Category Archives: Canada

A disastrous tsunami’s lethal legacy in Newfoundland

On Nov. 18, 1929, fisherman Patrick Rennie watched from higher ground in Lord’s Cove, Nfld., as a barrelling tsunami washed over his home, his wife and their four youngest children within, and pulled it into the harbour. Just over two decades later, in January 1951, Rennie fell victim to whatever combination of diseases had been ravaging his lungs for years—TB, silicosis, cancer—and died at age 60. There is a through line between those two events, hard to discern on the surface but laid bare in haunting prose by Linden MacIntyre in the most evocatively titled book of the year, The Wake: The Deadly Legacy of a Newfoundland Tsunami. >click to read< 13:52

‘They’re flat broke’: Salmon fishermen demand disaster relief for failed season

The Pacific Salmon Commission is forecasting a total return of only 447,000 sockeye salmon to the Fraser, one of the world’s richest salmon rivers, this year. “This is the lowest run size ever estimated since estimates began in 1893, and lower than the previous record for lowest run size of 858,000 observed in 2016,” its report read.,, “Many of them are in debt because they got the boat and gear ready for the season and they [invested] quite heavily in doing that. And then they put fuel in their boats and went to the fishing grounds and then caught nothing.” >click to read< 15:24

Seals are overfishing at unsustainable rates! Gulf of St. Lawrence cod extinction ‘highly probable,’

“At the current abundance of grey seals in this ecosystem, recovery of this cod population does not appear to be possible, and its extinction is highly probable,” the report says. DFO fish biologist Doug Swain said the cod population is now about five per cent of levels in the 1980s, and the downward spiral is accelerating despite a moratorium on a directed cod fishery in the Gulf since 2009. The problem is an “extremely high” and “unsustainable” death rate for cod five years or older. >click to read< 11:29

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 105′ Steel Midwater/Shrimp Freezer Trawler, Cat Powered

Specifications, information and 25 photos >click here< To see all the boats in this series, >click here<15:46

Latin America Reckons With a Fish-Farming Boom, industry cannot be allowed to harm ocean habitats

For a region plagued by stop-and-go growth, aquaculture is a boon. But problems have followed plenty. The blue revolution may not be as damaging to the environment as the one that reinvented global agriculture (farmed fish consume far less feed and energy than chickens, pigs or cattle do), but algae blooms, pests and pathogens, and overuse of antibiotics do a lot of dirty work. Chile repeatedly has seen huge schools of farmed fish break out of pens into the open ocean, where they threaten to overrun wild species and spread new diseases. >click to read< 14:58

Fishermen’s groups seek candidates’ stance on Nova Scotia pulp effluent

In a joint statement released Monday, the coalition, representing the Gulf Nova Scotia Fleet Planning Board, Prince Edward Island Fishermen’s Association, Maritime Fishermen’s Union and Pictou Landing First Nation, says it will be seeking the position of all local federal election candidates on Northern Pulp’s proposed effluent pipeline. The coalition maintains the pipe would, on a daily basis, release between 65 and 87 million litres of effluent into the Northumberland Strait, “one of our most important commercial fishing areas.”,,, It points out the area falls under the Canadian Fisheries Act and is the jurisdiction of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. >click to read< 12:49

P.E.I. company testing new bait for lobster and crab fishery

Bait Masters Inc. is testing the new product in the fall crab and lobster fishery on P.E.I. “The new bait is a mix of fish and other organic matters in a biodegradable casing,” said Wally MacPhee, co-owner of the company. “It reduces the amount of pelagic fish used in the bait process. We’re hoping to reduce it by 50 percent per piece so it would be a help with sustainability.” Mackerel and herring, the traditional bait used by the lobster fishery on P.E.I., has become increasingly more expensive and difficult for Island fishermen to find. >click to read< 07:39

