Category Archives: Canada

Eel of Fortune

Against a backdrop of competing cultural and commercial interests, Canadian regulators will soon spin the wheel on the future of the little-understood American eel. Lighting the hissing naphtha lamp mounted at the front of his metal canoe, Kerry Prosper prepares for a midsummer eel hunt on Nova Scotia’s Pomquet Harbour. It’s just past sunset, and the conditions are perfect, with warm air gently rolling off the bay and smoothing the water’s surface to glass. Prosper timed tonight’s trip with the new moon; eels get skittish when there’s too much light. Even lightning scares them into hiding. >click here to read< 10:54 

“The Plight of the Right Whale” – What’s causing right whale decline?

There is no argument that the North Atlantic Right Whale is in dire straits. Dr. Mark Baumgartner, a biologist from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, gave a compelling presentation on “The Plight of the Right Whale” this past Tuesday evening, Jan. 23, at the Vineyard Gazette office. Since it was advertised, it was well attended. One point of interest was that the right whales were making a healthy comeback, a two-decade period of modest annual growth; the population rebounded from 270 living whales in 1992 to 483 in 2010. From 2010,,, >click here to read< 21:12

BEYOND EXPECTATIONS: Fishermen donating more than $600,000 – and counting – to charities and causes through Live Well Challenge

The Live Well Challenge continues to exceed expectations, with people taking the plunge in one way or another in southwestern Nova Scotia and beyond, raising in excess of half a million dollars for numerous charities and causes in just over a week. And the dollar amount continues to climb steadily as people continue to take the plunge and nominate others to do the same. The Live Well Challenge was initiated by Cape Sable Island fisherman Todd Newell on Jan. 17 on social media as a way to help the families of the Pubnico Head house fire that claimed the lives of four children, and to also help other local charities, causes and organizations. >click here to read< 13:56

Market your catch directly to the consumer!

We welcome SeafoodPirate.com to Fisherynation! SeafoodPirate evolved to connect all types of seafood buyers and sellers to one another. Whether you are a fisherman, fishing operation, processing outfit, wholesaler, packer, retail market, restaurant or consumer, SeafoodPirate allows everyone to post their products and display them to other potential buyers. SeafoodPirate.com is an online marketplace and seafood marketing service for people to buy seafood products directly from fishermen, fish farms, processing companies, wholesalers, and retailers who list their products on the site. >click here to read<13:45

A green crab’s super power: eating through its gills

The phrase “to inhale your food” evokes images of hot dog eating contests or late night fast food binges. But for the European green crab, the phrase is a bit more literal—these crabs can actually absorb food through their gills.,,, Called the shore crab in its native waters around Europe, the European green crab is an invasive species that began wreaking havoc in New England coastal ecosystems following its introduction in the 1800s. It has no predators or competitors and also a killer appetite—crab, fish, young lobster, and shellfish are no match for its nimble, yet crushing claws. >click here to read< 11:27 

International Pacific Halibut Commission disagrees on catch cuts

Commissioners from the U.S. and Canada this week could not agree on the size of catch reductions that fishing fleets in the two countries should take for halibut along the Pacific coast this year. Commissioners from the two countries signaled their intent to make fishing cuts for the valuable bottom fish but not as large as the cuts suggested by staff earlier this winter. The six-person commission has three members from the U.S. and three from Canada. Their annual meeting was in Portland, Oregon January 22nd-26th. >click here to read< 20:21

Memorial University flume tank being used for critical conservation work

In the Upper Gulf of California, Mexico, gillnets used in the shrimp fishery have received much of the blame for the plunge in the numbers of a rare marine mammal known as the vaquita.,, One of the key challenges is to encourage Mexican fishermen to change from traditional fishing gear — to get rid of the kilometre-long walls of gillnets in the water that entangle and drown vaquita and other bycatch — and use alternative fishing gear that will be more selective and vaquita-friendly. Such alternative gear is being tested this week in the flume tank of the Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Resources at the Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University in St. John’s. >click here to read< 13:16

