Category Archives: Canada

First two days of capelin fishery around Twillingate proving successful

By noon on July 30 the wharf outside Notre Dame Seafoods plant in Twillingate had piled up with long liners, delivery trucks and forklifts. Since Sunday, July 29, the capelin fishery around the shores of Notre Dame Bay has proved to be a successful year for harvesters in the area. It’s a complete 180 from last year’s capelin fishery, which was met with scarce signs and unachieved quotas. For fisherman Nelson Rideout, his 35,000 pound daily quota was achieved with one shot of the fishing gear into the water early Monday morning, June 30. >click to read<13:13

2018 Victoria Classic Boat Festival highlights role of fishing boats of WWII

This year’s Victoria Classic Boat Festival (August 31 – September 2), looks back to the Second World War with WWII-era boats on display, a special floating exhibit, activities, and events surrounding the role of BC’s fishing vessels, yachts, and shipyards that played an important role on the “home front” of WWII. More than any other way the vessels from that period still afloat speak of the contribution they made to the war effort. They also tell the sad story of the hundreds of vessels swept up in the early war hysteria when the vessels owned by persons of Japanese descent were seized. The seiner Merry Chase, an example of such vessels on display at the 2018 Festival, started life under ownership of Canadians of Japanese descent. >click to read< The Maritime Museum of British Columbia, >click here<12:44

Four P.E.I. fishermen net fines for illegal practices, charged under the federal Fisheries Act

Several lobster fishermen reeled in hefty fines Thursday for illegal fishing practices. The biggest hit was delivered to Eric Leard MacKinnon, 53, of Murray River. He was fined $28,200 and suspended the first day of the 2019 lobster fishing season after pleading guilty to hauling in 82 undersized lobsters. MacKinnon said he was prepared to pay the fine in full right away. He was nabbed on May 30 at Machon’s Point wharf following a routine inspection by fisheries’ officers. MacKinnon, like three other lobster fishermen appearing in provincial court in Georgetown Thursday, was charged under the federal Fisheries Act. >click to read<11:37

“That turbine was put down there in bad faith.” – Cape Sharp Tidal owner files for bankruptcy in Ireland

A week after a massive tidal turbine was placed in the Minas Passage, its owners have filed for bankruptcy. Local contractors, marine service companies, motels, fishermen and other business people are owed an undetermined amount of money. OpenHydro owns 97 per cent of Cape Sharp Tidal, with the remaining three percent owned by Emera, Nova Scotia Power’s parent company.,, Fishermen claim they were told the turbine would not be installed at the Force site in the Minas Passage until the close of the lobster season at the end of July. “They used all these local resources, hired all these local business people, drove right over all that local lobster gear and they never intended to pay nobody,” said Darren Porter, spokesman for the Fundy United Federation, a fishermen’s organization. One contractor, who didn’t want his named used, estimated that OneHydro owes “tens of millions of dollars” to local companies. >click to read<22:11

UNCLOS – Bay du Nord oil could become 1st in world to see payments flow to UN’s International Seabed Authority

A deepwater oil project 500 kilometres from St. John’s could generate a rich stream of revenue for Newfoundland and Labrador and tax benefits for Ottawa — but it also could eventually see funds flow all the way to the United Nations. And that raises the question of who ultimately would foot the bill for those payments to the UN. The $6.8-billion Bay du Nord project, announced Thursday by the Newfoundland and Labrador government and the Norwegian oil company Equinor, is poised to become the first oil field to fall under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Canada signed on to UNCLOS in 2003. >click to read<11:56

N.L., Equinor announce $6.8B offshore deepwater oil project

Newfoundland and Labrador and Equinor Canada have announced an agreement to develop the Bay du Nord oil project — the first remote, deepwater project in the province’s offshore. The province is buying 10 per cent of the project, which should bring in $3.5 billion in government revenues and will cost $6.8 billion to develop. “Today marks the global recognition of Newfoundland and Labrador as a preferred location for deepwater production,” said Premier Dwight Ball Thursday morning.,, Ball was joined by Natural Resources Minister Siobhan Coady and Unni Fjaer, a vice-president with Equinor Canada — previously known as Statoil. >click to read<14:17

Whale News – Rare right whale last seen in Cape Cod Bay spotted in Iceland, Southern resident Orca calf dies soon after birth

A right whale last seen off Marshfield has turned up in Iceland. An Icelandic whale watch tour spotted the critically endangered mammal on Monday. Mogul, the 10-year-old male North Atlantic right whale, was last seen in Cape Cod Bay April 21. >click to readMogul the right whale’s appearance off Iceland puzzles scientist >click to read< Meanwhile, The first calf born in three years to the endangered orcas that spend time in Pacific Northwest waters died Tuesday – >click to read< Alexandra Morton Press release – Baby Orca death could be linked to salmon farm virus >click to readNOAA prioritizing West Coast Chinook salmon stocks for Southern Resident killer whale recovery >click to read<09:27

