Tag Archives: Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Moderate livelihood treaty right at centre of fishery trial in Nova Scotia

A trial involving three Mi’kmaw fishermen who say they were exercising their treaty right to fish for a living when they were charged with fishery offences is currently underway in Digby, N.S. James Nevin, 38, Logan Pierro-Howe, 24, and Leon Knockwood, 27, from the Sipekne’katik First Nation are each charged with four counts of violating the Aboriginal Communal Fishing Licenses Regulations and the Atlantic Fishery Regulations under the Fisheries Act. They’re accused of fishing and catching lobster without authorization as well as possessing lobster traps that either had unauthorized tags or no tags on them. >click to read< 08:10

Ottawa grants $4.5 million for Quebec’s fisheries sector

The federal government is granting $4.5 million for 47 projects related to the fishing industry on the the entire territory of Quebec. The Member of Parliament for Gaspésie and the Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Diane Lebouthillier, was in Rivière-au-Renard on Tuesday to make the announcement, on behalf of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and Custody. coast, Joyce Murray. With these contributions, Fisheries and Oceans Canada aims to improve the efficiency, quality and sustainable development of the Quebec fishing industry. Projects outside the maritime sector, such as technical projects or research work relating to fishing, are also part of the funded projects. >click to read< 15:05

Entangled North Atlantic Right Whale spotted off Shippagan, N.B.

The federal Fisheries Department is on the lookout for an entangled North Atlantic Right Whale in the Gulf of St. Lawrence near Shippagan, N.B. The department says the whale was observed on Saturday by a Fisheries and Oceans Canada aircraft. The whale, which has been identified as the 2021 calf of the whale known as 3720, was spotted about 48 nautical miles east of Shippagan. Officials said they do not know the type of gear that the whale is entangled in, or where it came from. >click to read< 08:14

Bloc Québécois wants more squid fishing after feds cut herring quota

Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet asked Fisheries and Oceans Canada on Sunday to allow squid fishing to compensate for the decrease in quotas for the fall herring announced a few days earlier. On Friday, minister Joyce Murray announced that the total allowable catch for the fall herring in the Gulf of St. Lawrence would decrease to 10,000 tonnes from 12,000 tonnes to preserve the population.  “We leave the fishers without notice in an economic situation that is not good for them, in a sector that is already fragile,” Blanchet said, explaining that adding squid quotas would offer them an alternative “that uses the equipment they already have and that has a domestic Quebec market that will consume all the products, while not risking biodiversity or costing the government anything. >click to read< 07:40

B.C. Commercial fishermen on tenterhooks

B.C. commercial fisherman, who had hoped for a green light today, now have to wait until next week for a go-ahead to fish for Fraser River sockeye, while American commercial fishermen are already catching sockeye. “They’re fishing on the American side, but we’re not fishing on the Canadian side,” said Mitch Dudoward, a commercial fisherman and spokesperson for the UFAWU-Unifor fishermen’s union. Returns so far appear to be healthy enough for a commercial opening this year, and fisherman had expected commercial openings to be announced today. But they now have to wait until Tuesday. >click to read< 9:16

Days of chopping off fishing boats over; DFO to increase maximum inshore vessel length to 49’11

“The days of chopping off boats are over. This is a massive victory for inshore harvesters in what is now the under 40’ fleet,” says Jason Sullivan, President of SEA-NL, and Bay Bulls-based inshore owner-operator. “We have fought DFO in this province and the FFAW for years to be treated the same as the rest of Atlantic Canada in terms of vessel length, and today we finally have a victory that puts the safety and lives of inshore harvesters first.” The news was announced this morning by Avalon MP Ken McDonald, chair of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans, who, along with SEA-NL and FISH-NL before it, fought for years to change the vessel-length policy. >click to read< 10:53

Grey seals eat into another fish population in the Gulf of St. Lawrence

Grey seals are eating into another fish species in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence, driving a serious decline in the abundance of yellowtail flounder, according to a new report from Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO). Federal scientists assessed the flatfish species in the southern gulf over the past 25 years up to 2020 and projected the population to 2030. The results are stark. The number of yellowtail flounder six-years and older is believed to have declined by 95 per cent since the mid-1980s. There is a 100 per cent probability the population will remain in the critical zone where serious harm occurs whatever the level of commercial fishing, the report says. >click to read< 08:39

