Category Archives: Canada

Food for hundreds – Iqaluit hunters celebrate successful bowhead whale harvest

The community of Iqaluit is celebrating a major milestone — and preparing to fill their freezers — after a bowhead whale was successfully hunted near the community on Tuesday afternoon. It’s been seven years since the last bowhead was hunted and killed near Iqaluit. This summer, the local Amarok Hunters and Trappers Association aimed to change that, organizing a hunt and encouraging locals to join.,,, As of Tuesday evening, the whale is being dragged back to Iqaluit, where it will be harvested and shared with members of the community. >click to read<18:53

EDITORIAL: All aboard for saving right whales

There are good reasons why there haven’t been any right whale deaths in waters around the Atlantic provinces this year. It’s due to a combination of good luck and good management. Last year, an alarming number of endangered whales died — 13 in Canadian waters and five more off the U.S. The bodies of another two whales have shown up in American waters this year, while several whale rescues from entanglements were carried out in the Bay of Fundy.,,, Something had to be done. Last year, Ottawa ordered ships to reduce speed in Atlantic waters to help the slow-moving marine mammals avoid collisions. Fishermen were asked to reduce rope and other gear in the water to lessen the chances of entanglements. >click to read<15:22

Divers to refloat boat destroyed in fire, 65 feet of wharf lost to the flames

A team of divers is expected to get in the water in Twillingate Tuesday morning to refloat a longliner that burned and is now mostly submerged. The Sebastian Sails, known to many for the years it was featured on Discovery Canada’s TV show Cold Water Cowboys, was mostly underwater after catching fire on Monday morning. Just the ship’s bow was left above the surface. The fire on Monday also destroyed about 65 feet of the 300-foot wharf in Twillingate, according to Harbour Authority Master Gord Noseworthy. >click to read<10:44

British Columbia: The Last Cannery Standing

While British Columbia’s canning industry dates back to the earliest days of Canadian confederation, the canning process itself is even older, invented by a French chef in the early 1800s. By 1864, Americans were canning salmon on the Pacific coast. Three years later, Scottish entrepreneur James Syme established a canning operation near the mouth of the Fraser River in what would soon become British Columbia—the first of 223 salmon canneries that have come and gone in the province since then. The most fleeting of these enterprises, like Syme’s, lasted a season or two. The most tenacious, the North Pacific Cannery in Prince Rupert, boasted almost 90 consecutive years of fish processing, starting in 1889 and ending in the late 1970s. >click to read<09:07

Access to justice denied; Labour Board refuses FISH-NL request to live-stream upcoming hearing

“While we’re urging inshore harvesters to attend the hearing in person, the reality is most will not be able to make it,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “For them, access to justice will be denied as a result of this decision.” Almost 20 months after FISH-NL submitted an application for certification to represent the province’s inshore harvesters — breaking them away from the FFAW-Unifor — and the Labour Relations Board has scheduled an Aug. 20th hearing. Earlier this month, David Goodland, FISH-NL’s lawyer, wrote the Labour Relations Board for permission to live-stream the hearing, and share the recording on FISH-NL’s Facebook page. “The request is made in order to ensure all parties affected by the outcome of the hearing have access to justice and in particular have reasonable access to this hearing,” Goodland wrote, adding if the request isn’t granted the “vast majority” of harvesters won’t be able to observe the hearing. >click to read<14:17

UPDATED – BREAKING: ‘Cold Water Cowboys’ fishing boat catches fire at Newfoundland wharf

Plumes of smoke could be seen coming from the wharf near a fish plant in Twillingate, N.L., this morning after a longliner caught fire. Deborah Bourden, who operates the nearby Anchor Inn Hotel and Suites, says the boat that caught fire is the Sebastian Sails, a fishing vessel that had been featured on the reality television series “Cold Water Cowboys.” She says the town’s fire department responded not long after the fire broke out just before 6 a.m. Bourden says she talked to a firefighter at the scene, and was told that the fire is now under control and no one was hurt. Bourden says there were explosions heard and it’s believed they originated from propane tanks on the boat. >click to read<08:32

Twillingate longliner Sebastian Sails badly damaged in wharfside fire – >click to read< Nature of blaze of ‘Cold Water Cowboys’ vessel being investigated; effort underway to put out wharf fire –  >click to read<09:48

Inuit father faces backlash after posting photo of son with hunted beluga whale on Twitter

An Inuit father who posted a photo on Twitter expressing pride in his son’s first beluga whale harvest says he’s received a lot of online backlash from people who don’t understand life in the North. When someone harvests a whale in Rankin Inlet it’s a celebration for the whole community, said Albert Netser. But it’s more special when it happens for the first time. So when his 16-year-old son Nangaat harpooned a beluga whale earlier this week in the Hudson Bay, like any proud parent, he wanted to share the achievement. He shared the photo, showing his son proudly smiling standing on rocks at the edge of the water in front of the dead whale,,, >click to read<22:39

