Tag Archives: DFO

P.E.I.’s fall lobster fishermen raise concerns about ghost fishing

A fisheries officer attending the annual meeting of the Prince County Fishermen’s Association said the amount of lost or abandoned lobster gear retrieved from the Northumberland Strait lobster grounds after the fall season ended was “extremely high  said fisheries officer Anthony Cheverie. Cheverie said gear was retrieved throughout Lobster Fishing Area 25 (LFA 25), which takes in fishermen from P.E.I., New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Laura Ramsay, with the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association, said fishermen are concerned about the amount of lost gear and agreed Canadian regulations “make it hard for fishermen to help go clean up that gear”. Gear Innovation Summit planned for Feb. 11, 12,  >click to read< 10:20

Canada’s high-stakes herring fishery gamble

This year, in response to an expected low herring return in the Strait of Georgia, Fisheries and Oceans drafted a plan to keep the harvest level at 20 per cent, the same level as when herring are abundant. Evidence over the past couple of years shows herring populations have fallen rapidly due to natural variation, which means precaution is required. The current assessment suggests there’s a one-in-four chance the stock will fall below the point when no fishing is permitted. Leading fisheries management agencies around the world have implemented rules for these types of scenarios to rein in the risk. Beginning this year, Fisheries and Oceans Canada must strive to do the same. >click to read< 15:50

Proposed Fisheries Regulation Amendments Target Fish Processors & Buyers

The Fall 2019 re-election of the Liberal government means the proposed amendments to federal fisheries regulations remain a concern for industry participants.,, However, the government has, to date, not implemented the amendments. The proposed amendments target arrangements that transfer license rights and privileges from license holders to third parties. In the Statement, the Minister notes the perceived narrowness of the definition of “Controlling Agreement”,, McInnes Cooper has prepared this document for information only,, >click to read< 12:27

Canada imposing mandatory gear marking for lobster, and crab fisheries in 2020

Specially coloured rope will become mandatory with the start of the season in every lobster and crab fishery in Eastern Canada. The rope must identify the region, species being fished and individual fishing area. The requirement is also intended to maintain access to the United States seafood market by demonstrating Canada has rules comparable to those in place for American fishermen. >click to read< 07:20

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

DFO says south coast cod numbers down – ‘This new assessment model is overly pessimistic,’ Atlantic Groundfish Council

Cod stocks are at critical levels off the south coast of Newfoundland and Labrador, according to the new model used by the Department of Fisheries and Ocean,, Even if there was no fishing permitted in the area this coming season, the stock is predicted to decline further. DFO says the natural mortality of the fish caused by predators and changes to the environment is around three times that of fishing mortality.,, But at least two organizations are slamming the new way DFO compiles its data. >click to read< 18:54

 Cod stock in Area 3Ps off southern Newfoundland in ‘critical zone’ until at least 2022 – New model used to determine cod biomass questioned by industry, union. There are fewer cod in the 3Ps area off southern Newfoundland than ever recorded, according to new data released Wednesday by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO).  >click to read< 21:45

Skipper Michael Joyce says fish littering the shore indicates stocks higher than expected

A Lark Harbour fisherman says it’s frustrating to see thousands of mackerel wash up dead on local shores, while fishermen were not permitted to catch any of the fish last season.,,, Andrew Smith, a stock assessment biologist for Atlantic mackerel with DFO, says the input of harvesters is an important part of studying fish stocks, but he said the scientific data doesn’t support the idea that stocks are higher than estimated. >click to read< 10:29

“There are a lot more boats coming and bigger boats,” Tensions rise after suspected sabotage of Eskasoni fishing boat

The RCMP are investigating the apparent act of sabotage at the St. Peter’s Canal and have copies of recordings from video cameras there. The Eskasoni fishermen were catching lobster under the banner of a moderate livelihood fishery. While the right was acknowledged by the Supreme Court of Canada in its 1999 Marshall Decision, Fisheries and Oceans Canada has yet to reach an agreement with the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs on how to implement it. Meanwhile, tensions rise as First Nations fishermen on the Northumberland Strait, Cape Breton, Eastern Shore and South Shore have started to fish outside of the normal commercial seasons. >click to read< 07:44

Eskasoni lobster fisherman ‘saddened’ after boat vandalized

Sceven (Seki) Anthony Bernard said he and other crew members of the April and Brothers found the 10-metre vessel underwater on Boxing Day. “I started noticing that the boat was sabotaged,” Bernard said in a phone interview Saturday, adding that he spotted lines that had been untied or cut. A crane arrived the next day to hoist the boat from the water. Bernard said RCMP, the Canadian Coast Guard and DFO were also on scene. >click to read< 07:25

B.C. fish farm fire may have allowed non-native salmon to escape

A Vancouver Island fish farm company says it’s still trying to determine whether any farmed Atlantic salmon escaped into B.C. waters after a fire damaged one of their pens. There were 21,000 Atlantic salmon in the pen when it was damaged on Dec. 20, according to Mowi, the company that operates the fish farm near Port Hardy on Vancouver Island. >click to read< 12:09

Energy conglomerate spent $14.5M to bury subsea cables as result of unexpected redfish population boom!

