Tag Archives: DFO

Labrador fleet wants separate quota for northern cod – FFAW and FISH-NL do not support

Fishers from the 2J fleets partnered with the Labrador Fishermen’s Union Shrimp Company to make the proposal. In 2018, a 9,500-tonne limit was placed on the northern cod stewardship fishery for fishing zones 2J3KL.,,, Dwight Russell, a Mary’s Harbour fisherman, is chair of the 2J fishers. He told The Northern Pen the fleet is just looking for a fair share.,, Russell says he doesn’t believe the 2J cod fishing fleet, historically, has been given much opportunity to grow. He says if they could get a higher share of the total Northern cod quota, it would allow the industry to grow in the region. >click to read>08:34

Conservationists raise alarm over wild fish killed inside B.C. salmon farms

A conservation charity said it’s concerned by what it calls a “growing trend” of wild fish killed by the salmon farming industry on British Columbia’s coast. Stan Proboszcz,  Watershed Watch Salmon Society, said nine times as many wild fish were reported inside open-net pen farms in 2017 compared with 2011.,,  The society estimates that about 13.2 million wild fish may be held in B.C.’s 65 salmon farms at any given time, and an additional 653 tonnes of wild fish may be hanging around outside the farms because they’re attracted by things like food and lights.,,, “The farms are known to be amplifiers of pathogens, parasites and viruses. Are these things being spread to wild fish?” >click to read<20:47

“Wolverine” – Initial assessment did not reveal evidence of vessel strikes or fishing gear entanglement

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans says the death of a North Atlantic right whale in the Gulf of St. Lawrence does not appear to be the result of a recent vessel strike or entanglement in fishing gear. A necropsy was conducted Friday on the shores of Miscou Island in New Brunswick, and the government said the initial assessment was inconclusive. The nine-year-old male known as “Wolverine” was towed there after his carcass was discovered in the Gulf on Tuesday. >click to read<10:16

First Nation in New Brunswick demands DFO allow access to crab fishery

The chief of the Eel Ground First Nation in northeastern New Brunswick is calling on the federal government to honour treaty rights and allow access to the snow crab fishery. Chief George Ginnish says the community, also known as Natoaganeg, has been waiting for 20 years to exercise their rights. He says the band council authorized a treaty fishery for snow crab, but the Department of Fisheries and Oceans has seized their traps.,, AFN Regional Chief Roger Augustine said the DFO has seized 31 snow crab pots so far. He’s asking Fisheries and Oceans Minister Jonathan Wilkinson step in,,, “It is disturbing to me and does not make sense that a First Nation would be given a licence but no quotas,” Augustine said. >click to read<22:54

Dead right whale had survived ship strike, entanglements, is first death in Canadian waters in 2019

The dead north Atlantic right whale drifting off Quebec’s Gaspé coast had a history of entanglements and was struck by a ship, said officials with the New England Aquarium. The young whale was sighted Tuesday during an aerial surveillance flight by researchers from the U.S.-based National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It’s first dead whale in Canadian waters in 2019.,,, On Wednesday, all efforts were deployed to locate the whale’s body, with planes flying over the Gulf of Saint Lawrence all day. >click to read<10:12

Fishing licences and quota on the West Coast are murky business

Being a commercial fish harvester is tough work. There are long hours, unpredictable seas and demanding physical conditions, not to mention the experience it takes to know where to drop the traps or cast a net..,, In the West Coast fisheries, a single licence may be exchanged for tens of thousands of dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars, and quota transactions are worth tens of millions of dollars annually. However, the market for licences and quota is not transparent or tightly regulated.,,, As licences and quota concentrate in fewer hands they become out of reach for active harvesters. In turn, the socioeconomic fabric of Indigenous and coastal communities stretches and strains. A recent study by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans comes to similar conclusions. >click to read<16:31

Analysis of Commercial Fishing Licence, and Quota Values  – As at December 31, 2016 Prepared for Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Pacific Region >click to read<

Eastern Shore residents, fishermen opposed to designation of Marine Protected Area