Prince Edward County fisherman hands family business to Syrian refugee

A veteran fisherman from Prince Edward County is handing the reins of his company over to a 21-year-old Syrian newcomer in an effort to keep the only fish processing operation left in the county alive. Kendall Dewey, 66, was desperately looking for someone to take over the commercial fishing business that had been in his family for four generations. If Dewey Fisheries closed, shops and restaurants in the area could be left without a source of local seafood. So Dewey contacted employment agencies and scouted people locally who might have an interest. His search was falling short until he met ​Slieman al-Jasem, a refugee from Syria who’d never cleaned a fish before — but had a knack for learning quickly and a desire to run his own company. >click to read<20:53

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

‘Gorgeous fish’: Steveston fishery workers haul in sockeye salmon bounty

Trung Nguyen, selling sockeye off his boat at the Steveston Pier for $8 a pound, has been waiting four years for this moment. Nguyen and other commercial fishery workers returned to the Richmond harbour Thursday with coolers full of salmon after being allowed out on the Fraser River Wednesday to catch salmon. The 2018 run is expected to be the biggest since 2014 and fishery workers had 24 hours to take advantage of the bounty. Strong runs come in four-year cycles and this year’s could eclipse 20 million fish. “Nice and firm. Gorgeous fish,” Nguyen said, showing a potential buyer an example of his haul. “We haven’t had an opening for four years, so this is a big year.” >click to read<09:46

Trollers call for Murkowski’s aid with treaty

“You take our fish, you take our lives!” This is the fourth time salmon trollers have taken to the streets during the 2018 season to protest proposed cuts to the chinook harvest in the Pacific Salmon Treaty. In May, trollers gathered outside Sitka’s Centennial Building prior to the start of a state salmon symposium hosted by ADF&G Commissioner Sam Cotten. When Governor Bill Walker visited Sitka in June, dozens of fishing vessels paraded up and down the harbor, asking that Walker refuse to sign the treaty, if it forced Alaska trollers to trade a share of the king salmon harvest to Canada, to protect endangered stocks in Washington. Trollers then organized a rally in Sitka’s harbor prior to the start of the July 1 opener, where one fisherman symbolically used a flare to burn his boat payments. >click to read<17:41

Fall lobster fishery is underway in Lobster Fishing Area 25

A crowd was on the dock with cameras, smart phones and cheerful waves as loaded lobster boats sailed out the mouth of Miminegash Harbour at 6 a.m. Thursday. They were there to see the fishermen off on setting day, the official start of the fall fishery in Lobster Fishing Area 25. The scene was repeated at wharves from Borden to Skinners Pond in the Northumberland Strait, and around North Cape at Seacow Pond and Tignish. >click to read<11:08

FISH-NL accuses NL NDP leader of applying double standards in labour relations

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) accuses provincial NDP leader Gerry Rogers of applying double standards in supporting locked out workers in Gander while turning her back on the province’s inshore fish harvesters. “While Gerry Rogers rallied today with workers at Gander’s D-J Composites, who’ve been locked out for 597 days, she’s turned her back on upwards of 3,000 inshore harvesters who’ve been waiting 583 days for the Labour Relations Board to grant them a vote to choose their union,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. >click to read<11:15

Fears that thousands of escaped salmon could ‘pollute’ wild stocks on Newfoundland’s south coast

The escape of thousands of farmed salmon on the south coast of Newfoundland is a significant concern, as is the lack of public notification about the incident, the Atlantic Salmon Federation says. Cooke Aquaculture confirmed Monday that over the course of four days last week between 2,000 and 3,000 salmon escaped from the company’s fish farm in Hermitage Bay.,, The primary concern is that the escaped salmon will mate with wild salmon, which Sutton said will “pollute the genetics” and harm a salmon population already assessed as threatened. Interbreeding has already happened between wild and farmed salmon in the province. >click to read<10:24

Abandoned puppies rescued from uninhabited Canadian island

The puppies were spotted by local fishermen JR Cook and his friend, who said they could hear barking coming from the island late in the evening.  So the two fishing buddies went back the next day, and saw some movement in the brush. “The fellas could see some dark figures on the island across the water and thought it might be wolves fighting”, she said in a telephone interview. “As they got closer, they realized there were seven abandoned, 3 1/2-month old puppies on the island starving to death”, said Debra Vandekerkhove with Norway House Animal Rescue. The pups have since become known as the “Little Gilligan’s Island Puppies”. They’ve got a Facebook page and a Go Get Funding page if you fancy contributing something to the upkeep of the puppies. >click to read<20:09 