The lobster wars are over. We won

You may recall a few weeks ago when we discussed the coming Lobster Wars involving the United States, Canada and China. (There’s an odd combination for you.) The first component of the conflict has to do with the ongoing dispute between America and the Great White North over who actually owns the “gray area” surrounding the Bay of Fundy off the coast of Maine.,,, It’s the trade war aspect which was of more current interest because it would cut off some of the markets for American fishermen leading to an increase of supply domestically and a cut in demand. >click to read<15:41

Research vessel departs for study of ‘black hole’ of Hudson Bay

With an extensive refit complete, the William Kennedy will leave the port of Summerside, P.E.I., Wednesday to explore one of the most understudied regions of the Arctic — Hudson Bay. “Despite being Canada’s largest ocean watershed, the Hudson Bay is like a black hole in terms of scientific knowledge with large gaps in oceanographic and near shore studies,” Adrian Schimnowski, CEO of Arctic Research Foundation, one of the operators of the boat, said in a news release. William Kennedy is a converted deep-sea crab fishing vessel. The refit, which was done in Summerside, cost $2 million. >click to read<09:25

Cape Breton snow crab season short but lucrative

Glen Burns doesn’t bother kicking himself over it too much anymore. “I was never much of a gambler,” said Burns. “You won’t see me at the casino or down at the fire hall.” It was 2002, he had a one-year-old son and lobster gear he’d just taken over from his father. What the Margaree Harbour fisherman didn’t have was $120,000 to buy three crab traps worth of quota to add to the handful he’d taken over with his dad’s licence. And what neither he nor anyone else knew at the time was how valuable the crustacean would become to Cape Breton’s west coast. >click to read<

FISH-NL President Ryan Cleary: Dominic LeBlanc — goodbye and good riddance

I wish to respond to The Telegram’s July 20th editorial, “Sea Change in cabinet,” and reiterate my assertion that Dominic LeBlanc was the worst minister of Fisheries and Oceans in living memory. The Telegram may call that “hyberbole,” but allow me to rehash: • LeBlanc is under investigation by the federal Ethics Commission for expropriating a clam quota, a move that will cost jobs in N.L.• LeBlanc allowed offshore draggers back at the delicate south coast (fishing zone 3Ps) cod stock. • LeBlanc put indigenous groups/Bill Barry at the front of the line for future redfish quotas in the Gulf, ahead of struggling inshore harvesters,,, >click to read<13:35

Some advice for the new Fisheries and Oceans minister

I’d like to welcome Jonathan Wilkinson to his new post as Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. The fishery department, not the coast guard, he has inherited is a monstrosity of policy and regulations of which very little have to do with conservation of fish. It’s a department run amok with bureaucrats and lobbyists all juggling for control, while our inshore Newfoundland fishery, its fishing villages, its culture, is collapsing. Time for Canada to have a fisheries minister for Canada’s fish harvesters. U.S. President Donald Trump said it was time to drain the swamp and it is long overdue to drain the bureaucratic mess in fisheries and oceans. By inshore fisherman John Gillett >click to read<09:42

BP Canada restarts drilling off Nova Scotia after spill

BP Canada has been given the go-ahead to restart drilling at its offshore exploratory well, a month after a loose connection spilled thousands of litres of drilling mud in the ocean off the coast of Nova Scotia. ,,, The regulator said the spill of 136,000 litres of drilling mud on June 22 was caused by a loose connection in the mud booster line on board the West Aquarius rig, which is drilling about 330 kilometres southeast of Halifax. The regulator said BP Canada is improving its inspection procedures, installing a pressure alarm system and replacing a section of mud booster line to try to prevent another a failure in the future. >click to read<18:56

‘They are still using the ocean as a toilet’: NDP Fisheries critic proposes removing fish farms from oceans

The federal NDP critic for Fisheries and Oceans is proposing legislation that would overhaul fish farming by moving open-net fish farms from the ocean to land in an effort to stabilize and grow dwindling wild sockeye salmon numbers. “The impact to wild salmon has been a huge concern,” MP Fin Donnelly said to All Points West host Jason D’Souza. “I want to see healthy watersheds, healthy fish populations.” Reports have shown that wild sockeye salmon that come into contact with fish farms are more likely to be introduced to a number of problems, including parasitic sea lice — which attach themselves to the fish, weakening and sometimes killing them — and the piscine reovirus (PRV).  >click to read<15:06

Seaforth man who fell off fishing vessel remembered for his ‘irrepressible spirit’