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans is considering implementing higher protections on 2,000 square kilometres off the coast of Nova Scotia.
But not all people who live and work in the communities affected are keen on the project, which would stretch from Clam Harbour to Barren Island. “In a country that has very poor laws and regulations protecting their waters, it may have some benefit, but not in Canada, we’re already protected,” says Tim Kaiser, a homeowner and member of the Eastern Shore Fisherman’s Protection Association. >click to read<13:20

Atlantic Canada mackerel quota cut by 20 per cent – Move will reduce a key source of bait

Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans is cutting the Atlantic mackerel quota by 20 per cent in 2019, after a recent assessment concluded the stock remains in the “critical zone.” The quota cut will reduce a key source of bait in the region’s lucrative lobster fishery. In a notice sent to industry, the department said the region-wide total allowable catch will drop from 10,000 tonnes to 8,000 tonnes. >click to read<12:20

FISH-NL against proposals to grant Labrador harvesters 25% of northern cod quota; calls on FFAW-Unifor to reveal its stand

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is against proposals that could see 25 per cent of the northern cod quota allocated to harvesters from Labrador and processed there. “No one group or organization should be entitled to a percentage of the overall total allowable catch,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “The inshore harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador as a whole must be the principle beneficiary of adjacent fish stocks.” >click to read<11:14

Salmon researchers seek funds for expanded expedition in 2020

Organizer Richard Beamish, emeritus scientist at Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Pacific Biological Station in Nanaimo, is seeking $1.5 million from governments, the private sector and non-profit organizations — the same groups that funded his 2019 expedition. Next year’s survey would again be supported by the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission, an international organization based in Vancouver. The 2019 expedition was a signature project of the International Year of the Salmon program, which is backed by the Anadromous Fish Commission, as well as the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization and other partners. >click to read<20:27

Redfish rebound in Gulf of St. Lawrence show no signs of slowdown

Redfish biomass surged by 20 per cent last year and is now estimated at a staggering three million tonnes, according to Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans. “The biomass that we’re seeing right now is something that we have never seen before,” said DFO biologist Caroline Senay of the redfish, also known as ocean perch. The massive population is primarily made of of fish live born — not hatched from eggs — from 2011, 2012 and 2013. The region’s fishing industry has been licking its chops for several years over the prospect of a redfish bonanza.,,,  Eating down northern shrimp. But the sheer size of the population is likely affecting other species. >click to read<12:15

Harvesters Call for Better Consultation as Grieg Aquaculture Plans Expansion to Additional Sites

Fish harvesters are concerned about plans by Grieg Aquaculture to establish three additional sites east of Marasheen Island in Placentia Bay. The FFAW-Unifor is calling on the provincial government not to move forward with any project approval until they have pursued a proper consultation process with harvesters as the project may put their livelihoods at risk.  Placentia Bay is a high-traffic area with the highest concentration of small fishing vessels during peak fishing times. Union president Keith Sullivan says previous consultations on the overall project have been insufficient, and information on site locations has been inconsistent. >click to read<12:30

“What We Heard” – DFO hosting inshore fishery outreach meetings in Labrador

Department of Fisheries and Oceans will host meetings in Port Hope Simpson and Cartwright on May 7. According to a press release from DFO, the meetings are for inshore harvesters and other interested stakeholders in Division 2J to discuss matters of concern in the inshore fisheries.,,, The meeting in port Hope Simpson will take place at 9 a.m. at Alexis Hotel and the Cartwright meeting is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. at the LFUSCo boardroom. >click to read< 16:12

‘What We Heard: A Discussion on the Newfoundland And Labrador Inshore Fishery’ >click to read<

Spring lobster season on P.E.I. delayed due to weather

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans will decide Monday whether to open P.E.I.’s spring lobster fishery on Tuesday. Setting day was originally scheduled for Monday, but DFO has delayed the opening due to high winds, according to a department spokesperson Steve Hachey. He said the decision came after consulting with industry representatives on Saturday. A conference call between DFO and industry representatives is scheduled for Monday morning to discuss if it is safe to open the lobster season on Tuesday. About 1,100 fishermen take part in the spring fishery.  >click to read<16:22

