Category Archives: Canada

Science journal article disputes claims that aquaculture is a sustainable industry

Inka Milewski, a research associate in the Department of Biology at Dalhousie University, said Monday her conclusions are partly based on a series of long-term studies of a fish farm in Port Mouton Bay, N.S. She says evidence of an impact on lobster populations and eelgrass in the bay around those pens run counter to a “narrative” found on various federal Fisheries websites that Ottawa manages the industry in “a sustainable way.” Her report notes that Ottawa had collected reports of 14.4 metric tonnes of antibiotics and 439 metric tonnes of hydrogen peroxide pesticides being placed in the waters since federal aquaculture regulations came into force four years ago. >click to read<17:51

Inside the secret, million-dollar world of baby eel trafficking

In the parking lot of an Irving gas station in Aulac, N.B., not far from the Nova Scotia border, Curtis Kiley popped the trunk of a Toyota Corolla. Inside was a white bucket containing what looked like a giant hairball, the type that might be pulled from a bathtub drain. Except it was alive — a wriggling, slithering mess. This was just an initial sample Kiley had brought to show a prospective black-market buyer, a woman he knew only through text message as “Danielle.” He was ultimately hoping to unload up to 300 kilograms of the tiny creatures, a huge haul worth $1.3 million on the open market, but one he was offering at a steep discount. Moments later, Kiley’s world turned from dollar signs to handcuffs. >click to read<10:40

This discovery could be the key to managing New England’s cod population

Although the species is managed as a single population, cod in the Gulf of Maine can be divided into two genetically-distinct groups. And according to a new study, understanding the unique behavior and lifecycles of these two groups may be the key to creating a better management strategy. “The current stock assessments for Gulf of Maine cod assume that the population is one single, homogeneous unit,” Dean says. “All stock assessment models have to make gross oversimplifications. But sometimes those simplifications can create inaccuracies.” click to read<21:39

Fish harvesters from British Columbia join Unifor with historic vote

In an historic vote that was years in the making, 245 salmon seine boat fish harvesters on Canada’s west coast who fish for the Canadian Fishing Company have voted overwhelmingly to join Unifor.,,, The vote was an overwhelming 92 per cent to join United Fishermen and Allied Workers Union (UFAWU), a Unifor local. The vote was conducted last summer, but counting was held up until this week due to employer challenges when the British Columbia Labour Board ordered the votes be counted. >click to read<10:36

A stronger, modernized Fisheries Act becomes law

This afternoon, Bill C-68 received Royal Assent by the Governor General and has officially become law. This is a victory for the environment, independent fishers, and all Canadians because today, the important amendments to this Act, put forward by our government are being enshrined in law. Informed by extensive consultations with the public, industry, environmental groups and Indigenous peoples, this modernized Fisheries Act reflects the views of Canadians and will ensure our fisheries continue to grow Canada’s economy and support the livelihood of coastal communities.
A modernized Fisheries Act will benefit all Canadians by: >click to read<18:46

Crab pricing commentary a ‘confused and conspiratorial mess’

This letter is in response to that of Derek Butler, published on June 13 (“GUEST COLUMN: FFAW wants things their way on pricing, not ‘transparency.’”) The issue he attempts to address is very important, however, his argument is a confused and conspiratorial mess and delivered in a tone that would make any merchant smile in his grave. It is telling that Butler felt the need to mention the circumstances surrounding how fish harvester collective bargaining rights were enshrined in legislation. The Fishing Industry Collective Bargaining Act exists to protect the collective bargaining rights of harvesters,,, By Keith Sullivan >Click to read<11:22

Small locator device could save fishermen stranded at sea

Commercial fishing ranks among the most dangerous professions, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Between 2000 and 2013, more than 660 American fishermen died at sea, of whom nearly one-third fell overboard. The small GPS devices, which cost a couple of hundred dollars, transmit an alert message using satellite frequencies to NOAA and the U.S. Coast Guard.  >click to read<09:39

A Forage Fish War – Canadian company targets critical forage fish in Atlantic and Gulf

