Tag Archives: DFO

Dead right whale doesn’t appear to have been entangled in fishing gear

There is no evidence a North Atlantic right whale found dead last Thursday was entangled in fishing gear, according to initial findings. More results of a necropsy taking place today in Grand-Étang, Que., will be released Monday, and a full report is expected in a month.  A team of about 20 scientists, veterinarians and volunteers spent Sunday looking into the whale’s cause of death,,, >click to read< 21:56

Trapped spawning salmon to be flown over Fraser River rock slide in B.C.

Tens of thousands of spawning salmon stuck behind a rock slide on the Fraser River in a remote part of British Columbia will be flown over the barrier by helicopter. The solution was made public Saturday by Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the B.C. government after weeks of speculation over how to help the trapped fish. >click to read<  08:08

Canada: Two more right whales found dead off east coast, bringing total to eight this year

One of the dead whales was first observed Thursday by an aerial surveillance flight drifting west of the Magdalen Islands in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans said in a news release. It was located Friday by a vessel in the area, and a necropsy is scheduled to take place Sunday. Also Friday, the body of a second dead right whale was sighted off Glace Bay, N.S., according to the fisheries department. “Neither of these whales have yet been individually identified,” the department said in a news release, adding that the government “takes this issue very seriously.”,,, No right whales died in Canadian waters last year, but 12 were found dead in the Gulf of St. Lawrence in 2017>click to read<  20:18

Scientist says DFO may be overestimating Newfoundland cod stocks by 35 per cent

A British Columbia fishery scientist says he’s worried federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans managers aren’t getting an accurate picture of the state of the northern cod stock. In fact, George Rose’s research suggests DFO science may be overestimating the biomass of the stock by 35 per cent.,,, The president of the FISH-NL union says DFO should take the criticism seriously. Cleary is calling for the cancellation of all fishing for northern cod outside the stewardship fishery, including the recreational food fishery, which is not something the union takes lightly, he said. >click to read< 19:10

FISH-NL calls for immediate halt to all fishing for northern cod outside stewardship fishery; independent assessment of DFO science

“When one of the preeminent fisheries science researchers in the world warns that Fisheries and Oceans may be dramatically overestimating the size of the iconic northern cod stock — which is already classified as critical, and in the 27th year of a commercial fishing moratorium — you listen,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “From FISH-NL’s perspective, we must also err on the side of caution and take immediate and unprecedented action,” said Cleary. “That means a cancellation of all fishing for northern cod outside of the stewardship fishery — including the sentinel (test) fisheries, cod quality program, recreation/food fishery, and any and all fishing of northern cod by offshore, factory-freezer trawlers, foreign or domestic.” >click to read< 09:02

Transport Canada – New protective measures announced for North Atlantic right whales

Transport Canada has announced further protective measures in the Gulf of St. Lawrence for the North Atlantic right whale. The measures, announced Monday evening, include further reducing ship speeds in the area, increasing zones in which the speed restrictions will apply, increasing aerial surveillance and funding for initiatives to enhance marine mammal response. In 2019, there have been six whale deaths reported and on July 8, there were three North Atlantic right whales entangled in the southern waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence,,, >click to read<21:03

2 Wolastoqey bands sue federal government – fighting for rights to fish snow crab for almost 25 years

Two First Nations in New Brunswick have filed a lawsuit against the Canadian government over access to the lucrative commercial snow crab fishery.
Tobique and Madawaska First Nations are seeking permanent access to snow crab fishing and damages for lost revenues dating back to 1995, when they began requesting a commercial allocation in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The only year the bands got an allocation was 2017, when the quota was higher than average. The quota was raised again this year, but the two Wolastoqey bands did not get an allocation. >click to read< 11:27

2 more dead right whales discovered in Gulf of St. Lawrence

Two more dead North Atlantic right whales have been found in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, says Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The whales were located near the Acadian Peninsula of New Brunswick and west of the Magdalen Islands, a department news release said Tuesday. They are the third and fourth confirmed deaths of North Atlantic right whales to be reported in Canadian waters this year. >click to read<07:47

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

“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

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

Fishing licences and quota on the West Coast are murky business

Being a commercial fish harvester is tough work. There are long hours, unpredictable seas and demanding physical conditions, not to mention the experience it takes to know where to drop the traps or cast a net..,, In the West Coast fisheries, a single licence may be exchanged for tens of thousands of dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars, and quota transactions are worth tens of millions of dollars annually. However, the market for licences and quota is not transparent or tightly regulated.,,, As licences and quota concentrate in fewer hands they become out of reach for active harvesters. In turn, the socioeconomic fabric of Indigenous and coastal communities stretches and strains. A recent study by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans comes to similar conclusions. >click to read<16:31

