Category Archives: Canada

30 years after N.L. cod moratorium – the wins are few and losses are many

John Williams wishes he could say the cod moratorium of 1992 feels like it was yesterday. But after losing his livelihood and reinventing himself a few times over, he’s felt every one of the past 30 years. Williams was one of about 30,000 people put out of work when the federal government brought an end to the northern cod fishery on July 2, 1992. It’s a date that still stirs up feelings from a solemn and desperate chapter in Newfoundland and Labrador’s history. “It was a pretty sad time to know that you weren’t going to go fishing anymore,” Williams said. “At the time I had three kids, and they had to be fed, go to school, and be clothed. It was tough.” It doesn’t help Williams that he’s constantly reminded of his small role in history — being the person who prompted former Fisheries Minister John Crosbie to utter some of his most famous words. Video, photos, >click to read< 08:38

Today Marks 30th Anniversary of Cod MoratoriumGus Etchegary spent his working life in the fishery and has been an outspoken advocate for the industry. He believes a big contributing factor keeping stocks low is seal predation, which wasn’t a problem when stocks were healthy. He says when the resource was huge there was little impact because replacement levels overcame any pressure put on the stocks by seal predation. >click to read< 09:40

The cod delusion – A moratorium on cod fishing that was supposed to last two years has now lasted 30.

Three decades on, the latest DFO science still puts Atlantic cod in the critical zone. “I hope politicians and bureaucrats in Ottawa have learned something, because I’ve learned something: the moratorium was the biggest catastrophe ever heaped on the people in this province, ever. Nothing has been as bad as this,” says Captain Saunders, an 80-year-old Inuk. Seated in the wheelhouse of his longliner, docked in Pinsent’s Arm in late September 2021, Saunders speaks with the authority of someone with six decades of fishing experience, backed by centuries of hindsight. “Newfoundland and Labrador people fished for 500 years and didn’t damage the stocks. What Canada done was an atrocity in my opinion. It ruined a way of life. It ruined culture. All the stages, stage heads, they’re all falling apart, they’re all deteriorated — that’s the government did that.” >click to read< 17:40

Northern Peninsula Shrimp Fleet Facing Crisis

The 4R shrimp fleet met in Hawke’s Bay today to discuss the assault on inshore owner-operators by the Association of Seafood (ASP) and their member companies, and the complete lack of support from provincial departments responsible. The 4R fleet on the northern peninsula are in a unique, troubling circumstance – they have no access to other species and the viability of their enterprise is dependent solely on shrimp. Without a price based on fair market values, harvesters will be unable to breakeven this year and many will face bankruptcy,” explains Keith Sullivan, FFAW-Unifor President.  “Companies have attempted to manipulate the collective bargaining process with most fisheries this year. Working together like a cartel, they are attempting to erode solidarity by putting harvesters in a very desperate situation.  >click to read< 09:57

World’s First All-Electric Longline Handling System

F/V Kap Farvel is the first fishing boat in the world that started using the all-electric longline handling system from Mørenot. Already after one week of testing followed by seven weeks of fishing, the feedback from the skipper and crew is unanimous: This is the longline system of the future! For several years, Mørenot has been challenging the idea of a traditional hydraulic longline system with its first fully electric longline system for both deep sea and coastal fisheries. Seeing the opportunity of a high-tech electrical longline system, Mørenot has heavily invested in innovation that enables fishers to effortlessly achieve higher efficiency, lower energy consumption, and better working conditions. Mørenot’s VP Alf Rune Ose explains how their engineers in Iceland developed the complete mechanical system with an updated LineTech longline control system to revolutionize the fishing industry. Mørenot has designed a system that is suitable for fishing operations worldwide. photos, >click to read< 21:16

Speakers list released for today’s event to mark 30th anniversary of northern cod moratorium

The speakers list for the event scheduled for this afternoon to mark the 30th anniversary of the announced shutdown of Newfoundland and Labrador’s most iconic fishery has been finalized. Moratorium Story, 30 Years On will include speakers Ches Crosbie, Toni Kearney, Merv Wiseman, Kimberly OrrenGus Etchegary, the Honourable Clyde Wells, Wilfred Bartlett, Amy House/Bernie Stapleton, and Mike Hearn. Biographies are included at the end of this release. Ryan Cleary will also speak and host the event, with music provided by Newfoundland folk singer Jim Payne. >click to read< 10:31

