Tag Archives: Nova Scotia

In Nova Scotia, an economic boom brings all the boats to the yard

A newly finished lobster fishing boat waits on a trailer in a yard at Wedgeport Boats, like a displaced sea creature ready to return. The Porsche-red hull gleams in the Nova Scotia sun. Standing on the ground in its shadow, the vessel’s owner, Mark Rogers, watches with satisfaction as the vinyl sticker – the kind used for race cars – is applied to the bow, revealing a muscled, smiling cartoon lobster. It’s the afternoon before the official launch of the Katie Anne – named, according to custom, for Mr. Rogers’s now-grown daughter. The launch has been planned for a Friday, which, as grizzled fishermen will say, is traditionally a day best avoided for a new voyage. Photo’s >click to read< 09:24

Ocean temperatures off N.S. dip after record breaking year, have moved back to normal

Following a season of record-breaking surface temperatures last year, ocean temperatures in the waters around Nova Scotia have moved back to normal this summer, says the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.,,, In 2018, DFO found winter sea surface temperatures from the Scotian Shelf to the Bay of Fundy were above normal. There were also record-breaking temperatures in August and September. However, DFO’s spring survey conducted in April 2019 differed from last year’s results. “First, the surface was really cold because we had a really cold winter. It takes time for the ocean to heat up,” Hebert said. “The deeper water seemed to be back to the normal temperature.” >click to read< 09:44

Move over Fishermen, Alberta company to try to harness Bay of Fundy’s powerful tides

An Alberta-based company has been granted permission to try to harness electricity from the powerful tides of the Bay of Fundy. Nova Scotia has issued two renewable energy permits to Jupiter Hydro. The Jupiter application says it will use three “floating barge type platforms” carrying its patented technology. The company says it uses helical turbines mounted as if they were outboard motors. .,,,Energy and Mines Minister  Mombourquette also authorized a power purchase agreement that allows the company to sell the electricity it generates to Nova Scotia Power for 50 cents per kilowatt hour. >click to read< 10:03

EDITORIAL: Tidal turbines’ troubled waters

For decades, politicians and provincial boosters have been touting the potential of Nova Scotia’s tidal power. We’re steeped in tide lore around here, from the Shubenacadie River’s tidal bore to those time-lapse videos of dockside fishing boats being floated off the bottom by the incoming tide. There’s enormous power in the Bay of Fundy, if only some clever engineer could channel it somehow into our energy grid. It’s clean, it’s renewable and it’s free. Well, it’s proving more complicated, expensive and difficult to harness that energy than even the most skeptical observer could have imagined. And an accident involving a fishing boat is just more bad news for efforts to use the tides to wean ourselves from coal-burning electricity generation. >click to read<13:15

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<

Historically high landings and uncertain prices bring a mixed bag ahead of 2019 Lobster season

The springtime lobster season in district 26a is getting ready to launch. “They’re getting the traps ready and bringing them down to the wharf,” said Wright, supervisor at the fish plant at Lismore wharf in Pictou County. “They’ll bait them on setting day, or maybe the day before and at 6 o’clock sharp the majority of them will be out on the water.” Thirty-two boats lined the floating dock at Lismore on a rainy Monday while captains and helpers attended a wharf meeting at the community centre less than a kilometre up the road. >click to read<13:28

‘Can’t get five cents’: Little Harbour fishermen say wharf has big problems

Roddy Conrad’s been fishing out of Little Harbour, N.S., for 28 years. He says over time the wharf’s condition has deteriorated to the point where those who fish from it are concerned about their boats and their safety. Ten boats fish from the wharf near Lockeport. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans owns the structure. “This one here has a rung missing on top, so your first step’s a big one,” >click to read<16:20

LETTER OF THE WEEK: MPAs an insult to our community

My family obtained Gerard Island on the Eastern Shore in the 1750s. They were fishermen, like many other families, and for hundreds of years kept stewardship of the natural habitat until the present day. There is a two-month lobster fishery here, part of Canada’s top seafood exports worth billions of dollars each year and a key player in the Eastern Shore’s economy. Conservation efforts by our fishery are well documented and have been successful for over 30 years in co-operation with Department of Fisheries and Oceans regulation. >click to read<Andre Gerrard, lobster fisherman, Spry Harbour 10:09

