Tag Archives: Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Canada: Atlantic bluefin tuna not listed as an endangered species

Atlantic bluefin tuna will not be listed on the endangered species list, a decision released Wednesday.  The federal government’s final decision was published in the Canada Gazette saying it would not be listed under the Species at Risk Act (SARA).  Fisheries and Oceans Canada rejected advice to list the species as endangered last summer, saying western Atlantic bluefin tuna stocks have been rebuilding since 2011, when the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) said tuna should be listed as an endangered species under federal species-at-risk legislation. Included in the decision was the government’s rationale and the steps that will be taken to help in its recovery. If the species would have been listed on SARS, it would no longer have been allowed to be fished commercially. The in Halfax is calling on the government to take steps to work and conserve the species. (of course!) click here to read the story 08:21

Report: Newfoundland cod stocks on rebound, but still at critically low levels

A new federal report says northern cod stocks off eastern Newfoundland continue to grow 25 years after a sweeping moratorium, but warns they remain in the “critical zone.” The Fisheries and Oceans Canada update concludes fishing should be kept to the lowest possible levels as a precaution. It finds that while total biomass was up seven per cent from 2015 to 2016, stocks are still at critically low levels. The report says there was a spawning biomass of about 300,000 tonnes in 2015. Fisheries biologist Karen Dwyer says a spawning biomass of about 900,000 tonnes would support a more extensive commercial fishery. Link 10:55

The cod are coming back to Newfoundland — and they’re eating the shrimp that had taken over

Theodore Genge has a big beautiful new dragger that’ll be ready to head for “the Labrador” as soon as the sea ice loosens its grip on Anchor Point. When the 63-year-old Newfoundland fisherman began building the $2.2 million trawler two years ago he had 750,000 pounds worth of shrimp quota to catch. But plummeting shrimp numbers in the cold water off Labrador have led Fisheries and Oceans Canada to drastically carve into quotas for that coast. Genge expects that by April he’ll be left with a total of 300,000 lbs of quotas — 220,000 lbs in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, where there is still plenty of shrimp, and 80,000 lbs on the Labrador coast. “Right now, yes, it’s pretty stressful – I don’t know whether there’s any hope or no,” said Genge. (Big read!) continue reading the article here 16:25

Herring stock falling to critical level say scientists at Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Even if there was a two-year hiatus in the spring herring fishery in the Gulf of St Lawrence, there would still be a 90 per cent chance the fish stocks would remain at critical levels, say scientists at Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Herring stocks have been dwindling for two decades. Despite the advice of its own scientists, Fisheries and Oceans Canada still allowed 2,000 tonnes of spring herring to be caught in 2016, and will allow the same this year. Federal herring biologist Jenni McDermid said there is a risk of pushing these fish beyond the recovery point. Read the story here 11:33

DFO justifies Area 6 northern shrimp catch by offshore fleet

Northern_Pink_ShrimpFisheries and Oceans Canada is defending its decision to allow offshore factory freezer trawlers to catch northern shrimp this spring, even though its own scientists say the stock is vulnerable to collapse. Inshore fishermen have criticized the fishing, because 2016 quotas have not yet been set, and could be cut significantly. Glenn Best, who fishes shrimp off Fogo Island, said the so-called “bridging policy” should not have been applied in Area 6 at a time when stocks are under review. “The [cod] moratorium would be a walk in the park compared to what’s going to happen if we lose this shrimp,” he said. “This is the bread and butter. This is what sustains communities from Fogo Island to St. Anthony to southern Labrador. We need this shrimp. Why are we taking chances with it?” Read the rest here 10:10

Redistribution of Quota has P.E.I. halibut fishermen disappointed with lowered catch

li-halibut-caught-fileP.E.I. fishermen will have less halibut to catch this year after a last-minute decision by Fisheries and Oceans Canada to redistribute the quota. The decision means the Island’s share of the allowed catch will drop down to 40 tonnnes from 46 tonnes — a 13-per-cent decrease — in a fishery that opens Sunday. “We’re still in a state of shock,” said the chair of the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association’s groundfish advisory board, Tony Carter. “We’re back to ground zero, basically.” All three Maritime provinces saw their quotas drop in the DFO decision Monday, while fishermen in Newfoundland and Labrador and Quebec got an increase. This reverses a decision made last year by former federal fisheries minister and Island MP Gail Shea. Read the rest here 09:35