‘Like someone tore the guts out of me’: A look back in the 30 years since Crosbie shut down the cod fishery

Reg Butler, a 50-year-veteran fisherman from Bonavista, remembers those years well. The Butler family has a long history in the cod fishery in the town, a tradition being passed down from one generation to the next. Butler started going out fishing when he was nine. His father was a widow and had to take him out in the boat, along with his older brothers, because there was no one to take care of him. “When the moratorium was announced, everything was up in the air. Cod was our main source of income,” Butler said. “We had cod traps out. Who thought, when we took them in at the time, they’d never go in the water again? It was just like someone knocked the wind out of you. My father had fished up until he was in his 80s. The fish stocks were in decline, but it was still a shock to him, and us all, when it was shut down.” photos, >click to read< 08:26

Pictou Landing reports peaceful season of moderate livelihood lobster fishery

Generations of Craig Francis’s family have fished the waters between Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, so being a part of Pictou Landing First Nation’s moderate livelihood fishery is a big deal for him. “It’s nice to have our rights recognized,” he said. “We were given these inherent rights, so to go out and do that on our own and have support with DFO and local fishermen is pretty good.” Francis is one of the community members designated by the First Nation to fish lobster under the plan. It’s the community’s first moderate livelihood plan with an understanding from Fisheries and Oceans Canada. >click to read< 06:57

Panel Decision Opposite of Strong Market Indicators, Harvesters Outraged

Shrimp harvesters across the province are outraged by the result of the Standing Fish Price Setting Panel’s decision to set the minimum price for summer shrimp at just $0.90/lb. The decision to side with ASP’s final offer is entirely unsupported by market realities, which show distinct market improvements in recent months. “The Panel’s decision yesterday is incomprehensible. Taking into consideration the significant increase in operational costs, particularly for fuel, fish harvesters will not come close to breaking even at this insultingly low price,” says FFAW-Unifor Sullivan President Keith Sullivan. “The Panel has absolutely not justified themselves in selecting this price,” he says. >click to read press release<  19:06

How warming ocean temperatures wiped out Maine’s shrimp industry

Since 2014 fishing for northern shrimp has been banned in the United States. The stock in our area has decreased to the point where they are not reproducing. This is not due to overfishing; it is directly due to the temperature of the water. They have simply moved north to colder Canadian waters. Back in 2007, when there was a robust northern shrimp fishery in the Gulf of Maine, scientists were looking for net modifications that would catch shrimp but not have any bycatch of finfish. Since shrimp fisheries throughout the world have some of the highest bycatch of any fishery, this was a priority worldwide. At that time the Northeast Consortium at the University of New Hampshire helped fund research by Dr. Pingguo. He and David Goethel developed a trawl net, named “The Topless Trawl,” that drastically reduced bycatch in the northern shrimp fishery. >click to read< 10:21

Days of chopping off fishing boats over; DFO to increase maximum inshore vessel length to 49’11

“The days of chopping off boats are over. This is a massive victory for inshore harvesters in what is now the under 40’ fleet,” says Jason Sullivan, President of SEA-NL, and Bay Bulls-based inshore owner-operator. “We have fought DFO in this province and the FFAW for years to be treated the same as the rest of Atlantic Canada in terms of vessel length, and today we finally have a victory that puts the safety and lives of inshore harvesters first.” The news was announced this morning by Avalon MP Ken McDonald, chair of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans, who, along with SEA-NL and FISH-NL before it, fought for years to change the vessel-length policy. >click to read< 10:53

Catch of a lifetime: Sambro, N.S., fishermen harpoon swordfish in harbour

When the fishing boat Midnight Magic set sail on Friday, fishermen in Sambro, N.S., had little idea what kind of fish tale they would soon be able to share. For the first time in 41 years, a swordfish weighing more than 200 lbs was harpooned and hauled aboard the fishing vessel from the Sambro Harbour by fisherman Grant Garrison. Records show the last swordfish caught in those waters occurred on Aug. 21, 1981, by Paddy Grey. A newspaper that covered the event says that the fish weighed in at almost 600 lbs. >Video, newsclips, photos, click here< 18:20

