Tag Archives: British Columbia

Shrimper Steve, the Spot Prawn King

Before the mid-2000s, when the first Spot Prawn Festival took place in Vancouver and The 100-Mile Diet was published, nearly all of B.C.’s spot prawns were sent overseas. The shellfish were brand new to most consumers, explains Steve Johansen, a fisherman with Organic Ocean who sold 100-Mile-Diet author J.B. MacKinnon his first spot prawns and launched the festival with Vancouver chef Rob Clark in 2007. “Even people who lived in B.C. all their lives didn’t know what a spot prawn was, and the other half of those people thought tiger prawns were from B.C., whereas they’re all raised in Southeast Asia.” Spot prawns are the largest of seven commercially harvested shrimp species in British Columbia. >click to read< 09:32

Opinion: The politically corrupt management of the wild salmon resource in Canada is a sinking ship

Salmon are forest creatures. When forest structures are in decline, creatures of the forest including wild salmon are in decline. When the forest is gone, wild salmon creatures of the forest are gone. When wild salmon are gone, creatures of the fishing industry are gone. When the fishing industry is gone, viability in coastal communities and dependent businesses are gone. When coastal viability structures are gone, coastal people are caught within a downward financial collapse. Younger people are forced to move from home-based coastal areas in search of viable employment. What happened?  by Tom Gray, >click to read< 09:25

Government of Canada takes action to address threats to struggling Fraser River Chinook

Today, (June 19, 2020) Fisheries and Oceans Canada is releasing 2020 Fisheries management measures that will support the recovery of at-risk Fraser River Chinook populations, as well as protect the jobs and communities that depend on Chinook. The 2020 measures include additional restrictions to strengthen conservation as well as the flexibility needed where impacts to stocks of concern will be very low. These measures were developed following consultation with Indigenous communities, recreational and commercial fishing organizations, and environmental organizations. These measures are one component of a larger strategy intended to place at-risk Pacific salmon populations on a path towards sustainability. >click to read< 11:49

Big Bar Landslide: 99% of early Stuart sockeye, 89% of early Fraser River chinook salmon runs were lost

The officials with Fisheries and Oceans Canada told a Commons committee that 99 per cent of early Stuart and 89 per cent of early chinook salmon were lost. Rebecca Reid, the department’s regional director for the Pacific region, said salmon survival improved later in the summer when work started to transport fish past the slide, helping them reach their spawning grounds. It’s believed the massive landslide north of Lillooet, B.C., occurred in late October or early November 2018, but it wasn’t discovered until last June after fish had already begun arriving. Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan told the committee the volume of the slide was equivalent to a building 33 storeys high by 17 storeys wide. >click to read< 13:06

Big Bar Landslide: Concern over delays, contract cost as salmon populations face possible extinction

The federal NDP critic for fisheries is calling for more oversight of the cleanup project at B.C.’s Big Bar landslide following news of tripling contract costs and worker safety concerns. Construction giant Peter Kiewit Sons’ contract to clear the slide from the Fraser River was awarded in December at $17.6 million, but has since been amended more than a dozen times and is now worth more than $52.5 million. Earlier this month, three rocks fell unexpectedly from a slope above where crews have been working. It happened overnight and no one was hurt, but WorkSafeBC is now investigating. The Big Bar landslide dumped 75,000 cubic metres of rock into the Fraser in a remote area north of Lillooet some time in late 2018, but it wasn’t reported until June 2019. The landslide completely blocked migration routes for several salmon runs,,, >click to read< 12:14

British Columbia: Steveston-based fisher says industry faces uncertain future amid Coronavirus

Some B.C. fishers may be forced out of the industry if they aren’t able to earn enough income this year, according to Steveston-based fisherman Justin Taylor. As domestic and foreign demand fell dramatically in the wake of COVID-19, processing plants, which fishers directly supply, haven’t been able to sell to the restaurants and hotels that normally make up the bulk of the seafood market. As a result, prices are uncertain, and lower. “This is going to be a survival year for me and my crew, for sure,” he said. “When you’re facing 40 to 50 per cent price reductions, you really don’t know after expenses if there’s going to be much money actually pocketed…There’s a real risk of not making any money.” >click to read< 22:08