As Canada probes Haida Gwaii ocean fertilizing, new project proposed in Chile

The federal government is still investigating an experiment off the West Coast almost four years ago aimed at boosting salmon stocks that sparked an international outcry. Now a former director and operations officer of Haida Salmon Restoration Corp. says he wants to carry out another ocean-fertilizing exercise, this time off South America. Jason McNamee says the company Oceaneos, where he serves as chief operations officer, has been in talks about fertilizing the ocean with iron with the Chilean government, which could not be reached for comment. In July 2012, the now-inactive Haida Salmon Restoration travelled to international waters near the islands of Haida Gwaii where it dumped 100 tonnes of iron sulphate into the water in an effort to restore waning salmon stocks. Read the rest here 08:26

B.C. First Nation vows to stop herring roe fishery in its territory

The Tla’amin First Nation has served notice that it will take action to halt any commercial herring roe fishery in its traditional territory. A band council resolution sent to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) says a commercial fishery would cause “irreversible damage” to a herring stock that is just showing signs of recovery after a catastrophic collapse in the 1980s. “If the decision of Fisheries and Oceans Canada is to proceed with the commercial herring fishery, Tla’amin Nation will take steps to restrain the mismanagement of the fishery,” the resolution reads. A DFO manager alerted the band’s fisheries manager Kevin Timothy to the possibility of a commercial opening in waters near Powell River. Read the rest here 08:24

FFAW-Unifor NEWS RELEASE: Thousands of Jobs at Risk in Northern Shrimp Fishery

SHRIMP-master675Thursday, February 25, 2016 St. John’s – Thousands of harvesting and processing jobs in rural Newfoundland and Labrador may be lost if the current fisheries management policies for northern shrimp are maintained. The Fish Food and Allied Workers Union (FFAW-Unifor) is providing further details on the impact of sharp declines in the northern shrimp stock as outlined in Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s (DFO) stock status report. “The implications of the stock status report, if they are confirmed, will be challenging if DFO’s quota allocation policies do not change,” said Keith Sullivan, President of the FFAW. Read the press release here 11:56

Kits Coast Guard Station will be reopened says Fisheries Minister

hunter-tootooIt’s official, the Kits Coast Guard Station will be reopened. Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Hunter Tootoo, made the announcement at a press conference outside the base. A timeline has not been given, but the base will be opened “as soon as possible.” “The Prime Minister made the commitment to re-open the Kitsilano Canadian Coast Guard Base and we are delivering on that commitment,” said Tootoo. “I have directed my officials to begin restoration work as soon as possible,,, Read the article here 15:21

Canada’s new Liberal government says it is currently developing priorities for the lobster industry

hunter-tootooCanada’s new Liberal government is in no rush to implement Stephen Harper’s promise aimed at wooing voters in Atlantic Canada during the recent federal election of $20 million in funding for lobster promotion and research. Harper made the pledge Sept. 10 in New Annan, P.E.I. and promised $5 million for research and $15 million over three years to the Halifax-based Lobster Council of Canada to promote lobster sales. Fisheries and Oceans Canada would not address Harper’s promise, saying new Fisheries Minister Hunter Tootoo is developing priorities. Read the rest here 08:44

Liberals to reopen Maritime Rescue Sub-centre in St. John’s

hunter-tootooNew federal Fisheries Minister Hunter Tootoo and the Liberal government will reopen the Maritime Rescue Sub-centre in St. John’s. The Nunavut MP signed the mandate given to him by new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a letter nine days after he was sworn in as the minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The sub-centre was closed in 2012 despite loud outcry from advocates and fishermen. Provincial and municipal politicians — such as St. John’s Mayor Dennis O’Keefe —have lobbied since to have it reopened. Read the rest here 08:32