Federal court dismisses DFO appeal of ruling in fisherman’s licence fight

The Federal Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal by Fisheries and Oceans Canada against a federal court judgment involving a lobster fisherman’s charter rights on Friday. Parkers Cove lobster fisherman Dana Robinson, 60, has a disability that limits his ability to stand on a boat for long periods of time. He was operating his boat in the Bay of Fundy under a DFO provision that allows fishermen to designate a substitute operator once they provide adequate medical proof of their condition. The provision only allows the substitution for five years. An extension was denied in 2019. >click to read< 11:42

Demand is going to be strong! Remarkable snow crab season ahead for Gulf of St. Lawrence crabbers

The snow crab industry in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence can expect an excellent 2022 fishing season, both in terms of catches and prices. The preliminary report of the most recent scientific assessment of the stock, carried out by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, shows a growth of 4% in the commercial biomass made up of males of 95 mm and over, compared to last year. It is now valued at close to 81,000 metric tons (MT). “We consider that we have a good breeding stock and that the stock is healthy,” >click to read< 09:14

Fishery Closures and the Ghosts of Past Mistakes

The news spread quickly across the calm June waters off the west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, as fishers jumped on the radio to figure out what had just happened. The radio chatter was incessant as fishers wondered aloud where they’d be allowed to fish, if they would be out of business, and what the future would hold. “Everyone was freaking out because all of those questions were unanswered,” Christian says, adding this policy will likely end British Columbia’s commercial salmon industry.,, Under the PSSI, DFO plans to close 57 percent of the 138 Pacific salmon fisheries along the west coast of British Columbia and Yukon.  >click to read< 10:06

New fisheries research ship will monitor state of P.E.I. stocks

The Capt. Jacques Cartier took part in the 51st annual September survey in the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence last month, along with the ship that it will eventually replace, the CCGS Teleost. The work follows an 18-month delay in getting the new ship operational because of malfunctions, delays receiving parts, and COVID-19-related travel restrictions in Nova Scotia.,, The research vessel will collect fish using a bottom trawl, then sort all the species, measuring and counting every creature drawn up. “For P.E.I. that would include lobster, mackerel, halibut. Essentially, all the oceanic species that are exploited in P.E.I.” photos, >click to read< 10:48

Commercial Lobster Industry to be heard at Potlotek First Nation challenge to the Fisheries Act

The Supreme Court of Nova Scotia granted the United Fisheries Conservation Alliance application for intervenor status in the court case brought by the small Cape Breton first nation against the Attorney General of Canada. Potlotek is seeking to have the court prevent Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) from enforcing Fisheries Act regulations on its members, which it claims are an infringement on its treaty right to make a moderate livelihood off marine resources.,, Potlotek opposed allowing representatives of the commercial industry to intervene,,, The Supreme Court found that the group representing commercial fishermen should be allowed to be heard. >click to read< 07:50

Illegal fishing nets seized on Fraser River by DFO

Fishery officer Mike Fraser, DFO detachment commander for Fraser East, Conservation and Protection (C&P), said right now there are 16 active investigations underway into illegal fishing. About 160 of the seized illegal gillnets came from the Lower Fraser, from the mouth of the river, to just past Yale. “We’ve been getting eight to 10 nets a week,” Despite what they described as “high compliance,” from area First Nations, DFO said it has received “an increase in public reports” of illegal fishing in a few areas, as well as illegal fish sales. “As a result, we are increasing our enforcement activities, particularly at night.” >click to read< 13:32

Should DFO rein in sport fishing to help save salmon?

Conservation groups want Ottawa to dramatically curtail the recreational fishery as it did with the commercial fishery last week in order to save wild salmon on the West Coast. But the sport sector, equally keen to protect the prized but diminishing chinook salmon, wants Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) to make sure any further measures and restrictions this year are backed by science, and provide stability and results for the embattled fishers and the fish population. The federal government failed to address the recreational fishery, which also impacts salmon returns, despite making historic and dramatic reductions to the commercial fleet on the West Coast, said Jeffery Young, science and policy analyst with the David Suzuki Foundation. >click to read< 08:47

On the Brink of Extinction: DFO salmon closures sink dreams of Pacific fishermen

Geoff Millar’s livelihood is on the brink of extinction after DFO closed roughly 60 per cent of B.C.’s commercial salmon fisheries. The closures, DFO stated, will last “multiple generations” of fish to save tumbling salmon populations. The decision leaves Millar, along with hundreds of other commercial fish harvesters on the B.C. coast, in despair and in difficult financial straits. “These closures have absolutely devastated us,” affirmed James Lawson, a Heiltsuk fish harvester based in Campbell River, B.C.,, “We’ve been forced into a corner, and the only option is retirement, that seems to be DFO’s goal.” >click to read< 07:35