The Largest Bluefin Tuna Ever Recorded Was Caught Off the Coast of Nova Scotia

The Atlantic Bluefin tuna is the largest species of the Scombridae family and is known to reach speeds of 43mph in the ocean. While most of the Atlantic Bluefin tuna range between 500 to 1000 lbs, some are known to tip the scale at 1,500lbs! Per reports, the largest Bluefin tuna ever caught was in 1979 and weighed a whopping 1,496lbs: “Not only is Ken Fraser’s bluefin the biggest tuna ever recorded by the International Game Fish Association, it is also one of the most iconic records of all time. He landed the world record bluefin tuna on October 26, 1979, fishing with Capt. Eric Samson aboard Lady and Misty out of Port Hood, Nova Scotia. >click to read< 08:11

Concerns on P.E.I. about the risk foreign bait might pose to ecosystem

In March, DFO put a moratorium on commercial fishing for herring in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and mackerel across the East Coast, saying urgent action is required to allow those fish stocks to recover. That moratorium led to fears of a shortage of bait for use in the lucrative Maritime lobster fishery. Mark Prevost, the co-owner of the Bait Masters alternative bait company in Nine Mile Creek, P.E.I., appeared before a federal fisheries committee earlier this week. He is calling on the federal government to regulate the kinds of fish being used for bait. >click to read< 15:36

An open invitation to the public – Event to mark the 30th anniversary of northern cod moratorium

An event to mark the 30th anniversary of the announced shutdown of Newfoundland and Labrador’s most iconic fishery is scheduled for next week, with an open invitation to the public to support and share in the historic milestone. “The impact of the moratorium has had a deep and profound impact on the province’s psyche, culture, and economy,” says Ryan Cleary, one of the organizers of the non-partisan event — Moratorium Story, Northern Cod 30 Years On. “It must be recognized for the good of past and future generations.” The event is scheduled for Thursday, June 30th, 1:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m., in Salon B at the Delta Hotel in downtown St. John’s, the same room where the late John Crosbie, then-federal minister of Fisheries and Oceans, made the announcement on July 2, 1992. >Details, click to read< 14:14

P.E.I. fishermen seek province’s help in wake of herring, mackerel moratorium

In March, the federal DFO put a moratorium on commercial fishing for herring in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and mackerel across the East Coast, saying urgent action is required to allow the stocks to recover. Fishers were not pleased, and said a complete moratorium goes too far. “This has been a devastating and direct blow for these fishers,” said Molly Aylward, the association’s executive director, appearing before a legislative standing committee on natural resources. The P.E.I.F.A. represents independent core fishers who depend on the commercial herring and mackerel fishery for their main source of income, as well as lobster fishers who use the fish for bait, often fishing it themselves to keep their costs down. >click to read< 09:17

Saltbox Brewing Brings Back Crustacean Elation Lobster Ale

Crustacean Elation celebrates the lifeblood of our Nova Scotia fisheries community. We use whole lobsters and fire-roasted lobster shells to infuse the taste and aroma during the brewing process. The result is a pale coloured, lightly hopped beer with a hint of bitterness and a slightly sweet briny finish that is the essence of the sea. Try our Crustacean Elation creation – yes, it’s a mouthful, but one you’re sure to enjoy with your next lobster roll! >click to read< and get the link to order online and visit their website!. They ship everywhere! 11:45

Captain Kenny Charles “Ken” Martin May 2, 1949 – June 17, 2022 of Bella Bella

To a lot of people, Ken was a fisherman, lovingly known as “The Captain.” But to others, he was Ken, the father, the husband, the friend. Ken was predeceased by his parents, Brian and Shirley (Leeman) Martin. He is survived by his loving wife, Theresa (nee Scanlan); their three children, At 21, Ken introduced the first fibreglass brine packer ever built. He named her the “Northern Princess,” built at Shearwater Marine (across the channel from Bella Bella). Ken went to work for Jack Elsey of Millbank Industries in 1970. It was the start of an outstanding career in the commercial fishing business. Meanwhile, a 21-year-old nurse from Toronto named Theresa Scanlan made the brave decision to begin her career at R.W. Large Memorial Hospital in Bella Bella. Ken took one look at her and knew he had found his true “Northern Princess.” This was the start of a 49-year journey. >click to read< 21:39

