Tag Archives: canada

Fishermen should be listened to

It’s a typical story of David versus Goliath,,, That appears to be the case as prawn fishers on the Island take a stand against what looks to me to be an arbitrary and bureaucratic decision by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada to change regulations regarding the harvesting of spot  prawns, which now makes the sale of frozen-at-sea spot prawns illegal. Thanks to the efforts of many, has agreed to conduct an emergency review of   the regulations and, hopefully, common sense will prevail and the new rules will be reversed. Unfortunately, that kind of common sense just didn’t appear to exist in DFO when the northern cod stocks collapsed off Canada’s east coast in the early 1990s. >click to read< 07:25

The lobster population in Canada’s most important harvesting area is healthy and is not overfished

The 20,000-square-kilometre fishing ground off southwestern Nova Scotia and into the Bay of Fundy, known as Lobster Fishing Area 34, accounts for 20 per cent of all lobster landed in Canada and 10 per cent of North American landings. “The stock is considered to be in the healthy zone. Furthermore, as the relative fishing mortality is below the removal indicator in all four survey indices, overfishing is not occurring,” the report concluded. The latest assessment, which ended in 2019, used commercial landings and several independent trawl surveys to evaluate the stock status. >click to read< 09:50

Snow crab market heats up with Record-Breaking Prices in northern Cape Breton

Soaring demand from the U.S. has resulted in snow crab coming in at over $8 a pound. The price was closer to $4.25 this time last year. Dave Donovan fishes out of Neils Harbour on board the Krista & Megan. “Eight dollars is a big bonus,” he said. “I guess it’s the best price I’ve ever seen since I’ve been in the fishery.” Donovan said the hot market this year is welcomed by all on the wharf, and in the processing plant. The high price is a surprise to Osborne Burke, “We didn’t anticipate this,” >click to read< 14:14

Volunteers continue search for missing Elsipogtog fisherman

A large-scale search is underway for any evidence of the Tyhawk fishing vessel or its missing captain. The New Brunswick based boat, owned by the Elsipogtog First Nation, sank off the coast of Cape Breton, N.S. earlier this month. Now friends and family from Mi’kmaq communities in both provinces are pooling their resources and raising money to try and find the boat’s captain, Craig Sock. Volunteer Starr Paul of the Eskasoni First Nation in N.S., said a search team is in Chéticamp, N.S. scouring the shoreline and the water for any evidence of Sock, who was known as Jumbo. Four of the six crew members on the vessel were rescued after it took on water and capsized on April 3. Seth Monahan died and Jumbo was later declared missing and presumed dead. >click to read< 10:18

2021 Yukon River Chinook salmon run will likely be small, according to forecast

Somewhere between 42,000 and 77,000 Canadian-origin fish are anticipated to make the journey from the Bering Sea this year, Alaska and Yukon experts told attendees during the Yukon River Panel’s pre-season meeting on Tuesday. The most likely run size would be 57,000, they said. That’s smaller than the pre season outlooks for 2020 and 2019, and both those years ended disastrously when it came to getting enough salmon across the border. Under an international treaty, Canada and the U.S. are supposed to work together to ensure at least 42,500 fish make it to their spawning waters in Yukon. That spawning escapement goal hasn’t been met since 2018, last year only about 33,000 Chinook made it. >click to read< 13:21

Undersea cable owner seeks injunctions against trawler operators

The owners of two transatlantic communication under sea cables are seeking High Court injunctions preventing fishing boat owners from trawling near their property. The action has been brought by GTT Communications Inc and related entities Hibernia Express Ireland Ltd and Hibernia Atlantic Cable System Limited which run between Ireland, the UK, and Canada. The companies claim that the owners of several fishing vessels have been trawling in the waters near the cables. This it is claimed, poses a high risk of damage to the cables. >click to read< 14:06

The flawed plan to rebuild Canada’s Northern cod – DFO’s plan is riddled with science and policy weaknesses

Canada is on the cusp of an inauspicious anniversary. Next year will mark 30 years since Newfoundland’s 500-year-old Northern cod fishery was shut down. The fishery was closed on July 2, 1992, because of a massive decline in the cod population, as much as 95 per cent, between the early 1960s and the early 1990s. The socioeconomic consequences were staggering: 30,000 to 40,000 jobs vanished overnight. Closure of what once was the largest cod fishery in the world stimulated an exodus of 10 per cent of the province’s population by the turn of the 21st century. Resource depletion was not anticipated when the federal Fisheries Act was passed in 1868.  >click to read< 06:25

