Category Archives: Canada

Island Voices: ‘Namgis First Nation – Why land-based fish farms work

We’ve seen the impact of sea lice, farm waste, lights and nets on salmon fry, clam beds, birds, sea mammals and other marine life.,,,the technology does exist today to grow large numbers of fish on land. It didn’t exist 30 years ago, and it took Kuterra, and a handful of other pilots around the world, to show the way to full-scale operations. Now, we have a very large farm being built in Florida, and when all its modules are finished, it will grow 90,000 tonnes of fish a year on a 33-hectare site. That’s almost as much fish as all of B.C. grows right now, on a piece of land much smaller than one square kilometre. >click to read<19:35

Growing pains as companies try to move fish farms from ocean to land

Each time the food dispenser starts up at Golden Eagle Aquaculture, the water boils with supple, perfect coho salmon. They are Ocean Wise recommended and a Seafood Watch green light best choice — a conservationist’s dream. The flesh is invitingly red, delicious and rich in omega-3s. Land-based tanks are dimly lit to simulate winter light levels in order to trick the fish into growing faster, while delaying sexual maturity. It is one of many tricks needed to grow salmon outside the ocean, its natural environment. >click to read<17:20

‘I love upholding the tradition’ – 1880 history lives on at Shelburne Dory Shop

Not much has changed since John C. Williams opened his dory shop on Shelburne’s waterfront in 1880. Now part of the Nova Scotia Museum, dories are still built there much the same as they were 140 years ago. The original master patterns for the knees, the stem and the stern still hang in their respective places along the walls of the dory shop. Overhead are more patterns and jigs for scribing out the bottoms of the dories and for the risers. The original building platform for building the dories is still used. More images, >click to read<14:31

UPDATE: Northern Pulp pipeline could harm herring spawning beds, say P.E.I. fishermen

A marine biologist working with the Island’s fisheries association says a proposed effluent pipeline in Pictou, N.S. could have negative impacts on already threatened fish and marine habitats in the Northumberland Strait. Speaking before the P.E.I. legislature’s standing committee on agriculture and fisheries on Friday, Melanie Giffin, who works with the P.E.I. Fisherman’s Association, said key Atlantic herring habitats in the Northumberland Strait could be threatened by the proposed Northern Pulp pipeline in Pictou Harbour. >click to read<11:47

FISH-NL accuses FFAW of conflict of interest in accepting funds from offshore oil companies/industry regulator

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) questions the ability of the FFAW-Unifor to hold the offshore oil industry to account for its impact on the fishery when the industry has been funding the union for years. “The conflict of interest is blatant between the FFAW and oil companies — and the conflict even extends to the C-NLOPB, the industry regulator,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. >click to read<17:41

Regrets of a Salmon Farmer – Swimming in Circles: Aquaculture and the End of Wild Oceans

Salmon farming is huge business, dominated by a single company in the U.S. The fish are fed toxic feed, laced with multiple troubling chemicals. Under these circumstances, they are vulnerable to disease and parasites, including sea lice, and surrounding wild sea animals are infected as well. The current industry response is to pour increasingly toxic pesticides into the ocean. Ocean salmon aquaculture, as it is currently practiced, eventually makes the area surrounding the fishery uninhabitable, and the fishery must either shut down or move. Avoid farmed fish for your health, the ocean, and all of the creatures in it. >click to read<

Newfoundland and Labrador: Snow crab fishery changes tactics as stocks hit 25-year low

A study six years in the making shows some grim statistics for snow crab in Newfoundland and Labrador. The study was released at the same time the Department of Fisheries and Oceans announced the crab fishery was moving to a precautionary approach. That means if the crab numbers are low, the total allowable catch will be lowered, meaning less fishing for the province’s harvesters. >click to read<19:11

Belliveaus Cove lobster outfit goes belly up

A company charged with purchasing lobster caught out of season by Aboriginal fishermen has gone into receivership. Grant Thornton is acting as receiver for Guang Da International. The company was charged this spring by Fisheries and Oceans Canada with purchasing lobster caught under an aboriginal communal fishing licence that doesn’t allow for sale. >click to read<07:51

Canada MPA’s – Ban oil, gas, bottom trawling in marine protected areas, urges panel