Near Fish Farms, Lobster Catches Plummet

Lobster fishers catch fewer market-sized lobsters, and see fewer fertile females, in areas close to fish farms in Nova Scotia, according to new research led by Inka Milewski, a research associate at Dalhousie University in Halifax. Lobster fishers working in Port Mouton Bay, Nova Scotia, keep detailed records of when and where they fish and how many lobsters they catch. By analyzing 11 years of fishers’ records, Milewski and her colleagues found that the reduction in catch was greatest in the areas closest to open-net-pen aquaculture sites and lowest in the areas farthest away. On average, the scientists calculated a 42 percent drop in the lobster catch and a 56 percent drop in observed egg-bearing females in years when the fish farms were active in the bay. >click to read<11:20

Nova Scotia looks to keep redfish quota as other provinces want in

A Nova Scotia seafood company is urging the federal government to wait several years before starting a large-scale commercial harvest for redfish in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Also known as ocean perch, the species has made a remarkable comeback after a 25-year moratorium. “This biomass is huge. It’s probably the largest in history,” said Jan Voutier of Louisbourg Seafoods Ltd., a Nova Scotia redfish harvester and processor. It’s believed 3.5 million tonnes of redfish are in the gulf today, setting the stage for a looming interprovincial conflict in Atlantic Canada over who gets a piece of the action.”All of a sudden, everyone wants to rush in and get the pot of gold, as it were,” said Keith Colwell, Nova Scotia’s fisheries minister. >click to read<12:20

Bigger loans, faster turn-around time, by loan board to help N.S. fishing industry and younger fishermen

The fishery industry in Nova Scotia is worth an estimated $2 billion annually and one important area that updated Fisheries and Aquaculture Loan Board regulations are putting a high value on is younger fishermen and new entrants. The updated regulations were announced in Yarmouth on Dec. 6 and include such things as reduced loan approval wait times and increasing lending limits from $1 million to $5 million. The goal is to expand options and to eliminate financial barriers that have prevented people – particularly younger fishermen – from taking a risk in seeking big loans to get into the sector and/or improve their enterprises. >click to read<19:40

Crews re-float sabotaged coast guard ship in Nova Scotia fishing village

The Canadian Coast Guard has refloated one of its ships after it was cut from its cradle at a Nova Scotia shipyard over a week ago. The CCGS Corporal McLaren had been partially submerged with 2,600 litres of diesel fuel in its tanks and 400 litres of hydraulic fluid on board after it was allegedly sabotaged in an incident reported to police Nov. 17. Keith Laidlaw, the Coast Guard’s deputy superintendent for environmental response, says the operation started Monday afternoon and was complete by late evening, after the shipyard and salvage team pumped thousands of litres of water out of its hold. >click to read<10:47

Fisheries and Oceans quietly cancels plans to award Indigenous surf clam licence

The federal government says it has cancelled plans to issue a controversial clam fishing licence to a First Nations company with ties to the Liberal party and several sitting Liberal MPs — including the former fisheries minister. A news release from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans says the process to issue a fourth licence to harvest arctic surf clam off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia was cancelled in early July, and that it won’t be issued this year at all. That multimillion-dollar licence was supposed to go to the Five Nations Clam Co., a company court documents suggest did not initially meet key eligibility requirements spelled out in the government’s tender process. >click to read<15:16

Mightier Than the Swordfish: Nova Scotia’s Harpoon Fishermen

A hundred miles off the coast of Nova Scotia, fishermen are in offseason mode. If it were wintertime, they’d be hauling lobster in closer to shore. But now, in July, they’re far from the familiar topography of Shag Harbor. They’re on the lookout for swordfish, and they’re using a deadly tool rarely seen in Western waters anymore: harpoons.,, He’s looking for one thing: a fin as it “nicks” the surface. The swordfish’s crescent-shaped dorsal fin is distinct from that of a sunfish or dolphin, but more easily confused with a shark’s. If the fin seems worth pursuing, the captain steps on the gas, and the harpooner prepares to “stick” the fish. Video, >click to read<09:04