The two U.S. menhaden fisheries are in the Chesapeake Bay and the Gulf,,, Omega Proteins, headquartered in Canada, has sought certification that the fishery is sustainable.,, Now it has sought the same certification in the Gulf of Mexico, according to a joint statement from the American Sportfishing Association, the Coastal Conservation Association, and the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership.,, “The ASA, Theodore Roosevelt , and CCA, have formally objected, That steep price (of MSC certification) caused Sport Fish Magazine writer Doug Olander to pen a satirical op-ed,,,That prompted a swift backlash by Omega Proteins, “According to the ASMFC [Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission], Striped Bass are overfi…>click to read<17:23

Commercial fishing crews in B.C. now required to wear life-jackets on deck

The organization that oversees worker safety in British Columbia is taking steps to reduce risks faced by commercial fishing crews. WorkSafeBC says all crew members on the deck of a fishing vessel must now wear a life-jacket or personal flotation device. Until the amendment took effect June 3, workers on commercial fishing boats were only required to wear a life-jacket when working under conditions that involved a risk of drowning.,,, The updated regulation stems from Transportation Safety Board recommendations made after the fatal capsizing of the fishing vessel Caledonian near Tofino in September 2015. Three of the four crewmen died and the lone survivor was the only one wearing a life-jacket. >click to read<16:35

FISH-NL asks Ottawa to review quota-sharing arrangements of adjacent stocks – A Letter to Fisheries Minister Wilkinson

“There should be no difference between the fish and oil off our shores in terms of who the principle beneficiary must be — Newfoundland and Labrador,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “That’s not the case with species like turbot, halibut, snow crab and scallops, which is unacceptable.” “Newfoundland and Labrador is slowly losing access to the fish off its shores, which, if not stopped and reversed, will be lethal to the culture and way of life.” In a letter Tuesday to federal Fisheries and Oceans Minister John Wilkinson, Cleary noted that Canada only holds 15 per cent of the turbot quota on the entire Grand Banks, with the remaining 85 per cent held by counties like the European Union, Japan, and Russia. >click to read<08:32

Commercial crab fisher ordered to forfeit traps, fined $20,000 after repeat offences

A B.C. judge lamented the state of protections for Canadian fisheries this month as she tore a strip off a commercial skipper with a history of repeat fishing violations. Powell River Provincial Court Judge Kimberley Arthur-Leung slapped Tuan Huu Le with a $20,000 fine, a four-month fishing prohibition and an order to forfeit his traps after he pleaded guilty to a series of crab fishing offences. >click to read<17:06

Cape Breton lobsterman gets court’s OK for replacement to trap under his licence

A Federal Court judge has temporarily granted a disabled Nova Scotia lobster fisherman the ability to hire someone to fish for him. Justice Sylvie Roussel ruled in favour of Lester Martell’s request to extend his use of a substitute operator,,, He’s been fishing since 1947 and personally fished lobster under the licence from 1978 on a full-time basis until excruciating knee pain and balance difficulties in 2009 prevented him from doing so.,, DFO approved Martell’s request for a substitute operator for the 2015 and 2016 seasons, but told him future requests would not be considered.>click to read<09:09

Canada’s next-generation RADARSAT satellite constellation successfully launched

Canada’s RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM) was launched successfully into space aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.The constellation of three satellites will provide daily images of Canada’s vast territory and maritime approaches, as well as images of the Arctic, up to four times a day. It will have daily access to 90 percent of the world’s surface. The RCM is also equipped with an Automatic Identification System (AIS), allowing improved detection and tracking of ships, including those conducting illegal fishing. >click to read<18:19

Labrador fleet wants separate quota for northern cod – FFAW and FISH-NL do not support

Fishers from the 2J fleets partnered with the Labrador Fishermen’s Union Shrimp Company to make the proposal. In 2018, a 9,500-tonne limit was placed on the northern cod stewardship fishery for fishing zones 2J3KL.,,, Dwight Russell, a Mary’s Harbour fisherman, is chair of the 2J fishers. He told The Northern Pen the fleet is just looking for a fair share.,, Russell says he doesn’t believe the 2J cod fishing fleet, historically, has been given much opportunity to grow. He says if they could get a higher share of the total Northern cod quota, it would allow the industry to grow in the region. >click to read>08:34

