Tag Archives: Newfoundland

Small-scale fishing families are under threat.

In the UK their vessels make up 80% of the nation’s fishing fleet yet they receive only 4% of the total national fishing quota. On the other side of the Atlantic, Newfoundland fisheries have been downsized in response to fisheries closures in the early 1990s. In both locations people who depend upon this industry have been left vulnerable. This includes thousands of women who are vital to the survival of small-scale fishing businesses. To explore and raise their profile, Women in Fisheries’ research project will examine women’s roles, identities and wellbeing in fishing families. >click to read<11:00

Newfoundland scallop fishermen left high and dry

I’m sitting here thinking about how our elected government is forcing our 3PS scallop fleet to destroy the only bit of fishing ground (north bed) that they gave our fleet to fish in 2006 by building invisible fences around the rest of the grounds which are known as the southern and middle beds. We always had the right to fish there, but inside those fences now only the offshore fleet from Nova Scotia is allowed to fish. How criminal this is for is Newfoundland fishermen to be banned from fishing our own waters where we can fish for any other species. Paul Snook, Fortune >click to read<10:46

No cod, no children

Before the cod moratorium in 1992, children could be seen waiting along the wharfs across St. Brendan’s Island, eager to cut out the cod tongues as the boats came in. Gerry Walsh, 57, is one of the last fishermen in St. Brendan’s and remembers the sense of prosperity on the island. “It seemed like everyone was working. I’d say there was 100 per cent employment,” said Walsh. “Those that weren’t fishing were working in the fish plant.” There are neither cod nor children in St. Brendan’s now. “There’s not going to be (another generation). The community is dying,” >click to read<16:58

Fishermen Rescue Man Who Fell Overboard in Torbay

A fisherman out of Torbay is OK after he fell into the rolling waters off Tappers Cove. It was a cold, rainy, and blustery day in Torbay, and the waves crashing into the wharf at Tappers Cove were intimidating—but not enough to keep away local commercial fisherman Wayne Bradbury. According to the Torbay Volunteer Fire Department, Bradbury has a fishing vessel tied on just outside Tappers Cove. He was concerned the vessel was taking on water, and decided to go check it out for himself, heading out in a small aluminum fishing boat. >click to read<18:29

Hope fading for recovery of northern cod off Newfoundland: ‘This stock isn’t growing’

Hopes have been dashed for a recovery of the once mighty northern cod stock off Newfoundland, a leading conservation group says. Three years after scientists confirmed there were signs of a comeback and catch limits were increased, the federal government decided this week to reduce the limit. Ottawa cited a spring stock assessment that found the cod population had declined 30 per cent after seven years of rebuilding. >click to read<09:55

Winds stymie crab fishery on east coast of province

Since the arrival of Europeans on the shores of Newfoundland, harvesting of the fisheries has been heavily controlled by one major factor, Mother Nature. Winds, tides, and ice conditions determines when and where harvesting of the resource occurs. Modern day fisheries are no exception. Last year harvesting of snow crab was hampered by the arrival of ice on the northeast coast. For several weeks the ice packed into the various crooks and crannies that dot our bays and inlets keeping crab boats secured to the wharves. Harvesting was delayed as the ice drifted to and from the coastline. Photo’s >click to read<

Fish or cut bait

Derek Butler of the Association of Seafood Producers says he was trying to make a point when he argued for an end to the recreational cod fishery. The point he was making is that the recreational fishery is by and large unregulated: there’s no clear picture about who is taking fish, where they are taking it and how much cod is actually landed. Shine a light by saying close the fishery, and get more eyes looking at the problem. His call for a ban may have generated plenty of heat, but we’ll take the bait. What Butler is raising is a question that bears closer analysis. >click to read<20:14

How Bomb Debris from Bristol, England, Made a Road in NYC

Here and there along the shores of the island of Newfoundland there are large amounts of flint. Since flint does not occur naturally in the area, we know that it was once ballast. This is what remains of the vast seasonal Grand Banks fisheries, so important from the early 16th to the early 20th centuries. In Eurocentric terms, Newfoundland was discovered in 1497 by John Cabot, a Venetian-born navigator sponsored by King Henry VII of England and a group of Bristol merchants. By that time, of course, there had been people living in Newfoundland,,, >click to read<13:38

The Newfoundland Fishery Assassin

By David Boyd, Twillingate, Newfoundland. Our province, our fisheries are in the grip of a hellish nightmare. An assassin is on the loose. Let us begin. The Caplin biomass are in dire shape. So are our Wild Salmon – just a mere 30,000 striving to survive in south coast currents. Toxic fish farms have instead become the priority of politicians’ hearts. They permit fake fish proponents to rule our waters – spinning fishy tales and casting misery to our wild species. Oil, too, has become the politician’s potion. The smell of fish on their hands is dirty. The assassin’s cloak spreads further. >click to read< 09:52