Salmon cannon to help fish get around landslide on Fraser River

Plans are underway for a pneumatic fish pump, also known as a salmon cannon, to be used to help fish migrate past a landslide on British Columbia’s Fraser River, officials with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans said Monday. A fish ladder is under construction that will direct salmon to a holding pool where they’ll be pumped through a series of tubes suspended above the river, said Gwil Roberts, director of the department’s landslide response team.,, The slide was discovered in the remote canyon north of Lillooet last June. Huge pieces of rock from a 125-metre cliff had sheared off and crashed into the river, creating a five-metre waterfall. >click to read< 11:46

Coronavirus: DFO implements Emergency Electronic Monitoring (EM) Pilot Program to replace at-sea observers

In an April 14 fishery notice, DFO announced that the Emergency Electronic Monitoring (EM) Pilot Program was being implemented in the groundfish trawl fishery “effective immediately,” on the advice of the Groundfish Trawl Advisory Committee (GTAC). The EM pilot program will last for the duration of DFO’s April 2 Fishery Management Order suspending the at-sea observer requirement for 45 days to help protect the health of observers and fishers from the spread of the novel coronavirus.  “Comprehensive, independent catch monitoring is an essential component of the groundfish trawl fishery’s management regime,” Girdler said. “In the absence of at-sea observers, EM may fulfill this need for comprehensive, independent catch monitoring on an interim basis.” >click to read< 09:13

Nova Scotia: Cermaq abandons controversial fish farm expansion, could not find 15-20 sites needed

On Thursday, the Mitsubishi Corp. subsidiary said it could not find suitable locations for the 15 to 20 farm sites it needed to justify a move into the province. “Unfortunately, we were unable to locate enough sites at this time, and have made the decision to allow all of our options to lease to expire,” David Kiemele, managing director for Cermaq Canada,,, It also said it would not proceed without community support.The company said in the coming weeks it will wrap up the feasibility work and close its Guysborough office.,, Meanwhile, Cermaq competitor Cooke Aquaculture said Thursday it is proceeding with its plans to expand in Nova Scotia. >click to read< 13:08

Coronavirus: B.C. commercial fishery amid sectors fearing COVID-19 current market fallout

B.C.’s seafood sector, currently strike by a collapse in exports to Asia for the reason that of COVID-19 all through the new Lunar New Yr, is bracing for the probability of cafe and grocery retail outlet closures alongside the U.S. West Coast due to the fact of the pandemic. The worthwhile halibut fishery is due to open up March 20 in B.C. and that capture is “almost entirely marketed to white tablecloth dining establishments from Vancouver to San Diego down the I-5 corridor,” said Christina Burridge, executive director of the B.C. Seafood Alliance. more, >click to read< 10:03

 Crab, oyster exports to China down as coronavirus impacts trade – “My company is about 70% export,” said Ken Wiegardt of Wiegardt Brothers Inc., an oyster producer in Nahcotta that operates under the trade name Jolly Roger. The virus “has certainly taken a big chunk” out of his orders this year, he said. China is not accepting shipments of live food, including shellfish and crab. more, >click to read< 11:21

Big Bar Landslide blasting resumes, In-river drilling and excavation underway.

The huge remediation project is jointly managed by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the B.C. government and B.C. First Nations, who are guided by an Indigenous leadership panel. It involves equipment operators for excavators and rock trucks, drillers and blasters, rock scalers, emergency medical, river rescue and helicopter evaluation crews, environmental specialists and archeologists. “Blasting in waterways is not uncommon and the methods the contractor is using to drill and blast rock near and in-water are well understood,” the department said. more, >click to read< 12:02

B.C. Herring fisherman charged with tossing a ‘bear banger’ to disperse group of sea lions last year

Herring fisherman Allen Marsden is facing three counts under the Fisheries Act and Explosives Act for tossing a small, explosive device known as a “bear banger” from his boat toward the crowd of animals on March 4, 2019. Fishers and Oceans Canada (DFO) confirmed the charges Wednesday but declined to comment further.,,, “We’re not out there trying to kill the sea lions. We’re not out there looking for sea lions. We’d rather if they weren’t here,” said Marsden. Marsden added the explosive was needed to ensure the safety of fishermen. He said he’d personally been bitten in the past. Video, (I cheered!) >click to read< 17:50