U.S. crab-fishing troubles could boost B.C.

dungenesscrabB.C.’s crab fishermen are waiting to see if demand picks up for their catch as the presence of an algae-borne toxin postpones much of California’s crab fishing. Storms have dissipated an algae bloom off B.C.’s coast. Even at its height in the summer, the massive bloom did not have the high concentrations of algae associated with demoic acid that showed up off the U.S., said Ian Perry, a research scientist with Fisheries and Oceans Canada in Nanaimo, on Friday. That has allowed B.C.’s fishery for sweet Dungeness crab to remain open. Read the rest here 15:29

Right whales have Cape Breton Whelk fishermen on hold.

One Cape Breton fisherman says concern over changing migration patterns of endangered right whales are already having an impact on his ability to earn a living. Derrick Wadden, a multi-species fisherman, said he invested more than $7,000 this year in ropes and custom-made traps for whelk, a large, undersea snail, in hopes of going fishing this month. Fisheries and Oceans Canada had indicated fishing conditions for whelk licences would be issued at the beginning of September, he said, but the conditions have been delayed due to concern about the potential for right whales to get tangled in gear. Read the rest here 14:56

Feds Sidestep Law to Let BC’s Biggest Fishery Sell Pacific hake as Farm Feed

The economic squeeze of a Russian trade embargo has prompted Canada to sidestep its own laws by allowing B.C.’s biggest fishery to sell thousands of tonnes of high-quality fish as slurry to feed farmed salmon and chickens. Russia is the dominant market for B.C.’s most abundant food fish, locally known as .,, But a 2014 Russian embargo banning the purchase of many Canadian exports including seafood, means that a fishery worth $40 million annually in landed value each year has lost its primary market. Read the rest here 14:19

Nine Mile Creek fishermen say harbour needs deeper dredging

Fishermen in a small harbour on the south shore of P.E.I. say they’re worried about their boats getting damaged and possibly even running aground. Giles Clinton has been fishing at Nine Mile Creek for more than 13 years. He says there is a big problem with congestion in the area. Clinton says tried to fix the problem by dredging a section of the harbour and installing a floating dock where boats could tie up. He and other fishermen in the area said the digging wasn’t deep enough and the dock now sits on shore waiting to be reinstalled. Read the rest here 08:25

P.E.I. tuna fisherman getting 30 ton Atlantic bluefin quota increase

According to a news release from Fisheries and Oceans Canada, there are more than 300 tuna fishermen across P.E.I. Jeff MacNeill is one of them. He says the increase in quota could bring in a lot of extra income, especially given that last year, fishermen were receiving about $6,000 to $7,000 for an average-sized tuna. “If I’m allowed one extra bluefin tuna, that’s quite a sizeable increase in my income”  Read the rest here 07:53

The P.E.I Fishermen’s Association ask’s DFO for response on lobster season extension by Wednesday

The P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association has sent a letter to Fisheries and Oceans Canada asking for a decision on an extension to the spring lobster season no later than next Wednesday, June 24. The season normally closes June 30. The executive director of the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association Ian MacPherson said fishermen need to know what will happen. “For a variety of reasons, certainly so people can plan what they need to do to either leave their traps in the water or take them out,” Read the rest here 12:39

Federal crackdown on illegal halibut fishing in Nova Scotia sees 11 fishermen pleading guilty to misreporting

The probe started more than five years ago, after Fisheries and Oceans Canada officials started hearing reports about misreported catches in the growing and lucrative halibut fishery. “Fisheries officers were hearing rumours,” said MacLean. “When we started to look at the information that we had, internally, we were starting to see indicators that maybe all wasn’t right in that particular fishery.” MacLean said investigators relied on, to show discrepancies.  Read the rest here 09:40

Bob Fraumeni beats the odds fishing the Pacific

bob-fraumeniBob Fraumeni gazes out the window at the vibrant float homes and fishing vessels docked at Fisherman’s Wharf and beyond to the wind-tossed waves of the Inner Harbour. “I’ve been scrumbling around down there since I was about 10,” says Fraumeni, owner of Finest At Sea, a leading provider of wild seafood on the West Coast. “For some reason, I’ve had this incredible desire to find out what was in the water. I remember at the age of four, all I wanted to do was go fishing.” Read the rest here 14:05

Japanese reactor radiation detected off Vancouver Island, B.C.