P.E.I. fisherman prepare for fall lobster season

Lee Knox is hoping the forecast for this Thursday’s setting day of relatively light wind of up to 15 knots holds, as it will allow for good conditions for fishermen to unload their traps.,, The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has a conference call with port representatives set for this morning to assess setting day weather conditions and make the decision on whether the season opens Thursday, as scheduled, or gets delayed. Knox is anticipating it will get started on time. Approximately 218 western P.E.I. fall fishermen share Lobster Fishing Area 25 in the Northumberland Strait with mainland fishermen from Chatham, N.B., nearly to Amherst, N.S. >click to read<

Cape Sable Island fisherman recalls ‘sea monster’ encounter 42 years later

Shag Harbour UFO Festival goers were treated to an eye witness account of a sea creature encounter, experienced by Cape Sable Island fisherman Rodney Ross in July 1976, while fishing with his father on the fishing grounds known as Pollock Shoal. The opening night of the UFO Festival (Aug. 3) was only the third time that Ross has told the story to an audience. He is the last of the five fishermen aboard three different boats that saw the creature during a one-week period 42-years ago. “Some like to call it the South Side sea monster and I think I probably agree it looked like a monster,” said Ross. The story begins on a Monday when a fellow fisherman, the late Eisner Penney, was out fishing on the Pollock Shoal. >click to read<13:18

New Brunswick officials suspected pesticide use near lobster pens

An email exchange between employees of Northern Harvest Sea Farms and New Brunswick environment officials reveals the tensions at play last summer and fall during sea lice outbreaks in the Bay of Fundy. The documents — obtained by CBC News through a right-to-information request — surround attempts by the salmon aquaculture company to apply pesticides to its salmon cages in Campobello Island’s Head Harbour. Pesticides can be fatal to lobster, and the salmon farm is near lobster-holding facilities maintained by local fishermen. >click to read<10:19

Potent drugs found in West Coast sewage threaten chinook, study reveals

A Seattle expert in environmental contaminants who has linked sewage flushes into Washington state estuaries to higher juvenile chinook salmon death rates suspects human drugs found in fish put them at risk. James Meador of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric administration (NOAA) said he believes pharmaceuticals found in the contaminated water — such as amphetamines and antidepressants — are in part to blame. These drugs and chemicals pass through human digestive systems — and some are flushed directly down the toilet.,, He tested 49 fish for 150 pharmaceuticals, personal care products and industrial chemicals. >click to read<14:08

Fishing industry taking steps to protect endangered whales, says association

The president of the Western Gulf Fishermen’s Association says he is proud of the efforts undertaken by spring lobster fishermen to help prevent fishing gear entanglements by endangered North Atlantic right whales. Craig Avery said fishermen went with larger bunches during the fishing season to reduce the amount of rope in the water. Shortly after the season closed, Avery estimates more than 30 boats assisted Fisheries and Oceans personnel in a two-day sweep of the lobster grounds, looking for missing or forgotten lobster gear. >click to read<18:32

Openhydro receivership leaves murky waters

It’s a tall order for a sheriff: arrest a turbine control centre at the bottom of the. But that’s what a warrant filed with the federal court on behalf of a German shipping company calls on them to do. “It is unusual to have a warrant on a cargo 37 metres below the sea’s surface,” said Marc Isaacs, the attorney who filed the claim on behalf of BBC Chartering Carriers GMBH & Co.KG. “We will have to figure that one out.” There’s a lot of figuring out left to be done as a result of the 1,000 tonne tidal turbine placed on the floor of the Minas Passage by the Ireland-based OpenHydro group of companies that was placed into receivership a week later. >click to read<17:36

Hearing for FISH-NL Set for August

The president of the Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union says FISH-NL does not have the support to move ahead with its application to represent fish harvesters in the province. FISH-NL, led by Ryan Cleary, is looking for a ratification vote to represent inshore harvesters. FISH NL’s Ryan Cleary says the hearing will either lead to a vote or it won’t, but first he’s hoping all harvesters and their families will attend the presentations. The meeting is happening at the School for the Deaf on Topsail Road in St. John’s. Cleary says it’s finally happening 20 months after they submitted the application. >click to read<11:39

