Tag Archives: DFO

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

“You never know the mind of a squid” – The squid’s short lifespan makes it hard to study

Late this summer, squid showed up in abundance in many bays in the province, a sight not seen in several harbours, including Holyrood, for decades. Why have the squid finally come back?,,, The squid that come into Newfoundland and Labrador waters are called northern shortfin squid. While they’ve been seen in great numbers near beaches, squid don’t come here to spawn. In fact, according to Baker, there are no known spawning sites in all of Canada. “The female squid that we see here are actually immature and maturing,” >click to read<  08:09

Maine lobster group blames Canada for most right whale deaths, injuries. Perhaps its the data doing the blaming.

McCarron claims Maine lobstermen were pressured to reach an agreement to avoid “jeopardy” from a pending and separate NOAA review of right whale risk-reduction measures for the lobster fishery, a process known as a “biological opinion.” A NOAA spokesperson said a statement from the agency that will respond to the Maine Lobstermen’s Association concerns is expected Thursday.,,, Canadian and American environmentalists expressed disappointment,,, >click to read< 10:11

First Nations along Fraser River want sport fishing closed to save at risk species

So far this season, Guerin said Fisheries and Oceans Canada (known as DFO) limited Musqueam fishers to a few hundred chinook from the river, nowhere near enough to feed the nation’s 1,300 members let alone supply funerals and other community events like ceremonies and feasts. “I’ve got elders this year, this may be their last fish, and I can’t give it to them,” he said. “That hurts.”,,, Musqueam Chief Wayne Sparrow said they want to be part of the conservation efforts, but First Nations’ needs take priority over recreational fishing according to a 1990 Supreme Court ruling. That means the sport fishery should bear the brunt of any restrictions when there are concerns about the state of salmon populations. >click to read< 08:50

DFO closes part of Bay Fundy to fishing after right whale sightings

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans closed parts of the Bay of Fundy to fixed-gear fishing Thursday after several North Atlantic right whale sightings east off Grand Manan. The closure will be in effect until further notice, the DFO said in a news release. All fishing gear had to be removed from the area by Aug. 29 at 5 p.m. Closures are in place for at least 15 days after a right whale is spotted in a particular area. >click to read<  18:45

Ocean Choice International will not be prosecuted for illegal fishing charge

In court, OCI’s lawyer argued a technicality and on Thursday, Judge James Walsh dismissed a charge of illegal fishing against the company. The charge arose from an allegation that OCI fished for Greenland halibut in the so-called Northern Newfoundland Slope Conservation area between Feb. 4-10, 2018. In a September 2018 press release, OCI said court documents from both sides — the company and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans — verified the captain wasn’t aware of the newly designated conservation area off the northeast coast of the island. >click to read< 18:47

Limited fish passage through landslide obstruction on Fraser River

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans, the provincial government and local First Nations set up a team to lead the response to the slide near Big Bar, north of Lillooet, after it was discovered in late June. The team says in a news release Monday that fish counting data shows some chinook salmon have been able to swim past the slide using the channels the team has created with large rock manipulation and blasting. It says as of last Tuesday, a rough estimate of 6,700 salmon have passed through the slide on their own. >click to read<  11:19

‘They’re flat broke’: Salmon fishermen demand disaster relief for failed season

The Pacific Salmon Commission is forecasting a total return of only 447,000 sockeye salmon to the Fraser, one of the world’s richest salmon rivers, this year. “This is the lowest run size ever estimated since estimates began in 1893, and lower than the previous record for lowest run size of 858,000 observed in 2016,” its report read.,, “Many of them are in debt because they got the boat and gear ready for the season and they [invested] quite heavily in doing that. And then they put fuel in their boats and went to the fishing grounds and then caught nothing.” >click to read< 15:24

Seals are overfishing at unsustainable rates! Gulf of St. Lawrence cod extinction ‘highly probable,’

“At the current abundance of grey seals in this ecosystem, recovery of this cod population does not appear to be possible, and its extinction is highly probable,” the report says. DFO fish biologist Doug Swain said the cod population is now about five per cent of levels in the 1980s, and the downward spiral is accelerating despite a moratorium on a directed cod fishery in the Gulf since 2009. The problem is an “extremely high” and “unsustainable” death rate for cod five years or older. >click to read< 11:29

Fishermen’s groups seek candidates’ stance on Nova Scotia pulp effluent

In a joint statement released Monday, the coalition, representing the Gulf Nova Scotia Fleet Planning Board, Prince Edward Island Fishermen’s Association, Maritime Fishermen’s Union and Pictou Landing First Nation, says it will be seeking the position of all local federal election candidates on Northern Pulp’s proposed effluent pipeline. The coalition maintains the pipe would, on a daily basis, release between 65 and 87 million litres of effluent into the Northumberland Strait, “one of our most important commercial fishing areas.”,,, It points out the area falls under the Canadian Fisheries Act and is the jurisdiction of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. >click to read< 12:49

Government of Canada establishes Atlantic Seal Task Team

The sustainable management of Canadian fisheries is important to fish harvesters whose livelihoods are supported by the ocean. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) ensures that the best available science is considered when making management decisions for seals. However, DFO has continuously heard concerns by fish harvesters about the relationship between seals and fish populations. Listening to these concerns, DFO is taking action to address a concern that encompasses not only Newfoundland and Labrador, but all Atlantic Canada and Quebec coasts. >click to read<16:18

Ocean temperatures off N.S. dip after record breaking year, have moved back to normal

Following a season of record-breaking surface temperatures last year, ocean temperatures in the waters around Nova Scotia have moved back to normal this summer, says the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.,,, In 2018, DFO found winter sea surface temperatures from the Scotian Shelf to the Bay of Fundy were above normal. There were also record-breaking temperatures in August and September. However, DFO’s spring survey conducted in April 2019 differed from last year’s results. “First, the surface was really cold because we had a really cold winter. It takes time for the ocean to heat up,” Hebert said. “The deeper water seemed to be back to the normal temperature.” >click to read< 09:44

Ottawa stalls on restarting controversial contest for Arctic surf clam licence

The federal government has stalled on a plan to break one company’s monopoly on a lucrative Atlantic fishery by awarding part of the quota to an Indigenous group, after a disastrous attempt last year that led to an investigation by the federal ethics watchdog. Ottawa announced a year ago that it would choose a new licence holder for 25 per cent of the Arctic surf clam quota in the spring of 2019, to begin harvesting clams in January 2020. That has not happened, and the office of Fisheries Minister Jonathan Wilkinson now says there is no timeline on the process. >click to read< 14:02