Category Archives: Canada

Earth Day: Not a Single Environmental Prediction of the Last 50 Years Has Come True

We should be thankful that the gloom-and-doom predictions made throughout the past several decades haven’t come true. Fear-mongering about explosive population growth, food crises and the imminent depletion of natural resources have been a staple of Earth Day events since 1970. And the common thread among them is that they’ve stirred up a lot more emotions than facts. >click to read<10:23

Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Team to Focus on Right Whale Survival This Week

On April 23, a group of approximately 60 fishermen, scientists, conservationists, and state and federal officials will come together to discuss ways to further reduce serious injury and mortality of endangered North Atlantic right whales caused by trap/pot fishing gear. The group will meet in Providence, Rhode Island for four days. At the end of the meeting, they hope to agree on a suite of measures that will reduce right whale serious injuries and deaths in fishing gear in U.S. waters from Maine to Florida to less than one whale per year, the level prescribed by the Marine Mammal Protection Act. >click to read<10:01

The long life and slow death of a large lobster named Lanny

Few of his kind would live a life like Lanny the Lobster did. The three-foot, 22-pound crustacean lived for decades in the Atlantic Ocean, before he found himself in the clutches of an ocean dragger.,,, Because Lanny had lived for so long, Caudle said it was felt he deserved the chance to live out his days at sea. Seafood wholesaler Mike Caudle had named him after hockey star Lanny McDonald, having noted an apparent resemblance between the retired Calgary Flames captain and the crustacean.,,, >click to read<10:59

Mackerel trap approved for St. Margarets Bay, will fish from mid-May to July

Fisheries and Oceans Canada has approved a commercial mackerel trap in a popular recreational area of St. Margarets Bay, N.S., outside Halifax.  The case prompted a community debate about whether the historical fishery still fit in the increasingly urban area. “Obviously, I’m pleased with it because that’s what we applied for and it finally came through,” said fisherman Gary Burchell. Burchell has been given a two-year licence to install a large mackerel trap at the tip of Micou’s Island, a protected nine-hectare island on the eastern side of St. Margarets Bay. >click to read<10:03

Forget Offshore Windfarms! How Canada’s other major energy export could light up New England states

Last week, Maine’s Public Utilities Commission approved a new transmission line connecting Quebec’s hydroelectric projects to the eastern United States. The US$950-million New England Clean Energy Connect (NECEC) project still needs approvals from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and a U.S. presidential permit from the U.S. Department of Energy. If approved, the construction of the 1,200-megawatt transmission line will provide power to consumers in the six New England states at a time when the region’s ageing power plants are set to retire. Maine’s approval of the project — which also faced criticism from environmental groups,,,Another stalled project includes the Access Northeast natural gas pipeline, backed by Enbridge Inc., Eversource Energy and National Grid. >click to read<09:27

For He Has Risen.

We wish you all Peace and Good Will on this Easter Sunday. 08:10

New super sturdy lobster trap goes into production

The Lobster Trap Co., which aims to build a more robust trap than what is now available, is making its first commercial manufacturing run of its plastic product this lobster season. The Yarmouth-based company started taking orders three weeks ago and plans to produce at least 10,000 lobster traps for the 2019-20 lobster season along the southwestern shore of Nova Scotia. The new trap design, which meets regulations for use in Canada and the U.S., would replace the wire-mesh components of current traps with polyethylene-based plastic. >click to read<11:41

Canada says no to Asian carp as lobster bait

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is throwing cold water on the prospect of importing Asian carp from the United States for use as lobster bait.
With bait prices on the rise, the invasive species was promoted as a cheaper bait source for the lucrative fishery. “The CFIA is aware that the industry has expressed interest in importing Asian carp for bait for the lobster fishery,” agency spokesperson Christine Carnaffan said in an email. The position is news to promoter Patrick Swim of lobster.ca, who said he has spent months seeking permits from both countries to import Asian carp from the Illinois River as bait for the lobster fishery in southwest Nova Scotia and Maine. >click to read<08:46

‘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

‘Huge increase’ in fishing ahead – Could a redfish trawling bonanza zap the Maritime Link?

Owners of the Maritime Link are exploring whether the two subsea electrical cables between Newfoundland and Nova Scotia will need to be better protected from fishing gear when seafood companies begin harvesting an exploding biomass of redfish in the region. Scientists say there are at least 2.5 million tonnes of redfish in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and that is expected to trigger an Atlantic Canadian fishing bonanza — including more bottom trawling — when the fish reach harvest size in a year or two. >click to read< 08:59

Regulators unveil new tool designed to help reduce right whale entanglements

Federal fisheries regulators demonstrated a new risk-assessment tool on Tuesday aimed at helping the survival of the North Atlantic right whale. It comes on the eve of regulatory decisions that could affect the fate of the endangered species — and the lobster industry, as well. Federal scientists said the new data model should help lobstermen and conservationists make collaborative decisions about reducing dangers that fishing gear poses for the endangered. >click to read<12:49

