Tag Archives: U.S. and Canada

UNACCEPTABLE – Strict right whale protection goal raises concerns among lobstermen

Patrick Keliher, head of the Maine Department of Marine Resources, announced the proposed target at a conference of U.S. and Canadian lobstermen in Portland Friday while defending a decision to cancel three meetings with Maine fishermen to talk about looming right whale protections.,,, The National Marine Fisheries Service estimates that fishing rope entanglement kills or seriously injures five to nine right whales a year,… A few minutes later, Keliher got an email from the fisheries service that spelled out its risk reduction target. Frustrated, he stood up and delivered apparent bad news – he told an already exasperated audience that the service now wanted a 60 percent to 80 percent reduction in the size of the lobster fishery. The room erupted with anger. >click to read<22:49

Lobster fishing bill draws focus onto grey zone

A bill to allow Maine lobster fishermen to haul their traps at night throughout most of the year in the disputed “grey zone” has again drawn attention to the 165-square-kilometre fishing area centered around Machias Seal Island that is claimed by the U.S. and Canada. Cutler fishermen are supportive of the legislation, since they say it would help them prevent Canadian fishermen from hauling their traps, while Grand Manan fishermen say any bad apples in the fishery can be found on both sides of the border. Rep. Will Tuell of East Machias submitted the bill, which would remove all nighttime restrictions on lobster fishing from Labor Day to Memorial Day, at the request of a group of Cutler fishermen. >click to read<17:55

U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement – U.S. and Canada Reach Nafta Deal

The accord restores—for now, at least—harmony with two neighbors that Mr. Trump has repeatedly criticized in public, paving the way for him to hold a late-November signing ceremony with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. “It’s a good day for Canada,” Mr. Trudeau told reporters as he left a special Sunday-night cabinet meeting at his offices to go over the framework of the agreement.  Early Monday, Mr. Trump tweeted: “It is a great deal for all three countries, solves the many deficiencies and mistakes in NAFTA, greatly opens markets to our Farmers and Manufacturers, [reduces] Trade Barriers to the U.S. and will bring all three Great Nations closer together in competition with the rest of the world.” >click to read<11:45

Pacific Salmon Treaty – Alaska salmon negotiators accept fewer ‘treaty fish’

For more than 30 years, the Pacific Salmon Commission has allocated salmon stocks shared between the U.S. and Canada. It’s re-negotiated every 10 years, and the latest version expires at the end of 2018. Formal talks finished in mid-August. Now, the numbers are out: Alaska will accept a 7.5 percent reduction, compared to 12.5 percent for Canada. In Washington and Oregon, the cuts range from 5 to 15 percent. “There’s some that would consider it to be winners and losers and I think in this case, I think everybody was equally disappointed,” said Alaska Fish and Game Deputy Commissioner Charlie Swanton, who headed Alaska’s delegation. >click to read<08:55

Officials: Whales, After Deadly Year, Could Become Extinct

Officials with the federal government say it’s time to consider the possibility that endangered right whales could become extinct unless new steps are taken to protect them.,,,  The situation is so dire that American and Canadian regulators need to consider the possibility that the population won’t recover without action soon, said John Bullard, the Northeast Regional Administrator for NOAA Fisheries.  click here to read the story 09:39

Pacific Halibut numbers could drop

Scientists monitoring halibut say there could be a decline in the bottom fish along the coast of the U.S. and Canada in upcoming years if the current level of fishing continues. The International Pacific Halibut Commission oversees management of the fish along the coast from Alaska to California. Commissioners had an interim meeting Tuesday and Wednesday, November 28-29th in Seattle and heard about this year’s catch and the latest estimates of halibut stocks. Scientists found fewer younger halibut in survey fishing done up and down the coast this year. click here to read the story 16:10

Stikine sockeye run is the best return in a decade

untitled Stikine KingsWhile the King salmon run for gill netters turned out to be worse than preseason estimates, the opposite holds true for sockeye. The state managed sockeye fishery began June 13. Biologists predicted a strong run but were cautious for the first few weeks to let more King salmon into the Stikine River. They limited openings to two days a week and prohibited fishing near the river’s opening. After most of the Stikine Kings passed, managers saw that the sockeye run was coming in strong. Troy Thynes is the Area Management biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game based in Petersburg. “Sockeye’s are looking pretty good this year, at least locally,” Thynes said. “We’re fairly certain that we’re going to exceed preseason expectations. Especially with the Taltan River component of the run that came in really, really strong.” Stikine sockeye are shared equally between the U.S. and Canada because the river runs through both countries. It’s part of the Pacific Salmon Treaty. Canada has taken about 69,000 sockeye and U.S. fishermen 66,000. Audio, read the rest here 12:33

Sweden has until July 31 for scientific justification claiming that North American lobster is invasive

lobsterEuropean Union scientists have given Sweden until July 31 to address U.S. and Canadian objections to Sweden’s claims that North American lobster is an invasive species that should be subject to an import ban. The scientific forum on invasive species met Wednesday to discuss Sweden’s claim that North American lobsters, which have been found in small numbers off the coasts of Sweden, Norway and Great Britain, pose a threat to the smaller European lobster. The forum asked Sweden to update its scientific justification for labeling the North American lobster as an invader to address objections raised by U.S. and Canadian scientists this month, including the argument that Sweden can’t show proof of an invasion despite decades of imports, or that offspring of the two species can spawn a second-generation hybrid. Read the rest here 17:28

Gloucester: Proposed lobster ban would hurt local businesses

Vince Mortillaro, one of the owners of the Gloucester-based family lobster business that bears his name, is watching the evolving trade dispute with Sweden and potentially the rest of the European Union over American lobsters and he doesn’t particularly like what he’s seeing. “We’re talking about a big chunk of everybody’s business,” Mortillaro said Tuesday when asked about Sweden’s attempt to convince the entire European Union — which numbers 28 member states — to ban the import of American lobsters to Europe. “Between the U.S. and Canada selling lobsters and the European Union buying and reselling them, we’re probably talking about a $1 billion business.” Read the rest here  09:27

Endangered Atlantic Salmon Are Facing A New And Potentially Devastating Threat

The Atlantic salmon, already an endangered species in the United States and in parts of Canada, is facing a new threat: A recent breakdown in an international agreement with Greenland may mean that tens of thousands of Atlantic salmon—which otherwise would have been protected—will be harvested at sea before they can return to North American rivers to spawn. Clearly the U.S. and Canada should step up and protect their endangered Atlantic salmon by doing what needs to be done to enforce this multinational treaty. [email protected]