It’s a fish story no one saw coming, at least not Halifax-based energy conglomerate Emera. The parent company of Nova Scotia Power disclosed this week to the Utility and Review Board that it spent almost $14,492,000 this summer to bury its Maritime Link cables lying on the floor of the Cabot Strait between Newfoundland and Cape Breton. The cables were protected because an unprecedented explosion in the redfish population in the Gulf of St Lawrence is about to trigger a corresponding boom in bottom trawling in the area. >click to read< 10:09

Two parts: 20 years ago the Supreme Court ruled on Mi’kmaq fishing rights, so what has changed?

Early on a warm morning in mid-August, Marilyn-Leigh Francis eyes the Coast Guard boat at the wharf in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. Word around the wharf is that the DFO officers will be hauling up any lobster traps that aren’t tagged for the Mi’kmaw food fishery season that’s underway. For the last four years, Francis has harvested lobster, outside of the rules set by the DFO. No licence. No tags. She writes her name and Treaty 1752 on her buoys. Francis walks up to one of the DFO officers, introduces herself, and asks, “I was just wondering if you guys were seizing gear today?” The officer says he doesn’t know. But for the rest of summer and into the early fall, the DFO was busy seizing traps. 2 Videos, click to read and watch, >Part 1<, and >Part 2< 12:07

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

Some B.C. salmon runs face ‘meaningful chance of extinction’ after landslide

The landslide prompted officials at multiple levels of government to organize a rescue mission that saw thousands of salmon, which are very vulnerable to stress, lifted by helicopter across the rocks that blocked their migration route. But despite that effort, prospects are dismal for the salmon in the upper reaches of the river, according to Dean Werk, president of the Fraser Valley Salmon Society. “We’re talking about virtually a collapse — a total collapse — of the salmon stocks above the Big Bar slide,” ,,, >click to read< 12:10

Weather delays opening day of lobster season in southwest N.S.

Rather than heading out to sea to set their gear on Monday, Nov. 25, strong winds have kept fishermen ashore an extra day. A decision was made during industry conference calls on Monday morning to go with a Tuesday, Nov. 26 opening. Rather than leaving the wharves at the normal 6 a.m. time in LFA 34 (in southwestern Nova Scotia) the decision was to push the start back to 7 a.m. LFA 33, which stretches along the province’s South Shore, will also have a 7 a.m. start on Tuesday. >click to read< 10:57

Former fish-plant owners lose lawsuit, Daley Brothers’ plant was burned down in a riot by fishermen

On May 2, 2003, arson destroyed Les Fruits de Mer Shippagan Ltée, along with some traps for snow crab fishing, a warehouse, and a crab processing plant. Three Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada boats, on loan to Elsipogtog First Nation, as well as another boat, also burned up that day.,, Hundreds of angry fishermen from the Acadian Peninsula were involved in the riots, which began as a protest against the federal government’s move to reduce their crab quotas to recognize the First Nations’ right to live off fishing., >click to read<  07:56

Senator Warren wants proof Canada is doing as much as the U.S. to protect right whales

Canada is defending measures it has taken to protect critically endangered North Atlantic right whales, as political pressure and blame mounts from the United States in the wake of a rash of whale deaths in Canadian waters in 2019. “We’re very confident that our measures are world-class in nature and stand up extremely well to those in the United States,” said Adam Burns, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ director of resource management. Burns was responding to the latest salvo from Massachusetts senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, who are threatening a ban of some Atlantic Canadian seafood products. >click to read< 19:08

Tensions running high on the water over First Nations lobster fishery

Strong westerly winds kept the four Cape Islanders behind the Pictou Landing wharf’s breakwater on Tuesday. “We’re not trying to hide anything,” said Zack Nicholas, who owns one of the boats. “DFO can watch us coming and going from their office.” The commercial season for lobster fishing on the Northumberland Shore runs through May and June.Twenty years after the Supreme Court of Canada acknowledged the Mi’kmaq have a treaty right to make a “moderate livelihood” from natural resources, negotiations drag on,,, >click to read<  12:23

Canada: Government conflict of interest a threat to fish biodiversity: scientists

Canada has made disappointingly little progress in preserving the variety of life in its oceans largely because of a contradiction in the federal department that’s supposed to protect it, says a group of senior scientists. “The (Department of Fisheries and Oceans) is charged with conflicting responsibilities,” said Jeff Hutchings, a marine biologist at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia. “On the one hand, they’re there to protect and conserve. On the other hand, they are charged with the responsibility of exploiting fish stocks.” >click to read< 08:40

Scientists breathe easier as west coast ocean heat wave weakens

Nate Mantua of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said the “good news” is that the area of exceptionally warm water is substantially smaller now than it was earlier this year. And while the area about 1,500 kilometres offshore between Hawaii and Alaska is still seeing high temperatures by historical standards, it is “simply not nearly as large as it was and it is no longer strong in areas near the west coast,” he said. Scientists have been watching a marine heat wave that developed around June this year,,, >click to read< 15:01

‘Find some good solutions’: governments, experts, fishermen prepare for 2020 right whale regulations