Squid washing ashore by the hundreds ‘live fast and die young’

An alarming number of squid are washing ashore along parts of Nova Scotia’s coast. Experts say although it’s unusual to see such mass die-offs, the deaths are part of the creatures’ “live fast and die young” reproductive cycle. Kent Smedbol is a scientist with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and works with monitoring fish and invertebrate populations. He said northern shortfin squid are common in the waters off Nova Scotia. They range from the mid-United States right up to around Iceland. “They’re a highly mobile species, highly migratory and they only live for about a year,” said Smedbol. “So, they live fast and die young.” >click to read<10:34

2 dead after fishing boat capsizes in Nova Scotia

Two people are dead after a boat capsized off the coast of Port Medway in the Region of Queens Municipality, N.S. The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Halifax says rescuers responded to a call Saturday morning reporting an overturned crabbing vessel. A woman, 55, was found unresponsive on the beach and was pronounced dead after being taken to hospital. A man, also 55, was found near the boat by a vessel and was also unresponsive. >click to read< 16:04

Nova Scotia Lobster Fishermen Fed Up with Mis-Communication By DFO

Lobster fishermen in Southwestern, Nova Scotia are frustrated and disappointed with the lack of direction, mis-communication, and overall support from Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s (DFO) regional management. Five separate fishermen’s associations joined forces in 2017 to form the Southwest Lobster Science Society (SWLSS) to work towards a partnership-based approach to fisheries management and conservation; a move which was touted to be a historic partnership between industry, environmental non-governmental organisations (ENGOs) and regulators. Yet, the newly formed partnership has struggled to move forward as the regulators (DFO) >click to read<11:34

Skeptical fishermen briefed on proposed Eastern Shore MPA, ‘could take us out of our livelihood,’

Nova Scotia’s lobster season opens on the Eastern Shore in days, but dozens of fishermen stopped prepping for it Thursday to learn about a massive marine protected area proposed for their fishing grounds. The Eastern Shore Islands, as it’s being called, has been declared an area of interest for conservation by the Trudeau government. It would be the first marine protected area along the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia and includes inshore and coastal waters. It would protect hundreds of islands that create an archipelago running from Clam Harbour to Liscomb. >click to read< 16:37

FISH-NL reiterates call for province to allow in outside buyers after panel sets 2018 snow crab price at far less than the mainland

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) says the decision of the Fish Price Setting Panel to set the 2018 price for snow crab at $4.55 a pound — well below the price paid to crab harvesters in the Maritimes — supports the call to open the provincial market to outside buyers. “When you learn the price of crab in Newfoundland and Labrador has been set at $4.55 a pound on the same day that a crab fisherman in Louisbourg, Nova Scotia is paid $6 a pound it’s very disheartening,” says Jason Sullivan, Captain of FISH-NL’s under 40-foot fleet. >click to read<18:24

Nova Scotia’s Dirty Secret: The Tale of a Toxic Mill and The Book Its Owners Don’t Want You to Read

The story of Pictou Landing is one of desperation, of corruption and incompetence. So perhaps it’s no surprise that when Canadian journalist and anthropologist Joan Baxter tried to tell it, old forces of power moved in to silence her. The mill’s owners tried to banish Baxter and her book The Mill: Fifty Years of Pulp and Protest from local bookstores. Of course, that backfired in spectacular fashion: The Mill sold out two printings and became the best-selling book in Nova Scotia Chapters and Coles book stores the month it was released. >click to read< 10:14

Helicopter lands on Frying Pan Shoal as rescuers try to save fishing captain

There are questions about why the captain of a fishing boat in trouble off the northeast coast of mainland Nova Scotia was not rescued Wednesday when the other crew members were picked up. Fisherman’s Provider II started sinking Tuesday after running ground on a rocky shoal about four kilometres off Canso. There were four people on board at the time. Another fishing vessel, the Miss Lexi, came to the stranded men’s aid and managed to get three of the fishermen off the vessel. But the captain refused to leave and stayed on the boat. >click to read< 14:11

