Category Archives: Canada

Parasitic sea lice plagues global farmed salmon industry

A surge of parasitic sea lice is disrupting salmon farms around the world. The tiny lice attach themselves to salmon and feed on them, killing or rendering them unsuitable for dinner tables. The lice are actually tiny crustaceans that have infested salmon farms in the U.S., Canada, Scotland, Norway and Chile, major suppliers of the high-protein, heart-healthy fish. Scientists and fish farmers are working on new ways to control the pests, which Fish Farmer Magazine stated last year costs the global aquaculture industry about $1 billion annually. click here to read the story 20:26

Fishermen protest outside Fisheries office, lobsters dumped at ‘dozens’ of sites across Nova Scotia

Several dozen lobster fishermen gathered outside a federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) office in southwestern Nova Scotia on Monday to continue their protest over what they say is an illegal Indigenous commercial fishery. Bernie Berry of the Coldwater Lobster Association said about 50 protesters were in Digby to keep pressure on DFO officials to enforce regulations concerning the sale of lobster caught outside the regular season by Indigenous fishermen. Video, click here to read the story 14:47

‘Why is there piles of lobsters in the woods?’ – DFO Investigates

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans is investigating after dozens of piles of dead, dried-up lobsters were found around Weymouth, N.S., last week. Weymouth is in Lobster Fishing Area (LFA) 34 and the season runs between the last Monday in November until the end of May. Jody Smith, a lobster fisherman from the area, said he and others found the lobsters in wooded areas where people have been known to illegally dump their garbage. “You’re wasting a valuable resource to dump it in the woods. This is sick,” click here to read the story 20:06

Coast Guard ship fined for going too fast in Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Transport Canada has fined the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Sir William Alexander $6,000 for going too fast in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The ship allegedly violated the federal government’s 10-knot speed limit that was put in place in August to prevent further deaths of the endangered North Atlantic right whales.​ As of Sept. 16, there’s been 11 right whales confirmed dead in the Gulf. “We take the speed restriction very seriously,” Delphine Denis, a spokesperson for the federal Minister of Transport, said in an email. click here to read the story 16:41

Carcass of a North Atlantic right whale spotted in the Gulf of St. Lawrenceclick here to read the story

Shelburne company facing charges in lobster fisherman’s death – failed to ensure PFD met safety standards

A Shelburne fishing company is facing five charges under Nova Scotia’s Occupational Health and Safety Act in the death of a lobster fisherman who fell overboard while setting traps in January. Little Rye Fisheries Ltd. will be arraigned in Yarmouth provincial court Monday. The case will then move to Shelburne. Jimmy Buchanan, 44, was working about 50 kilometres southeast of Cape Sable Island when he fell overboard on Jan. 7. RCMP received a call about three hours after the incident happened. click here to read the story 14:16

CETA: Canada-European Union pact worries US lobster industry

Members of the U.S. seafood industry are fearful that Canada’s approval of a new trade deal with the European Union will cause big problems for the American lobster business, just as the catch is hitting historic highs. The Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement Implementation Act, or CETA, cleared its final hurdle in the Parliament of Canada on Tuesday. The deal gets rid of tariffs on Canadian lobster exports to the 28-nation bloc, putting Canada at a huge advantage over the U.S. click here to read the story  11:06

Beached crab boat refloated

Many hands and some well-timed weather helped a team of islanders to right and relaunch a crab-fishing boat that ran aground on Rose Spit. “We just got really lucky,” said Stan Hansen, who was hired along with Port Clements-based D&E Towing to try and clear the Carmanah Light off North Beach. Several volunteers also joined in, unloading dozens of crab pots to lighten the 14-metre steel boat. “By the time we went to take it off, it was perfect,” Hansen said. “The old girl almost jumped off the beach like she didn’t want to be there.” click here to read the story 08:32

Thousands of lobsters found dumped as demonstrations continue in Digby

Thousands of lobster carcasses were found freshly dumped in various areas in and around Weymouth September 15 as fishermen continued demonstrating outside the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Fishermen confirmed many of the lobsters – whose smell and current infestation with insects and maggots show are newly dumped – are below legal harvesting size, and others are female, in addition to having been fished off-season, all of which is illegal at the commercial level. click here to read the story 15:51

