Tag Archives: New Brunswick

Volunteers continue search for missing Elsipogtog fisherman

A large-scale search is underway for any evidence of the Tyhawk fishing vessel or its missing captain. The New Brunswick based boat, owned by the Elsipogtog First Nation, sank off the coast of Cape Breton, N.S. earlier this month. Now friends and family from Mi’kmaq communities in both provinces are pooling their resources and raising money to try and find the boat’s captain, Craig Sock. Volunteer Starr Paul of the Eskasoni First Nation in N.S., said a search team is in Chéticamp, N.S. scouring the shoreline and the water for any evidence of Sock, who was known as Jumbo. Four of the six crew members on the vessel were rescued after it took on water and capsized on April 3. Seth Monahan died and Jumbo was later declared missing and presumed dead. >click to read< 10:18

Mi’kmaw community requested a crab season opener delay from DFO prior to boat sinking

The fisheries manager for Elsipogtog First Nation in New Brunswick says the community asked the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to delay the opening of the crab season days before a boat capsized off Cape Breton killing two crew members. According to Dawn Levi, the season started too early and a request was made to delay it. “We had a call last Thursday, on the call were industry representatives including DFO, I requested a delay in the season until it was safe for all our boats to be out there,” According to Levi, DFO said the season was starting because of “protocol.”. >click to read< 12:47

Crab fishing season off to early start on the Acadian Peninsula

New Brunswick’s snow crab fishers have begun their season. At the wharf in Shippagan, boats prepared to take to the Gulf of Saint Lawrence late Friday despite frigid temperatures and the presence of ice in some places. The season officially began at midnight. For Capt. Renald Guignard, it marked the continuation of a family tradition. The Acadian Peninsula received help from icebreakers from the Canadian Coast Guard and contracted boats to allow access to the waters before endangered North Atlantic right whales arrive. >click to read< 17:30

Icebreakers are clearing the way for early Snow crab season with less risk for right whales

New Brunswick’s lucrative snow crab industry is just weeks away from a head start to the season, could result in higher revenue and less risk for North Atlantic right whales. Icebreakers from the Canadian Coast Guard and contracted boats began clearing the waters near Shippagan and Caraquet on the Acadian Peninsula over the weekend. Gilles Thériault, who lives in Tracadie, said fishermen are thankful for the icebreakers. “The quicker we catch our quota, the less danger there is of whales being trapped into ropes,” he said. “We hope that the vast majority of the quota will be caught before the whales arrive.” >click to read< 15:43

New Brunswick: US company plans to build a lobster distribution warehouse in Bayside, upsetting some neighbors.

Little Bay Lobster of Newington, N.H., is proposing a 2,300-square-metre building that can hold as much as 300,000 pounds of live lobster. Owner, Jonathan Shafmaster says the company has been looking for a spot to set up in New Brunswick for over two years. “We have run out of space and we can’t expand,” Shafmaster said. “We buy a lot of lobsters in Canada and you have a very well-managed fishery.” He said Little Bay Lobster buys over two million pounds of Canadian lobsters annually, and the majority of the crustaceans sent to the Bayside warehouse will come from this country. But the proposed location for the metal-clad building, on a former gravel pit property on the St. Croix River, has Gary McDougall in a boil. His home would look down on the building. >click to read< 10:07

Consultation lacking on decision to reactivate licenses for Indigenous communities

The reactivation of dormant lobster fishing licences by the federal government has prompted a terse statement from the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association (PEIFA) and the Maritime Fishermen’s Union (MFU). The two organizations say they were left out of consultation over the reactivation of 10 lobster licences by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) in the Lobster Fishing Area (LFA) 25, located on the western end of the Northumberland Strait between P.E.I. and New Brunswick.,,, The statement said fishermen were “frustrated” by the lack of consultation prior to the decision and called for the federal government to bring together Indigenous and non-Indigenous fishermen’s organizations. >click to read< 09:54

After months of lobster industry losses, things may finally be taking a turn for the better

“We’ve come through the pandemic and it’s been challenging for everyone, to say the least,” says Geoff Irvine, Executive Director of The Lobster Council of Canada. This week, lobster season opened for some parts of the Maritimes including the North shore of New Brunswick, some parts of PEI, Nova Scotia’s Northumberland Strait and pars of Nova Scotia’s Northumberland Strait.  “We’ve seen the lobster market adjust quite dramatically from very strong demand and high, high prices, record prices in January pre-pandemic, and we’ve adjusted to a new reality and we’re in recovery mode now,” Irvine says. >click to read< 16:01

