Category Archives: Canada

Fogo Island fish harvesters meet with DFO, Finally!

The third time was the charm for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) session with fishermen on Fogo Island. The meeting was cancelled twice because of weather and department members being unable to attend. The meeting finally went ahead on Feb. 13 with approximately 30 area fishermen in attendance. When talking about concerns in the fishery, they held nothing back – which is exactly what Ron Burton, area director for DFO, was looking for. >click to read< 11:50

Canada to introduce mandatory reporting of whale interactions this year

“Save the Whales” will take on new importance for Canadian fishermen in 2018 as the Department of Fisheries and Oceans introduces mandatory reporting for interactions Canada’s commercial fishing fleets have with marine mammals. The deaths of a dozen critically endangered right whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence last year is the driving force behind the effort, which has already resulted in changes in the Gulf of St. Lawrence snow crab fishery, whose gear has been implicated in some of the deaths. >click to read<08:18

SMU students hoping to save whales with ropeless fishing gear

A trio of graduate students at Saint Mary’s University is building a fishing gear prototype that could help lobster and crab fishermen save money by reducing lost traps and save whales and other marine life from becoming entangled in ropes. Ross Arsenault and Aaron Stevenson are in the two-year masters of technology entrepreneurship and innovation program, while Maxwell Poole is taking a masters of applied health services research.,,, Then, the students heard about the crisis facing the endangered North Atlantic right whale, which was dying in record numbers in Canadian waters last year. >click to read< 18:28

Crustacean Placation Nation

The Swiss are worried about lobsters. They are concerned that lobsters are sentient and can feel pain. So, if you want to eat a lobster in Switzerland, you can’t drop it, live, into a pot of boiling water, which is the preferred cooking method in Maine and other lobster-loving states. Instead, according to this article in USA Today, you need to either electrocute the lobster, or lull it into an insensate state by dipping it in salt water — and then stabbing it in the brain. I’m not sure, frankly, why those methods are viewed as more humane than,,, >click to read<12:54

Professional cleaners aboard, N.S. women tackle lobster boats

It’s a salty job — a group of women in Yarmouth, N.S., can often be found scrubbing the decks of boats, but they’re not sailors. It’s a job lined with sea water and the smell of fresh caught fish, but Jana Jeffery and her cleaning dream team say they’re up for the challenge. “We clean lobster boats, that’s what we’re most known for,” says Jeffrey. They’re professional cleaners with a very specific niche for cleaning lobster boats. The group says it’s a job that’s in high demand especially during the lobster fishing season which runs from the end of November to May. >click to read< 14:39

Only room for one fleet; FISH-NL advises Ottawa to reserve northern shrimp in SFA 6 for the inshore

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is calling for an immediate halt to the fishing of northern shrimp by factory-freezer trawlers in waters off Newfoundland’s northeast coast and southern Labrador until stocks rebound. In light of more scientific bad news today on the state of northern shrimp in that area, which is known as Shrimp Fishing Area (SFA) 6, FISH-NL calls on the federal government to reserve the limited quota solely for the inshore fleet, and ban fishing altogether when shrimp are spawning. Further, FISH-NL requests that Ottawa assign a quota of northern shrimp to the inshore fleet further north off Labrador in SFA 5. >click to read<17:43

Key northern shrimp stock off N.L. down again

Details of the latest northern shrimp stock assessment were released Friday with key Shrimp Fishing Area (SFA) 6 off the province’s northeast coast looking pretty grim. Fishable biomass is down 16 per cent and spawning stock biomass is down 19 per cent in SFA 6, thus leaving shrimp in that area in the critical zone of the precautionary approach framework employed by Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) science. That will likely translate into another drop in the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for the area,,, >click to read< 16:34

FISH-NL: DFO outreach meetings prove FFAW-Unifor no longer voice of inshore harvesters

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) says the most common issue during a recent series of outreach meetings held around the province by the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans is that the FFAW-Unifor is no longer the voice of inshore harvesters. “That sentiment was expressed at every single meeting — without exception — and with union representatives front and centre in the room,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “The FFAW-Unifor no longer speaks for most harvesters, and that message should be loud, clear, and obvious to the entire fishing industry, including federal Minister Dominic LeBlanc.” >click to read< 09:27

