistance are getting into ocean sediments through fish food. click here to read the story 09:49

Hurricane Irma Strengthens Into a Category 3; Potential Threat to the Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico, Bahamas and the United States

Hurricane Irma could pose a serious threat for many days to come and all interests from the Leeward Islands and Puerto Rico to the Bahamas and the U.S. East Coast should continue to monitor its progress very closely. The center of Irma is located 885 miles east of the Leeward Islands and is moving just south of due west at about 15 mph. On Sunday morning, Irma strengthened into a Category 3 hurricane. Uncertainty remains surrounding where Irma will track beyond five days due to the complex interaction of Irma with the upper-level weather pattern expected late this week in the western Atlantic and the eastern United States. click here to read the story   click here to read National Hurricane Center Forecast Discussion14:59

Lobster tradition targeted

At churches from Maine and Maryland to Mississippi, the annual community supper means one thing: lobsters. To animal-welfare activists, that’s a problem. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the prominent advocacy group, has honed its focus on one beloved tradition in Episcopal churches across the country: the lobster boil. The animal-welfare group sent a letter Aug. 25 to Bishop Michael Curry, the presiding bishop and primate who leads the nationwide church, asking him to end the practice of lobster dinners in favor of something more vegetarian. hmm. shocking. click here to read the story 16:29

Case Study: Fishing Vessel Corrosion Protection

Oxifree TM198 is 100 percent environmentally friendly corrosion inhibitor supplied by Corrosion Solutions Norway AS. After a simple pretreatment, TM198 can be applied on structures using an applicator gun. The application is fast and efficient and can even be applied to live equipment eliminating the need for a shutdown. M/S Endre Dyrøy is the first vessel in Norway to have been applied with this unique corrosion inhibitor at 30 different objects/points. Most of the treated points had clear signs of corrosion, whereas some points were treated before they were corroded. Despite the fact that the vessel is well taken care of, part corrosion is a general problem that occurs on this type of vessel as these often operate in tough environments characterized by high humidity and salt. click here to read the story, see more photo’s 14:00

After Atlantic salmon spill, fish farms’ future under attack on both sides of border

Cooke Aquaculture Pacific knew it had problems at its Cypress Island fish farm before the catastrophic failure that spilled tens of thousands of Atlantic salmon into Puget Sound. “The farm site No. 2 was identified as the first priority for upgrades. We knew it was at the end of its life cycle and it needed upgrades right away, and we were in the process of doing that,” company spokesman Chuck Brown said this week. But the company never got the chance. Instead, the farm capsized the weekend of Aug. 19, with 305,000 Atlantic salmon inside. The company collected 142,176 in all from its nets. The rest escaped.,,, The state already has said it won’t allow new or expanded farms until further review, and 20 Western Washington tribes with treaty-protected fisheries say they want Puget Sound farms shut down entirely. click here to read the story 10:29

B.C. First Nations occupy a second salmon farm as company raises safety concernsclick here to read the story

Fisheries and Oceans Canada has granted an extension to the halibut fishing season for the first time. 

The move was made to allow Island fisherman an opportunity to fill their quota for the year. As of the end of last week, the 330 registered fishermen on P.E.I. had only caught half of the allowed number.  Bobby Jenkins, president of the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association, said catches haven’t been what they were. Fisheries and Oceans is allowing fishermen two more days next week and another two the following week, and then the P.E.I.F.A. will reassess. click here to read the story 09:53

Conditional discharge awarded to Grand Bank fisherman

Wayne Meade was in provincial court in Grand Bank Aug. 31, where he pleaded guilty to two counts of uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm. The charges stem from comments Meade made to Fish, Food and Allied Works (FFAW) union representatives Dwan Street and Roland Hedderson during a meeting in Fortune Nov. 1, 2016. An agreed statement of facts presented to the court states Meade was aggressive when he attended the meeting, he continued to pound the table with his fists, and at one point told the representatives, “I will rip your heads of and shit down your neck.” Council for the accused said Meade told police he did not intend to cause harm to either Dwan Street or Roland Hedderson. “This is a very frustrating time in the lives of fishermen,” said Randy Piercey. click here to read the story 14:02

FISH-NL’s request for immediate vote denied by Labour Board; inshore harvesters, the most controlled labour group in western world

“It’s impossible to enjoy the Labour Day Weekend when upwards of 3,000 inshore harvesters are being crucified by oppressive union representation, and a government that allows it to continue,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “What’s more, provincial legislation blocks harvesters from taking part in free enterprise in that outside fish buyers aren’t allowed in. Where else in the democratic world would this be permitted? Harvesters are the most controlled labour group in the province, country, and western world.” FISH-NL wrote David Conway, the new chair of the province’s Labour Relations Board, on Aug. 15th, requesting the board proceed with an immediate vote to determine which union they want to represent them. In an Aug. 31st response letter, CEO Glenn Branton pointed out the investigation into FISH-NL’s application for certification — which was presented to the board on Dec. 30, 2016 — is ongoing. click here to read the press release 12:50