Good Karma! Catching two coloured lobsters, one blue and one calico, comes days after child saved from drowning

A fisherman for 42 years, Gary Robichaud was out fishing lobster with his three sons, Alex, Zachary and Sylvain, when they found a blue lobster in a trap. After celebrating that catch, taking pictures and posing with the bright blue lobster they were even more surprised when 15 minutes later another rare coloured crustacean was found trapped inside another trap. The market sized lobster was calico coloured, another rare catch for the fisherman. Asked if this had ever happened before, Robichaud said no. “It’s never happened to me,” he said of catching two rare coloured lobsters on the same day. But Robichaud said he will take it all as signs of the good luck he’s been experiencing including how things fell into place during the rescue of a 10-year-old boy May 29. >click to read< 20:00

Process local lobster first, say Val Comeau fishermen after devastating processing plant fire

Steve Ferguson said he wonders what will happen next as they wait to see if the buyer they deal with at Les Pêcheries de Chez-Nous factory will be able to help them out. While a large part of the plant was destroyed in a fire, a portion of the processing plant not damaged is set to resume processing lobster this week with about a third of the staff. The company said 331 people were working at the plant at the time of the fire, and 100 lobster fishermen sold their catch to the plant. Local fishermen want to make sure their catch will take priority over lobster being brought in from Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.  “At the end of the day, if they can’t produce our lobster from here, why are they bringing so much from other provinces. >click to read< 15:15

UPDATED – New Brunswick: ‘This is terrible’, Val-Comeau seafood processing plant goes up in flames

A seafood processing plant in northeastern New Brunswick has gone up in flames Thursday afternoon. A plume of thick black smoke could be seen coming from Les Pêcheries de Chez Nous facility in Val-Comeau, a small coastal community now part of the regional municipality of Tracadie. Emmaneul Moyen, a representative of the Maritime Fishermen’s Union, told Radio-Canada it’s devastating news. He said about 100 local fishermen sell their catch to the plant, which had been operating at full capacity. “We are probably talking about 250 workers,” he said. >click to read the updated story< 16:47

Amid escalating conflict, Ottawa orders temporary shutdown of Maritime elver fishery

The multimillion-dollar elver fishery in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick has been shut down amid escalating conflict between commercial and Indigenous harvesters, according to an industry representative. Riverside disputes and threats of violence during the spring elver fishery in 2020 rose to the point where local police intervention was required,,, The order says estimated elver removals were “far above the established catch limits in areas where fishing is occurring, which represents a threat to the conservation and protection of the species.” >click to read< 07:28

Feds delay Snow Crab season in Gulf of St. Lawrence

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans said the decision on Thursday to pause the season will let everyone involved in the fishery to put necessary health and safety measures in place. Seafood processors in the Maritimes had called on Ottawa to delay the crab and lobster season, warning that moving ahead with fishing risks workers’ health — and the bottom line — amid the COVID-19 pandemic.,, New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs said Thursday the province hopes Fisheries and Oceans Canada will delay the spring season for a few weeks, with the possibility of federal compensation. The Maritime Fishermen’s Union, which represents 1,200 harvesters in New Brunswick, said Friday they support a delay of the lobster season until May 15 >click to read< 16:28

Coronavirus: Maritime lobster processors call for a minimum two-week delay opening the spring fishery

It’s the latest reaction to collapsed demand after measures to curb the spread of coronavirus shut down markets like restaurants and cruise ships around the world. The request is being taken seriously by lobster fishermen’s groups in eastern Nova Scotia, which have held conference calls since a letter from the processors, titled “Message to Canadian Lobster Harvesters,” was delivered March 23. The letter was written by Jerry Amirault, of the Lobster Processors Association of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, on behalf of “Canadian lobster processors.” >click to read< 09:46

Coronavirus: “These are not normal times” Situation changing ‘by the hour’ as seafood industry reels

New Brunswick’s seafood industry is reeling as the coronavirus fallout spreads in traditional markets around the world. “Things are changing by the hour,” said Melanie Sonnenberg of the Grand Manan Fishermen’s Association.,, It is a concern shared by other companies. It is estimated well over a thousand international workers are employed in the industry during the processing season, which begins in May. The spring lobster season on the Bay of Fundy’s north shore also starts in May. And in Dipper Harbour, fisherman Greg Thompson is pretty sure of one thing: prices will be rock bottom. >click to read< 06:47