St. Anthony Seafoods becomes seven-month operation for first time in its history, Employees are worried

For the first time since the plant went into operation in 1999, St. Anthony Seafoods will not be running year-round. With uncommon layoffs and rumours about even more future cuts to shrimp quotas, plant worker Trudy Byrne says it’s a particularly stressful time. “This year even our engineers got laid off. We went from a year-round facility to a seven-month facility,” she said. Byrne has worked for the plant since its dawning days and says there is worry across the board about the future of both the shrimp fishery and the shrimp plant. >click to read< 18:19

Harvey Jarvis: Fishery proclamations much ado about nothing

For those who missed it, the week beginning Feb. 5th gave us a great example of how the media is used to convince us what a what a great job is being done. On day one we had a letter in The Telegram from the FFAW telling Dominic Leblanc what he should do (“Fishery corporations kick messaging into high gear,” Feb. 5), and the next day we had Dominic Leblanc standing at a podium telling everyone what he has done or is about to do. Then about 30 seconds later we had a press release from the FFAW patting itself on the back for another great win. I am referring, of course, to the news of how Dominic Leblanc is reversing some of Stephen Harper’s reforms plus making some changes to the Fisheries Act. >click to read< 08:31

Still No Charges for the Company Behind Canada’s Largest Mining Spill

The company responsible for the Mount Polley mine spill—one of the largest environmental disasters in Canadian history—has found out it’s not going to face any charges in British Columbia. The news likely has billionaire Murray Edwards, owner of Imperial Metals and the Mount Polley mine (and the Calgary Flames) toasting with his rich friends in London (where he lives to avoid paying taxes). If you’re not in BC, there’s a chance the aerial images of the disaster haven’t already scarred you forever. This is what the collapsed tailings pond at the Mount Polley mine looked like in August 2014. >click to read< 16:55

OPINION: Fisheries Act changes bring Canada into the 21st century

Despite warnings in your Feb. 1 editorial that changes to the Fisheries Act were “pure madness,” the opposite in fact is true. For the most part, the upgrades are common sense, enable existing policy frameworks and bring Canada into the era of modern fisheries management. Bill C-68 tabled last week is the culmination of not just the past 18 months of consultation, but more than two decades of pressure to modernize the Fisheries Act. It is 150 years old this year – only the British North America Act is more ancient – and it’s high time that Canada updated the contents. >click to read< 09:58

Live Well Challenge creator starts another fundraiser to support Digby dad battling rare cancer

Cape Sable Island fisherman Todd Newell says he’s going to make it up to all the people who have said, jokingly, they would have liked to wring his neck after taking the Live Well Challenge in freezing cold water. How? He’s going to let a lobster bite the side of his hand. Why? To help 34-year-old Digby County resident Jordan Morgan, who has a rare form of cancer and needs an expensive chemotherapy drug to help him fight it. The total cost of the treatment he’s looking at is $130,000.,, “Jordan said something to me the other day that really resonated with me,” said Newell. “He said initiative is the only thing standing between the status quo and moving on with living. That is the truth.” >click to read< 12:50

Aground – Crew rescued after fishing vessel suffers significant damage near Witless Bay

Two people aboard the Northern Star fishing vessel were rescued by helicopter after the ship ran aground near Witless Bay early Saturday morning. The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Halifax dispatched a Cormorant helicopter to rescue the two individuals, and Canadian Coast Guard officials are now on the scene with an environmental response team, the CCGS Sir Wilfred Grenfell and a helicopter. >click to read< 12:16

Nova Scotia’s Dirty Secret: The Tale of a Toxic Mill and The Book Its Owners Don’t Want You to Read

The story of Pictou Landing is one of desperation, of corruption and incompetence. So perhaps it’s no surprise that when Canadian journalist and anthropologist Joan Baxter tried to tell it, old forces of power moved in to silence her. The mill’s owners tried to banish Baxter and her book The Mill: Fifty Years of Pulp and Protest from local bookstores. Of course, that backfired in spectacular fashion: The Mill sold out two printings and became the best-selling book in Nova Scotia Chapters and Coles book stores the month it was released. >click to read< 10:14