Fisheries and Oceans Canada held Lobster Science Partnership Roundtable

On June 15, Fisheries and Oceans Canada held a Lobster Science Partnership Roundtable to discuss important lobster science questions and research priorities. Thank you to the more than 40 participants, including Indigenous partners, commercial fishing representatives, other key researchers and Fisheries and Oceans Canada scientists, for their invaluable contribution to the conversation on the work that needs to be done to chart a common course for lobster science. For further information, >click to read< 08:53

DFO: Lobster Science Partnership Roundtable with Indigenous partners, commercial fishing reps, and researchers

Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, announced the launch of the Lobster Science Partnership Roundtable. On June 15th, Fisheries and Oceans Canada scientists, Indigenous partners, commercial fishing representatives, and other key researchers will come together to discuss their most important research questions and priorities, with the shared goal of increasing our knowledge around lobster stocks. >click to read< 11:22

Sipekne’katik giving back lobster licences to DFO, starting own fishery

Sipkne’katik First Nation will announce Thursday, the voluntary relinquishment and return of their commercial licences to Fisheries and Oceans Canada. At the same event, they will announce their plans for their own self-regulated moderate livelihood fishery and a joint study with Dalhousie University’s marine affairs program. The move sets them squarely at odds with Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan, who in March issued a statement saying that DFO will work with First Nations to implement moderate livelihood fisheries this year but they must occur during established commercial seasons. >click to read< 17:16

2021 Yukon River Chinook salmon run will likely be small, according to forecast

Somewhere between 42,000 and 77,000 Canadian-origin fish are anticipated to make the journey from the Bering Sea this year, Alaska and Yukon experts told attendees during the Yukon River Panel’s pre-season meeting on Tuesday. The most likely run size would be 57,000, they said. That’s smaller than the pre season outlooks for 2020 and 2019, and both those years ended disastrously when it came to getting enough salmon across the border. Under an international treaty, Canada and the U.S. are supposed to work together to ensure at least 42,500 fish make it to their spawning waters in Yukon. That spawning escapement goal hasn’t been met since 2018, last year only about 33,000 Chinook made it. >click to read< 13:21

The flawed plan to rebuild Canada’s Northern cod – DFO’s plan is riddled with science and policy weaknesses

Canada is on the cusp of an inauspicious anniversary. Next year will mark 30 years since Newfoundland’s 500-year-old Northern cod fishery was shut down. The fishery was closed on July 2, 1992, because of a massive decline in the cod population, as much as 95 per cent, between the early 1960s and the early 1990s. The socioeconomic consequences were staggering: 30,000 to 40,000 jobs vanished overnight. Closure of what once was the largest cod fishery in the world stimulated an exodus of 10 per cent of the province’s population by the turn of the 21st century. Resource depletion was not anticipated when the federal Fisheries Act was passed in 1868.  >click to read< 06:25

Dimed Out! Call Leads to the Bust of Commercial Prawn Harvester fishing in a closed area

Hai A. Trinh was found guilty in Powell River Provincial Court for fishing in a closed area of Desolation Sound, retaining undersize prawns, and other violations of the Fisheries Act. The Honourable Justice Leven Wingham ordered the commercial prawn harvester to pay a fine of $30,000 and forfeit the value of his catch, which sold for $12,630. On June 18, 2019, fishery officers received information from the public about a commercial prawn fishing vessel operating in a closed area. >click to read< 17:18

DFO backtracks on rule that harvesters warned would destroy the local spot prawn industry

“The Minister has been informed that for this season, [conservation and protection’s] enforcement posture toward the practice of tubbing will be one of outreach and education,” reads a statement from the office of Minister Bernadette Jordan. James Lawson, a prawn harvester from Heiltsuk First Nation, says the latest announcement is cold comfort to fishermen like him. “They know the solution: just don’t bring [the change] in. Everyone is furious, the consumers, the prawn fishermen, it’s just ridiculous. People want local seafood and we want to supply it.” >click to read< 21:08

British Columbia: Prawn harvesters furious over DFO ‘tubbing’ ban – “Why are they reinventing the wheel?”