A 58-year-old Seaforth, N.S., man who fell off a fishing boat late Thursday night, is being remembered for his dedication to saving wild animals and his “irrepressible spirit.” Reid Steward Patterson was swordfishing about 65 kilometres off the coast of Halifax when he fell into the water. An exhaustive search by air and sea lasted 23 hours, but searchers weren’t able to locate his body. On Friday night, Joint Task Force Atlantic handed the search over to the Halifax District RCMP. Patterson was instrumental in the growth of Hope for Wildlife, a refuge for wounded animals in Seaforth. He was also the founder, Hope Swinimer’s, partner. >click to read<11:49

Search for man who fell overboard southeast of Halifax handed over to RCMP – >click to read<

This strange, lobster-fueled border dispute off Maine has been simmering long before Trump

The conflict was recently cast into international focus after reports that U.S. Border Patrol agents were stopping Canadian fishermen in the area, causing a modest uproar in the Great White North. It was likely the first time many Americans had even heard of Machias Seal Island, if the story broke through at all. Once dubbed the “Coldest War,” the quiet dispute over the tiny, meadow-topped island and its surrounding waters has been simmering for more than two centuries, consisting of puffins, lobster, and a few legendarily provincial Mainers. And this dispute has been festering since the Revolutionary War. >click to read<09:47

Another dead sturgeon found as review of turbines threat remains in planning process

Another dead sturgeon has been found downstream of the Annapolis Tidal Turbine. Meanwhile a promised review of whether the 20 megawatt turbine kills fish at population levels by the Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat remains in the planning process. “The terms of reference for the review have been drafted,” said Debbie Buott-Matheson, spokeswoman for Fisheries and Oceans Canada, in a written response. “We have not yet set a date for a CSAS peer review meeting, but it is considered a priority going forward.” That review was announced in January after a series of stories in the Chronicle Herald detailing how the turbine, which opened in a causeway crossing the Annapolis River in 1982, was never granted an exemption under the Fisheries Act to kill fish. >click to read<18:58

Bay of Fundy: Right whales trigger fishing area closure, gear must be removed from Grand Manan Basin by 6 p.m. Sunday

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has announced more fishing closures in the Atlantic region due to the presence of right whales. DFO said two right whales were spotted in the Grand Manan Basin — critical habitat area in the Bay of Fundy. The area will be closed to fishing beginning Sunday at 6 p.m. until further notice. All gear must be removed from the closed area before that time. The fisheries affected include groundfish species, herring, mackerel and lobster, DFO said. >click to read<15:05

Moving salmon farms on land vital

You may have heard that the federal government has a new minister of Fisheries, Oceans and Canadian Coast Guard. Unlike his predecessor from the east, Jonathan Wilkinson is a West Coast man. Also unlike his predecessor, he will understand what the wild salmon mean to all of us on the B.C. coast. From Indigenous communities to whom the salmon have given physical and spiritual sustenance for millennia, to tourist and commercial fishing, and all of us who want to eat wild salmon that is unadulterated from chemicals; to bears and marine animals who depend on the wild runs, and the forests who are fed by salmon carcasses, the wild salmon is part of who we all are. by Paula Foot >click to read<12:00

The Pacific Balance Pinnipeds Society – New group calls for seal and sea lion cull on B.C.’s coast

Members of the Tsawwassen First Nation are teaming up with commercial and sport-fishers on B.C.’s coast to call on the new federal fisheries minister to allow a West Coast seal and sea lion harvest. The group, called the Pacific Balance Pinnipeds Society, says that growing populations of seals and sea lions endangers future salmon populations. “If we want to see salmon around for our next generations, we have to go out there and bring that balance to the animal kingdom,” said Thomas Sewid, the director of the newly established society. “To go out, harvest those seals, utilize the whole carcass so the meats are going to markets in Europe and China, the fat is being rendered down for the omega 3s.” >click to read<09:00

Controversial arctic surf clam decision stays as new federal Fisheries Minister outlines his vision for DFO

A controversial arctic surf clam decision will not be revisited under new federal Fisheries Minister Jonathan Wilkinson. Wilkinson became the head of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) on July 18, being shuffled into cabinet by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Previous to his cabinet appointment, Wilkinson was parliamentary secretary to Environment Minister Catherine McKenna. His area of focus was how to save caribou herds across the country. Wilkinson says there’s no need to view the environment and the economy as two different things. >click to read<

U.S. Coast Guard investigates fishing vessel for knowingly discharging oil in Canadian waters

Investigators from Coast Guard Sector Anchorage and Marine Safety Detachment Dutch Harbor, and Coast Guard Investigative Service agents are investigating the fishing vessel Mark I for knowingly discharging oil overboard in Canadian waters. A Transport Canada aircrew detected the Mark I transiting through the Canadian exclusive economic zone 97-miles off of Cape St. James, British Columbia, with an approximate 26-mile oil sheen trailing behind, July 7. (photo credit vesselfinder.com)>click to read<11:12