FISH-NL condemns DFO’s discriminatory restriction to latest scientific information on commercial fish stocks

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) condemns a move by the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans this year to limit access to the release of the latest scientific information on the status of key commercial fish stocks, and calls for a more fair and open process. “The raw scientific data on the status of commercial stocks such as shrimp, crab, caplin and groundfish should be available for all hands to absorb at one time,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “This is a huge leap backwards for transparency. >click to read< 19:55

‘Let’s go get him’ – Fishermen recover body of captain stranded in vessel off Canso

Fishermen have recovered the body of the captain who was at the helm of a fishing vessel that’s been stranded off the coast of Canso, N.S., for the past three days. Steven Goreham said he and five took a boat out Friday morning when the tide was low to try to recover their friend, Captain Roger Stoddard, who they believed was dead. Stoddard was the last crew member still on board the Fisherman’s Provider II, which became stuck on a shoal about four kilometres offshore on Tuesday. >click to read< 11:20

Changes to act mean more fishing wealth headed back to Pictou County

A local fisherman is cheering proposed reforms to the federal Fisheries Act that he says will bring more industry profits back into Pictou County. The changes mean that fishermen may only hold one licence for each species and must make their own catches, taking wealth away from big fishing corporations in favour of local independent owner-operators. That’s according to Ronnie Heighton, a River John fisherman and president of the Northumberland Fishermen’s Association. >click to read< 10:40

Helicopter lands on Frying Pan Shoal as rescuers try to save fishing captain

There are questions about why the captain of a fishing boat in trouble off the northeast coast of mainland Nova Scotia was not rescued Wednesday when the other crew members were picked up. Fisherman’s Provider II started sinking Tuesday after running ground on a rocky shoal about four kilometres off Canso. There were four people on board at the time. Another fishing vessel, the Miss Lexi, came to the stranded men’s aid and managed to get three of the fishermen off the vessel. But the captain refused to leave and stayed on the boat. >click to read< 14:11

3 crew members rescued as Search and Rescue mission underway for fishing boat captain off Canso

A search and rescue mission is underway about four kilometres southeast of Canso, N.S., to find the captain of a fishing vessel that ran aground on rocks. The military’s Joint Task Force Atlantic said it received a distress call from the vessel at 11 p.m. Tuesday. Three of the four crew members were rescued when another fishing boat came to help, but the fourth person — the captain — stayed on the stranded vessel. There has been no communication with the captain since. >click to read< 23:32

Fisheries Act sea change aims for conservation, clarity but Bill C-68 includes plenty of work for regulatory lawyers

Proposed Fisheries Act amendments will roll back industry-driven reforms from 2012 that were condemned by marine scientists, restore the broad protection of fish and fish habitat sought by environmentalists, enhance Indigenous powers over fisheries and add more regulatory teeth and tools to enforce the law. Bill C-68 introduced by the Trudeau government Feb. 6 would also create a bit of a bonanza for lawyers who advise on environmental and other regulatory matters, particularly since it is to be followed on Feb. 8 by other environmental assessment legislation that will create a new Impact Assessment Act and Canadian Energy Regulator Act and amend the Navigation Protection Act. >click to read< 20:41

FFAW, FISH-NL at odds over what Fisheries Act amendments will mean for N.L.’s inshore fishery

The federal Liberal Government said Tuesday it is restoring protections for the fishing industry that were taken away by the former Conservative government in 2012. And, in making the announcement, Fisheries and Oceans Minister Dominic LeBlanc said there is more good news for the country’s fishing industry. The minister announced $284.2 million to support the restoration of protections to fish and fish habitats and to incorporate new modern safeguards in the industry. >click to read< 09:32

FISH-NL – Ottawa’s failure to include adjacency principle in Fisheries Act amendments ‘grave injustice’