A panel that has spent the year studying marine protected areas (MPAs) in Canada says no oil and gas development, seabed mining, or bottom-trawling fishing should be allowed within their boundaries. In its final report released Tuesday, the National Advisory Panel on Marine Protected Area Standards, which was created earlier this year by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, recommended that the federal government adopt International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) standards and guidelines for all MPAs. That would also make dumping off-limits.>click to read<18:09

MPA’s – Report silent on whether lobster fishing should be allowed – >click to read<15:07

United In Protest Fishery – “We’re going fishing for mackerel Wednesday evening,”

Inshore harvesters on Newfoundland’s northeast coast plan to hold a protest fishery for mackerel Wednesday evening over the decision by Fisheries and Oceans to shut down the Atlantic fishery, while leaving it open for harvesters from the Maritimes. “We’re going fishing for mackerel Wednesday evening,” says Brad Rideout, who fishes out of Robert’s Arm. “DFO can either shut down the entire Atlantic mackerel fishery or give quota to Newfoundland and Labrador harvesters. Fair is fair, and nothing about this is fair.” >click to read<

FISH-NL: Northern cod fall fishery a circus, breeding unrest and contempt between fishermen and fleets

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) calls FFAW/Unifor-orchestrated changes to this fall’s northern cod stewardship fishery a circus, and the most divisive to date.
“Make no mistake, the changes to the 2018 management plan came from the FFAW, and they’re breeding unrest and contempt between fishermen and fleets,” says Jason Sullivan, Captain of FISH-Nl’s under 40-foot fleet. The 2018 management plan for the northern cod stewardship fishery off eastern Newfoundland and Labrador (fishing zones 2J,3KL) set the quota at 9,500 tones, and gave inshore harvesters two options >click to read<13:07

Ropes are latest flashpoint in tug of war over right whales

The lobster industry is willing to consider switching to weaker rope to protect the endangered right whale from deadly entanglements, but whale defenders say that doesn’t go far enough to help a species that can’t bear even one more death. A team of scientists, regulators, animal rights groups and fishermen met this week in Providence to review proposals,,, The team is advising the National Marine Fisheries Service on how to prevent whales from getting entangled in fishing gear as they migrate, feed and mate as they travel back and forth along the East Coast of the United States and Canada. >click to read<11:54

“It’s always excitement”- Baby lobster numbers point to healthy future for P.E.I. fishery

A cage filled with rocks on the ocean floor seems like a strange place for a nursery, but for baby lobsters, it’s the ideal place to grow — and it’s how the Prince Edward Island Fisherman’s Association (PEIFA) works to study and predict the health of Island lobster stocks. For nine years now the PEIFA, with support from the province and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), has been putting 30 collectors — mesh-bottom cages filled with rocks — at seven sites around P.E.I., to attract baby lobsters and learn from them. Photo’s, >click to read<

Devestation – Seven drownings among Nova Scotia fishermen highlight importance of PFDs

Allan Anderson never thought his close friend, “a stellar tuna fisherman” of four decades, would be the latest drowning victim. The Aulds Cove lifelong fisherman learned of the tragic news on Saturday not long after Stevie MacInnis died while tuna fishing off the coast of Port Hood. The father of three was the seventh Nova Scotia fisherman to drown on the job this year. The 68-year-old Arisaig resident was widely regarded as a selfless community man. It’s unclear whether he was wearing a personal flotation device (PFD).,, But Anderson also admits that he and MacInnis also represent an older generation of fishermen reluctant to wear PFDs themselves. >click to read<12:18

P.E.I. lobster fishermen report up and down fall season

Traps across Lobster Fishing Area (LFA) 25 came out of the water Wednesday, Oct. 10, marking the end of a mixed bag of a fall lobster season. On the Summerside waterfront, Merrill Montgomery, captain of the Salty Curls, and his crew spent the morning hauling up traps, loading them onto a truck and getting them set for winter storage. All things considered, he was pleased with how his things went. “Season was great, fantastic. Weather was great, catch was great and price was – pretty good,” he said. >click to read<11:33

Feds review this year’s right-whale protections

It was enough. But was it too much? That’s the question Fisheries and Oceans Canada wants to answer after a season of unprecedented measures to protect North Atlantic right whales — including mandatory ship slowdowns and fisheries closures. To date, none of the critically endangered whales has died in Canadian waters in 2018, unlike in 2017, when 12 died in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, largely due to ship strikes and entanglements in fishing gear.,,, On the East coast, the department (DFO) is now holding regional meetings with members of the fishing industry to gather feedback on those management measures. >click to read<15:03