The latest spill: fuel valve to blame for power outage on Hibernia oil platform

A low fuel supply to the equipment that keeps the electricity on is being blamed for causing the power outage that resulted in an estimated 2,200 litres of oil spilling into the Atlantic Ocean from the Hibernia platform over the weekend — just 48 hours after production at the site resumed following an earlier spill. The latest spill happened when the power went out on the oil production platform, prompting the sprinkler system to activate. >click to read< 08:19

LETTER: Fish harvesters, plantworkers are stronger together

This letter is a response to Ryan Cleary’s letter “Single union can’t represent all sides of fishery” >click here<. Uniting workers in the fishing industry through a single union has delivered significant benefits to both fish harvesters and plant workers in the 50-year history of FFAW-Unifor and its predecessor unions. The only groups who do not support strong unions are the fishing companies we negotiate with, and Ryan Cleary and his group FISH-NL. by Keith Sullivan >click to read< 13:01

FISH-NL supports calls for independent offshore environmental authority; FFAW-Unifor must come clean with oil industry funding

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) supports calls for an independent authority to oversee the environment in the province’s offshore oil and gas industry. “There is growing evidence that the industry regulator, the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board, is unable to protect the environment,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “Between seismic blasting and offshore spills, it’s full-speed ahead for the petroleum industry — the commercial fishery and marine environment be damned.” >click to read< 11:22

Massachusetts Lobstermen Test Ropeless Fishing Gear to Save Right Whales

Researchers say conservationists and the fishing industry must work together to save the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale. Only about 400 of these whales are left living in the wild, and scientists say human activity is to blame. Proposed federal regulations,,, But these measures drastically reduce the number of lines lobstermen are allowed to have in the water. That’s why Massachusetts lobstermen are eager to try new technology that would enable them to set their traps without a vertical line. Patrick Ramage is director of marine conservation for the International Fund for Animal Welfare.,,, >click to read<10:33

Ropeless Fishing Gear Could Aid Maine’s Lobster Industry, Endangered Whales>click to read<

Husky to resume full production at White Rose after November 2018 oil spill

Husky Energy announced Friday it will restart production at its White Rose field from its two drill centres that were still shut after an oil spill in November 2018. Three other White Rose drill centres resumed production earlier this year. Husky will undertake “an orderly restart” of the North Amethyst and South White Rose Extension drill centres, and “expects to reach full rates by early next week,”,,, >click to read< 12:06

Oil in the Water: Hibernia power outage results in oil spill, response equipment deployed

The Hibernia Management and Development Company (HMDC) confirmed the platform lost power, causing water sprinkler systems to activate. The sprinklers caused the waste containment drain system, which contained water and some oil, to overflow onto the platform and into the ocean, the company said in a statement. HMDC estimated about 150 litres of oil spilled, based on the sheen observed. >click to read< 09:44

Greenland, the new US Alaska? Trump mocked, as Some Canadians Say “We Should Outbid Him!”

Greenland, the new US Alaska? –  The United States’ interest in Greenland is not new. In 1867, secretary of state William Seward, then of the Andrew Johnson administration, showed interest in purchasing Greenland and Iceland from Denmark. >click to read< Trump Wants to Buy Greenland? We Should Outbid Him! – from the article, What would we get if we did obtain Greenland? It would certainly complete our set of Arctic islands. We would possess over two million square kilometres of land, almost all of it covered by an ice sheet with a volume of 2.8 million cubic kilometres. >click to read< 15:40

New Brunswick: Previously entangled right whale spotted free of gear

A North Atlantic right whale that was seen entangled in fishing gear in late June has now been spotted swimming free of any gear, according to Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The whale was partially disentangled on July 16 by the Campobello Whale Rescue Team,,, The whale was swimming off the coast of Miscou Island on New Brunswick’s northeastern shore, according to a tweet from the department posted on Friday. >click to read< 10:29