New Bedford–based offshore wind farm gets a ‘no’ for state contract

A New Bedford–based offshore wind proposal by Deepwater Wind has been passed over for a state contract in favor of hydroelectric power from Canada. Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration announced Thursday that Northern Pass Hydro, a joint venture of Eversource and Hydro-Québec, has been selected to provide power to Massachusetts in the first of two competitive bidding processes created by the state’s 2016 energy diversity law. >click here to read< 11:43

Editorial: Fisheries madness

The federal government seems hell-bent on proceeding with ill-advised amendments to the Fisheries Act that pose particular threat to Atlantic Canadian inshore fishermen and processors. The importance of the fishery cannot be overstated — directly responsible for 80,000 jobs and $6.6 billion in exports — while the indirect economic impact is much greater. Yet Ottawa is hinting at major changes — especially with licence allocation — that could turn the industry upside down. >click here to read< 10:49 

More changes to snow crab fishery not ruled out – minister wants any changes to be fair across all crab fleets

Government is still weighing its options when it comes to more changes to protect endangered North Atlantic right whales, says federal Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc. Immediate rule changes to the crab fishery were announced Tuesday to help protect the whales. At least 17 died in Canadian and U.S. waters last year. Some died from being hit by ships and others from entanglements with fishing gear. Another right whale turned up dead Thursday in the waters off the coast of Virginia, the first to be reported this year. >click here to read< 22:38

DFO outreach meeting – Harvesters in Baie Verte offer suggestions to improve fishery

A pair of fish harvesters from Baie Verte appreciated a rare opportunity to address Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) representatives in an open forum last week. Ray Wimbleton and Lyndon Small both acknowledged the opportunity they were given to voice their concerns, and said they have plenty of suggestions for improving the industry. Wimbleton, a harvester with 40 years’ experience, says the biggest issue he has with the cod fishery right now is that weekly harvesting limits were put in place without consultation with the harvesters. >click here to read<15:53

Lots of inshore issues to talk about at DFO meeting in Shearstown

Wednesday’s meeting in Shearstown for inshore harvesters was filled to the brim with conversation, as the Department of Fisheries and Oceans allowed the event to continue well beyond its planned two-hour duration. The discussion covered an array of topics, from the future of bycatch to qualms about size restrictions for vessels and the potential for oil exploration to harm marine life. Chad Payne, a harvester from Old Perlican, brought up the bycatch issue. He said it seemed wasteful for harvesters to get rid of perfectly good fish,,, >click here to read< 20:36

Fines for violating whale-protecting speed may be inadequate, says fisheries minister

Fisheries and Oceans Minister Dominic LeBlanc says he was “surprised” by the more than 500 reported speed limit violations in the Gulf of St. Lawrence last year and questions whether penalties should be stiffer to better protect North Atlantic right whales this year. “This is my own view, that a $6,000 fine may not represent an adequate sanction, it may not represent a sufficient deterrent,” said LeBlanc. ,,, As of late last week, only 14 of the 542 cases had resulted in a fine — all of them a minimum of $6,000, Transport Canada officials have said. >click here to read< 11:10

“We’re expecting 100 per cent compliance,” New snow crab fishing rules rein in use of ropes to protect North Atlantic right whales

Fisheries and Oceans Minister Dominic LeBlanc has announced four changes to the snow crab fishery in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence to protect North Atlantic right whales from entanglement, including reducing the amount of rope floating on the surface and mandatory reporting of all lost gear. The new management measures will take effect immediately and will be enforced “very aggressively,” LeBlanc said during the news conference in Moncton on Tuesday. >click here to read<16:29

Bonavista area fishers meet DFO

Dennis Miller of Burgoyne’s Cove is a typical inshore fisherman. Fishing up to 50 miles from shore in a 39-ft 11-inch boat, he makes his living from groundfish, capelin, herring, mackerel, lobster and snow crab.,, He wonders if the Department of Fisheries and Oceans will give smaller boats, like his, access to turbot by opening up fishing zones closer to shore. He was one of about 30 fishers who showed up for the meeting.,, With FISH-NL and the Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW) in the same room, there was bound to be an argument. >click here to read< 14:24 