University of Victoria chemical oceanographer Jay Cullen said Monday that it’s the first time radiation has been found on the shorelines of North America since the quake and tsunami ravaged the Japanese north coast and disabled the nuclear reactor. “We’re more than a thousand-fold below even the drinking water standard in the coastal waters being sampled at this point. Those levels are much, much, much lower than what’s allowable in our drinking water.” Read the rest here 15:28

New Investments in PEI Fishing Harbors Dredging

DFO SidebarRecent major projects funded in the province include: Wharf reconstruction, and construction of a wharf extension and shore protection at Tignish Harbor; – Reconstruction of a marginal wharf at North Lake Harbor; and – Reconstruction of the east breakwater and construction of a service area at West Point Harbor.  will oversee a total of approximately $551 million in investments across the country, particularly in rural and coastal communities. Read the rest here 08:19

Pregnant orca died of bacterial infection

Cottrell said the infection likely originated with the calf before spreading to the mother. He said the calf weighed 175 kilograms, and it was too soon to say whether the orca suffered long-term starvation. “With the calf dying in the womb, of course J-32 was in distress,” he said, adding it’s unlikely the mother fed for several days because of the infection and dead calf. Read the rest here 20:54

Bay of Fundy lobster season gets off to good start

863a4ac9dc_64635696_o2According to a 2013 report from Fisheries and Oceans Canada, lobster landings in the Bay of Fundy are  Each of the past five lobster fishing seasons has yielded a record catch. Read the rest here 09:22

Atlantic Ocean temperatures continue above normal: report – record highs on Grand Banks

DFO SidebarWarmer ocean temperatures are continuing in Canada’s Atlantic Ocean zones, according to the latest  released by Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Almost no sea ice made it to the Scotian Shelf off Nova Scotia for the fourth consecutive winter, while ice was near normal on the Newfoundland and Labrador shelves. Read the rest here 23:59

Fishery Convictions – Maritimes Region – October 29, 2014 – Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

DFO SidebarFisheries and Oceans Canada, Maritimes Region, announced today that one company and 52 individuals have been convicted and fined nearly half a million dollars for fishery violations from June to August 2014. The fines total approximately $480,000 and were levied upon conviction for violations that took place in waters from the northern tip of Cape Breton to the New Brunswick-Maine border. Big Halibut numbers! Read the rest here 13:18

Canada Wraps-Up Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization Annual Meeting – A Mixed Bag

VIGO, SPAIN — On the heels of this year’s Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) Annual Meeting, Fisheries and Oceans Canada highlighted the various management decisions taken by the Organization, with a view to ensuring conservation and sustainability. Read the rest here 18:38

Nunavut-based marine training helps grow Inuit fishing crews

Nunavut has more then 40 per cent of Canada’s coast line, but very few marine crew members in here are actually from the territory — or even Inuit. The Nunavut Fisheries and Marine Training Consortium wants to change that, starting with the territory’s fishing industry. Read the rest here 14:54

Halibut-tracking test hopes to prove quota increase needed

Michael MacDonald with the Prince Edward Island Fishermen’s Association says they’re trying to make a case to Fisheries and Oceans Canada that fishermen should be allowed to catch more halibut. As it stands now, each Island fisherman can take in just over 100 kilograms. Read the rest here 07:38

Impacts of mining spill on Fraser sockeye unknown

863a4ac9dc_64635696_o2“Sockeye are currently migrating towards the Quesnel Lake system,” DFO spokesperson Michelle Imbeau wrote in an email to the Progress this week, responding to questions about local impacts. <Read more here> 08:49