Coronavirus: Snow crab fishery worries outbreak could be bad for business

Next to the lobster industry, snow crab is the biggest fishing industry in the province, as millions of dollars worth of New Brunswick snow crab is sold internationally. About 85 per cent of snow crab products are sold to U.S. markets, particularly casinos, restaurants, and all-you-can-eat buffets, popular in states like Florida, Georgia and Maryland. The New Brunswick delicacy is also popular on cruise ships.,, The industry won’t know what kind of impact the virus will have on the fishery until the season starts in April. more >click to read< 10:35

Fishermen clash over fishing rights across the Maritimes, tensions are running high

Canada’s highest court has refused to hear a Mi’kmaw fisherman’s appeal to have legal costs covered in a lawsuit against Ottawa – a potentially groundbreaking case seeking to define treaty fishing rights. The case comes as clashes between non-Indigenous and Indigenous fishermen intensify across the Maritimes. Observers warn the simmering tensions could lead to violence if the “moderate livelihood” fishery described in Donald Marshall Jr. case two decades ago is not clarified.  “By not dealing with it, the government is responsible for continued conflict in the fishery.” >click to read< 08:55

The Women Doing Canada’s Most Dangerous Job: Fishing

“The first two captains I asked for employment—one was a family friend and the other my uncle—told me no when I asked for a job,” Fleet said. “As I’d never done it before, I didn’t exactly know what the risks and dangers were.” At the time, Fleet knew of only one woman who worked on a lobster boat, out of an estimated 1,500 Grand Manan residents in the industry. The only position she found was available because few others wanted to take it. Notorious for being reckless and hard to work with, the captain had lost two of his crewmen overboard the previous spring, though he was able to retrieve them safely. When she heard Fleet would be working with him, Fleet’s mother cried. >click to read< 21:01

Quebec First Nation challenging commercial lobster fishing limits

An Indigenous band in eastern Quebec is challenging the limits of its commercial fishing licence, saying the federal government should allow its members to sell lobster caught during its fall fishery in the Bay of Chaleur. The Mi’kmaq community of Listuguj, located near Cambellton, N.B., has the right to fish for lobster in the fall, but the catch can’t be sold because it’s supposed to be part of a sustainable food fishery — not a commercial enterprise. >click to read<  10:21

Fishermen want to see studies from Northern Pulp

A fishermen’s working group, representing fishermen from Nova Scotia, P.E.I. and New Brunswick, is concerned that Northern Pulp (NPNS) has not replied to their written request to share completed reports and studies relating to the company’s proposed new effluent treatment facility. “We emailed Northern Pulp over a week ago, requesting that they send us all completed studies and reports within seven calendar days,” says Jamie Simpson, lawyer for the group, which is based in Pictou, N.S.  “To date, we have not received a response.” >click to read< 13:56

N.B. fishing industry feeling effects of Dorian’s wrath

The Maritime Fishermen’s Union says the storm surge has damaged wharves and six lobster fishing boats. As Shelley Steeves reports, the union is scrambling to try and find replacement boats to salvage the season.  Video, >click to watch< 17:35

‘This is a big deal:’ Hurricane Dorian set to make landfall in N.S. today, do its dance in Newfoundland on Sunday

Some Maritimers woke up to a light breeze and the odd raindrop on Saturday morning, but residents are bracing for the impact of what is now a strong Category 1 hurricane. Hurricane Dorian is barrelling toward the region with winds of 140 km/h and gusts of up to 165 km/h. Most of the Maritimes is under a combination of weather warnings, including hurricane, tropical storm and rainfall warnings for much of Nova Scotia, rainfall warnings for New Brunswick and rainfall, wind, storm surge and tropical storm warnings for P.E.I. >click to read< 07:24

Dorian to do its dance in Newfoundland on Sunday>click to read< 07:55

Fishing groups say concerns validated by missing data in Northern Pulp assessment

A working group of Maritime fishermen says a number of concerns regarding Northern Pulp’s proposed effluent pipe have been validated in a report released by the province of Nova Scotia. The fishing groups from P.E.I., Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Pictou Landing First Nation are maintaining a stance of “no pipe” in the Northumberland Strait and “no extension” to the Boat Harbour closure date following the April 23 release of a focus report – terms of reference by the province of Nova Scotia. >click to read<

Industry funded, peer reviewed study says lobsters unharmed by Atlantic Canada salmon farm