For decades harvesters in remote locations have flash-frozen one-pound tubs of a couple-dozen prawns in native sea water,,, This week Fisheries and Oceans Canada announced the practice of tubbing will be prohibited, as the block of ice prevents DFO inspectors from having ready access to the prawns inside.,, “Prawn harvesters have been using this method to store their catch for more than 50 years. “It would be just horrible for us,” said Prince Rupert prawn harvester Peter Haugen. “Why are they reinventing the wheel?” >click to read< 13:06

Fisheries Minister Jordan: A new path for First Nations to fish in pursuit of a moderate livelihood

We have never stopped working with First Nations to reach agreements and implement their right to a moderate livelihood. That is why effective this season, we will introduce a new path for First Nations to fish in pursuit of a moderate livelihood, one that addresses much of the feedback we’ve heard over the past year. This plan will support individuals, their families, and their communities. It’s a path that is flexible, adaptable, and based on three key principles: implementation of First Nations Treaty rights, conservation and sustainability of fish stocks, and transparent and stable management of the fishery. >click to read< 21:53

Canada launches new aircraft to improve conservation and ocean protection

Fishery officers require state of the art aerial surveillance equipment to continue the important work they conduct protecting Canada’s marine resources, ensuring compliance with fisheries management measures and enforcing the Fisheries Act from coast to coast to coast. In 2019, Fisheries and Oceans Canada announced a five-year, $128 million contract with PAL Aerospace-located in St. John’s, to deliver a new fleet of four aerial surveillance aircrafts, including two long-range maritime patrol aircrafts. When operational, the planes will fly out of three bases of operation: St. John’s, Newfoundland and LabradorHalifax, Nova Scotia; and a brand new facility in Campbell River, British Columbia. >click to read< 15:22

Canada outlines its 2021 measures to protect North Atlantic right whales

The Government of Canada remains committed to protecting the endangered North Atlantic right whale. To help prevent entanglements with fishing gear, Fisheries and Oceans Canada is building on last year’s successful measures by continuing to close fishing areas wherever and whenever North Atlantic right whales are present in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Bay of Fundy, and Roseway Basin Critical Habitat,,, To help prevent collisions with vessels, Transport Canada will be re-implementing its 2020 season measures, including a restriction on vessel speed throughout much of the Gulf of St. Lawrence to protect areas where whales are detected,,, >click to read< 17:06

Canada’s sockeye salmon find their way home again after 50 years

For the first time in over 50 years, spawning sockeye salmon will return to Okanagan Lake in British Columbia,,, A fish ladder, left inoperable after the Penticton Dam was built in the 1950s, has been restored by the Okanagan Nation Alliance and Fisheries and Oceans Canada. A crane was used to remove a wooden gate blocking off the narrow concrete passage, opening the way for fish to get through.  “To watch that gate go up, and to know that fish can finally return to their historic grounds, was a tearful moment,” she said. McFayden is a member of the Okanagan River Restoration Initiative (ORRI) and the Okanagan Similkameen Conservation Alliance. >click to read< 07:55

Advocates say B.C. needs a fisheries minister

Each year, about 196,000 tonnes of seafood, everything from salmon to scallops, is harvested off the B.C. coast. But unlike its East Coast counterparts, the province doesn’t have a fisheries minister. In the past several decades, the province has seen tumbling salmon populations, an increasingly inequitable distribution of the fisheries’ economic benefits and a drop in local processing capacity. All have eaten away at coastal communities, and the province’s ability to feed itself from the sea, a situation that advocates say calls for a minister dedicated to the portfolio. >click to read< 18:38

Nova Scotia: Residents raise alarm over causeway’s threat to local fish stocks

“This river is already dying, we’re already losing all of our fish, and along with losing all of our fish, we’re losing our rights as well,” said Nikki Lloyd, of the Annapolis Valley First Nation. Darren Porter, a local fisherman and fishery spokesperson for the Fundy United Federation, said over many years, he’s seen a reduction in productivity for both professional and recreational fishers. Government efforts, he alleged, to improve passage times have fallen short of what’s required to keep the ecosystem healthy. >click to read< 13:08

Drilling fluid spill from Hibernia platform shuts down production

Newfoundland and Labrador’s offshore regulatory board is reporting a spill of drilling and production fluid from the Hibernia platform during well operations on Sunday, leading to an immediate shutdown of production. The Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board said the spill was reported Monday by the Hibernia Management and Development Company after water sampling indicated an “exceedance of produced water discharge.” Produced water is a mixture of seawater from the reservoir, used in injection, with drilling and production fluids for normal production operations, according to a press release from the C-NLOPB. >click to read< 16:49