FFAW-Unifor upset with DFO decision to draft inadequate northern shrimp plan

The Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW-Unifor) union is criticizing a decision to move forward with drafting a rebuilding plan for northern shrimp that it calls “unachievable.” According to a news release from the union, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) announced the decision at a meeting in Montreal today. While FFAW-Unifor supports the need for a rebuilding plan for northern shrimp, the union argues the current method is unrealistic and needs to be changed. click here to read the story 12:08

Man overboard safety drills catch several participants at Digby Wharf

Get ready, be prepared, do some drills, and know your tools. Those are the words of safety drill facilitator Tommy Harper who, along with executive director Amanda Dedrick, safety advisor Matthew Duffy and demo diver Brandon Fitzgerald, conducted a man overboard safety drill at Digby Wharf September 14. These four work with the Fisheries Safety Association of Nova Scotia to promote safe practices for commercial fishermen through their program, Are You Ready. “We work to ensure safety is a priority on the water, and want to spread that message across the province,” said Harper. click here to read the story 11:31

Fisherman passing on enterprise to his son, but with an uncertain future

For the Dobbins, fishing is the family business, and Fintan Dobbin and his son Robert have been a team for years. While Fintan is preparing to retire from the industry and sell off his over 40-fleet to Robert, he has doubt if there is much of a business he’s leaving behind for his son. “I’m about to sign it over to him now, but I don’t know what he’ll do with it,” Fintan said. This uncertainty was not always the story. There was a time when the Dobbin’s enterprise was a successful operation, largely due to the fishing of halibut in the 4R region. “We made our living at the halibut, we put our lifetime into it,” Fintan said. “Until they took it all away from us.” click here to read the story 22:57

Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster didn’t affect fish, humans in B.C., scientist says

Radioactive contamination following a nuclear power-plant disaster in Japan never reached unsafe levels in the north Pacific Ocean for either marine life or human health, says a British Columbia scientist. Chemical oceanographer Jay Cullen of the University of Victoria has monitored levels of contamination from radioactive isotopes, used in cancer therapies and medical imaging, since the meltdown of three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in 2011 following a tsunami triggered by an earthquake. click here to read the story 18:29

FISH-NL calls for reopening of Terms of Union with Canada; state of fisheries national shame and international disgrace 

The President of the Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) says the province’s Terms of Union with Canada must be reopened with regards to fisheries management, given the critical state of the industry 68 years into Confederation. “The Terms must be revisited so that the principles of adjacency and historical attachment are ingrained in the Constitution,” says Ryan Cleary. “The fact that the federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans can dictate who has first access to Newfoundland and Labrador’s primary resource is wrong for the province, wrong for adjacent inshore harvesters and rural communities, and wrong for our future.” click here to read the story 17:04

N.S. lobster fishermen protesting outside DFO offices against illegal poaching

Hundreds of fishermen are expected to spend Thursday protesting outside Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) offices in southwest Nova Scotia in an effort to draw attention to problems they see with the lobster industry. “This is a peaceful protest,” said Matthew Theriault, a spokesperson for the fishermen. By 8 a.m., about 80 lobster fishermen had gathered outside the DFO office in Digby, N.S. Theriault alleges fishing is still taking place, despite the fact the lobster season for Southwest Nova closed on June 1. “There’s people…on the water and they’re fishing. The season is closed for commercial lobstermen,” said Theriault. click here to read the story 12:18

Lobster fishermen in Yarmouth County continue to draw attention to concern over illegal lobster salesclick here for photo’s, article 14:25

South West Nova Lobster Fishermen to demonstrate Sept. 14

Stakeholders in the lobster fishing industry will be demonstrating at Department of Fisheries and Oceans offices in Digby, Tusket, Meteghan and possibly Barrington on Thursday, Sept. 14 at 8 a.m. Spokesperson Alan Thurber says there will be a designated person at each location to provide information about the fishermen’s agenda and strategies towards the “problems that are at hand now.” “The demonstrations are to express concern with the failure in the systems between DFO and Ottawa,” he said. click here to read the story 14:31

Ottawa attacks fishermen

Finance Minister Bill Morneau sucker-punched Canadian business owners, and now Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc wants to finish fishermen off. Mr. Morneau’s attempted seizure of retirement savings held by small business owners, farmers, doctors and lawyers has already been well-documented. In a similar attack, Mr. LeBlanc is going after fishermen, many of whom have spent decades building retirement nest eggs from their investments in licences and vessels. While he’s at it, Leblanc is using the same kind of Orwellian double-speak, and engaging in the sort of sham consultative processes, that Mr. Morneau has attempted. In a speech this summer in Chester, Nova Scotia, Mr. LeBlanc said he wants to “bring our government’s support for the middle class to life through a progressive fisheries policy.” Sound familiar? click here to read the op-ed 11:12

