Tag Archives: Nova Scotia

EDITORIAL: It’s time to share marine protection

Nova Scotia has already paid an upfront price for being an environmental pioneer. So it’s time to carefully consider the long-term impact of the aggressive implementation of new environmental measures and policies, including the creation of additional Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) recently announced the boundaries of the new St. Anns Bank Marine Protected Areas, offshore Cape Breton. Roughly 4,400 acres in size, it will be forbidden ground for oil and gas activity. Limited commercial fishing will be allowed on about 25 per cent of the area. MPAs are rightly seen as ocean regenerators, areas in which marine ecosystems can thrive, and fish habitat can be protected.  That’s all good.  What’s puzzling is that little Nova Scotia, with its ocean-dependent economy, is being asked to bear a disproportionate share of the burden for Canada’s MPA initiative.  click here to read the story 12:48

DFO will talk to Nova Scotia about growing number of Marine Protected Areas

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans will meet with the province to discuss its concerns about the growing numbers of marine protected areas being designated off Nova Scotia, a department spokesman says. In April, the province asked Ottawa to stop making additional designations until other provinces and territories reach the same numbers achieved off Nova Scotia. The McNeil government is concerned the creation of more marine protected areas will have a negative impact on Nova Scotia’s economy. Marine-protected designations restrict human activities like fishing and offshore energy development. click here to read the story 11:30

Some industry members fear confusion as Nova Scotia launches its own seafood brand

Nova Scotia’s decision to create its own seafood brand is getting mixed reviews, with praise from some exporters and a pan from one industry association concerned it could cause confusion in the marketplace. Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Keith Colwell unveiled the $150,000 branding effort Thursday at the Halifax airport cargo hangar where tonnes of live lobster are flown to Europe, Asia and the Middle East. “We realized sometime ago we have to have a unique brand for Nova Scotia,” Colwell said.,, The Halifax-based Lobster Council of Canada is not on board with the new brand. The council has spent years promoting the region’s exports as Canadian lobsters. “We believe  it will lead to confusion in the marketplace,” said executive director Geoff Irvine. “We would prefer Nova Scotia processors use the Canadian brand.” Read the story here 11:25

Lobster thieves are back at work in Nova Scotia — two fishing boats were hit a week apart.

RCMP Const. Rob James says the first cache of crustaceans was taken from a boat tied up alongside the wharf in Port Mouton on Feb. 12. Another 135 kilograms was taken in a similar fashion at the same wharf on Feb. 18, bringing the total amount of stolen lobster up to 270 kilograms, worth about $6,000. James says it’s not clear if there’s a connection between the two thefts, and it’s not unusual to see people try to make off with the pricey delicacies. In an incident last January, police say 48 crates of live lobster were stolen from an outdoor pound at a business on Cape Sable Island. The theft followed a similar incident in late 2015, when 14 crates of lobster were stolen from a secure compound on Morris Island near Yarmouth, N.S. Link 15:54

The hidden danger of Dumping Day in Nova Scotia

On Dumping Day, the hundreds of fishing boats that hit the water at the start of lobster season to set their traps can act as camouflage for a vessel in distress and hinder search and rescue efforts. In 2015, that camouflage led search and rescue technicians to jump out of a plane and miss a boat that needed their help, according to the Transportation Safety Board (TSB). Back on Nov. 30, 2015, the Royal Canadian Air Force’s Joint Rescue Coordination Centre dispatched a Hercules plane and Cormorant helicopter after two boats ran into trouble off Nova Scotia’s southwestern shore. The Cormorant and its crew managed to rescue two men who had fallen overboard from one vessel. In his report, Morrow determined that if rescue crews can’t accurately identify a vessel in distress from above, critical search and rescue operations may be delayed. Read the story here 09:08

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

A ‘Confluence of events’ may have caused mysterious fish kill off Nova Scotia

A federal scientist says the recent high-profile fish kill off southwestern Nova Scotia may have been caused by a “confluence of events,” including fish behaviour, weather, and various ecological factors such as predators. However, Alain Vezina says it’s still not known what caused thousands of herring and shellfish to wash ashore at several points between late November and through December. Vezina, who is regional director of science for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), says causes such as pollution, pesticides, and naturally occurring toxins have been ruled out. He says overall the kill was a “small and localized event” that occurred over a 100 kilometre swath from St. Marys Bay to Tusket. Read more here 14:47