Taking a risk off the shores of Cape Breton, Recent mishaps remind fishermen of the dangers

Jack Billard gazes off into the middle distance as he silently prods his memory for details of his closest brush with death. The 79-year-old retired fisherman, who spent more than six decades hauling lobsters, crabs, fish and other creatures from the sea, returns to the moment and voices what he can recall of an incident that occurred when he was a teenager just starting his career on the boats. >click to read<13:21

NOAA Scientists Admit Finding In Recent Right Whale Report Just A Hypothesis

Federal fishery regulators are taking back their claim that newer lobster fishing gear is harmful to North Atlantic right whales.,, They found a 2015 rule requiring less traps with stronger fishing line is making entanglements of right whales worse. However, the agency said that statement is actually not based on science. Patrice McCarron, executive director of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association, said the report is still flawed. >click to read<11:52

Whale protection, trawl limits entangle Zone C lobstermen

October is a peak month, according to the state Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, for feistiness in Maine’s population of hornets and wasps. Lobstermen too, judging by last week’s meeting of the Zone C Lobster Management Council at Deer Isle-Stonington High School.,, While the trawl rule was at the forefront of last week’s debate, lurking just below the surface was a technical memorandum issued late last month by the NOAA Fisheries Northeast Fisheries Science Center. >click to read<11:49

The labour lie: FISH-NL reacts to Labour Board decision dismissing its application for certification

After 500-plus years of fishing history, the Newfoundland and Labrador government — through its Labour Relations Board — has finally defined an inshore fisherman. The definition doesn’t involve trips to sea nor fish landed. From the Board’s perspective, that’s irrelevant. The definition also doesn’t factor in whether a person lives in Newfoundland or Labrador, has a full-time job outside the fishery, or has ever stepped aboard a boat. To be considered a fisherman/woman in the eyes of the Board, the only criteria is that a person must have paid dues to the union — the FFAW-Unifor. >click to read<10:41

Measures to protect North Atlantic right whales have been effective, official says

Representatives of the fishing industry and Fisheries and Oceans Canada met in Moncton over the weekend to look at the impact protection measures were having on the North Atlantic right whale — and to help decide what should happen next year. The 2018 fishing season has been controversial, with fishermen in the Acadian Peninsula protesting the new federal measures that were put in place to protect the North Atlantic right whale. Some of those measures included closing several fisheries where whales were present in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, speed restrictions for boats and increased surveillance. >click to read<15:34

Fishermen weathering effects of climate change

The lobster off western Cape Breton didn’t get the memo about thriving in colder water. “They should have told the lobsters that this year,” said John Phillip Rankin, a fisherman from Mabou Coal Mines. “By the first of July, it was warm and they started snapping but we were after putting our traps on the wharf. They start jumping when it gets warmer. They do all right in cold water. It was a decent season but it was cold-water trapping, you could tell. Last year, it was warm right through, a better season. The landings were quite a bit higher.” >click to read<14:35

Nova Scotia tuna fisherman dies after going overboard near Port Hood

A 68-year-old tuna fisherman from Arisaig, N.S., has died after going overboard on Saturday. RCMP Cpl. Andrew Joyce did not have many details of the incident, but said police received a call at 7:47 a.m. informing them of the man’s death. Other local fishermen have identified the man as Stevie MacInnis, who ran a tuna chartering company called MacInnis Bluefin Tuna Charters. MacInnis went into the water near Murphys Pond and his body was brought to Port Hood, Joyce said. The president of the Inverness South Fishermen’s Association, Jordan MacDougall, said he understands MacInnis got caught in a net and was pulled into the water. >click to read<15:19

Project Magnet – Stakeouts and microchipped lobster: Inside DFO’s probe of a First Nations fishery

Under the cover of darkness one night last October, a pair of federal fisheries officers in a boat slipped across Nova Scotia’s St. Marys Bay and began to haul up 28 lobster traps belonging to members of the Sipekne’katik First Nation. They carefully planted identifying microchips on some of the lobster inside and then dropped the traps back into the sea. The covert work, in some of the most lucrative lobster grounds in Canada, took about four hours and lasted until 2:42 a.m. The aim was simple — to confirm allegations roiling wharves in southwest Nova Scotia that lobster being caught under Indigenous food, social and ceremonial licences was being illegally sold as part of an off-season black market. >click to read<08:46