TSB: Island Lady likely sank quickly and with no warning

Unable to examine a vessel that cannot be found, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada said Wednesday it cannot say what happened to a small fishing vessel that disappeared last year off the coast of southern Labrador. Marc Russell and Joey Jenkins of Mary’s Harbour were last seen Sept. 17 aboard the Island Lady, which fished from Mary’s Harbour. The pair had headed out to fish for cod. “The TSB’s investigation into this occurrence could not determine with certainty the cause of the disappearance of the Island Lady,” the board said in a statement Wednesday. >click to read< 14:42

N.S., N.B. herring fishery swallows 33 per cent quota cut

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) reduced the 2022 quota, or total allowable catch, from 35,000 tonnes to 23,450 tonnes, but environmentalists say the cut does not go far enough to rebuild the stock. The Bay of Fundy Herring Industry said the TAC for this year “will create challenges for industry but is at a level that will help protect jobs, businesses and communities in the region that rely on the fishery.” DFO echoed industry in its announcement, saying its decision was a balance. This decision reduces pressure on this stock, while recognizing the needs of communities that depend on this fishery for jobs and bait,” >click to read< 13:24

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 2008 36′ Calvin Beal Lobster/Tuna

To review specifications, information, video, and 57 photos’>click here<, To see all the boats in this series >click here< 11:59

Grey seals eat into another fish population in the Gulf of St. Lawrence

Grey seals are eating into another fish species in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence, driving a serious decline in the abundance of yellowtail flounder, according to a new report from Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO). Federal scientists assessed the flatfish species in the southern gulf over the past 25 years up to 2020 and projected the population to 2030. The results are stark. The number of yellowtail flounder six-years and older is believed to have declined by 95 per cent since the mid-1980s. There is a 100 per cent probability the population will remain in the critical zone where serious harm occurs whatever the level of commercial fishing, the report says. >click to read< 08:39

Management Plan Released for Atlantic Herring in Southwest Nova Scotia and the Bay of Fundy

Atlantic herring is a vital species in Atlantic Canada. As one of the largest commercial fisheries in Atlantic Canada, the Southwest Nova Scotia / Bay of Fundy herring stock directly or indirectly employs more than 1,000 people in rural Nova Scotia and New Brunswick and contributes over $140 million to the local economy. Atlantic herring is also an important source of bait for other commercial fisheries, such as lobster and snow crab. Despite a number of measures taken in recent years to encourage rebuilding, the Southwest Nova Scotia / Bay of Fundy Atlantic herring stock remains in the critical zone. Stronger sustainable management actions are needed to protect this important species and return it to abundance. >click to read< 13:29

Boaters clobber rare Right whale and calf, but they avoid legal consequences

There’s nothing like a good shipwreck story. The crash happened near dusk on Feb. 12, 2021. A captain and seven passengers were aboard the 54-footer. They were returning from a day of competing at the Northeast Florida Wahoo Shootout. The boat was doing about 21 knots, 24 mph if you’re a landlubber, as it headed for the Conch House Marina in St. Augustine. Nearing their destination, in the St. Augustine Inlet, the boat smacked into something — hard. The boat stopped dead in the water. So did whatever it had hit. Suddenly the “About Time” didn’t have much time. Both its twin engines shut down and the damaged boat began sinking fast. When a pair of Florida wildlife officers showed up, the owner of the boat, Dayne Williams of New Smyrna Beach, blurted out, “I think we hit a whale. I saw fins and blood.” Biologists immediately identified it as an endangered North American right whale. >click to read< 12:34

Lobster prices similar to 2021 though costs up, say P.E.I. fishers

Lobster prices are about the same as they were this time last year, but expenses are on the rise, says one P.E.I. fisherman. “Prices and catches are good,” said Malpeque lobster fisher Chris Wall. At the wharf, prices for fishermen are between $7 and $8 per pound, down from $8.50 and $9 per pound earlier in the season, said Wall. The 2021 minimum shore price between June 6-12 was $6.97 per pound while average market price was $9.78 per pound,,, >click to read< 18:55