Most southwest Nova Scotia beaches now clear of dead herring, latest round of tests find no viruses

Fisheries officials say the flood of dead herring washing up on southwest Nova Scotia beaches has slowed. Fisheries and Oceans Canada says it is monitoring for “evidence of new incidents” in areas where thousands of dead herring have been found since November, and more recently scores of starfish, clams and lobster. Read the story here Meanwhile, The latest round of tests from fish kills in southwest Nova Scotia have not found any viruses. “The viral tests, the long-term ones we were waiting for, all of them came back negative,” said David Jennings, a spokesman for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans in Halifax. Jennings said recent patrols confirm most beaches from Tusket in Yarmouth County around to inner St. Marys Bay are clear of dead herring. The majority of those that remain on shore are located from the mouth of the Sissiboo River to the Plympton area, he said. “We have a few new wash-ups of herring being identified, but not to the extent reported [on] earlier.” Read the story here 17:28

Sometimes the opening of lobster fishing off southwestern Nova Scotia goes off without a hitch. And sometimes not.

lobster-startsIn the present day, there are 979 licences in Lobster Fishing Area (LFA) 34, which is slated to see its season start with Dumping Day on Monday, Nov. 28. The neighbouring LFA 33 along the province’s south shore also opens the same day. As fishermen gear up for the start of another lobster season, he’s a look back at some season starts of years gone by. 2015: Good start, good price Last year’s lobster season got off to a good start with decent opening day weather and better yet, a better price than in previous years. Fishermen were being paid around $6 a pound for their landings. 2014: Six-day weather delay,,, Read the rest here 10:05

Warning sent to illegal foreign lobster licence buyers

1632_lobster%20licensesA Canadian fishers’ federation is firing a warning shot across the bow of foreign buyers for allegedly trying to illegally buy inshore lobster fishing licences. After an advertisement appeared in two newspapers in southern Nova Scotia, the Canadian Independent Fish Harvesters’ Federation became alarmed foreign investors could be scooping up these licences. A classified ad in the Lobster Bay and Clare Shoppers, newspapers published by Marc Graff, asked lobster fishing boat operators if they were looking to retire. The ad then makes a claim. “We have foreign buyers looking to buy district 33,34, 35 and other lobster fishing areas,” the ad reads. Those are the areas for the inshore lobster fishery in southern Nova Scotia. The ad also lists a telephone number for interested parties. But there was no reply to a voice mail message left on it Tuesday. And while the newspaper publisher did identify the advertiser behind that classified ad Tuesday as Novi Marine Brokers in Yarmouth, the director of operations at that company denied any knowledge of it. “I know nothing about that ad,” Tammy Ward, Novi Marine Brokers’ director of operations, said Tuesday. Read the story here 11:01

Nova Scotia fishermen are concerned about proposed Marine Protected Areas (they should be!)

nova-fish-boatThe federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans wants to double the number of marine protected areas around Nova Scotia next year. DFO is holding a series of consultation meetings with the public to get feedback to the idea. It identified 52 special areas within the 475,000-square-kilometre region along Nova Scotia’s Atlantic coast and in the Bay of Fundy that are in the running for the designation including the Sambro Ledges, Port Joli and Eastern Shore islands. Marty King, an oceans biologist with DFO, said the government will choose at least two areas to protect by next spring. But the proposed protections have fishermen worried. “They feel like they’re under siege sometimes,” said Peter Connors, president of the Eastern Shore Fishermen Protective Association.  “I’m quite concerned.” “There’s fear of exclusion from the fish,” said Connors. “I think there’s a certain amount of evidence that that will take place.” Read the rest here 09:21

Last-in first-out policy squabble pits Nunavut and Labrador against Nova Scotia

800px-PandborealisindThere’s a danger that Nunavut’s already inadequate share of offshore shrimp quota could get even smaller if the Department of Fisheries and Oceans continues to apply its last in, first out approach to allocating shrimp quotas, Nunavut Senator Dennis Patterson said last week. “All Nunavut asks for is to be treated fairly and to have the terms of their constitutionally protected Nunavut land claim respected,” Patterson said. Patterson’s contribution to the campaign comes at a time when various entrenched interests, especially long-established fishing fleets in Nova Scotia, are fighting to hold on to their total allowable catch in the face of shrimp stocks that are declining because of climate change. “Last-in, first-out,” or “LIFO,” is a federal policy that’s been applied to the northern shrimp fishery since at least 1997. Read the rest here 17:36