Judge issues caution to all commercial fishers, Logbook, “you are either in compliance or you are not,”

A Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge has issued a general caution to all commercial fishers when it comes to properly recording their catches. “Fishers have to understand that the court will not treat the failure to make a log entry as a mere lapse in accounting. There is no wiggle room in the conditions; you are either in compliance or you are not,” ruled Justice Frank Edwards, in a decision released Wednesday. Edwards made the ruling in overturning a provincial court judgement against a 36-year-old Halifax County fisherman who pleaded guilty to a charge of failing to properly maintain an up-to-date log book of his fishing activities. >click to read<22:09

Newfoundland: Equinor, Exxon given environmental go-ahead for exploratory drilling offshore

Equinor and ExxonMobil have been given the green light from Canada’s Environmental Assessment Agency to drill exploratory oil wells in the Flemish Pass and Jeanne d’Arc basins in the province’s offshore. Neither of the oil giants’ proposed drilling projects are “likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects when mitigation measures are taken into account,” according to a release sent by the federal agency on Wednesday afternoon. >click to read< 19:02

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 50′ x 4′ Ext. x 24′ Novi Lobster Boat

Specifications, information and 9 photos >click here< To see all the boats in this series, >click here< Vessel is in excellent condition. 14:35

FISH-NL condemns $20 million in spending on seismic blasting; Grand Banks ‘desperate’ for a break

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) condemns the decision by the Dwight Ball government to spend another $20 million this year on seismic blasting in the province’s offshore. “The Grand Banks are desperate for a break,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “Most commercial fish stocks are in hard shape, and plankton numbers are way down. Ottawa preaches caution with fisheries management, and Dwight throws that caution over the side of a seismic boat.” >click to read<10:48

Roe herring fishery meets DFO expectations; opposition continues to question sustainability

As with other years, the allowable catch was set at 20 per cent of the estimated 135,000 tons of returning herring. Both seiners and gillnetters came in under their quotas with seiners bringing in 7,178 tons of their 8,311 ton quota, and gillnetters catching 8,373 tons of their 11,472 ton quota. Neil Davis, director of resource management program delivery with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, says overall the fishery had good success and there were no surprises in terms of the catch versus the quota. Quincy Sample, a Comox fisherman, says he was a few tons short of reaching his quota,,, >click to read<11:34

N.S. seafood company accused of bilking 2 European firms out of $33K

Two European seafood businesses are buying Facebook ads and posting warnings in online seafood forums alleging they lost money to a Nova Scotia seafood company. Two firms say Oceanic Superfoods, run by David Brandal of New Minas, cheated them out of more than $30,000 when his company didn’t deliver the product they ordered. “Nobody should ever do any business with David Brandal,” said Willem Sodderland, founder of Seamore, an Amsterdam company that makes pasta, wraps and imitation bacon from seaweed. “That’s pretty clear.” >click to read<09:43

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

You should read this. Right whale extinction crisis gains momentum on Capitol Hill

Leaders from industry, science and advocacy convened on Capitol Hill this week for a congressional briefing and panel discussion on the North Atlantic right whale extinction crisis. Despite being a busy week in Congress, the room was packed with attendees interested in learning more about the status of the right whale and opportunities for Congress to support the recovery of the species. NRDC cosponsored the briefing and I had the pleasure of presenting on the panel, which was held in cooperation with Representatives Seth Moulton (D-MA) and Jared Huffman (D-CA). The panel provided a compelling overview of the severe threat posed by entanglement, ongoing and future actions aimed at reducing right whale deaths, and the international cooperation needed to secure the whale’s future. >click to read<20:51

Climate change is now a fact of life in Atlantic Canada fishery

The Atlantic Ocean is one of the most productive marine environments in the world, with an abundance of marine organisms from crabs, to lobsters and wild fish stocks, supporting over 55,000 jobs in industries like fishing, aquaculture, and tourism. On April 10, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson released what is the first Atlantic Ocean status report, called Canada’s Oceans Now–Atlantic Ecosystems,2018 >click to read<15:52

With an acquisition in Nova Scotia, lobster dealers expanding into Canada to shore up their business

Ready Seafood in Portland is joining a handful of U.S. lobster companies that have opened Canadian operations, locking down year-round access to hard shell lobsters that can be exported to both China and Europe without the tariffs that have crippled other U.S. dealers. Ready is following in the footsteps of other American lobster dealers, ranging from Boston Lobster Co.,,, Dealers from both sides of the border who attended the Canadian-Maine Lobstermen’s Town Meeting in Portland last week said that having a footprint on both sides of the border is necessary >click to read<09:30