Analysis of Commercial Fishing Licence, and Quota Values  – As at December 31, 2016 Prepared for Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Pacific Region >click to read<

Eastern Shore residents, fishermen opposed to designation of Marine Protected Area

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans is considering implementing higher protections on 2,000 square kilometres off the coast of Nova Scotia.
But not all people who live and work in the communities affected are keen on the project, which would stretch from Clam Harbour to Barren Island. “In a country that has very poor laws and regulations protecting their waters, it may have some benefit, but not in Canada, we’re already protected,” says Tim Kaiser, a homeowner and member of the Eastern Shore Fisherman’s Protection Association. >click to read<13:20

Atlantic Canada mackerel quota cut by 20 per cent – Move will reduce a key source of bait

Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans is cutting the Atlantic mackerel quota by 20 per cent in 2019, after a recent assessment concluded the stock remains in the “critical zone.” The quota cut will reduce a key source of bait in the region’s lucrative lobster fishery. In a notice sent to industry, the department said the region-wide total allowable catch will drop from 10,000 tonnes to 8,000 tonnes. >click to read<12:20

FISH-NL against proposals to grant Labrador harvesters 25% of northern cod quota; calls on FFAW-Unifor to reveal its stand

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is against proposals that could see 25 per cent of the northern cod quota allocated to harvesters from Labrador and processed there. “No one group or organization should be entitled to a percentage of the overall total allowable catch,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “The inshore harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador as a whole must be the principle beneficiary of adjacent fish stocks.” >click to read<11:14

Salmon researchers seek funds for expanded expedition in 2020

Organizer Richard Beamish, emeritus scientist at Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Pacific Biological Station in Nanaimo, is seeking $1.5 million from governments, the private sector and non-profit organizations — the same groups that funded his 2019 expedition. Next year’s survey would again be supported by the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission, an international organization based in Vancouver. The 2019 expedition was a signature project of the International Year of the Salmon program, which is backed by the Anadromous Fish Commission, as well as the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization and other partners. >click to read<20:27

Redfish rebound in Gulf of St. Lawrence show no signs of slowdown

Redfish biomass surged by 20 per cent last year and is now estimated at a staggering three million tonnes, according to Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans. “The biomass that we’re seeing right now is something that we have never seen before,” said DFO biologist Caroline Senay of the redfish, also known as ocean perch. The massive population is primarily made of of fish live born — not hatched from eggs — from 2011, 2012 and 2013. The region’s fishing industry has been licking its chops for several years over the prospect of a redfish bonanza.,,,  Eating down northern shrimp. But the sheer size of the population is likely affecting other species. >click to read<12:15

Harvesters Call for Better Consultation as Grieg Aquaculture Plans Expansion to Additional Sites

Fish harvesters are concerned about plans by Grieg Aquaculture to establish three additional sites east of Marasheen Island in Placentia Bay. The FFAW-Unifor is calling on the provincial government not to move forward with any project approval until they have pursued a proper consultation process with harvesters as the project may put their livelihoods at risk.  Placentia Bay is a high-traffic area with the highest concentration of small fishing vessels during peak fishing times. Union president Keith Sullivan says previous consultations on the overall project have been insufficient, and information on site locations has been inconsistent. >click to read<12:30

“What We Heard” – DFO hosting inshore fishery outreach meetings in Labrador

Department of Fisheries and Oceans will host meetings in Port Hope Simpson and Cartwright on May 7. According to a press release from DFO, the meetings are for inshore harvesters and other interested stakeholders in Division 2J to discuss matters of concern in the inshore fisheries.,,, The meeting in port Hope Simpson will take place at 9 a.m. at Alexis Hotel and the Cartwright meeting is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. at the LFUSCo boardroom. >click to read< 16:12

‘What We Heard: A Discussion on the Newfoundland And Labrador Inshore Fishery’ >click to read<

Spring lobster season on P.E.I. delayed due to weather

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans will decide Monday whether to open P.E.I.’s spring lobster fishery on Tuesday. Setting day was originally scheduled for Monday, but DFO has delayed the opening due to high winds, according to a department spokesperson Steve Hachey. He said the decision came after consulting with industry representatives on Saturday. A conference call between DFO and industry representatives is scheduled for Monday morning to discuss if it is safe to open the lobster season on Tuesday. About 1,100 fishermen take part in the spring fishery.  >click to read<16:22