Conservationists raise alarm over wild fish killed inside B.C. salmon farms

A conservation charity said it’s concerned by what it calls a “growing trend” of wild fish killed by the salmon farming industry on British Columbia’s coast. Stan Proboszcz,  Watershed Watch Salmon Society, said nine times as many wild fish were reported inside open-net pen farms in 2017 compared with 2011.,,  The society estimates that about 13.2 million wild fish may be held in B.C.’s 65 salmon farms at any given time, and an additional 653 tonnes of wild fish may be hanging around outside the farms because they’re attracted by things like food and lights.,,, “The farms are known to be amplifiers of pathogens, parasites and viruses. Are these things being spread to wild fish?” >click to read<20:47

Big brawl in Little Harbour over lobster fishing grounds

The Eastern Shore’s lobster fishery has once again been marred by violence. On Saturday afternoon RCMP responded to a brawl in Little Harbour stemming from a longstanding dispute between two families over lobster fishing grounds. “The dispute resulted in two men going to the home of another man to confront him,” reads the RCMP account of the fight. “Two more men arrived, and a physical altercation ensued, with some of the parties involved using weapons, including a wrench, a golf club, and a baseball bat.” Video, >click to read<08:48

Workers Compensation Board after fishermen to wear PFDs

Starting Monday, the Workers Compensation Board of P.E.I. will be heading to wharves across the Island to ensure fishermen are wearing personal flotation devices. The visits are part of an education and compliance initiative the WCB started last year. “The fishing industry is a dangerous industry,” said Danny Miller, director of occupational health and safety. “We’ve been focusing on the education, and the recent fatalities on P.E.I. have further reminded us that there’s more work to do.” Four people died in commercial fishing accidents last year in P.E.I. waters. >click to read<10:51

Ken MacDonald – Hanging out at the wharf

Port Morien wharf. It’s an annual rite of spring in many of our coastal communities. As predictable as the longer hours of daylight and buds sprouting on the trees, the wharf emerges from its winter hibernation. Boats are launched, equipment is checked and traps are transported to the wharf, stacked neatly; ready to load. This beehive of activity takes place in the weeks leading up to the May 15th opening of the lobster season, as it has been for decades. In its heyday, the wharf was a scene of perpetual activity. Boats were sometimes tied four and five alongside each other. Fishermen docked in the same place at the wharf, and many of us can still remember where they tied up their boats. As kids, we could look from a distance and knew who owned every boat. >click to read<09:52

Scallop vessel finds itself in challenging situation when it runs aground in Tiverton, Digby County

After a nine-day trip at sea the crew of the scallop vessel Digby Challenger expected to be offloading their catch on Sunday, June 9. But the vessel found itself facing another challenge instead.  Around 5 a.m. the boat grounded on the shoreline in Tiverton, Long Island, down on Digby Neck. The crew was not injured. Photo’s, >click to read<15:49

“Wolverine” – Initial assessment did not reveal evidence of vessel strikes or fishing gear entanglement

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans says the death of a North Atlantic right whale in the Gulf of St. Lawrence does not appear to be the result of a recent vessel strike or entanglement in fishing gear. A necropsy was conducted Friday on the shores of Miscou Island in New Brunswick, and the government said the initial assessment was inconclusive. The nine-year-old male known as “Wolverine” was towed there after his carcass was discovered in the Gulf on Tuesday. >click to read<10:16

First Nation in New Brunswick demands DFO allow access to crab fishery

The chief of the Eel Ground First Nation in northeastern New Brunswick is calling on the federal government to honour treaty rights and allow access to the snow crab fishery. Chief George Ginnish says the community, also known as Natoaganeg, has been waiting for 20 years to exercise their rights. He says the band council authorized a treaty fishery for snow crab, but the Department of Fisheries and Oceans has seized their traps.,, AFN Regional Chief Roger Augustine said the DFO has seized 31 snow crab pots so far. He’s asking Fisheries and Oceans Minister Jonathan Wilkinson step in,,, “It is disturbing to me and does not make sense that a First Nation would be given a licence but no quotas,” Augustine said. >click to read<22:54

Bill C-68 will protect smaller inshore fishery operators from corporate takeover, group says

Trudeau government legislation that enshrines the independence of Atlantic Canada’s inshore fishing fleets and enhances protections for fish stocks and fish habitat has cleared the Senate. The news is a relief to Martin Mallet. “This is great news. We’ve been waiting for this for a long while,” said Mallet, executive director of the Maritime Fishermen’s Union.,,, Minister expects new Fisheries Act to pass. In North Vancouver, federal Fisheries Minister Jonathan Wilkinson also welcomed the Senate vote. >click to read<12:06