An annual roundtable meeting held by officials with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans has wrapped up after discussing how to deal with the declining North Atlantic right whale population. The subject has become controversial after at least nine confirmed deaths in 2019, with several preliminary findings indicating vessel strikes were the cause. Some of the deaths came despite the Canadian government cracking down tighter on fisheries closures and speed restrictions, but the impact on the fishing industry is part of what makes regulations such a controversial topic. >click to read<  08:43

Canada-U.S. tensions expected to be big topic at right whale meeting Thursday

Canadian-U.S. trade relations and tensions around fishing regulations are expected to be top of mind Thursday at a discussion about North Atlantic right whales. Dozens of people from the fishing industry and conservation groups are in Moncton to meet with officials from Fisheries and Oceans Canada. ,, Hanging over Thursday’s meeting is the threat that in 2021, the U.S. could ban Canadian seafood imports if officials here don’t put in place equivalent protection for marine mammals.,, After six whale deaths had been reported by Canada by early July, NOAA Fisheries Assistant Administrator Chris Oliver requested an emergency meeting with Fisheries and Oceans and Transport Canada, urging immediate action. >click to read<  19:09

Past, present collide as harbour authority works to revitalize Steveston’s fishing industry

The golden era of Steveston as a fishing village may be over, but that doesn’t mean the trawling industry is a relic of the past. Steveston Harbour is by far the largest small-craft harbour in the county, home to more than 44 per cent of the buildings in the entire national harbour program. Since 2009, Fisheries and Oceans Canada has invested about $23.5 million into the harbour, with additional funding from the province. Now, plans are well underway to make it the commercial fishing hub of B.C., said Robert Kiesman, chair of the Steveston Harbour Authority (SHA). >click to read< 09:15

Nova Scotia lobsters still in sweet spot despite climate change

Canadian scientists have attempted to predict the impact of a warming ocean caused by climate change on the lucrative Nova Scotia and New Brunswick lobster fishery on the Scotian Shelf. In most areas, lobster habitat in the offshore is expected to remain suitable or improve over the next few decades, according to a study published in the journal Frontiers of Marine Science. Offshore is defined as beyond 19 kilometres from land. “Some of the climate projections suggest that it may not have a big impact over the next number of years on adult lobsters,” >click to read<  08:49

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

Fishing industry welcomes move, Emera forced to bury a third of Maritime Link’s submarine cable

Halifax-based energy conglomerate Emera buried 59 kilometres of electrical cables beneath the ocean floor between Nova Scotia and Newfoundland this past summer to protect the Maritime Link from “substantially increased” bottom fishing the company did not see coming. Completed in 2017, the $1.5-billion Maritime Link was built to carry electricity generated from the Muskrat Falls hydro project in Labrador into Nova Scotia and on to New England. The company is responding to an unforeseen explosion in the population of redfish in the Gulf of St. Lawrence,,, >click to read< 10:48

Seafood society suspends its own MSC certification over lack of stock assessment

Canadian Pacific Sustainable Seafood Society has announced the “self-suspension” of the MSC certification for B.C. wild salmon, over concerns that the proper stock assessments required to maintain MSC verification are not being done. The society fears it will lose its MSC certification anyway, since it feels DFO is failing to do the science and monitoring required to maintain the certification, so it is voluntarily suspending it for B.C. sockeye, pink and chum salmon. It may be a moot point this year, since there are no wild salmon being caught this year for consumers to buy. >click to read< 20:12

PEIFA joins MFU in seeking mid-summer lobster-fishing ban

“After 20 years of lobster research from the government of Canada and our science affiliate, Homarus, we understand just how important the mid-summer (July 7 – Aug. 7) is for the hatching and development of lobster larvae into juvenile lobsters,” MFU executive director, Martin Mallet said. ”Any fishing activity during this time has an extremely negative effect on several key biological processes for lobster, including moulting, extrusion of new eggs and hatching of eggs that are in the final stages of development.” >click to read<  08:54

Critics say federal government is wiping out commercial pink salmon fisheries

In emails obtained by the BC Wildlife Federation, British Columbia government staff and scientists say Fisheries and Oceans Canada is burying science and misrepresenting a crisis situation to the public, risking extinction of Thompson-Chilcotin steelhead trout. In the fall of 2017, only an estimated 150 Thompson fish returned alongside just 77 to the Chilcotin down from thousands just a decade and a half ago. The email chain shows the DFO changed the wording of a public scientific document that is based on peer reviewed science. >click to read<  18:40

Listuguj Mi’kmaq plan to sell lobster without commercial licence from DFO, Ottawa monitoring situation closely

The Listuguj Mi’kmaq government says Fisheries and Oceans Canada refused to grant the First Nation a commercial licence for the fall lobster fishery in the arm of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, located between New Brunswick and Quebec.,,, members took to the waters Monday without a commercial licence and will be “regulated by the community’s own law and fishing plan,” according to a statement. The Listuguj Mi’kmaq government, which signed a Framework Agreement on Reconciliation and the Fisheries with Ottawa last November, remains committed to negotiating a long-term arrangement, said Chief Darcy Gray. “But we cannot be made to wait indefinitely,,, >click to read<  20:03