Outrage in Newfoundland as Indigenous groups get cut of Arctic surf clam fishery

Federal Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc’s decision to cleave off 25 per cent of the lucrative Arctic surf clam fishery and give it to a newly formed consortium of Indigenous groups has blindsided those who have depended on the industry on Newfoundland’s Burin Peninsula for decades. “This is an unprecedented move,” Grand Bank Mayor Rex Matthews told CBC Radio’s The Broadcast. “To come in and expropriate 25 per cent of a quota that we’ve had for the last 27 years.” >click to read< 10:06

There’s something wrong with cod

It will be another decade maybe, research shows, before harvesters can fish codfish commercially. It’s already been a quarter century since we’ve been able to fish cod commercially. Something is not right here. There has been ample time for cod to be back to commercial status with the minimum amount of cod that has been taken out of the system by Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. Why aren’t the cod stocks improving? Is it because of predators of cod and cod larvae, or is it due to seismic work for oil that is killing the food of cod and cod larvae? Is it poor science on cod stocks, and they really don’t know what’s out there? Is it because of foreign overfishing,,, click here to read the story 20:21

How Newfoundland is grappling with the return of cod fishing

Tony Cobb is seated at his usual table at the Chester Fried Superstop, a roadside gas station and convenience store that serves some of the best fish and chips on Fogo Island.,, His ritual is interrupted every few bites by the coverall-clad fishermen who approach the table after paying for their gas. In baymen’s accents and with hands held chest high, they tell Mr. Cobb, whose new fish business offers the best price for top-quality northern cod in Newfoundland, about the huge, gleaming fish they’ve been catching. The late fall yields the best cod of the year, from “foxy” reddish ones to black-backed hulks. These are not fish tales, and Mr. Cobb is happy to banter. But when the fishermen turn away, his eyes darken: His mind has wandered out of the diner and into the bleak murk of fishery politics. click here to read the story 14:06

DFO’s Inaugural Citizen Science Cod Project – creates cod assessment data, community involvement

Notwithstanding a car that perpetually reeked of fish, Madelyn Swackhamer is singing the praises of her summer job. The 17-year-old from Bareneed, Conception Bay North, was one of 40 high school students hired by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) for its inaugural Citizen Science Cod Project.,, The pilot project involved having pairs of students located at 20 landing wharves in communities on the Northeast Avalon, Conception Bay, Trinity Bay, Bonavista Bay and Notre Dame Bay throughout the course of the province’s summer and fall recreational food fisheries. The students were charged with recording data on how many fish are being caught, the length of each fish, and the arrival and departure of participating vessels. click here to read the story 22:06

Shelving shrimp: Inside Katsheshuk II, OCI’s $8-million bet on groundfish

For years the Katsheshuk II hauled in shrimp off the shores of Newfoundland. The ship caught, processed and froze the shrimp to be sent to customers. But shrimp stocks have shrunk, leaving Ocean Choice International with too many boats for too small a quota, so the company is spending $8 million to convert the ship. “The shellfish resources are declining but in general, some exceptions, groundfish is increasing,” says Blaine Sullivan, the chief operating officer for OCI. The Katsheshuk II is being overhauled so it can start fishing for groundfish. The industry is hoping for the eventual return of cod, but in the near future it will be other species. click here to read the story 13:57

Ice Assistance Emergency Program – $5M for iced-in fish harvesters, but FFAW says plant workers left out

A Liberal member of Parliament says the federal government has allocated up to $5 million to help fish harvesters who are stuck in port because of heavy ice. Gudie Hutchings, MP for Long Range Mountains, said Friday the money will come under the Ice Assistance Emergency Program for eligible applicants in Newfoundland and Labrador and in Quebec. Some fishermen have been without income for more than two months, as ice socked in the coastline. “Plant workers have been just as impacted by severe ice delays as fish harvesters. Leaving these people out of the income bridging program is unacceptable,” said FFAW president Keith Sullivan in a news release Friday evening.  click here to read the story 20:10

La Scie store owner explains why fishermen risk pack ice – ‘People are desperate’

“Desperate times” are driving fishermen to risk their boats and their lives by heading out into waters clogged with heavy pack ice, according to a store owner in La Scie, who is also the father of one of the crew members rescued Wednesday off Newfoundland’s Baie Verte Peninsula. “This time of year, you got your insurances and payments and things and you got to get fishing. Most people around here haven’t drawn EI [employment insurance] or anything from probably the middle of January,” said Neil Ward, who runs the La Scie Stop ‘N’ Shop. “People are finding the pinch, finding it hard going … People are desperate.” Ward’s son was on the Avalon Princess, which started taking on water Wednesday afternoon and eventually sank.,,”All the inshore boats are not fishing, their EI has run out and it doesn’t seem like anyone gives a crap about it.” click here to read the story 08:18