Inshore fishing crews think new registry requirements could be about EI claims

A small section of the Canada’s new Fisheries Act, adopted last December, was barely noticed when the legislation was first unveiled. After all, the main purpose of the act was to close the loopholes on controlling agreements, and much of the legal wording was directed to that. However, the requirement for crew lists has created lots of chatter in the fishing community on social media. There’s been some speculation by some that crew lists could be used by other departments, like Employment and Social Development,,, >click to read< 11:39

A heritage plundered and abandoned – 70 years of complicity from Canadian governments

My Feb. 20 letter to the editor, “A heritage plundered and abandoned,” attempted to show how governments have allowed our fishing industry to be destroyed, because an armada of modern foreign fishing fleets were permitted unregulated access to the Grand Banks.,, One insightful response to the letter was, “we can write letters until ‘we are blue in the face,’ but nothing will happen, nobody listens or shows interest.”,,, Our house is burning, and we are caught inside. By Phil Earle, >click to read< 10:37

Enviro’s Lukewarm Reception For Canada Modifying Right Whale Protections

The Animal Welfare Institute has responded to the Canadian government’s recent decision to modify right whale protections, specifically concerning how they affect lobster and crab fishers. On the one hand, the institute welcomes and applauds the government commitment to “Whale Safe” ropeless fishing gear. However, it does not accept the promotion of weaker rope lines as a long-term solution for entanglement. >click to read< , with a link to the policy they oppose, unreasonably. 18:06

Right Whale – Wrong Data

This graph mistake turns this whole whale lobster debate on it’s head. They gauged their whole extinction claim on a population number that they figured from a birthrate curve overlaid on a population graph so naturally it looks like tons of whales are suddenly dying when the birthrate went down starting in 2010, one year after the record calving of 39 baby whales. 20 whales born in 2010, plus 7 more, attributed to their downward tracking line meant 27 whales died. Oddly nobody noticed this ridiculous mathematical blunder and for ten years they have been charging around wondering who was killing all these whales. >click to read< 19:29

Canada: History shows a path to resolve lobster fisheries dispute

As we reflect on recent violence in Nova Scotia over the lobster fisheries, it’s important to know if there are any precedents around the core issues and if prior instances can help guide us now. The case of the Saugeen Ojibway of the Great Lakes provides some particularly useful insights to help reach a settlement to the lobster fisheries dispute. Conflict between Indigenous peoples along the Great Lakes and the state has been around since the rise of non-Indigenous commercial and sport fishing around the 1830s and 1840s. In the 1990s, things came to a head,,, >click to read< 08:29

Working Waterfronts: Development threatens Great Lakes, St. Lawrence River fishing industry

The Great Lakes’ commercial fishery is nothing like what it was a hundred years ago. But from Lake Superior to Lake Ontario to the St. Lawrence River, there are still people who make their living catching and selling fish. However, they face increasing competition from hotels, condos and other developments for loading and docking space along the shoreline. One example,, The Minor family has been a long standing fishing family, they’re now in their third generation. And they recently had the experience of coming back from a day of fishing, and found that the place that they’ve been unloading fish for generations was suddenly unavailable, because there was new construction for a cruise ship dock going in. >click to read< 16:34

First Nation has right to catch lobster, but N.S. laws mean they can’t sell it. New court fight targets ‘economic racism’

A First Nation trying to establish its own self-governed lobster fishery is setting its sights on the Nova Scotia government. “We’ve always said that we’re going to hold everyone accountable for their actions,” Sipekne’katik Chief Mike Sack,,, “This is just finally coming to the forefront.” “We are more resolved than ever to bring this to court, as we have lost so much in the face of the violence and economic racism aimed at us from the commercial fishery throughout the fall,” >click to read< 08:10

Georges Bank haddock – Canada, U.S. agree to slash quota by 45%

Canada and the United States have agreed to a large quota cut for the haddock stock that straddles their shared fishing grounds on Georges Bank south of Nova Scotia. Committee records from 2019 and 2020 show the Georges Bank haddock population is still healthy, but on the decline as the “extraordinarily strong” population hatched in 2013 is caught or dies off. COVID-19 curtailed or cancelled scientific surveys on Georges Bank in 2020. “We have no analytical model on haddock, had no U.S. surveys,,, >click to read< 21:05

Failed policies, decisions on the fly: How the moderate livelihood fishery file blew up

Documents obtained through a freedom of information request show the federal Fisheries Department knew that 21 years of kicking the moderate livelihood issue down the election cycle had resulted in there being little rule of law on St. Mary’s Bay. The feds knew that the bay had become a pressure cooker as two communities were pitted against one another over a limited resource. When the top blew off, they turned to coming up with new policy on the fly while seeking a daily scorecard on evolving public opinion. “This is about a culture (in Ottawa) that would rather avoid any conflict at all,” said Thomas Isaac, an aboriginal rights lawyer who has served as British Columbia’s chief treaty negotiator,,,>click to read< 13:49