Industry challenges DFO’s assessment of Atlantic mackerel stocks

The recent Department of Fisheries and Oceans assessment places the region’s Atlantic mackerel spawning stock biomass in the “critical zone,” meaning it is in decline and must be rebuilt.,,,Scientists say the spawning population is down 86 per cent from pre-2000 levels and the number of fish surviving to breed is at all-time lows.,,,”We’ve had an immense amount of juvenile fish in the population and every year going forward since 2015 we notice more and more juvenile fish prevalent in the catch,” Langille said.,,, He is not alone. The Maritime Fishermen’s Union and fishing interests in Newfoundland and Labrador have also disputed the assessment. >click to read<08:27

MPAs – Canada to ban industrial activities inside marine-protected areas

Canada is banning industrial activities inside marine-protected areas (MPAs), including offshore oil and gas development and bottom-trawl fishing, but the prohibition won’t automatically apply to activities in fisheries conservation areas designated as marine refuges. The decision, effective Thursday, also bans ocean mining and ocean dumping in MPAs, which are being created to help meet an international commitment to protect 10 per cent of Canada’s ocean and coastal areas by 2020. >click to read<13:19

Alleging disability discrimination, lobster fisherman taking DFO to Federal Court

Longtime Nova Scotia lobster fisher Dana Robinson was hoping to pass on his fishing licence to his grandchildren. Robinson bought the licence to fish in Area 35 on the Bay of Fundy in 1998, more than 20 years after he began fishing at the age of 16. Today, chronic circulation problems in his legs necessitating a number of surgeries have left him medically unable to withstand the physical toll of being out on the vessel,,, But due to a federal owner-operator policy, the Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) has informed Robinson that if he can’t fish the licence himself, he must sell it. And even though Robinson estimates he could get around $3 million for the licence, he’s not interested. >click to read<11:43

‘Can’t get five cents’: Little Harbour fishermen say wharf has big problems

Roddy Conrad’s been fishing out of Little Harbour, N.S., for 28 years. He says over time the wharf’s condition has deteriorated to the point where those who fish from it are concerned about their boats and their safety. Ten boats fish from the wharf near Lockeport. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans owns the structure. “This one here has a rung missing on top, so your first step’s a big one,” >click to read<16:20

Roe herring fishery meets DFO expectations; opposition continues to question sustainability

As with other years, the allowable catch was set at 20 per cent of the estimated 135,000 tons of returning herring. Both seiners and gillnetters came in under their quotas with seiners bringing in 7,178 tons of their 8,311 ton quota, and gillnetters catching 8,373 tons of their 11,472 ton quota. Neil Davis, director of resource management program delivery with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, says overall the fishery had good success and there were no surprises in terms of the catch versus the quota. Quincy Sample, a Comox fisherman, says he was a few tons short of reaching his quota,,, >click to read<11:34

LETTER OF THE WEEK: MPAs an insult to our community

My family obtained Gerard Island on the Eastern Shore in the 1750s. They were fishermen, like many other families, and for hundreds of years kept stewardship of the natural habitat until the present day. There is a two-month lobster fishery here, part of Canada’s top seafood exports worth billions of dollars each year and a key player in the Eastern Shore’s economy. Conservation efforts by our fishery are well documented and have been successful for over 30 years in co-operation with Department of Fisheries and Oceans regulation. >click to read<Andre Gerrard, lobster fisherman, Spry Harbour 10:09

‘Atrocious’: 250 Dungeness crabs dumped beside highway in Northern B.C.

A massive dump of dead crabs along a main northern highway has triggered a major investigation. The 250 male Dungeness crabs were found rotting beside a Highway 16 rest stop, west of Smithers, B.C., last week. Officials believe it’s linked to ongoing illegal seafood sales along B.C.’s North Coast. “I’ve never had an investigation like that, with a bunch of crab dumped,” said B.C. Conservation Service Officer Flint Knibbs. >click to read<14:50

Annapolis Royal mayor says tidal turbine shutdown won’t hurt town’s coffers

Last week the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans ordered NSP to shut down the iconic electrical power generating station after a review of data, especially in relation to reported fish kills over the past three decades. “From the very beginning the Town of Annapolis Royal has reached out to Fisheries and Oceans to get updates on where the review and the monitoring was,,, SHUT DOWN – He said what the community is learning is that a lot of those reports never found their way to the people who should have been taking that into consideration all these years. >click to read<20:06