MP Rachel Blaney: Trudeau government breaks promise to remove fish farms by 2025

She says they’re backpedalling on an election promise to remove British Columbia’s open net salmon farms in five years’ time. “Sadly, it doesn’t surprise me,” Blaney says. “I think about how many promises they’ve made to our region and not followed through and this seems like another one.” This is a trend she’s noticed again and again. “They say one thing and then they do another and people are left not knowing.,, DFO is still playing a dual role as “the protector of wild salmon,, “But, they’re also supposed to promote fish farming. >click to read< 11:32

Fish farms not worth damage they’ll do

I have lived in Tiverton my whole life. I am a lobster fisher. I am very concerned about the effect that fish pens proposed by Cermaq will have on St. Mary’s Bay. I have environmental, economic and community concerns. I have been told approximately 25 acres of prime lobster bottom is being taken away from us by each of these salmon pens. We don’t have a groundfish fishery anymore. Lobsters are what sustain our way of life. These pens are proposed to go where I have always caught the majority of my lobster, and that could displace me from my job, by Sheldon Dixon, >click to read< 11:10

Fishery Mismanagement?: Research suggests DFO worsened impact of salmon fishery crisis

Unifor has released a new report that says artificially low catch limits over the past 25 years pushed the West Coast salmon fishing industry to the brink, leaving it unable to cope with the 2019 crisis. “The federal government created a commercial fishing economy so precarious that when the salmon collapsed this year, the industry went with it,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Commercial salmon fishing may never recover.” >click to read< and to read A Report to Governments on the 2019 Salmon Season  >click here< 13:18

British Columbia: Commercial salmon sector braces for another tough year on coast

B.C. commercial salmon fishermen are waiting for pre-season forecasts due next month after 2019 delivered the lowest returns on record for prized Fraser River sockeye. Last year also brought in sweeping fishing restrictions for Fraser River chinook because of fears for their survival and for the endangered southern resident killer whales, which depend on that species as their main source of food. >click to read< 11:22

Federal Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan visits B.C. slide site, says it’s her ‘top priority’

Federal Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan visited the site of a massive landslide in British Columbia’s Fraser River ,, She says the disaster at Big Bar, northwest of Kamloops, is her top priority and has been a key issue for the government since it was discovered in June because it threatens crucial salmon runs.,, “We recognize how important it is to get this work done,” she says in an interview Saturday, >click to read< 10:30

Opponents call for closure of herring fishery in Strait of Georgia

A Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) management plan for herring recommends a 20 per cent harvest in the Strait of Georgia. Opponents say the harvest rate has contributed to a 60 per cent decline in the population size since 2016. The roe fishery is slated to open early March, pending approval of the Integrated Fisheries Management Plans from the director general of the Pacific Region. >click to read< 09:41

Resident orcas’ appetite likely reason for decline of big Chinook salmon

“We have two protected species, resident killer whales and Chinook salmon, and we are trying to increase abundances of both—yet they are interacting as predator and prey,” said lead author Jan Ohlberger, a research scientist at the UW School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences. “Killer whales don’t show a lot of interest in Chinook until they reach a certain size, and then they focus intensely on those individuals.”>click to read<  19:02

FurCanada open house will kickstart campaigns for a seal, sea lion and sea otter commercial fishery in British Columbia

The fur is set to fly in Nanaimo this weekend, with an open house to kickstart campaigns for a seal, sea lion and sea otter commercial fishery in British Columbia. FurCanada, a Vancouver Island company, hopes the event on Dec. 14, will raise awareness about the overpopulation of seal and sea lions which are decimating B.C.’s endangered and threatened chinook salmon stocks. Thomas Sewid, who is President of Pacific Balance Marine Management, which is the organization leading the development of the seal, sea lion and sea otter industry estimates that of the 27 million chinook smolts produced a year in the Salish Sea (wild and hatchery) the pinnipeds are consuming about 24 million of them. >click to read< 19:53

Halibut bycatch increases as council considers cod options

Data released preceding the International Pacific Halibut Commission’s upcoming interim meeting shows that almost all the regulatory areas of Alaska from Southeast to the Bering Sea — areas 2C through 4E, respectively — caught more halibut as bycatch in the 2019 season than they did in 2018, with the exception of area 4B, which covers the western Aleutian Islands. Coastwide, from California and British Columbia through the Bering Sea, bycatch increased by more than 1.5 million pounds,,, >click to read<   15:48

Dear editor: Government going overboard with Marine Protected Areas

The B.C. economy is set to lose hundreds of millions of dollars and few seem to be aware or care about this issue. The issue is the establishment of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). Few would argue that MPAs can be beneficial, even commercial fishermen.,,, These B.C. fishermen work on the principle of sustainable yield,,,An estimate of the loss to the northern shelf alone ( north of Port Hardy) is $100 million per year! by George Dennis,
Comox  >click to read< 15:20

B.C. seafood company pleads guilty to illegally importing fish into the U.S.