Orange, yellow, blue, and even ‘Halloween’: The rarest lobster colors, explained

It may feel like a new, brightly colored lobster has been pulled off the New England coast and onto your social media feeds every other week over the last few months. Maybe you’ve seen a rare, blue lobster before. But what about yellow? Or the ghostly, one-in-100-million white lobster caught last month in Maine? However, according to New England Aquarium spokesman Tony LaCasse, this has actually been a “slow summer.” Ever wonder why lobsters come in so many distinct colors? Here’s why.  click here to read the story 09:01

FFAW bloated with millions more in fees and government revenue than union dues

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) estimates the FFAW-Unifor will be fed by almost $5 million more this year from harvester fees and government sources than from membership dues, proving the union has lost its way.  “The FFAW-Unifor has mutated into a labour sea monster with tentacles in management, science, dockside monitoring, grading, professionalization, and safety,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “It’s often said that the FFAW doesn’t make money from fishermen, but through fishermen. The union executive grows fat with huge salaries and pensions while inshore harvesters are being starved out.” In 2017, FISH-NL estimates the FFAW-Unifor will collect $7.9 million in fees from inshore harvesters for services such as dockside monitoring and grading, as well as from various government contracts/grants. click here to read the story 08:11

Fisheries group blasts drilling regulations proposal ‘nobody knows about’

A Nova Scotia-based fisheries organization is raising concerns about changes the federal government is quietly proposing to the regulations governing oil and gas extraction in Canada’s offshore and northern regions. Environmental and fisheries groups say they only found out about the proposed changes by happenstance, even though the consultation process has been ongoing for over a year and is nearly complete. Consultation on the third phase of the initiative closes Sept. 20. John Davis, the director of Clean Ocean Action Committee, said his group was told about the initiative by the World Wildlife Fund, which only learned of it this summer. click here to read the story 16:54

Grand Bank council to discuss new Arctic surf clam licence with LeBlanc

Last week’s announcement by federal Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc a new Arctic surf clam licence will be issued for next year is concerning news for the Town of Grand Bank. Mayor Rex Matthews raised the topic during the town’s council meeting on Monday afternoon. Matthews said a council delegation has a 30-minute meeting scheduled with LeBlanc on Wednesday afternoon in St. John’s, where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and federal cabinet ministers are meeting this week for an annual retreat. “The problem is it’s taking away existing quota from our fish plant here in Grand Bank,” Matthews said, adding the change could have a major impact on the facility. click here to read the story 15:33

Film tells story of Nova Scotia fishing village’s relentless battle with Ottawa

They feared being swallowed by ocean, but the 78 residents of Gabarus, N.S., never waved a white flag before the federal government. For decades, a seawall made of timber and rock protected the tiny 300-year-old fishing village in Cape Breton from the punishing waves of the Atlantic. But as the 70-year-old structure started to crumble, the very existence of Gabarus was under threat and governments were not helping, each level claiming the wall was not its problem. The plight of Gabarus sparked a years-long battle with Ottawa and kindled a community spirit that has banded together life-long residents with newcomers who settled in the scenic town for its beauty and simplistic way of life. click here to read the story 14:38

Florida, Georgia, South Carolina Reeling After Irma’s Historic Assault; Navy Dispatches Ships, Aircraft Carrier to the Keys

An aircraft carrier has been dispatched to the Florida Keys to help with relief efforts as Irma after its historic assault on Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, killing at least nine people. Five deaths have been attributed to the storm in Florida, including two deaths in Hardee County, one death Orange County, one in St. Johns County and one in Winter Park. Deaths were also reported in Georgia’s Worth and Forsyth counties and the Atlanta suburb of Sandy Springs. click here to read the story 09:59

Canadian power crews head to Irma-hit Florida to help restore service – Dozens of Canadian power crews are heading to Florida to help restore power to millions of people affected by Hurricane Irma. click here to read the story