Industry challenges DFO’s assessment of Atlantic mackerel stocks

The recent Department of Fisheries and Oceans assessment places the region’s Atlantic mackerel spawning stock biomass in the “critical zone,” meaning it is in decline and must be rebuilt.,,,Scientists say the spawning population is down 86 per cent from pre-2000 levels and the number of fish surviving to breed is at all-time lows.,,,”We’ve had an immense amount of juvenile fish in the population and every year going forward since 2015 we notice more and more juvenile fish prevalent in the catch,” Langille said.,,, He is not alone. The Maritime Fishermen’s Union and fishing interests in Newfoundland and Labrador have also disputed the assessment. >click to read<08:27

MPAs – Canada to ban industrial activities inside marine-protected areas

Canada is banning industrial activities inside marine-protected areas (MPAs), including offshore oil and gas development and bottom-trawl fishing, but the prohibition won’t automatically apply to activities in fisheries conservation areas designated as marine refuges. The decision, effective Thursday, also bans ocean mining and ocean dumping in MPAs, which are being created to help meet an international commitment to protect 10 per cent of Canada’s ocean and coastal areas by 2020. >click to read<13:19

Alleging disability discrimination, lobster fisherman taking DFO to Federal Court

Longtime Nova Scotia lobster fisher Dana Robinson was hoping to pass on his fishing licence to his grandchildren. Robinson bought the licence to fish in Area 35 on the Bay of Fundy in 1998, more than 20 years after he began fishing at the age of 16. Today, chronic circulation problems in his legs necessitating a number of surgeries have left him medically unable to withstand the physical toll of being out on the vessel,,, But due to a federal owner-operator policy, the Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) has informed Robinson that if he can’t fish the licence himself, he must sell it. And even though Robinson estimates he could get around $3 million for the licence, he’s not interested. >click to read<11:43

‘Can’t get five cents’: Little Harbour fishermen say wharf has big problems

Roddy Conrad’s been fishing out of Little Harbour, N.S., for 28 years. He says over time the wharf’s condition has deteriorated to the point where those who fish from it are concerned about their boats and their safety. Ten boats fish from the wharf near Lockeport. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans owns the structure. “This one here has a rung missing on top, so your first step’s a big one,” >click to read<16:20

Roe herring fishery meets DFO expectations; opposition continues to question sustainability

As with other years, the allowable catch was set at 20 per cent of the estimated 135,000 tons of returning herring. Both seiners and gillnetters came in under their quotas with seiners bringing in 7,178 tons of their 8,311 ton quota, and gillnetters catching 8,373 tons of their 11,472 ton quota. Neil Davis, director of resource management program delivery with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, says overall the fishery had good success and there were no surprises in terms of the catch versus the quota. Quincy Sample, a Comox fisherman, says he was a few tons short of reaching his quota,,, >click to read<11:34

LETTER OF THE WEEK: MPAs an insult to our community

My family obtained Gerard Island on the Eastern Shore in the 1750s. They were fishermen, like many other families, and for hundreds of years kept stewardship of the natural habitat until the present day. There is a two-month lobster fishery here, part of Canada’s top seafood exports worth billions of dollars each year and a key player in the Eastern Shore’s economy. Conservation efforts by our fishery are well documented and have been successful for over 30 years in co-operation with Department of Fisheries and Oceans regulation. >click to read<Andre Gerrard, lobster fisherman, Spry Harbour 10:09

‘Atrocious’: 250 Dungeness crabs dumped beside highway in Northern B.C.

A massive dump of dead crabs along a main northern highway has triggered a major investigation. The 250 male Dungeness crabs were found rotting beside a Highway 16 rest stop, west of Smithers, B.C., last week. Officials believe it’s linked to ongoing illegal seafood sales along B.C.’s North Coast. “I’ve never had an investigation like that, with a bunch of crab dumped,” said B.C. Conservation Service Officer Flint Knibbs. >click to read<14:50

Annapolis Royal mayor says tidal turbine shutdown won’t hurt town’s coffers

Last week the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans ordered NSP to shut down the iconic electrical power generating station after a review of data, especially in relation to reported fish kills over the past three decades. “From the very beginning the Town of Annapolis Royal has reached out to Fisheries and Oceans to get updates on where the review and the monitoring was,,, SHUT DOWN – He said what the community is learning is that a lot of those reports never found their way to the people who should have been taking that into consideration all these years. >click to read<20:06