‘We want limited entry’ – Nova Scotia Seafood processors lobby for permanent ban on new entrants

A group representing seafood buyers and processors in Nova Scotia is defending a new temporary provincial government moratorium that blocks new entrants into the shore side of the business.,, On the other side of the issue are lobster fishermen like James Brow of Havre Boucher, N.S., who sees the freeze as an attempt to stifle competition at the wharf as prices rise from lows of $3 a pound several years ago to over $7 today. >click here to read< 09:31

UPDATED: Tsunami warnings canceled – 7.9 earthquake in Gulf of Alaska, tsunami warnings issued for coast

An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.9 hit deep beneath the Gulf of Alaska early Tuesday, and a tsunami warning was issued for coastal areas from British Columbia to the Aleutians. As of 3 a.m. there were no reports of significant waves or damage. The quake was centered 181 miles southeast of Kodiak, according to the Alaska Earthquake Center. The quake was 6 miles deep, the center said. The magnitude was initially reported to be 8.2 but was later downgraded to 7.9. >click here to read< 07:24

Tsunami warnings canceled after magnitude-7.9 earthquake off Alaska – Forecasters canceled tsunami warnings for Alaska and the US and Canadian west coasts Tuesday after an earthquake in the Gulf of Alaska stoked fears of damaging waves. >click here to read< 08:30

Gulf of Maine lobster boom over as population starts to decline

The Gulf of Maine lobster population will shrink 40 to 62 percent over the next 30 years because of rising ocean temperatures, according to a new study released Monday. As the water temperature rises – the northwest Atlantic ocean is warming at three times the global average rate – the number of lobster eggs that survive their first year of life will decrease, and the number of small-bodied lobster predators that eat those that remain will increase. Those effects will cause the lobster population to fall through 2050, according to a study by scientists at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, University of Maine and National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration. >click here to read< 19:49 

Suit by animal protection groups follows deaths of 17 right whales in Canadian and U.S. waters last year

Conservation and animal-protection groups have sued the National Marine Fisheries Service in the United States, alleging it failed to protect right whales from entanglement in commercial fishing gear. The lawsuit, which was filed in federal court in Washington, D.C., late last week, alleges the federal management of the U.S. lobster fishery violates the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act. The lawsuit seeks to force the National Marine Fisheries Service to do a sufficient examination of the fishery’s impact on North Atlantic right whales and adopt additional measures to prevent entanglements. >click here to read< 18:55

Feeling the Heat in the NW Atlantic

Rising temperatures along the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean will force American lobsters (H. americanus) farther offshore and into more northern waters, according to a new study led by researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). Climate models project that bottom temperatures in the Atlantic along the U.S. East Coast may rise by up to 4.3 °C (7.7 °F) by the end of the century. “That’s a significant change, and lobsters are particularly sensitive to warming water temperatures,” says WHOI researcher Jennie Rheuban,, >click here to read< 15:30

FISH-NL calls on Federation of Labour to clarify FFAW’s fate

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is calling on the province’s Federation of Labour to clarify whether the FFAW can remain a member following the decision by Unifor, its national affiliate, to leave the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC). “Inshore harvesters are demanding to know the lay of the land with the local labour movement,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. >click here to read<11:06 

International Pacific Halibut Commission is Meeting in Portland, Oregon January 22-26, 2018

Hilton Portland & Executive Tower – The 2018 Navigating IPHC AM094 document now available. The deadline for Regulatory and Catch Limit proposals, and Stakeholder comment (23 December 2017) has now passed. Further comment may be provided in Session. All sessions are open to observers and the general public, unless the Commission specifically decides otherwise. All sessions will be available via webinar. Webinar attendees will be able to make comments and ask questions as noted on the schedule with other meeting attendees. Please register for the meeting on Eventbrite if you plan to attend in person. Please register for the webinar>click here< if you would like to attend the meeting via webinar. >click here to read info< 20:27

