Tag Archives: Fisheries Minister Joyce Murray

Management Plan Released for Atlantic Herring in Southwest Nova Scotia and the Bay of Fundy

Atlantic herring is a vital species in Atlantic Canada. As one of the largest commercial fisheries in Atlantic Canada, the Southwest Nova Scotia / Bay of Fundy herring stock directly or indirectly employs more than 1,000 people in rural Nova Scotia and New Brunswick and contributes over $140 million to the local economy. Atlantic herring is also an important source of bait for other commercial fisheries, such as lobster and snow crab. Despite a number of measures taken in recent years to encourage rebuilding, the Southwest Nova Scotia / Bay of Fundy Atlantic herring stock remains in the critical zone. Stronger sustainable management actions are needed to protect this important species and return it to abundance. >click to read< 13:29

We’koqma’q gets federal approval for moderate livelihood fishery

We’koqma’q First Nation in Cape Breton reached an understanding with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans this week. Certain harvesters can now fish lobster and sell the harvest during the established 2022 commercial seasons in Lobster Fishing Areas 27 and 31A, which run until mid-July and the the end of June, respectively. “Our harvesters continued to voice how they wanted to be able to exercise their Treaty Rights safely and they are excited to be able to provide for their families and our community through exercising their inherent rights,” said We’koqma’q Chief Annie Bernard-Daisley in a release Friday. Both fishing areas are off the Cape Breton coast. There will be a limit of 210 traps per fishing area, according to a DFO release> click to read < 14:18

Impact of foreign overfishing as bad as seals; must also be addressed

SEA-NL congratulates the Government of Canada for finally recognizing that seals eat fish but reminds Ottawa that foreign overfishing on/off the Grand Banks is as destructive as ever to commercial stocks. “Seals aren’t the only killer of fish stocks,” says Ryan Cleary, SEA-NL’s Executive Director. “It’s still the wild west outside the 200-mile limit in terms of overfishing by foreign factory-freezer draggers.” Federal Fisheries and Oceans Minister Joyce Murray said Thursday more research is needed on the impact of seals on dwindling East Coast fish stocks in response to a report that said DFO’s science doesn’t go far enough. DFO, however, must consider all factors, including foreign overfishing, on the health of battered East Coast fish stocks. >click to read< 13:16

Seal summit slated for the fall in St. John’s

More research is needed on the impact of seals on dwindling east coast fish stocks, federal Fisheries Minister Joyce Murray said Thursday,,, Speaking outside a seafood processing plant, Murray drew applause when she said she knows “seals eat fish.” “So, that’s the reason we need to better understand the impact they are having on our fish stocks,” she said. The minister said that as a first step, her department will host a seal summit this fall. “That will be to broaden engagement on Atlantic seals and bring stakeholders together to discuss approaches for science, market development and management,” she said. >click to read< 12:36

Proposed herring quota would put lobster fishermen in a pinch for bait

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans is pursuing a commercial quota on herring for areas off Southwest Nova Scotia and the Bay of Fundy. DFO is proposing the use of a new stock modeling process, that could see quotas slashed to 13,050 tonnes from 35,000 tonnes, a 62 per cent reduction. Commercial herring fishing operators have already voiced their opposition to those plans, including Bay of Fundy Herring Industry who in a statement proposed a compromise of lowering their quota to 25,000 tonnes from 35,000 tonnes for the 2022 season. >click to read< 19:52

Slashed shrimp quotas cause worries for Newfoundland and Labrador captains

A couple weeks ago Brad Genge made a million-dollar bet on the future of shrimp. He bought another shrimp licence. Now he can only hope it pays off. Genge has been fishing out of Flower’s Cove, a community on Newfoundland’s Great Northern Peninsula, with his father Ren for about three decades. This is the 16th season for their longliner, B and B Mariner. And when another captain decided to retire and sell his enterprise, Genge saw it as a chance to grow his own. These days the only way to get more shrimp quota is to buy it from someone willing to sell. Genge has invested heavily to secure three shrimp quotas in the Gulf, in an area near Port aux Choix, and four in the northern zone, off St. Anthony. It comes with risk, considering the shrimp biomass and the quotas have been declining. >click to read< 15:15

DFO: ‘no plan’ to cut commercial lobster catches to implement treaty fishery

The issue has swirled through Maritime coastal fishing communities since the federal government relaunched a voluntary commercial licence buy-back program last year to make room for more Mi’kmaw access, so far without success. The departmental statement followed a response from Fisheries Minister Joyce Murray to Conservative fisheries critic Rick Perkins during Question Period Monday. “DFO sources tell me the minister was about to expropriate 15 per cent of lobster traps from licence holders, without compensation, to give to First Nations,” Perkins said Monday. “This would be devastating for these fishermen. >click to read<13:43