Canadian fishermen want cheaper lobster bait. Americans want to stop an invasive fish. And so, one man hatches a plan

Like whales breaching ocean swells, silver carp fly out from beneath the surface of waterways in Illinois. Tens of millions of dollars have been spent trying to keep the invasive fish – which procreate rapidly, crowding out other marine life – from spilling into the $7-billion Great Lakes fishery. And in an era of expeditious information-sharing, the “flying fish,” a form of Asian carp imported into the States decades ago, with hopes of using them to manage American ecosystems, have also caught the attention of gawking social-media spectators around the world. Three years ago, one of those spectators was a Nova Scotian named Patrick J. Swim. But instead of merely gawking, the self-described “lobsterpreneur” hatched a plan: >click to read<12:32

Protesters call for end to Chinook salmon fishing to save endangered orcas

Demonstrators concerned about the fate of the endangered southern resident killer whale population are calling for an end to all commercial fishing of Chinook salmon. There are just 74 of the southern residents remaining, and scientists say a lack of their primary food source, Chinook, is one of the key threats to their survival. On Wednesday, about a dozen protesters descended on Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Jonathan Wilkinson’s North Vancouver constituency office to call for change. Shirley Samples argued the government needs to ban all commercial and recreational Chinook fishing. “Why don’t we subsidize these fishermen? Why don’t we give them money so they can make it through this time when they have to forfeit fishing? There is a solution,”>click to read<10:20

Defenders of right whales pursue limits on aquaculture and fixed gear fisheries

Right whale defenders are now taking aim at aquaculture as they try to protect the highly endangered species from deadly fishing gear entanglements. Advocates usually focus on the lobster industry,,,Right whale defenders are now taking aim at aquaculture as they try to protect the highly endangered species from deadly fishing gear entanglements. Advocates usually focus on the lobster industry,,, Researchers from Whale and Dolphin Conservation, a U.K.-based nonprofit that advocates for marine animals, want regulators to reduce surface-to-seabed lines in all Gulf of Maine fisheries, not just lobstering. They name aquaculture and gill net as rope-based fishing methods that are known to entrap, injure and kill both humpback and right whales. They say it’s not fair for regulators, who are meeting next week, to seek rope reduction from lobstermen while issuing permits for other fisheries that use similar rope. >click to read<20:40

US fishermen lose quota in new fishing pact with Canada

American fishermen are losing thousands of pounds of valuable fishing quota under a new catch share agreement with Canada. Fishermen from the U.S. and Canada seek haddock, cod and flounder on Georges Bank, which is a critical fishing ground east of New England, The two countries craft a catch share agreement every year. Under the latest agreement, the U.S.’s eastern Georges Bank cod quota is falling by more than 25 per cent to about 415,000 pounds and the eastern Georges Bank haddock quota is falling by about 4 per cent to about 33 million pounds. The loss in quota will present a hardship for New England fishermen, who are already coping with low cod quotas and the collapse of the cod stock, said Terry Alexander,,, >click to read<16:40

Environment commissioner says Ottawa waited too long to act in protecting at-risk whales

As Ottawa tries to prove it is doing enough to protect Southern resident killer whales to the courts, the nation’s environmental watchdog says the government has been slow to protect at-risk whales. In her latest audit, Environment Commissioner Julie Gelfand says Ottawa waited until the killer whale population off the B.C. coast reached dangerously low levels, and when 12 North Atlantic right whales died in a single summer, before taking action. >click to read<13:55

Feds have failed to protect marine mammals: environment commissioner – >click to read<

More fishermen on P.E.I. plan to wear personal flotation devices

Some Prince Edward Island fishermen say after the tragic deaths of Glen DesRoches and Moe Getson, they plan to start wearing life vests on board their boats. Earl Gavin said he plans to wear a personal flotation device when he goes out on the water. “It’d be no harm to have life jackets on,” Gavin said. “I don’t now wear one aboard the boat. But we should.” The Workers Compensation Board of P.E.I. said it’s been getting more calls from fishermen wondering where to buy the right life vest and how to encourage others to wear them. >click to read<21:58