Impressive pearl found in Bay of Fundy scallop

When Karen McCavour started fishing for scallops with her husband four years ago, she had no idea the mollusks could produce pearls. But over those years she has developed a growing collection, and a nearly perfect pearl discovered just last week is now one of her most prized pieces. The scallop fishery opened on the Bay of Fundy early last Monday morning. Scallops have to be shucked while on board, and that’s what crew member Andrew Fowler was doing when he came across the large, round pearl. >click here to read< 10:39

P.E.I.’s Western Gulf fishermen excited about highest lobster numbers from survey

There will be more numbers presented at the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association’s annual meeting in Charlottetown next month, but Francis Morrissey just couldn’t wait that long to share a statistic from Lobster Fishing Area 24. Morrissey, president of the Western Gulf Fishermen’s Association, shared the result from a settlement survey conducted last summer during the group’s annual meeting in Alberton earlier this week. “It was the highest recruitment that was ever recorded any place in Canada or the United States,”,,, >click here to read< 09:10

Letter: Stop digging a graveyard for our fisheries

Our fishing industry in Newfoundland and Labrador is in shambles, and yet politicians and decision-makers are blind to the fish bones pilling up in the graveyard, and with it, our prime industry, economy and our communities. Either that, or they simply do not care or have a handle on this industry they are responsible for managing and growing. Are they aware or concerned about the rapid expansion of the Canadian factory freezer trawler operations off our coasts while our groundfishery recovery is stalled and shrimp and crab fisheries in decline? >click here to read< 11:05

Bidders hungry for part of Arctic surf clam fishery after decades-long monopoly

The competition for newly available Arctic surf clam quota off Cape Breton has three times more applicants than previously reported, which is a sign of the interest in a fishery that has been controlled by a single company for decades. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans says it is evaluating nine proposals vying for 8,924 tonnes of surf clams in 2018. Until this year, the surf clam fishery was held entirely by Clearwater Seafoods,,, >click here to read<10:37

Crustacean Elation! – N.S. brewery launching Lobster-flavoured beer

A Nova Scotia craft brewery has put together two East Coast favourites to brew up something new: lobster-infused beer. Saltbox Brewery in Mahone Bay is now fermenting its first batch of Crustacean Elation—a creation that involved the use of whole lobsters early in the brewing process. Spokesman Patrick Jardine said it was something they had been talking about for some time, and finally decided to give it a try. >click here to read, cheers!< 09:44

Science Pushed to Back Burner, as Swiss Outlaw Live Lobster Boiling

Some find it strange, while others, simply fascinating. And others still put it on their dinner menu because they’re drawn to its preparation in a macabre sort of way. But the government of Switzerland believes the practice of throwing a live lobster in a pot of boiling water is unnecessary, and most of all, cruel.,, And this heartfelt legislative decision – presumably not on humanitarian, but lobsterian, grounds – was made Jan. 10. In short, the Swiss simply feared that these tasty, sea creatures experienced agonizing pain during those final, heated moments of their lives. There’s only one problem with that: it’s impossible, since there’s no scientific evidence to support the position. >click here to read< 10:09

“Take a dip, make a difference,” – N.S. fisherman issues chilly challenge to raise money for families of fire victims

A southwest Nova Scotia fisherman has taken the ice bucket challenge and upped the ante to raise funds for victims of a horrific fire earlier this month in Pubnico Head, N.S. Instead of emptying a bucket of cold water over your head, Todd Newell’s challenge involves immersing your entire body in icy water. Specifically, numbingly cold water found in the lobster holding tank of his fishing boat, Ted’s Legacy. “Take a dip, make a difference,” says the West Head man. >click here to read< 08:57 

FISH-NL – Solidarity isn’t forever with FFAW/Unifor so much as when it suits them

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) says Unifor’s reasoning for its break from the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) is nothing short of ironic and hypocritical. “Unifor, the largest private-sector union in Canada, is splitting from the CLC over a disagreement about the rights of workers to choose what union should represent them, while one of its affiliate unions, the FFAW, has blocked the province’s inshore harvesters for 13 months from voting on their union fate,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. >click here to read< 14:41