Fishermen’s group grateful DFO lays charge stemming from lobster raid

A fishermen’s association is pleased to see the Department of Fisheries and Oceans lay a charge against the owner of lobster pound in southwest Nova Scotia who is accused of selling lobster caught under an Aboriginal communal fishing licence. Colin Sproul, vice-president of the Bay of Fundy Inshore Fishermen’s Association, said he’s grateful DFO is taking action this summer. “Last summer, there were an incredible amount of lobsters poached in southwest Nova Scotia,” Sproul said on Thursday. “They weren’t First Nations people poaching these lobsters. They were just being poached by poachers under the guise of the FSC [food, social and ceremonial] and sold. >click to read<10:28

Testing ropeless fishing gear

A test of ropeless fishing gear could protect the livelihoods of lobster fishermen and lives of North Atlantic right whales. Industry is totally against this, Lobsterman David Casoni announced from his Margaret M fishing boat tied up at the dock of the Sandwich Marina, Gear manufacturer Marco Flagg had stepped aboard holding his cylinder attached to a mesh bag filled with rope and floats. But, Casoni said, the states 1200 commercial lobstermen could be interested in the equipment under certain conditions. >click to read<08:54

Not including our seal products in the E.U. agreement is another nail in the coffin of the N.L. fishery

This is in response to a letter published in the Telegram June 30 by Premier Dwight Ball titled “PC’s ill-informed on Trade Matters,” where he states “I am amazed that the PC Finance critic, Keith Hutchings, is so ill-informed on a trade related matter.” It’s like the pot calling the kettle black. This letter is not to defend MHA Hutchings and the PC’s — they are quite capable of defending themselves — but to point out the lack willingness of this premier to negotiate in good faith for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. >click to read<14:51

North Vancouver MP Jonathan Wilkinson appointed minister of fisheries, oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard

The last seven federal fisheries ministers have represented ridings in Atlantic Canada and one of them, Gail Shea, was appointed twice. But today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed a B.C. MP, Jonathan Wilkinson, to take over this portfolio from Dominic LeBlanc. Wilkinson was first elected in 2015 to represent North Vancouver in Parliament. The last B.C. fisheries minister was Herb Dhaliwal, who held this position from 1999 to 2002. He was preceded by another B.C. MP, David Anderson, who was fisheries minister from 1997 to 1999. Wilkinson is also the minister responsible for the Canadian Coast Guard. >click to read<18:51

DFO closes more fishing zones after right whale sighting

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has closed portions of four fishery grids after right whales were spotted in the area. The affected grids are in the extreme south of the speed reduction zone and will begin at 10 a.m. on Friday. The closure marks the 20th fishery closure this year related to the North Atlantic right whale. No right whales have been found dead in Canadian waters since last year but a right whale was spotted last week off Miscou Island partially entangled. It has not been spotted since. >click to read<18:33

Lucrative seaweed pits Canadian company against Maine homeowners in court battle

Cheryl Sawtelle grabs her binoculars – one of three pairs scattered on her living room couch – and peers at the water below her house on Cobscook Bay. “Look, they’re out there again,” she says. “We’ve lost. I’m telling you, it’s too late.” The objects of her distress are two wide skiffs, practically motionless on the buttery surface. In the boats, Kenny Sulkowski and Eric Newell are sweating as they tug at 10-foot rakes to cut and pull heavy seaweed aboard. They clamber atop a growing mound of the rubbery green weed as they work. To Sawtelle, the presence of the men is a dire sign that landowners along the nation’s most northeastern coastline are losing their battle over who owns the seaweed. It’s a peculiarly Maine battle. >click to read<15:05

Harvey Jarvis – Ignore cod sentinel data at our peril

Twenty-three years ago, I helped lead a team that designed and implemented the cod sentinel inshore survey on Northern Cod (Southern Avalon, North East Coast and Labrador). The status of Northern Cod has been much in the news lately and the decision, by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), to cut the commercial quota has been met with some stiff opposition from the FFAW-Unifor. This prompted me to do a little investigating to see what cod sentinel is telling us about Northern Cod. Based on a review of cod sentinel information, by opposing the 2018 quota reduction by DFO, I can only conclude that the FFAW-Unifor and the Groundfish Industry Development Council (GIDC) appear to be ignoring the last five years of sentinel data. According to information that I have been able to piece together, cod sentinel results are as follows: >click to read<09:03

Aggressive Crabs From Nova Scotia Migrating to Maine Waters

If you thought the green crabs in Maine were bad, wait until you meet the ones from Nova Scotia. A more aggressive form of the invasive species has been migrating south and is living in Maine waters. The Canadian crabs could make the green crab problem in New England even worse. “They don’t really belong in the Ecosystem here,” said Professor Markus Frederich, who teaches marine science at the University of New England. “They don’t have enough predators, therefore they come in large numbers, and they are amazingly resilient from all kinds of stressors.” >click to read<19:12