A British Columbia seafood seller has admitted to illegally importing into the U.S. thousands of pounds of fish that were deemed unsafe to eat.
Seven Seas Fish Company, a seafood wholesaler based in Richmond, B.C., and its owner, John Heras, pleaded guilty in court in Seattle, Wash., on Friday. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the fish — which had been purchased in Mexico — had previously been rejected from entering the United States during an inspection. >click to read< 09:35

Stewart Lamont, Tangier: Finally! Salmon feedlots fall victim to federal election

Events are developing quickly. The federal Liberals and the Greens have made a pre-election pledge in British Columbia to transition from open-net pen feedlot fish to on-land closed containment only, by 2025. This policy advisory, issued 16 short days before a federal election, changes absolutely everything. It came out of the blue, and both parties are to be heartily congratulated. You and I might ask why the same commitments are not being made here in Atlantic Canada. >click to read<  12:46

Federal Liberals treat East Coast fishery as ‘second class’; move to ban at-sea fish farms off BC, but not eastern Canada?

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) accuses the Liberal Party of Canada of talking out of both sides of its mouth for promising to phase out at-sea salmon farms in British Columbia while ignoring Eastern Canada. “The impact of open-pen aquaculture is the exact same on both coasts, with the same companies reportedly operating on both ends of the country, but the Liberal policy is strictly for the West Coast,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “How does that make sense? How is that fair? Do the Liberals consider the East Coast fishery a second-class industry?” >click to read<  14:41

Fisher Poets return to Steveston’s Gulf of Georgia Cannery

The call of the sea, the river and fishing all serve as the source of inspiration for the poets presenting at this weekend’s Fisher Poets at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery. On Saturday Sept. 28, current and retired members of the West Coast commercial fishing industry will share their poetry, prose and songs in the Gulf of Georgia Cannery’s Boiler House Theatre. >click to read<  12:19 The Fisher Poets Afternoon will run from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 28.

Celebrating 100 years of canning salmon

Greg Smith’s father always told him one thing: Whatever you do, don’t get into the fishing industry. Like any self-respecting teenager, Smith didn’t listen. He grew up slinging salmon alongside his father, who worked in fisheries up and down the west coast, and his grandfather, who ran the Kildonan fish processing plant. Now vice-president of business development for Gold Seal, a B.C. brand celebrating its 100th anniversary, Smith vividly remembers his youth working “the slime line” in B.C.’s canneries. >click to read<  09:56

Salmon collapse hitting workers hard

Don Sananin has loved the sea and fishing since he started in the industry as a 17-year-old.,,,But after more than 50 years working as a commercial fisherman, the Burnaby man hasn’t seen a salmon season as grim as this year’s. Sananin, 70, who holds a licence for the area that includes the Fraser River to the west coast of Vancouver Island, hasn’t been out on the water yet. “There hasn’t been an opening,” he said. “The sockeye is the worst it’s ever been since the 1890s.”,,, “The impacts are on fishermen, plant workers, net menders, and reduction plant workers, from Lax Kw’alaams [in northern B.C.] all the way down to White Rock and all the places in between.” >click to read<  17:21

Port Alberni fisherman found dead after getting caught in net remembered as ‘hardworking and honest’

Family members have identified a fisherman who died in the water off Port Alberni early Wednesday morning. The man who died was Son Ho and his daughter released this statement Wednesday afternoon. “My dad was an honest, hardworking and beautiful person who cared so much for those around him. He gave all he could to those around him and never asked for anything in return. He taught us how to be good people through his actions. We love him so much and we will miss him with all of our hearts.” >click to read<  19:46

B.C. confirms sockeye salmon have passed through Fraser River slide naturally

The British Columbia government says that for the first time, sockeye salmon are confirmed to have swum past the massive landslide on the Fraser River north of Lilooet. As of Friday, the province says nearly 18,000 salmon had swum past the slide on their own via the natural channel that’s being restored. Nearly 52,000 salmon, including sockeye, chinook and small numbers of pink and coho, have also been transported,,, >click to read< 18:12