Small rebound for N.L.’s northern cod, but stock still in critical zone

A federal report released Tuesday said northern cod’s spawning stock biomass — fish that can reproduce — was higher than predicted last year, representing a four-per-cent bump from 2018. The stock is currently assessed at 48 per cent of the limit reference point, meaning it is about halfway out of the fisheries department’s “critical” zone. Biologist Karen Dwyer of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) said this year’s rise surpassed negative projections after further study of 2017’s mortality numbers. (she’s wrong about the seals) >click to read<19:04

Caplin news not strong: DFO

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) said Monday that despite a small increase in 2018, the spring acoustic abundance index remains at a relatively low level, similar to levels observed in the late 2000s. “A new forecast model predicts that the abundance index will increase slightly in 2019, but decrease in 2020,” a technical briefing document states.What this information means for the caplin fishery this upcoming season is no real change from last year. >click to read<17:43

The two sides of the Strait of Georgia roe herring fishery

The case for – Comox fisherman, Quincy Sample, was laying on the deck of his boat under the warm March sun, waiting for the waves to die down when reached by phone. The fishery opened for gill nets on March 15 in the Strait of Georgia, and Sample was hoping for the right conditions to get his net in the water. The case against – Ian McAllister’s boat, Habitat, drifts lazily on the unsettled water, anchored to a point nearby the mass of commercial fishing boats. McAllister, the executive director of Pacific Wild, had been out on the water since March 9, the first day the fishery opened, to take photos and video, and raise awareness about a fishery he doesn’t think should be open. >click to read<17:29

photo, the telegram

Fish harvesters, plants workers hold demonstration in St. John’s – ‘Put the crab back on the table,’ fishermen chant at rally

Fish, Food and Allied Workers’—Unifor members held a demonstration today at the Delta Hotel in St. John’s followed by a march through part of the downtown. Fish harvesters, plant workers and citizens attended united, the union says, in their concern for the future of the province’s fisheries. A news release stated that around the province, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) shuts out fish harvesters from science processes and continues to make fisheries management decisions without any meaningful consultation with inshore harvesters. >click to read<13:14

‘Put the crab back on the table,’ frustrated fishermen chant at rally – >click to read<

Fair Weather Fleet? How some coast guard ships stayed tied up when they could have been at work

There is more evidence suggesting Canadian coast guard mid-shore patrol vessels are a fair-weather fleet. Documents obtained by CBC News show that during a one-year period, two mid-shore patrol vessels based in Nova Scotia were tied up for 151 days in weather conditions when they were supposed to be operable. Last month, CBC revealed the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) is looking at installing stabilizers — blades that counteract the motion of waves — on its nine coast guard mid-shore vessels. This followed widespread complaints from crew about excessive rolling at sea. >click to read<10:20

Crab poaching under cover of darkness earns 10-year commercial fishing ban, vessel seizure

A Cape Mudge resident involved in poaching dungeness crabs in Vancouver Harbour under the cover of darkness in February 2019 is banned from fishing commercially for 10 years and had the boat he was using – which didn’t belong to him – and all the crabbing gear in it forfeited to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Arthur Michael Nelson pleaded guilty to fishing for shellfish in a closed time, fishing without a licence and obstructing a fishery officer and was sentenced in Campbell River Provincial Court Thursday. >click to read<18:43

Roe herring fishery opens under watchful eye of Tla’amin

The controversial roe herring fishery is opening this month despite an intense public campaign to shut it down. Seiners have been seen off Vancouver Island and Tla’amin Nation is watching what unfolds carefully. “We have treaty fishing rights and the treaty rights do stretch over to just short of Vancouver Island,” said Tla’amin hegus Clint Williams. “What we’ve done is we’ve asked [Fisheries and Oceans Canada] to stay out of the inside waters here.”So far, they have. >click to read<21:05

Change Islands harvester says removal of herring license unjustified after request to reinstate denied

A Change Islands fisherman has lost a license over what he calls an “honest mistake.” It’s one Lloyd White hopes will serve as a warning for other harvesters. In a letter from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) Regional Licensing Review Committee, dated Feb. 13, White was denied an appeal to reinstate his herring license. The 58-year-old lost the license when his wife Heather accidentally left the license unpaid in their online paperwork in 2017. >click to read<12:25