Nova Scotia to enforce mandatory life-jacket rules for fishermen

robert-culling-nate-king-fishermen-life-jacketsOfficials with Nova Scotia’s Labour Department will be hitting wharves and docks in 2016 to remind commercial fishermen that wearing a life-jacket at sea is the law in this province. “We are going to be seeing what the compliance level is and offering advice as to what they should wear, showing them the products that are out for personal floatation devices and let them know about our regulations,” said Tom LeBlanc, the department’s northern regional director.  The campaign will start on the Northumberland Strait and western Cape Breton. Read the rest here 19:53

Nova Scotia lobster buyers must take a lobster handling course for licence renewal

Nova Scotia lobster buyers will have to take a lobster handling course this spring to have their licences renewed, the provincial fisheries minister said Thursday. Proper handling of lobsters should mean fewer crustaceans lost, said Fisheries Minister Keith Colwell. He said buyers were not consulted before introducing the new mandatory licence requirement.  “If we would have waited … every day we lose not having proper handling practices in place on lobsters means we’re losing revenue for the province of Nova Scotia and for rural communities in Nova Scotia,” Colwell said.”If that lobster doesn’t make it to market for whatever reason, then that’s revenue that we’ve lost.” Read the article here 20:45

Nova Scotia to Cooke Aquaculture: Pay up on $18m loan

The provincial government is calling in Cooke Aquaculture’s $18-million loan. The money comes from a major loan announced by the former NDP government in 2012. The government was to make up to $25 million available for the company, $9 million of it forgivable, if Cooke could expand a feed mill in Truro, build a salmon hatchery in Digby County and a processing plant in Shelburne, and create up to 400 jobs across the province. “We fully expect Cooke Aquaculture to live up to their component of that agreement,”,,, Read the article here 10:37

Nova Scotia fisherman concerned about recent thefts of live lobster

A Nova Scotia lobster fisherman says he is troubled by the recent thefts of roughly 2,700 kilograms of live lobster in the province. Hubert Saulnier, a former president of the Maritime Fishermen’s Union Local 9, says the valuable crustaceans were someone’s livelihood and a lot of work and money went into catching them. The RCMP say 48 crates of live lobster, more than 2,100 kilograms, were stolen from an outdoor pound at a business on Cape Sable Island early Wednesday. Read the rest here 18:45

Nova Scotia cautions Trudeau government over marine protection goal

Nova Scotia used its first meeting with Canada’s new fisheries minister to express caution over the Trudeau government’s plan to greatly expand hunter-tootoo, a move that could close designated ocean and coastal areas to economic activities like offshore energy development and fishing. The province’s energy minister, Michel Samson, delivered the message Tuesday during a Halifax stop by federal Fisheries Minister Hunter Tootoo. The first item in the mandate letter from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau instructs Tootoo to work to increase the proportion of Canada’s marine and coastal areas that are protected to five per cent by 2017 and 10 per cent by 2020. Read the article here 15:26

Nova Scotia Fisheries and Aquaculture Loan Board has called the loans for three different fishing vessels

On Nov. 25, three statements of claim were filed in Federal Court. One claim is against a Barrington-based vessel called the Fall Harvest, owned by Crystal Larkin, Donna Larkin and Alexander Malone. The statement of claim said they took out a loan in 2009 which was due on Nov. 23, 2015. The documents say the loan board is owed $194,775.12, plus interest. Another claim involves Shawn Boudreau of Arichat and KAOS Fisheries Limited, the owner of the vessel Major KAOS. Read the article here 08:59

Oh No Canada. Nova Scotia approves oil exploration lease next to Georges Bank, entrance to Gulf of Maine

In a move opposed by fishermen, Canadian authorities have granted the company an exploratory lease for the area 225 miles southeast of Bar Harbor and bordering on the eastern flank of Georges Bank. Environmentalists fear drilling could leave the ecologically sensitive Gulf of Maine susceptible to a catastrophic oil spill. It would be the closest that exploratory drilling has come to Maine since the early 1980s. Five wells were drilled on the U.S. side of Georges Bank in 1981 and 1982, before U.S. and Canadian moratoriums were put in place to protect the fishing grounds. Read the article here 06:27