Canadian Coast Guard names new SAR boats as Bay-class

The first in a fleet of Canadian Coast Guard’s new search and rescue (SAR) lifeboats will be named after Conception Bay in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canadian minister of fisheries Dominic LeBlanc announced on Monday. Following the lead ship in the class, up to 20 new “Bay”-class boats will be named after geographical bays across Canada. The CCGS Conception Bay will be stationed in the Atlantic region. The new high-endurance, self-righting search and rescue lifeboats will operate up to 100 nautical miles from shore, delivering improved search and rescue capability. click here to read the story 08:42

Projects approved under NL’s seafood innovation and transition program

The provincial government has approved approximately $1.8 million so far this year as part of the $2-million seafood innovation and transition program for 2017-18. To date, applications from 62 projects have been approved for funding, up from 37 the previous year. “Last year, the production value of our seafood sector reached yet another record high, exceeding $1.4 billion,” Fisheries and Land Resources Minister Gerry Byrne said in a news release. The following is a list of project that have been approved click here to read the story 20:19

Atlantic salmon arrive in French Creek – Not in a good way!

Atlantic salmon, believed to be part of a cohort that escaped from a U.S.-based fish farm on Aug. 19, are being hauled in by anglers fishing out of French Creek on mid-Vancouver Island.
Cameron Wheatley, owner of the French Creek Store at the marina just north of Parksville, received the head of an apparent Atlantic salmon from a local angler late Sunday morning, Sept. 10. He is freezing the head, along with two more fish heads and one whole farm-raised salmon, to turn over to Fisheries and Oceans Canada. click here to read the story 16:33

Clearwater Seafoods Sees ‘Long-Term Opportunity’ in China

Over the past 40-plus years, Clearwater Seafoods has established itself as North America’s largest vertically integrated harvester, processor and distributor of premium shellfish. The company now sells 80 million pounds annually to more than 40 countries. But something happened in 2015 that prompted a major shift in its selling strategy. Nova Scotia-based Clearwater, which brands its product as wild-caught, premium seafood that is managed from ocean to plate, launched the Belle Carnell, a new fishing vessel that almost doubled the intake of one of its top products, the Arctic surf clam.  click here to read the story 13:32

Fishermen gather on Yarmouth wharf concerned that out-of-season lobster sales are taking place

Fishermen in Yarmouth have been gathering on Lobster Rock Wharf during evenings this week to draw attention to their claims and beliefs of commercial fishing taking place within the Aboriginal food fishery. Fishermen first gathered peacefully in the parking lot the evening of Sept. 6 and were back the evening of Sept. 7. The RCMP have also had a presence on and around the wharf, keeping an eye on things. During the Sept. 7 gathering RCMP Sergeant Stephen Power of Windsor spoke with fishermen to get a better understanding of why they were there. “I’m not here to do an investigation and I’m not here to arrest or charge anyone,” he said. “They just asked me to come in and help in any way I can. I want to hear what you have to say.” click here to read the story 17:14

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

Clearwater to lose monopoly on Canada’s lucrative Arctic surf clam

Halifax-based Clearwater Seafoods is losing its monopoly on Canada’s lucrative Arctic surf clam. Federal Fisheries and Oceans Minister Dominic LeBlanc announced Thursday that DFO will give 25 per cent of the current quota to a new entrant after a request for written proposals closes in November. Currently all three Arctic surf clam licences are held by Clearwater. The government says the fourth licence holder it is seeking must be majority Canadian-owned and be an Indigenous entity based in Atlantic Canada or Quebec. The licence will be for 2018. click here to read the story

Arctic Surf Clam – Decision to Reconfigure Access in 2018 – The new entrant in this fishery will be selected as a result of an Expression of Interest. Interested parties wishing to participate in this fishery must send a proposal to Jacinta Berthier through one of the options below: click here to read the press release 18:52

FISH-NL accuses FFAW-Unifor of hypocrisy, preaching ‘fair access’ for inshore harvesters while squeezing them out 

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) accuses the FFAW-Unifor of hypocrisy for preaching “fair access” to adjacent resources for inshore harvesters while, in practice, squeezing them out. “If the FFAW said the sun was splitting the rocks inshore harvesters would run for their oil clothes,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “When it comes to the deck of a fishing boat the union’s credibility is non-existent.” The FFAW-Unifor issued a news release earlier today (click here) announcing the formation of a new committee focused on securing “fair and reasonable” access for the inshore fleet to fish resources adjacent to the province’s shores. In particular, access to groundfish species such as greysole, turbot, redfish and American plaice, quotas for many of which are managed by the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO), which oversees fishing in international waters outside Canada’s 200-mile limit. click here to read the press release 13:27