DUMPING DAY DELAYED: Forecasted winds cancel Nov. 27 start of lobster season

The opening of the lobster fishery off southwestern Nova Scotia has been delayed due to the forecasted high winds. The season, which was to have started on Monday, Nov. 27, with dumping day, will only start Tuesday at the earliest. A decision to postpone the start of the LFA 34 (southwestern Nova Scotia) and LFA 33 (south shore of NS) seasons was made during Saturday morning conference calls to review the forecasted weather. Anything forecasted winds above 25 knots automatically cancels the start of the season. Sometimes the opening of lobster fishing off southwestern Nova Scotia goes off without a hitch. And sometimes not. Here’s a look at some past season openings over the years. click here to read the story 11:39

Northern Osprey III named at Tersan

The new Arctic shrimp trawler Northern Osprey III, built at the Tersan yard in Turkey to Skipsteknisk ST-118 design, is close to completion at Tersan Shipyard in Turkey. Owners MV Osprey of North Sidney, Nova Scotia ordered the new vessel at Tersan Shipyard in November 2015 after intense design development with Skipsteknisk. Northern Osprey III is the third vessel built by the Norwegian emigrant Ulf Snarby at MV Osprey based on ST-design. The first was the Northern Osprey (1992) and the second was the newly sold Northern Eagle (1996). click here to read the story 15:01

Boudreau family makes local shipbuilding history

The largest modern fishing boat ever manufactured on Isle Madame hit the water in October. Father and son duo Adolphe and Shawn Boudreau completed construction on the fishing vessel All Segments, which was purchased by the Everett family of Digby. The hulking 50-foot by 30-foot boat weighs in at 90 tonnes. click here to read the story w/photos 16:30

DFO raid facility, seize 3 tonnes of lobster as part of probe into unlicenced fishing

Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) has intercepted 3 metric tonnes of Nova Scotia lobsters on Monday, shortly before they were reportedly scheduled to be shipped to Asia. The DFO only released the information after Global News attempted to confirm information they’d received from other sources. “An investigation is currently underway into the sale of fish not harvested under a commercial licence,” said a DFO representative. click here to read the story 19:08

Marine Protected Areas – Fishermen say Ottawa not clear on what potential protected areas will mean for fishing grounds

Cape Breton snow crab fisherman Basil MacLean speaks for many in coastal when he complains Ottawa has not been clear about what a potential marine protected area (MPA) will mean in his fishing grounds. “We’ve got no clarity. We got no idea what they want to protect,” he says. Earlier this year, officials with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans revealed an area known as the Cape Breton Trough in western Cape Breton is a potential candidate for designation as a marine protected area. The Trough overlaps the lucrative snow crab grounds known in DFO bureaucratise as Area 19. click here to read the story 11:41

Lobster wars

Burned out fishing boats, thousands of pounds of dumped, dead lobsters and allegations of a booming black market for the popular crustacean have drawn federal investigators to Nova Scotia’s most lucrative fishing grounds in the lead-up to lobster season. Tensions have been running high in recent weeks along the small wharves in the communities that dot St. Mary’s Bay, a well-known breeding ground for lobsters during the summer. While conservation laws prevent lobster fishers from harvesting the shellfish during breeding season in order to safeguard stocks, stunned locals watched thousands of pounds of lobsters that appeared to be commercial loads pass over their docks though the summer months. click here to read the story 10:53

Indigenous, commercial lobster fishermen clash in Digby County

The Sipekne’katik Band is accusing southwestern Nova Scotia lobster fishermen of throwing native fishing rights overboard. “There has been protesting and people are interfering with my people exercising their rights,” Chief Mike Sack said Thursday of a fleet of about 10 boats operated by the band that has been fishing lobster from different wharfs in St. Mary’s Bay in Digby County. “It has been escalating quickly over the last little bit.” Sack said local non-native fishermen from Lobster Fishing Area 34, the most lucrative lobster waters in Canada that encompasses an area from Baccaro Point to just below Digby, do not recognize native treaty rights to fish out of season. click here to read the story 22:57

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