New DFO regulations, 30 major commercial stocks have been identified for rebuilding

Canada is putting into law a requirement that it rebuild depleted commercial fish stocks, starting with 17 stocks that include Atlantic cod off Newfoundland, spring spawning herring in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and three Pacific salmon stocks. They account for more than half the 30 major commercial stocks identified for specific protection in amended Fisheries Act regulations published Jan. 2. >click to read< 11:33

Atlantic Canadian commercial fishing industry calls for clear regulatory oversight for all fisheries

The Unified Fisheries Conservation Alliance (UFCA), a newly formed alliance of commercial fishery stakeholders, is calling on the Government of Canada to establish clear, lasting, responsible, regulatory oversight for all fisheries – commercial, food, social, and ceremonial. Established in Nov. 2020, the UFCA represents thousands of multi-species commercial fishermen, fishery associations, and associated businesses from across Atlantic Canada and its membership is growing. “It is essential that every community, association and fisherman in the Atlantic fishery have certainty as to the rules they abide by. Clear rules, regulations, compliance, and enforcement are needed.” >click to read< 07:30

Lobster: the last, best fishery – Stocks are healthy, but why?

In the early 2000s, while he was working on one of Clearwater Seafoods’ four offshore lobster boats in Lobster Fishing Area (LFA) 41, Frank – not his real name – was deeply impressed by the incredible lobster catches, and the incredible size of the lobsters. Frank tells the Halifax Examiner that at the time there hadn’t been a lot of lobster fishing in LFA 41, and it wasn’t until 2007 that Clearwater obtained the last of its eight licences, which gave it a  monopoly on offshore lobster. The boat Frank was on would fish with 27 strings of gear, and each of those had 125 traps for a total of 3,375 traps. They would fish close to the 50-mile line, which divided the offshore from the inshore fishery. Frank remembers when on a single day in the fall of 2005, they landed 28,000 lobsters. Part 1. >click to read<  Part 2 – November 27, 2020, >click to read<  11:05

Canada, Britain strike new trade, beating Brexit, incorporating expiring EU pact

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his British counterpart, Boris Johnson, announced the deal during a live video news conference on Saturday morning.,, Britain’s decision to leave the EU after its Brexit referendum means that the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, or CETA, will no longer apply to the country at the end of the year. The new deal preserves CETA’s key provision until a more comprehensive agreement can be reached later: the elimination of tariffs on 98 per cent of Canadian exports to Britain, which is Canada’s fifth largest trading partner with $29 billion in two-way merchandise trade in 2019. >click to read< 09:35

Lobsters Are A Prawn In The Trade Wars

American lobster and lobster fishers got caught in a trade war being fought on multiple fronts. The United States is battling China on one major front and the European Union (EU) on another, but as is typical in trade wars, it’s lobster production in another country that’s winning the war. In this case, Canada. If that weren’t enough, tariffs are the root cause of the trade war, but not in the way you might think. China’s tariffs on U.S. lobsters are in retaliation for President Trump’s China tariffs over intellectual property. The EU didn’t raise its tariffs on U.S. lobster, but rather lowered them on Canadian ones as part of their free trade agreement. In other words, U.S. lobsters were never meant to be the target of either Chinese or EU,,, How the lobster trade war started isn’t nearly as interesting as the efforts to stop it. >click to read< 10:28

‘We won’: Clearwater Seafoods deal gives Mi’kmaq control of lucrative ocean stretch

Early this week, leaders of the Membertou and Miawpukek First Nations, both of which are Mi’kmaq communities, reached an agreement to buy Nova Scotia-based Clearwater Seafoods in a deal worth C$1bn (£580m). Heralded as the “single largest investment in the seafood industry by any Indigenous group in Canada”, the landmark deal comes at a critical moment for Indigenous communities in the region, as tensions remain high over their treatied fishing rights. >click to read< 15:48

The limits on Crown regulation of Aboriginal and treaty rights

Acting on treaty right recognized in the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision 21 years ago in R v Marshall, the Sipekne’katik First Nation launched its moderate livelihood fishery in the waters off southwest Nova Scotia in early September. Since the fishery’s launch, some have suggested the Canadian government has broad authority to dictate how the Mi’kmaq’s treaty-based fisheries can operate. While the Court in Marshall (and in a subsequent, related decision in Marshall 2acknowledged Canada could lawfully “regulate” the treaty right, regulate does not mean Canada may legislate and limit the treaty right in whatever way it sees fit. Far from it. As two law professors who teach Aboriginal law, we have decided to weigh-in to provide clarification. Our clear answer is that Canada’s actions, thus far, would not meet Constitutional muster. >click to read< 08:36