Income bridging desperately needed for harvesters and plant workers without income due to ice

Harvesters and plant workers are struggling to feed their children and pay their bills, with some having been without income for over two months due to severe ice conditions that prevents the fishery from starting in many parts of the province. The situation has gone from bad to dire, and action in the form of income bridging from the federal government is long overdue. Having gone without any income for over two months, many harvesters feel they are left with no other option than to risk their gear and their own personal safety in order to go fishing through pack ice conditions. click here to read the press release 09:10

Canadian Coast Guard warns Fishermen – Too dangerous to go fishing due to ice

The Canadian Coast guard is telling Newfoundland fishermen not to go fishing because of sea ice that’s packed into bays on the northeast coast of the island. “I would definitely say don’t go out,” said Trevor Hodgson, superintendent of ice for the Atlantic region. “If you’re in port, that’s the safest place for you to be. If you’re out of port, in open water, don’t try and get back through that ice pack to get into port. Choose another, alternate route,” Hodgson added. It’s particularly bad now because of the storm that hit the island over the long holiday weekend pushing thick, heavy ice into shore. Hodgson said he’s fearful fishermen are going out not realizing the potential danger. Click here to read the story 08:04

Newfoundland Hammered with Hurricane-Force Winds – 13,500 still in dark in N.L. as crews work to restore power

More than 24 hours after hurricane-force winds buffeted Newfoundland, crews are continuing efforts to restore power, with about 13,500 customers still without electricity. Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro issued a power warning noon Sunday, asking customers on the Avalon Peninsula to conserve energy to avoid straining the system as more people have their power restored. Holyrood’s Unit 1 was being brought back online slowly Sunday afternoon, delayed because of salt left on equipment left by the storm. One of the customers without power is the St. John’s airport, which is operating on backup power. Desk agents at the airport are wearing parkas because of the lack of heat and baggage carousels are out of service. Environment Canada says the wind gusts should diminish later Sunday morning, after extreme winds wreaked havoc, smashing windows and ripping apart homes. Photos, read the story here 16:52

In 1895 a historian urged us to modernize our fish products and speed them to market

Lawyer, judge, historian and essayist — and son of Port de Grave — Daniel Prowse must surely have been smacking his lips when he wrote about our seafood in a concluding portion of his 1895 history. It was all about freshness and the abundance we had here and how we could access better markets. The railway, speeding from the east coast of our island to the west coast to meet a fast boat on the southwest corner would make it possible for us to earn big, new money from seafood hungry New Yorkers. Rapturously Prowse wrote: “Frozen cod and most delicious cod’s tongues, fresh every morning, will be transported from our shores!” I will admit that it stretches credulity to pair any judge with the adverb “rapturously,” however, I think it’s fair to say Prowse loved Newfoundland. And he always wanted us to do more and better with what we had. Good read! Read the story here 09:53

Six pilot studies test sea urchin farming in Canada

Federal scientists and others are exploring the possibility of sea urchin farming in Canada, with at least six pilot studies using Norwegian technology that proponents hope will turn “zombie” urchins which can denude kelp beds into profitable seafood. The first of the studies, conducted by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, is expected to start next week in waters off Vancouver Island, with others planned for Newfoundland, Quebec and Nova Scotia. Wild urchins are harvested in B.C. and elsewhere, but aren’t farmed commercially anywhere in Canada — yet. But the efforts to birth a new aquaculture industry are already running into questions about the ecological cost. Read the story here 09:11

‘Atlantic’ follows the fortunes of three small fishing communities – in Ireland, Norway and Newfoundland

fishingwaters1_largeNarrated by Emmy award winner Brendan Gleeson, ‘Atlantic’ follows the fortunes of three small fishing communities – in Ireland, Norway and Newfoundland as they struggle to maintain their way of life in the face of mounting economic and ecological challenges. As the oil majors drive deeper into their fragile seas, and the world’s largest fishing companies push fish stocks to the brink, coastal communities and the resources they rely on are fast approaching a point of no return. This has huge implications for Irish fishing communities and the national exchequer and is even more relevant with news of Brexit and the UK leaving the Common Fisheries Area and with Providence Resources planning a large Irish drilling program in 2017. Filmed in some of the most remote and breathtaking locations in the North Atlantic, and at close quarters with some of the sea’s most captivating characters, Atlantic brings to the fore three very intimate stories from the global resource debate. It explores how modern day communities must learn from the past, in order to secure a brighter future. Watch the trailer, read the rest here 15:29