Striped bass are underfed, not overfished

Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, or ASMFC, has determined (again!) that the number of spawning Atlantic striped bass is below the required threshold to maintain proper “recruitment” (newborns), and therefore, sustainable population abundance.,, Certainly, there is a lot of blame to go around, but the ASMFC seems to have only one conclusion: overfishing.,,, What about food?,,, This may be a shocking finding, but foreign-owned Cooke Inc., the owner of Omega Protein, “purse seins” hundreds of millions of pounds of menhaden a year,,, by  Bev Landstreet >click to read< 09:36

Single union can’t represent all sides of fishery

Is it a coincidence that the FFAW-Unifor gave out free codfish on the St. John’s waterfront Monday morning (Aug. 12) at the same time that FISH-NL held a news conference to announce a second membership drive? Any trouble swallowing the idea that the foolish fish giveaway forced Fisheries Minister Gerry Byrne’s hand into opening the door a crack to outside buyers, where six months before he had slammed the door at the suggestion?  >click to read< 08:34

Google Pitchman Bill Nye: Fighting Climate Change Will Make You ‘Filthy F-cking Rich’

Inventing climate change solutions or technology could you make you a fortune, according to liberal media favorite: Bill Nye “The Science Guy.” Nye shared an F-bomb dropping video on Instagram on Aug. 13. He said that if his typical warning that the “oceans are rising” wasn’t enough to make people care, he had another reason for them to take action on climate change. “I’m gonna level with you. The real reason you should do your part to combat climate change is — It’ll make you filthy f—king rich” Nye shouted. Video  >click to read< 11:12

Governmental Hypocricy? N.L. fish plant owner ‘completely floored’ over gov’t cod market decision

The owner of a fish plant near Lewisporte is taken aback by the news that processors from outside Newfoundland and Labrador are going to be allowed to buy locally caught cod, when she says her operation has been denied that same ability. “I was completely floored. I couldn’t believe it,” said Alisha Hodder, who runs Hodder’s Shellfish in Stoneville with her husband. The Stoneville plant processes sea urchin,,, >click to read< 09:21

Government of Canada establishes Atlantic Seal Task Team

The sustainable management of Canadian fisheries is important to fish harvesters whose livelihoods are supported by the ocean. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) ensures that the best available science is considered when making management decisions for seals. However, DFO has continuously heard concerns by fish harvesters about the relationship between seals and fish populations. Listening to these concerns, DFO is taking action to address a concern that encompasses not only Newfoundland and Labrador, but all Atlantic Canada and Quebec coasts. >click to read<16:18

In Nova Scotia, an economic boom brings all the boats to the yard

A newly finished lobster fishing boat waits on a trailer in a yard at Wedgeport Boats, like a displaced sea creature ready to return. The Porsche-red hull gleams in the Nova Scotia sun. Standing on the ground in its shadow, the vessel’s owner, Mark Rogers, watches with satisfaction as the vinyl sticker – the kind used for race cars – is applied to the bow, revealing a muscled, smiling cartoon lobster. It’s the afternoon before the official launch of the Katie Anne – named, according to custom, for Mr. Rogers’s now-grown daughter. The launch has been planned for a Friday, which, as grizzled fishermen will say, is traditionally a day best avoided for a new voyage. Photo’s >click to read< 09:24

Outside buyers allowed in cod market as fishermen protest in St. John’s, Old Perlican

Buyers from outside the province will have a 14-day window to purchase cod from Newfoundland and Labrador harvesters, Gerry Byrne’s announcement comes as members of the The Fish Food And Allied Workers Union set up on the waterfront in St. John’s Monday morning, giving their cod catches away for free to protest what they say is a processors’ refusal to buy it. Union members are also protesting outside the Royal Greenland plant in Old Perlican, and the FFAW said it submitted an official request to Byrne Monday morning, asking that outside buyers be allowed into the market. >click to read< 16:48

Ocean temperatures off N.S. dip after record breaking year, have moved back to normal