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) says Ottawa’s failure to include the principles of adjacency and historical attachment in the reformed Fisheries Act — to ensure inshore harvesters have priority access to fish off their shores — is a grave injustice. “It’s one thing for the Trudeau government to move to protect the independent commercial fishery, but that’s useless unless harvesters have fish to catch,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. >click to read< 15:15

Minister announces changes to federal fisheries act

Federal Fisheries and Oceans Minister Dominic LeBlanc announced today $284.2 million to support the restoration of protections to fish and fish habitats taken away by the former Conservative government in 2012, and to incorporating new modern safeguards in the industry. It was part of amendments to the Fisheries Act that LeBlanc outlined at a news conference in Vancouver. “To preserve, protect and help restore our environment we need a Fisheries Act that Canadians can trust,” LeBlanc stated. >click to read< 15:05 

David Boyd – No footprints in the snow

I write this from my son’s living room, high in the east-end hills of St. John’s, overlooking the bustling streets of Newfoundland’s capital city, and I think — yesterday I spent my day repairing Father’s old fishing premises, now mine, in a small fishing village in Notre Dame Bay — a world far removed from the consciousness of the decision-makers in the upper chambers of the Confederation Building, visible now through the early morning mist. And I think, I think as I watch my grandkids absorbed in their devices, of my own childhood in that small fishing village — a place I will not name because it could be any of hundreds of outport communities — of the freedoms we enjoyed and the idyllic childhood we shared with our parents in the fishing boats and stages of our youth. >click to read< 13:30

4 things to watch for in Canada’s new Fisheries Act

The federal government will unveil long-awaited changes to Canada’s Fisheries Act later today. For federal Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc, this is a rhetoric-meets-reality test on several hot-button issues. Fishermen and corporations are watching to see if LeBlanc fulfils promises to strengthen protections to preserve the independence of inshore fisheries.,,, Environmentalists also want to see a commitment to “science-based decision making,” and an “ecosystem” and “precautionary” approach to fisheries management,,, >click to read< 09:31

Canadian Environment Minister Predicts Ice Free Canada

Canadian Environment Minister Catherine McKenna has demanded climate skeptic Hockey commentator Don Cherry think about all the children who might one day not be able to play outdoors on the ice in Canada. Sunday, February 4, 2018, 6:16 PM – Known to many as the most outspoken man in sports, iconic Canadian commentator and television personality Don Cherry is once again facing criticism,,, Don Cherry calls people who believe in global warming ‘cuckaloos’ >click to read< 16:41 

Northern fishing groups want help getting fair share of quotas

A coalition of Nunavut fishing companies has called for the creation of a federal fund to help the territory “catch up” and acquire a fair share of offshore shrimp and turbot quotas. Brian Burke, the president of the Nunavut Offshore Allocation Holders Association, said the territory’s fishing industry needs access to a more equitable share of its offshore resources. Even with a slight increase made to Nunavut’s turbot allocations last year, the territory holds 73 per cent of all turbot quotas and 38 per cent of shrimp—about 50 per cent of the overall allocation. >click to read<12:25

Letter: Fishery corporations kick messaging into high gear

As is evidenced from two recent articles in The Telegram (the letter, Jan. 23 “We need to enhance Atlantic Canada’s fisheries” and the Jan. 26 editorial “Fisheries madness”), the corporate-owned processing and offshore sector is in full fear-mongering and misrepresentation mode. Faced with a minister of Fisheries and Oceans who is willing to speak the truth about the challenges to the inshore fishery, the corporations that have aggressively endeavoured to shape the economics of this fishery for the past 20 years are now being told to play by the rules and they are enraged at the prospect.>click to read< 08:51

Shubenacadie Sam predicts an early spring. And Lucy the Lobster agrees

Shubenacadie Sam had a spring in his step as he scurried out of his temporary enclosure to greet more than 100 anxious onlookers Friday. “And he didn’t see his shadow,” said a smiling youngster who watched the famous prognosti-critter from an elevated perch.,, On the South Shore, Lucy the Lobster made her debut as a prognosticator and sided with Sam. Lucy’s forecast happened at North East Point by the Cape Sable Island Causeway, when she came out of the ocean to see if she could see her shadow. >click to read< 08:53