Liberal fisheries bill a total betrayal – Wendy Watson Smith

Changes to the Fisheries Act that the Liberals are trying to push through will be devastating for coastal communities and do not resemble at all the recommendations of an exhaustive panel study conducted by Doelle-Lahey. Cooke Aquaculture is preparing to restock a site at Jordan Bay that just suffered a massive fish kill. Meanwhile, communities are living with dead and diseased fish on their shores, displaced lobster fishers, dead zones in their harbours that do not recover, equipment debris tangled in lobster traps and polluted harbours. photo  Read the rest here 13:28

Gail Shea still pushing ‘imperative’ lobster levy in Nova Scotia

Federal Fisheries Minister Gail Shea is continuing to promote the idea of a Maritime-wide lobster levy, even though momentum in Nova Scotia appears to have stalled. “I can’t change how people react in that area,” Shea said Monday at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography in Halifax. She was referring to a unanimous vote of lobster buyers from southwestern Nova Scotia last month rejecting the Maritime wide levy. Read the rest here 14:53

Nova Scotia lobster exports grow! A cargo flight to east Asia that can carry up to 100,000 kg has settled into a weekly schedule

Here, some call them cockroaches of the sea. There, people see them as majestic dragons. China’s appreciation of Nova Scotia lobster is good news for local fishermen who have had trouble getting the past few years’ huge catches to market. Frozen lobster exports have risen exponentially, and the new Korea Air cargo flight helps smooth the way for the higher-priced live exports, said Mike Wolthers, a self-described “cargo travel agent” at Kintetsu World Express Canada. Read the rest here 19:41

Clam shortage in Nova Scotia due in part to weak dollar

Craving clams? You’ll probably have to wait until the loonie digs itself out of its hole. Until the Nova Scotia clam season reopens in April, supply will be nearly non-existent across the province, say sellers. The shortage is partly due to the poor exchange rate, with New Brunswick exporters taking advantage of the strong U.S. dollar to sell over the border. Read the rest here 10:43

More than 400 call for new rules on fish farming in Nova Scotia

More than 400 people from community organizations across Nova Scotia turned out for a rally in Halifax on Thursday to issue a joint call for aquaculture reform. The head table at a news conference organized by the Nova Scotia chapter of the Atlantic Coalition for Aquaculture Reform included dozens of representatives of conservation groups, commercial fisheries organizations and even tourism operators. Read the rest here 09:47

Risky weather delays lobster season in southwestern Nova Scotia

The season was to begin Monday along Nova Scotia’s South Shore and southwestern region, but there was plenty of uncertainty Friday about the weather, said Frank Quinn, area director in Yarmouth for Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Read the rest here 23:03

Nova Scotia fishing industry continues to be most deadly

Nova Scotia’s fishing industry continues to be the deadliest workplace in the province because health and safety are not priorities, a legislature committee heard Wednesday. “We see an industry that’s struggling with high levels of fatality and also severe injury and a high frequency of injury,” said MacLean. Read the rest here 10:43

Nova Scotia, P.E.I. lobster fisheries shut down – “We were blindsided. Never seen this coming at all,”

The lobster fishery in Nova Scotia has come to a standstill, and some P.E.I. fishermen have been told to tie up their boats. In Nova Scotia, lobster . P.E.I. fishermen have been put on quotas or told not to fish at all. Read more here 07:38

“This is your strategy and we need you to be involved,” Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Keith Colwell

Province embarks on commercial fisheries strategy – Nova Scotia will develop a commercial fisheries strategy to ensure the fishing industry is sustainable, creates jobs and helps grow the economy. Read [email protected] 12:47

Nova Scotia Lobster season off to rough start, weather delays – Prices up!

863a4ac9dc_64635696_o2Nova Scotia fishermen who take part in the world’s biggest lobster season have been delayed by wind and hampered by storms. “Somebody has to speak with Mother Nature. She is not doing us any favours,” said lobster fisherman Stewart Lamont. [email protected] 09:39

Lobster fishermen wary prices will sink industry

863a4ac9dc_64635696_o2Lobster fishermen in Nova Scotia say if they don’t find a way to get more cash for their catch when the season opens in November, the entire industry will flounder. [email protected]  06:39