Marine Navigation Safety Regulations 2020: Canada Announces New Marine Regulations to Improve Safety, Security and Protection

Canada has published new Marine Navigation Safety Regulations, which now apply to commercial vessels of all sizes, including fishing vessels, workboats, water taxis and ferries. The new regulations, which reflect extensive consultation with Canadians and the marine industry, represent a consolidation of nine existing sets of marine safety regulations into a single one,, The Marine Navigation Safety Regulations 2020 require vessel owners to have equipment to help reduce the risk of collisions that could cause pollution, like oil spills, and threaten endangered marine life, such as whales. They are also required to have lifesaving equipment that will send emergency signals and provide the vessel’s location. >click to read< 08:38

Canada, U.S. researchers gathering virtually to report on right whales

Researchers from Canada and the U.S. are gathering virtually this week for an annual conference that focuses on an endangered whale species. The North Atlantic Right Whale Consortium, which brings together academic researchers, government agencies, shipping and fishing industries and conservation organizations, is expected to release part of a yearly report card on how the whales are faring. ,, So far this year, one right whale has been found dead in U.S. with wounds that suggested a vessel strike. There have been no reported deaths in Canadian waters so far in 2020. >click to read< 09:40

Soul Of A Workboat

“Welcome,” Rodger Morris says as he waves me aboard the Cape Ross. A professional woodworker, captain and marine surveyor, Morris has already lived a career as a shipwright, and another as a commercial fisherman in Southeastern Alaska. His demeanor is tranquil, and his vaguely wizardly mane of silver hair, along with his calm baritone voice, make him seem fit to read poetry on National Public Radio. He’s the kind of man I’d expect to find aboard this kind of boat. The Cape Ross was built in 1952 by Sterling Shipyards Ltd. of Vancouver, Canada, for the Canadian Fishing Company. All wood with a length overall of 67 feet, she spent most of her life chasing salmon and herring for profit along the British Columbia coast. >click to read< 10:33

EU humiliation: Brutal reality of Canada deal without UK exposed by Brexiteers

The EU’s celebrated trade deal with Canada has been laid bare after a pro-Brexit organization exposed Ottawa has faced a worsened situation since the UK historically voted to leave the bloc. Facts4EU claims Canada’s trade deficit since signing its joint pact in 2016 with Brussels has worsened by 27 percent, to around -€17.5billion (-£16bn), while the deal will be severely hampered when the UK is finally removed from the bloc. When Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau agreed to the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), the trade deficit was at -€13billion (-£11.6bn), Facts4EU say. The organization say the deal with the EU will become “a whole lot less” as Canada sold 43 percent of its goods to the UK, and that when Brexit is concluded it will not enjoy such high levels of trade. >click to read< 12:35

Trade minister says she’ll keep eye on U.S. probe of Canadian lobster industry

The Canadian industry gained most of the Chinese market that the Americans lost after China slapped a 35 per cent tariff on U.S. lobster exports. Canada also saw its lobster exports grow in Europe after it signed the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, or CETA, with the European Union, giving it a tariff advantage over its U.S. competitors. The Trump administration, however, has recently signed an agreement with China that removes the 35 per cent tariff. And a separate deal with Europe also removed tariffs on American lobsters that had provided the Canadian industry an advantage. Executive Director Geoff Irvine (Lobster Council of Canada) said Monday the lobster industries of Canada and the United States are now back on an even playing field. >click to read< 07:17

Fire crews fight Port Stanley boat fire that caused $750,000 in damage, man arrested

Police and firefighters responded to the town’s harbour shortly before midnight Saturday after receiving reports a commercial fishing vessel was on fire, Const. Troy Carlson, a spokesperson for Elgin OPP, said. Officers arrested a 19-year-old man, who remained in custody Sunday afternoon. No charges had been laid as of then. Video captured by Chris Gregurovic showed the boat, called Lady Pietra, fully engulfed in flames, smoke billowing from the top of the vessel and firefighters attempting to put out the blaze. >click to read< 09:35

Cape Breton snow crab fishery escapes impact of right whale closures, Different story in New Brunswick

While a right whale sighting earlier this month triggered a closure to the snow crab fishery in western Cape Breton, the closure had virtually no impact. But unlike closures in other parts of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, these shutdowns had virtually no impact on the area’s lucrative fishery.  “That’s something we’re discussing. Are we lucky or are we just in that sweet spot?” said Basil MacLean, a Cape Breton snow crab fisherman and president of the Area 19 Snow Crab Fishermen’s Association. In New Brunswick, where the boats and quotas are larger, it’s been a different story in 2020. “24 out of 45 members from the Acadian Crabbers Association each left significant amounts of crab in the water this spring,” >click to read< 19:15