Political pressure for an early opening of the Gulf crab fishery

Quebec urges Ottawa to authorize the opening of the snow crab fishing season as soon as possible in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence, in which crabbers from the Magdalen Islands, Gaspé and New Brunswick participate. In a letter sent on March 28 to his federal counterpart Joyce Murray, a copy of which was obtained by the QMI Agency, the Quebec minister responsible for fisheries, André Lamontagne, points out that the early opening of the snow crab fishery in the Gulf is, so far, “the most effective adaptation measure that reconciles the protection of Right whales and fishing activities”. >click to read< 10:17

Nova Scotia: Mackerel closure causes bait concerns as fishermen prepare for lobster season

Minister of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) Joyce Murray announced on March 30 that there would be no directed commercial or bait fishing for southern gulf spring herring and a closure of the Atlantic mackerel commercial and bait fisheries this year in Atlantic Canada and Quebec. Guysborough County Inshore Fisherman’s Association Manager Ginny Boudreau’s first concern was about what was not covered in the DFO news release: loss of licences and lack of compensation. Those licenses have essentially been taken away from them…How you can just take thousands of licences out of the commercial fishery and not even a mention of that in the news release?… that’s huge,” >click to read< 08:41

Canada and France reach agreement with total allowable catch rollover of 3Ps cod

Today, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Joyce Murray, announced that an agreement has been reached with France regarding 3Ps cod for the 2022-23 fishing season. Both countries intend to roll over the current total allowable catch (TAC) of 1,346 tonnes. Canada and France (in respect of Saint Pierre and Miquelon) co-manage fish stocks, including cod, in the 3Ps zone off the south coast of Newfoundland and Labrador. Under the Procès-Verbal Agreement, the two countries meet annually to negotiate management measures, including the TAC of these shared stocks in the North Atlantic. >click to read< 20:35

Rising fuel, bait prices could eat into profit margins

Lobster fishers have had to contend with the rising costs of doing business for years, but this season presents a set of circumstances perhaps without compare. Fuel prices are higher than they’ve ever been on PEI and that will have a direct impact on fishers, especially the ones who sail further out from shore. Throw in rising bait prices driven by quotas and feeding predators, and insurance costs, and it could take a sizable big bite out of profit margins. “It’s going to be different from last year for sure. The cost of everything is going up,” said Naufrage lobster fisherman Lucas Lesperance. He hopes those pressures will create a strong price throughout the season.  Mr Lesperance said seals are becoming more of a nuisance than ever, chowing down on bait species like herring and mackerel. A seal hunt would certainly help, he said. >click to read< 10:07

Higher Snow Crab Quota in Newfoundland and Labrador in 2022

DFO’s management practices in recent years, supported by evidence-based science advice, favourable ocean conditions, and the stewardship of local harvesters, have rejuvenated the snow crab stock in most areas throughout the Province. Improvements in the stock are likely to continue in the short-term and point to continued growth and a sustainable fishery into the future. For these reasons, Fisheries Minister Joyce Murray, is pleased to announce that the 2022 total allowable catch for the Snow crab fishery in Newfoundland and Labrador will be 50,470 tonnes. This represents a 32 per cent increase from 2021. >click to read< 12:05

Snow crab quota jumps 30% for 2022 season – For fishermen like Aaron Ferriera, the quota increase is welcome news. “For a lot of fishermen, crab season is the only thing they fish all year-round, especially now with the price of everything skyrocketing. It’s a good thing for sure,” he said. And the cost of doing business is going up. >click to read< 17:13

Ottawa announces closure of Atlantic mackerel, bait fisheries to restore stocks

Fishers on the East Coast are expressing their disappointment with Ottawa after DFO closed the Atlantic mackerel and commercial bait fisheries, citing concerns that dwindling stocks have entered a “critical zone.” The department said in a release Wednesday it was taking “urgent action” to help preserve the stock of southern Gulf spring herring and Atlantic mackerel with the closures in Atlantic Canada and Quebec. Fisheries Minister Joyce Murray said she recognizes many harvesters depend on the fisheries, and she promised to work with them and others in the industry to preserve the stocks. Fishers in the sector, however, want the decision reversed. Martin Mallet, “It’s going to have a major impact — an atomic bomb impact — on our whole East Coast fishery, from Newfoundland to Quebec to southwest Nova Scotia,” >click to read< 18:52