Ninety Foot Crab and Demersal Fish Trawler Delivered

Shipbuilding Asia and Macduff Ship Design are pleased to announce the completion and handover of a new 90 foot fishing vessel for the Piercy family of Newfoundland Canada. The vessel Atlantic Titan, built in Vietnam by Shipbuilding Asia and designed and kitted by Macduff Ship Design, has the capability to fish for crab and to trawl for demersal fish. >click to read<10:28

New regulation for Maine fishermen might ease tension in ‘grey zone’

Melanie Sonnenberg, the general manager of the Grand Manan Fishermen’s Association, said there’s been some tension between fishermen in the zone because American fishermen are worried Canadian fishermen are stealing lobsters from their traps at night. Canadian fisherman can check their traps after dark, but American fishermen aren’t regulated to do so. Until now. New legislation in Maine will now allow American fishermen to check their traps at night. >Audio report, click to read<20:03

Canada’s Second New Offshore Fisheries Science Vessel Launched

Canada’s second of three new Offshore Fisheries Science Vessels (OFSV) was launched on June 5. The Canadian Coast Guard vessel was built by Seaspan’s North Vancouver Shipyards under the National Shipbuilding Strategy. The OFSVs are the first class of ships to be built by Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards as part of the non-combat package under the National Shipbuilding Strategy. They will support science and research activities undertaken by Fisheries and Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard. >click to read<15:50

D-Day: June 6, 1944

Inside General Eisenhower’s Sleepless Night Ahead of the D-Day Invasion – >click to read< On June 6, 1944, 150,000 Allied soliders arrived on the beaches of Normandy, France for the largest seaborn invasion in world history. “D-Day,” as it’s now referred, was a major tactical victory against the Nazis in Europe during World War II, and it is remembered as one of the most courageous operations in the history of international warfare.In photos: Nations mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion ->click here to review< >click to read/view<14:42

Dead right whale had survived ship strike, entanglements, is first death in Canadian waters in 2019

The dead north Atlantic right whale drifting off Quebec’s Gaspé coast had a history of entanglements and was struck by a ship, said officials with the New England Aquarium. The young whale was sighted Tuesday during an aerial surveillance flight by researchers from the U.S.-based National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It’s first dead whale in Canadian waters in 2019.,,, On Wednesday, all efforts were deployed to locate the whale’s body, with planes flying over the Gulf of Saint Lawrence all day. >click to read<10:12

D-Day confidential: How four Canadian soldiers made it through their longest day

A fisherman, a farmer, a labourer and a civil servant were among the thousands who fought in the Allied invasion that turned the tide of the Second World War. For decades, the records of what they did sat in American archives, unheard. These are their stories.,,,  To sign up, Private Henry Churchill, (in the center), sold his lobster fishing licence and twice walked 19 kilometres from his hometown, Port Maitland, N.S., to the nearest recruiting office in Yarmouth. A paratrooper, he would drop into Normandy with 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion, ahead of the seaborne assault. Sapper Schaupmeyer was the third of the seven children of German immigrants farming near Edmonton. He and two brothers enlisted,,, >click to read<16:04

Chasing Demons: 75 Years On, D-Day Haunts, Drives Its Vets

They are back, some for the first time since war stole their innocence 75 years ago on Normandy’s D-Day beaches. They are back on battlefields where the World War II veterans saw friends killed, took lives themselves, were scarred physically and mentally and helped change the course of history. Given the painful memories, given their unfamiliarity with the country they liberated, given the difficulty of traveling abroad, why are Americans and veterans from other Allied nations in their 90s coming back for this week’s anniversary of the June 6, 1944, invasion of Normandy?,, Here, in their own words, >click to read< 17:45

Lobster prices – ‘There is a problem with the whole system and it has to be addressed’

The group that markets P.E.I. lobster says this year’s price is good, but could be better. The Lobster Fishers of P.E.I. Marketing Board says fishermen are getting a bit more than last year — between $5 and $5.75 for canner lobsters which are smaller and $6 to $6.75 for larger markets, said the group’s chair and fisherman Charlie MacGeoghegan. He said fishermen in Nova Scotia are getting more for their lobster. “If you take 2018 versus 2017 it was over a dollar a pound in the difference between Nova Scotia and here, so that’s, on last year’s catch that’s $38 million.” >click to read<12:55