Fraser River sockeye salmon fishing bonanza to start next week

The Fraser River will open next week for its first sockeye salmon run of the season, in a year that is expected to bring in millions of fish for the first time in four years. For local fishermen, it’s better than Christmas. “Oh, we’re super excited,” said Richmond fisherman Roy Jantunen, hours after learning the Pacific Salmon Commission had announced a 24-hour opening from 7 a.m. Wednesday. Jantunen is preparing to go flat out for that full day, without any sleep, to maximize his catch. “It’s great news,” he said. “Last week, we were pulling out the nets and getting them ready. We haven’t used these nets in four years.” >click to read<08:08

With no transgender emoji, #ClawsOutForTrans hijacks the new lobster icon

The lobster has become an unlikely ally in the transgender community’s push to be represented by a pictoral icon, as calls mount for greater online and media visibility. British activist Charlie Craggs created the hashtag #ClawsOutForTrans to protest that the red crustacean was among 157 new emojis launched in February – while the blue, pink and white transgender flag was not.  “It is important, when there is so much discussion on the internet around trans issues, that there is an emoji to represent this,” Jennie Kermode, chairwoman of Trans Media Watch, >click to read<11:22

Hunters demand quota to cull thousands of seals and sea lions to save salmon population along B.C.’s coast

The Chief of Haida Gwaii First Nations is calling for a hunting quota on at least 3,000 seals and sea lions in his community and along the west coast of B.C. to help repopulate the critically low salmon stocks. The newly-established Pacific Balance Pinnipeds Society led by president and Chief Roy Jones wants Fisheries and Oceans Canada to establish an “annual harvest quota” on seals and seal lions. “It would be nothing to take probably 3,000 seals out Haida Gwaii, maybe 1,500 to 2,000 sea lions, because the populations are crazy up here,” said the 67-year-old Chief and retired fisherman who grew up watching his father and uncle hunt seals. >click to read<22:43

Halibut catches light so far

As of Wednesday, 27.7 per cent of Prince Edward Island’s 2018 halibut quota had been landed. The fishery has been open on Wednesday and Thursday s for the last three weeks. It closes after today and will reopen in three weeks’ time, again running on three consecutive Wednesday and Thursdays.Michel MacDonald, co-chair of the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association’s Groundfish Advisory committee describes the fishery in the eastern end of the Island as being slow, so far. >click to read<20:30

Ownerless Bay of Fundy turbine operating without fish kill monitoring gear

Even before Cape Sharp Tidal, owned by Irish company OpenHydro and Emera, placed it on the floor of the Minas Passage two weeks ago and OpenHydro was placed in receivership days later, the 10-billion tonnes of seawater hauled into the narrowing between Cape Split and Cape Chignecto was already tainted by bad blood. “The opposition isn’t about just whether it kills fish because other things kill fish too — fishermen kill fish,” said Mary McPhee, former facilities operator for the Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy, the government-funded tidal test site commonly known as FORCE. “What fishermen want is for the tidal power people to be treated in the same manner as they are. They want the law to be applied equally. So if a fishery has a quota, why can’t tidal power have a quota?” >click to read<08:47

Sharks are killed a ‘stone’s throw’ from protected waters off East Coast, Canadian researchers to question U.S. rules

Canadian scientists on the Bay of Fundy are seething over a spate of recent photos of sharks killed in the bay by U.S. fishermen. Especially upsetting have been social media posts showing a large porbeagle shark that was landed in Eastport, Maine. Porbeagles are protected on the Canadian side of the border, but not in the U.S., which does not consider the species in any danger of extinction. “The shark is protected for one minute, then in a heartbeat it’s no longer protected,” said Steven Turnbull, a marine biologist specializing in shark research at the University of New Brunswick in Saint John. >click to read<20:01

Transportation Safety Board of Canada determines fishing vessel was on autopilot prior to fatal collision

An investigation into the two-boat collision which resulted in two deaths in June, has revealed that one of the vessels was on autopilot at the time of the crash. The investigation into the collision off Beach Point, P.E.I., was conducted by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada. According to the investigation summary, on June 9 the fishing vessel Forever Chasin’ Tail, with three people on board, departed Beach Point to haul lobster traps about 14 nautical miles (nm) out. Later that morning, a second fishing vessel, Joel ’98, with five people on board, also left Beach Point to haul traps about six nautical miles out. >click to readMarine Transportation Safety Investigation M18A0185 – >click to read<18:56

Canadian Freezer scalloper to be built in Spain

Canadian company Comeau’s Sea Foods, based at Saulnierville in Nova Scotia, has placed an order with Astilleros Armon in Spain for a new 50 metre freezer scalloper to be delivered in the spring of 2020. The new scalloper for Comeau’s Sea Foods is designed by Allswater Marine and a 20-moth construction period is expected. The name of the newbuild has been announced as Lady Comeau III, named after Thérèse Comeau, the wife of company founder Bernardin Comeau. >click to read<10:27