Ottawa leaving West Coast fishing sector to flounder after salmon closures

The West Coast fishing sector is being hung out to dry and deserves a just transition like other climate-affected industries after the federal government put in widespread closures to the salmon fishery last year, the fish harvesters union says. Boat captains, crews, and shore workers are suffering dire economic hardship with zero emergency or transitional supports after the ministry of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) closed 79 salmon fisheries last June, said James Lawson, president of the United Fishermen and Allied Workers’ Union. >click to read< 14:15

Harvesters Warn of ‘Dire Effects’ as Minister Aims to Protect Fish Stocks from Climate Disruption

A recent appearance by Fisheries Minister Joyce Murray at an industry annual meeting has set off a sea squall of controversy, with harvesters and unions warning of the “dire social and economic effects” of federal catch limits and Murray stressing her interest in keeping fish stocks sustainable in an era of climate disruption. The unions representing fish harvesters on Canada’s east and west coasts claim her remarks to the annual general meeting of the Canadian Independent Fish Harvesters Federation (CIFHF) reflected a “singular focus on ocean conservation” at the cost of workers whose livelihoods rely on the fishery industry. >click to read< 15:38

N.S. MP Rick Perkins grilled federal fisheries minister over clawback of COVID-19 help paid to fishermen

Conservative fisheries critic Rick Perkins grilled Fisheries Minister Joyce Murray Thursday over her department’s clawback of COVID-19 assistance paid to thousands of fishermen, but the exchange may be more remembered for his “confrontational and aggressive” questions and interruptions than the answers. “Six years I’ve been a parliamentarian, I have never seen a more rude member of parliament to a witness. Ever,” said Dartmouth Liberal MP Darren Fisher. “He was extremely rude.” Perkins pressed Murray at the parliamentary fisheries committee meeting on DFO’s decision to claw back a fish harvester benefit. The benefit was paid to crew members across Canada who are paid a share of the catch. >click to read< 11:01

B.C. fishers celebrate DFO announcement allowing spot prawn ‘tubbing’ to continue

The announcement Monday by Fisheries Minister Joyce Murray is an about face from an announcement less than a year ago when DFO served notice it was making tubbing illegal. “This is huge,” said Mike Atkins, executive director of the Pacific Prawn Fishermen’s Association. For decades, the celebrated B.C. fishery has relied on small boat fishers freezing just-caught spot prawns in tubs to preserve them for transport to local markets. Instead of outlawing the practice, the new 2023 regulations will limit the packaged volume of tubbed prawns to 710 millilitres or less. It will also require that all packaging material be transparent.  >click to read< 08:26

Fisheries Minister Discards Science in Pacific Herring in the Strait of Georgia Decision

“Shocked and devastated,” says the Herring Conservation and Research Society’s Rob Morley of Fisheries Minister Joyce Murray’s decision to reduce the harvest rate on Pacific herring in the Strait of Georgia to 10% from the long-standing, science-validated 20%. “Fisheries management decisions should be based on solid peer-reviewed science not the number of signatures on a petition.” To make matters worse, he added, “DFO will take 85% of the likely landed value in seine licence fees that were set in the 1970s.  How are harvesters supposed to make a living?” >click to read< 11:38

Fisheries Minister Joyce Murray sticking to plan to shut down open-net fish farms

Ms. Murray, a long-time Liberal MP known for her interest in environmental issues, was named Fisheries Minister in October after the former minister, Nova Scotia MP Bernadette Jordan, lost her seat in the October federal election. Ms. Murray’s appointment comes as some West Coast wild salmon species are teetering on the edge of extinction and the impacts of November storms on fish and habitat are just beginning to be tallied. Ms. Murray said her priorities as minister will include following through on strategies begun under Ms. Jordan’s tenure, including dealing with the controversial issue of fish farms. >click to read< 07:50

Moratorium sought on herring fisheries; critical for salmon

Conservationists are calling for a moratorium on both the ­upcoming food-and-bait herring fishery in the Strait of Georgia and next season’s roe herring fishery,,, They fear herring ­living ­year-round in the Strait of ­Georgia are at risk due to fishing.,, Conservancy Hornby Island said Strait of Georgia herring stocks are little understood. The organization is among groups urging Fisheries Minister Joyce Murray to impose a moratorium on the fish-and-bait and the roe herring fisheries to rebuild stocks coastwide.,, Rob Morley, chairman of B.C.’s herring industry advisory board, has a different view of herring fisheries in the strait, saying scientific analysis and modelling show it’s a sustainable fishery with healthy stocks. “It is our feeling that it is a very well-managed sustainable fishery.” >click to read< 16:06