RCMP says man at helm of out-of-control fishing boat was 5 times the legal limit

A Port Hardy man has been charged in connection with a potentially dangerous incident last Fall. Jason Willie George Walkus faces charges including dangerous operation of a vessel and operating a vessel while impaired. RCMP say Walkus’s blood-alcohol level was 5 times the legal limit. On the morning of November 29th, RCMP received a report that a fishing vessel was being operated in an erratic manner and the operator may be impaired. >click to read<13:51

Provincial government creating more opportunity for Newfoundland and Labrador shrimp processors

The provincial government has struck a deal with offshore shrimp companies and onshore processors that will see more product handled in Newfoundland and Labrador.  As of April 15, offshore companies landing frozen-at-sea industrial shrimp — smaller shrimp, frozen with the shell on — will give onshore processors the opportunity to buy through a new process. Previously, only a small fraction of industrial shrimp was processed in this province. >click to read<12:12

DFO – Atlantic mackerel stocks down 86% over past 20 years

The latest stock assessment for Atlantic mackerel contains grim news for one of the region’s most iconic fish. Scientists say the spawning population is now at 86 per cent of pre-2000 levels, and the number of fish surviving to breed is at all-time lows. An assessment by DFO says mackerel are in the “critical zone” where serious harm is occurring and recovery is threatened by overfishing. Adding to the uncertainty are changing environmental conditions in the Gulf of St. Lawrence where mackerel spawn. >click to read<09:30

Bill C-60: Reviewing the Fisheries Act – B.C. North Coast residents to Ottawa: ‘We can’t make a living fishing’

Lax Kw’alaams Band Mayor John Helin called for more consultation as he painted a grim picture,,,“In my community we have a fleet of 70-80 gillnetters that can’t make a living,,, Prince Rupert resident, Chelsey Ellis,,, Ellis grew up on the East Coast, where she’s seen the benefits of the owner-operator policy for fish harvesters. In her statement, she said this is not the same in British Columbia, where there has been a steady increase of licenses and quota being transferred from fishermen and away from coastal communities.>click to read<15:44

‘Atrocious’: 250 Dungeness crabs dumped beside highway in Northern B.C.

A massive dump of dead crabs along a main northern highway has triggered a major investigation. The 250 male Dungeness crabs were found rotting beside a Highway 16 rest stop, west of Smithers, B.C., last week. Officials believe it’s linked to ongoing illegal seafood sales along B.C.’s North Coast. “I’ve never had an investigation like that, with a bunch of crab dumped,” said B.C. Conservation Service Officer Flint Knibbs. >click to read<14:50

Paq’tnkek Mi’kmaw Nation mourns 2 young men after fishing boat capsized

Two men from the Paq’tnkek Mi’kmaw Nation have died and a woman was rescued and taken to hospital after their fishing boat capsized Monday afternoon in the waters off Nova Scotia’s Antigonish County, according to RCMP.  They had been out in an oyster fishing boat in rough waters near Bayfield when someone called 911 around 3 p.m. The three people were employed by Paq’tnkekMi’kmaw Nation for oyster fishing. All of them were wearing personal floatation devices, the RCMP said in a statement.  The two men were identified as Ozzy Clair and Niko Clair. >click to read<14:14

Fishy Business | New Patagonia Film ‘Artifishal’ Highlights Devastating Impact Of Fish Farms

Salmon’s delicious, isn’t it? Laid out on a bed of rice, with a drizzling of teriyaki sauce over the top, yeah it’s making you drool just thinking about it. But, and we hate to be a buzzkill on you like this, have you ever stopped to consider where your salmon’s coming from? Or for that matter, where loads of that tasty-looking fish you see in your supermarket originates? These are the questions that sit at the very heart of Patagonia‘s new film ‘Artifishal’. Produced by the Patagonia founder, and big-cheese, Yvon Chouinard himself, the documentary looks to address wild fish, wild rivers, and the habitat destruction that’s come as a result of fish farms and fish hatcheries. Video trailer, >click to read<11:34

U.S. Senator Collins ‘misinformed’ on Canadian lobster fishery

Canadian lobster fishermen are challenging the “misinformed” remarks of a U.S. senator. Susan Collins, a Republican senator from Maine, has accused them of undermining conservation efforts by Maine lobster fishermen in a disputed “grey zone” between the two countries.,,, Collins incorrectly claimed Canadian fishermen are allowed to catch egg-bearing female lobsters that are notched and tossed back by Mainers.,,, The claim rankles New Brunswick lobster fisherman Brian Guptill, president of the Grand Manan Fishermen’s Association. He said it is untrue. >click to read<09:01

Annapolis Royal mayor says tidal turbine shutdown won’t hurt town’s coffers

Last week the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans ordered NSP to shut down the iconic electrical power generating station after a review of data, especially in relation to reported fish kills over the past three decades. “From the very beginning the Town of Annapolis Royal has reached out to Fisheries and Oceans to get updates on where the review and the monitoring was,,, SHUT DOWN – He said what the community is learning is that a lot of those reports never found their way to the people who should have been taking that into consideration all these years. >click to read<20:06