‘These are the risks that we take’

Walking the floor boards with worry and praying for a miracle. It’s a sadly repeated ritual in Newfoundland where the sea gives life and, just as swiftly, takes it away. “We live that life and that’s who we are,” said Johanna Ryan Guy, as the search for two of four men who went missing from a capsized fishing boat continued Thursday near St. John’s. The search was later changed to a recovery mission as hopes of finding the two remaining fishermen alive dwindled. Bodies of the other two men were recovered after the seven-metre craft was reported overturned Tuesday night near Cape Spear. All were from the close community of Shea Heights, where grieving residents say it’s beyond tragic that three generations of one family were on that boat. A team of investigators with the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) is now looking into the deadly incident. As in all maritime communities, dangers in the waters off Newfoundland are real and unpredictable. Read the story here 08:17

LIFO policy: Newfoundland and Labrador will take a major hit if the inshore shrimp fishery collapses

Northern_Pink_Shrimp“In 2015, the inshore shrimp fishery contributed $250 million to the economy of rural Newfoundland and Labrador,” Phil Barnes said. “Economic hubs like Gander, Grand Falls-Windsor, Corner Brook and St. John’s all benefit from the inshore fishery. “Inshore harvesters buy vehicles, groceries, fuel, gear and repair services. Plant workers also spend their income at local businesses,” he said.  Barnes said the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) has to scrap its  “last in-first out” (LIFO) for the Northern shrimp fishery. “Our inshore fleet has access to one area (Area 6) for a few months of the year while the offshore trawlers are in multiple areas all year round,” he said. “Someone is always there and this has to stop. Read the story here 12:57

Newfoundland cod stock shows signs of recovery

Atlantic-Cod-Dieter-CraasmannThe Newfoundland northern cod stock has grown significantly since 2006, according to an independent assessment completed by SAI Global on behalf of WWF-Canada and the Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union (FFAW-Unifor). The assessment cautions, however, that numbers are far below what they were during the peak commercial success of the fishery. FFAW-Unifor, the Seafood Producers of Newfoundland and Labrador, Fogo Island Co-op and WWF-Canada agreed to work together to rebuild the fishery off Newfoundland’s northeast coast, also referred to as area 2J3KL, through a Fisheries Improvement Project (FIP) in 2015. Read the rest here 14:17

Keith Sullivan – Leave scarce shrimp to the inshore fishery

The inshore owner-operator northern shrimp fishery, which is confined to the waters adjacent to the northeast coast of Newfoundland and south coast of Labrador, is being threatened with destruction as a result of poor management and a sharp decline in the stock. In 2015, the directly contributed approximately $250 million to the Newfoundland and Labrador economy. Much of this value originates in rural communities, paying wages to thousands of harvesters, processing workers and truck drivers, and providing profits to processing companies. Indirectly, the economy of the shrimp fishery keeps schools, businesses and municipalities sustainable. Read the rest here 09:41

Fishery the ‘economic giant’ of the province, says FFAW leader

Just weeks before Newfoundland and Labrador’s provincial election, the fisheries union is starting a campaign to promote rural issues.  The campaign is called Rural Works, and it is focused on the importance of the fishery to rural towns around the province. “The reason we were settled here is because of the fishery. The reason we remain here is because of the fishery,” said Fish, Food and Allied Workers president Keith Sullivan at a news conference Thursday.   “It remains a primary economic driver …worth over $1 billion to our province. We think it can be worth much more,” said Sullivan. Read the rest here 19:09

Newfoundland and Labrador Economy: Fishing on Solid Ground

cod-fishAmidst the recent volatility of oil and mineral production, the fishery has been a steadfast economic driver for Newfoundland and Labrador, particularly in rural areas. Many thought that the collapse of key groundfish stocks in the early 1990s was the death knell for rural Newfound- land and Labrador. Now, two decades later, even a trade as ancient as the fishery is showing that it’s capable of change in modern markets. “We fished mainly cod back then, but when the moratorium came on,,, Read the rest here 17:37

Can this province have a successful small boat cod fishery?

mza_1601165783653993600_255x255-75Tonight we speak with fishermen from the south coast of Newfoundland, where the province’s only commercial cod fishery currently exists, to get their take. Listen to the podcast here 12:43

Tagging in Newfoundland showing cod, halibut activity

Atlantic halibut catches provided a landed value of $5.6 million to the Newfoundland and Labrador fishery in 2013, with over 40 per cent caught off the Island’s west coast. The stock estimates for that area, as with other parts of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, face regular dispute, with some fishermen saying there are more fish to catch. Harvesters argue current bottom-trawl surveys do not provide a true assessment at the end of the day. Read the rest here  21:22