Vietnam builds first modern fishing ship for Canada

Ha Long Shipbuilding Company, a subsidiary of the Vietnam Shipbuilding Industry Corporation, held a keel laying ceremony on August 31, for a fishing ship named Fishing Trawler (SBA01) built for its Canadian partner Hill Enterprises. The Canadian market is a completely new market for Vietnam’s shipbuilding industry and this is the first time Ha Long Shipbuilding Company has carried out such a project with a Canadian partner. Fishing Trawler is a medium-range vessel which is 29.1 metres long, 10.3 metres wide and 5 meters high. This latest generation of fishing ship is an offshore fishing ship which will be used off the coast of Northern Canada. click here to read the story 12:07

Crab-fishing boat runs aground on Rose Spit

A crab-fishing boat ran hard aground on Rose Spit this morning (8/31). All four people on board the boat, the Prince Rupert-based Carmanah Light, managed to get to the beach safely wearing survival suits. No injuries have been reported. Search-and rescue volunteers with Archipelago SAR drove to Rose Spit and picked up the stranded crew. Masset Marine Rescue, BC Parks, DFO, Haida Fisheries and the Canadian Coast Guard are also responding on land and water. Masset Mayor Andrew Merilees, also a volunteer with Archipelago SAR, was the first on scene. click here to read the story 07:29

Lobstermen plagued by low catch, low prices

As the shedder, or soft shell, season winds down with higher value hard shell lobsters on the horizon, local lobstermen are hoping to turn what has so far been a dismal season around. Lobsters are in hiding, or so it seems to lobstermen. “I’d say we’ve caught about half the lobsters [than in recent years],” Stonington lobsterman Tony Bray said of the 2017 season. The Stonington Lobster Co-op, which buys a large proportion of the local catch, reported a 25 to 30 percent drop in volume over last year. “The lobsters are out there, so this is not likely reflective of a resource decline,” said Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries scientist Carla Guenther, who follows Department of Marine Resources data monitoring. “It may be reflective of a habitat shift as to where the lobsters are, and a behavior shift as a reaction to the colder water.” click here to read the story 15:16

Coast Guard responding to a fishing vessel fire near Gabriola Island

Rescue crews are responding after a fishing boat caught fire off the coast of Gabriola Island. The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre confirmed several rescue vessels were en route to the vessel, on the north side of Entrance Island about a kilometre northeast of Gabriola.,,, Sources say that five people aboard the 22-metre vessel “Sea Valley II” were transported safely click here to read the story 21:09

Vessel Fire near Gabriola Island – Update – A fishing vessel caught fire near Gabriola Island on the evening of Thursday, August 30, 2017. The vessel was under tow, moving from Petersburg, Alaska to Bellingham, Washington click here to read update 13:33

New measures coming to protect right whales in Gulf of St. Lawrence: LeBlanc

As Canadian officials scramble to determine whether an endangered whale caught in fishing rope off Quebec’s Gaspe Peninsula may have freed itself, federal Fisheries and Oceans Minister Dominic LeBlanc is promising a new set of rules around commercial fishing gear to protect the large marine mammals. A North Atlantic right whale was spotted entangled in ropes during a fly-over of the Gulf of St. Lawrence Monday, but LeBlanc said aerial and water patrols were unable to locate it Tuesday. LeBlanc said the federal government will usher in a new set of rules around fishing gear to improve the safety of whale migration in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. click here to read the story 13:37

Marine feedlots and the tide against wild fish

In a time of eclipse, for the People of the Salmon the moment was catastrophic. At the height of their season for the most prized of wild salmon in the Salish Sea, Lummi fishermen south of Cypress Island hauled in several flaccid, broken-mouthed farm fish, the first of thousands of Atlantic salmon that had escaped from a failed pen. They knew something was terribly wrong. Days would pass before Cooke Aquaculture, a subsidiary of the international company responsible for the pen, would stop blaming the sun and moon, and admit to the full scale of the collapse.  click here to read the story

First Nations, environmentalists occupy salmon farm in British Columbia – A group of First Nations and environmentalists are occupying a salmon farm near Alert Bay, B.C., and say they won’t leave until the provincial and federal governments revoke permits for the facility. click here to read the story 10:43

Washington fish spill ‘a sad case of déjà vu,’ NL-CAR says

Leo White is shining a light on escapes of farmed fish here in Newfoundland after a recent incident at a Cooke Aquaculture site in Washington. White, a spokesperson the Newfoundland and Labrador Coalition for Aquaculture Reform (NL-CAR), said the escape of 305,000 Atlantic salmon on the west coast is “a sad case of déjà vu.”,,, “What has happened in Washington, and what continues to happen here in Newfoundland underscores the need for all new aquaculture proposals to complete a full environmental assessment,” White said. click here to read the story 09:55