N.L. MP vows he’s ‘gonna keep pushing’ forward on seal management legislation

Clifford Small may have lost a battle in his bid to convince the House of Commons of the need for legislation to manage seal populations, but the Newfoundland and Labrador Conservative MP says he’s not about to give up the fight. Small’s private members’ bill, Act for the Conservation of Fish Stocks and Management of Pinnipeds (seals), or Bill C-251, died when it came to the House for second reading on June 15. There’s more than one way to move a bill through the parliamentary process, said Small. Bills can start in the House or they can be introduced through the Senate, he said, indicating that’s the path he may pursue next. >click to read< 14:20

Fisherman who vowed to dump shrimp if no buyer stepped forward has found one,,, in Nova Scotia

The La Scie inshore fisherman who vowed to dump his first load of northern shrimp for the season if he couldn’t sell the catch has found a buyer across the Gulf in Nova Scotia. “Thank God we don’t have to dump it,” says Ryan, who operates the fishing enterprise, F/V Atlantic Blue Too, with his son Josh, the skipper and license holder. “A Nova Scotia buyer has agreed to purchase the shrimp for significantly more than buyers are willing to pay here.” Most of the province’s shrimp fleets in the Gulf and off the east coast have yet to untie this season, despite the fact the spring price was set on April 24th, and the fishery opened on May 29th. >click to read< 08:04

Canadian Lobster industry sense more regulations coming for Chinese exports

In January, the Chinese Government introduced new import regulations known as Decrees 248 and 249, which require international distributors to register with the General Administration of Customs of China (GACC), and for products to include Chinese-language labeling. Since their implementation, there have been many issues, with lobster distributors claiming they have erroneously been told they aren’t registered with GACC, causing delays in shipping and in sometimes voiding the Chinese importer’s obligation to pay. Currently, the regulations only apply to frozen or cooked products. >click to read< Tracing measures issued in January required Chinese-language labelling on processed seafood >click to read<14:56

Aboard the Lake Erie Fishing Tug Lady Anna II (Part 5)

“The challenge to make money. If you don’t catch fish, you don’t make money. Fun’s not the word. I just enjoy it; it’s a challenging and rewarding job. There’s good days and bad days. There’s a different outcome every day.” Mike Mummery, captain of Lady Anna II, responding to the question: “What do you like best about commercial fishing?” I ask Captain Mummery what worries him most about the commercial fishing industry. Eyes glued to the horizon, he replies: “The cost of everything. Everything’s gone up. There’s no stability. Profit margins have gone down. The cost of diesel has doubled. Everything’s made of oil, even the nets. Hopefully, it stays good for the established guys. But it’s tough for somebody to get into the business. Just a license costs a million dollars now. That’s almost impossible for the normal guy to do. The well-established guys may stay in; you have to be well established.” >click to read< 09:20

North Atlantic Right Whale: Oceana Wins First Step In USMCA Complaint

The Secretariat for the Commission for Environmental Cooperation, part of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), has agreed to move forward with the first step in a two-step process to investigate the USA’s failure to uphold its environmental laws to protect North Atlantic right whales, according to an Oceana announcement this week. The decision was in response to Oceana’s filing the first-ever “Submission on Enforcement Matters” against the US government under the USMCA last October. The ocean advocacy organization claimed the government has violated the USMCA by failing to enforce environmental laws to protect critically endangered North Atlantic right whales, of which only around 330 remain. >click to read< 14:53

Make-or-break moment for province’s Liberal MPs; seal vote goes before Parliament on Wednesday

Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (SEA-NL) is calling on the province’s six Liberal Members of Parliament to vote for a bill before Parliament Wednesday (July 15th) that would force Fisheries and Oceans to implement seal management plans. “This is one of those make-or-break moments for our Members of Parliament when they must decide whether they represent Newfoundland and Labrador in Ottawa or the other way around,” says Ryan Cleary, Executive Director of SEA-NL, and a former NDP MP.  “Seals eat fish just as surely as MPs need votes.” Bill C-251 calls on the federal minister of Fisheries and Oceans to develop management plans for pinnipeds — including seals, sea lions, and walruses on the East and West coasts and Northern Canada. >click to read< 09:00