The study looked at an N.B. fish farm that uses pesticides to control sea lice. An eight-year study of lobsters living below a salmon farm off New Brunswick’s Grand Manan Island found the aquaculture operation had no impact on the crustaceans’ abundance, size or growth. The peer-reviewed, industry-funded study was published this month in the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. Its authors say it’s the most in-depth examination of its kind in Atlantic Canada. (eyes roll!!!) >click to read<09:08

Fundy North Fishermen’s Association votes to delay the start of the season due to bad weather

Brad Small, the president of the association, said all of the harbours under the association — which spans from the American border to Alma, N.B. — voted to stay off the water due to weather Monday. Environment Canada issued a special weather statement for much New Brunswick and some snowfall warnings for northern areas Monday. The weather will also bring another round of strong and gusty winds along with plummeting temperatures — a mixture of things Small said makes the job of setting traps very dangerous. >click to read<19:52

RCMP asking for public’s help with lobster boats vandalized in Neguac

RCMP are investigating what they’re calling a case of mischief after three fishing boats were damaged at the Neguac wharf on Saturday. Police believe the boats were damaged between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m., said RCMP Sgt. Chantal Farrah. “We’ve spoken to several people in relation to this investigation, we’re still gathering some information,” she said. RCMP are asking anyone with information to contact them. >click to read<19:05

DFO closes more fishing zones after right whale sighting

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has closed portions of four fishery grids after right whales were spotted in the area. The affected grids are in the extreme south of the speed reduction zone and will begin at 10 a.m. on Friday. The closure marks the 20th fishery closure this year related to the North Atlantic right whale. No right whales have been found dead in Canadian waters since last year but a right whale was spotted last week off Miscou Island partially entangled. It has not been spotted since. >click to read<18:33

Lobster fishermen comply with federal order and move traps to smaller area

Lobster fishermen aboard about 60 boats spent Sunday morning pulling traps from waters off Miscou Island in northeastern New Brunswick in order to comply with a zone closure put in place by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. The closures in Lobster Fishing Area 23 were announced by the DFO on June 11, after five North Atlantic right whales were seen between Miscou and the Gaspe Peninsula. DFO boats were in the area monitoring the situation as the traps were hauled up. “There’s a very small block that they can kind of move into. They are limited on the amount of territory that is left for them so they’re all going to have to cram into what’s left I guess.” >click to read<10:16

New DFO orders ‘hard pill to swallow’ for N.B. lobster fishermen

Lobster fishermen off the coast of Miscou Island, N.B., will spend Sunday morning hauling gear from the waters in order to comply with the latest fishing zone closures imposed by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. On Friday afternoon, the DFO re-opened four areas previously closed to fishing due to the presence of right whales. But with more closures being imposed on Sunday, frustrations continue to mount. Carl Allen, president of the Maritime Fishermen’s Union, organized the most recent protest and met with LeBlanc on Friday.,,”I have a lot of respect for Minister LeBlanc, but we just don’t agree with the basis of the whole plan — it’s a hard pill to swallow,” he said.,, LeBlanc did offer the fishermen an alternative, however. He offered a paid training program for crew members and plant workers affected by these closures. >click to read<18:20

LeBlanc offers fall season to fishermen squeezed by right whale measures

The federal fisheries minister says he has offered lobster harvesters from New Brunswick and Quebec a previously unscheduled fall fishing season, to make up for measures aimed at protecting endangered right whales. Dominic LeBlanc said he told the Maritime Fishermen’s Union that he plans to open a harvesting zone in the last half of September because of the 15-day closure of a 1,400-square-kilometre portion of ocean that begins Sunday. LeBlanc said the offer will go to about 62 fishing vessels in New Brunswick and 60 from the Gaspe Peninsula whose lobster harvest will be largely shut down as the whales pass through. >click to read<18:45

Making a killing – As whales die in frightening numbers, New Brunswick’s lucrative snow crab industry struggles under a global spotlight.

It all started when Charles Anastasia’s boat sank. This was in 1979, when 26-year-old Anastasia took to the ocean every morning to fill his nets with cod, back when that fish was still the beating heart of the Atlantic fishery. With his boat pinned 100 kilometres offshore during a “perfect storm,” a floating telephone pole skewered the hull like a marshmallow on a stick. The eight-man crew barely got a mayday out and survival suits on before the vessel sank beneath the 20-metre waves.,,, Soon after, the broad-shouldered, wide-cheeked man uprooted his life and moved to Alaska, buying and selling seafood for a living. It was here he encountered snow crab: a flat-bodied, 10-legged crustacean that transformed his life and would soon, on the other side of the continent, revolutionize an industry. >click to read<