Following a season of record-breaking surface temperatures last year, ocean temperatures in the waters around Nova Scotia have moved back to normal this summer, says the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.,,, In 2018, DFO found winter sea surface temperatures from the Scotian Shelf to the Bay of Fundy were above normal. There were also record-breaking temperatures in August and September. However, DFO’s spring survey conducted in April 2019 differed from last year’s results. “First, the surface was really cold because we had a really cold winter. It takes time for the ocean to heat up,” Hebert said. “The deeper water seemed to be back to the normal temperature.” >click to read< 09:44

2 Canadian Coast Guard ships fined for speeding in right whale slowdown zone

Two Canadian Coast Guard vessels were among the six ships fined Monday after being caught violating speed restrictions aimed at protecting North Atlantic right whales. Transport Canada fined the coast guard ships Cape Edensaw and Cap d’Espoir $6,000 and $12,000 respectively for violating the temporary mandatory slowdown in the shipping lanes north and south of Anticosti Island in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. >click to read< 09:10

Try, try again: FISH-NL making second push to unseat FFAW

The union, which formed three years ago, has learned from its first failure and adjusted tactics accordingly, said its president. “This has been a long, hard process. and we’ve learned a lot along the way,” said Ryan Cleary. Whereas before FISH-NL spent six weeks campaigning for cards, now it will use the maximum allowed amount of 90 days, submitting the results to the province’s Labour Relations Board on Nov. 8. The board will then verify the submission and rule on whether FISH-NL met the qualifications to trigger a vote among all fish harvesters as to who they want as their union. >click to read< 09:05

FISH-NL membership drive. Inshore harvesters offered second chance to break free of FFAW-Unifor

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is launching today its second membership drive for inshore harvesters to finally break free of the FFAW/Unifor.,,, “FISH-NL’s first battle is to free harvesters from the FFAW stranglehold, and after almost three long years we’re almost there,” Cleary added. “The second fight will be to end mismanagement of our fisheries, and secure harvesters and the rural communities where they live with a prosperous future as the primary beneficiary of adjacent stocks.” The membership drive starts today, and will conclude on Nov. 8th when FISH-NL will submit the membership cards as part of an application for certification to the province’s Labour Relations Board. >click to read< 11:46

Rope free traps? Company studies ways for fishing nets and whales to coexist.

“It’s promising and many people are asking why we don’t use it right away — but it’s still in the scientific testing phase, with tests being done in the water and it has not yet been adapted for commercial fishing,” Cormier explained. In some trials, the buoy took up to 30 minutes to surface; in other cases it never surfaced. “There is still work to be done as far as the reliability of the equipment,” he said. “We don’t want to create another problem, that of ghost fishing.” >click to read< 09:49

Sea Gulls make unbearable noises at ungodly hours. Here’s why

I first assumed that gulls make noise during mating rituals. But Richards gave me a much more unsettling answer. “When the gulls first hatch, the chicks start to wander around. And the neighbours next door [i.e., other gulls] will actually try to eat the other chicks,” said Richards. “So, the parents are actually defending their chicks from their neighbours.”,,,  “And they swallow them in one gulp.” >click to read< 09:04

FISH-NL to hold news conference Monday on membership drive

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Friday, Aug. 9th, 2019, The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) has scheduled a news conference for Monday, Aug. 12, regarding its 2019 membership drive. The conference will be held at 11 a.m. at FISH-NL’s office, located at 5 Job St. in downtown St. John’s. All media are invited to attend.  Contact: Ryan Cleary 682 4862

Prince Edward Island: With no size increase, fishermen optimistic of good catch rates

Prince Edward Island fall lobster fishermen set out from ports from Tignish to Victoria on Thursday morning as their fall season officially got underway at 6 a.m The fishery takes in the western half of the Northumberland Strait and also involves mainland fishermen from Chatham, N.B., to Amherst, N.S. Video, >click to read< 11:29