Tag Archives: DFO

“You never know the mind of a squid” – The squid’s short lifespan makes it hard to study

Late this summer, squid showed up in abundance in many bays in the province, a sight not seen in several harbours, including Holyrood, for decades. Why have the squid finally come back?,,, The squid that come into Newfoundland and Labrador waters are called northern shortfin squid. While they’ve been seen in great numbers near beaches, squid don’t come here to spawn. In fact, according to Baker, there are no known spawning sites in all of Canada. “The female squid that we see here are actually immature and maturing,” >click to read<  08:09

Maine lobster group blames Canada for most right whale deaths, injuries. Perhaps its the data doing the blaming.

McCarron claims Maine lobstermen were pressured to reach an agreement to avoid “jeopardy” from a pending and separate NOAA review of right whale risk-reduction measures for the lobster fishery, a process known as a “biological opinion.” A NOAA spokesperson said a statement from the agency that will respond to the Maine Lobstermen’s Association concerns is expected Thursday.,,, Canadian and American environmentalists expressed disappointment,,, >click to read< 10:11

First Nations along Fraser River want sport fishing closed to save at risk species

So far this season, Guerin said Fisheries and Oceans Canada (known as DFO) limited Musqueam fishers to a few hundred chinook from the river, nowhere near enough to feed the nation’s 1,300 members let alone supply funerals and other community events like ceremonies and feasts. “I’ve got elders this year, this may be their last fish, and I can’t give it to them,” he said. “That hurts.”,,, Musqueam Chief Wayne Sparrow said they want to be part of the conservation efforts, but First Nations’ needs take priority over recreational fishing according to a 1990 Supreme Court ruling. That means the sport fishery should bear the brunt of any restrictions when there are concerns about the state of salmon populations. >click to read< 08:50

DFO closes part of Bay Fundy to fishing after right whale sightings

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans closed parts of the Bay of Fundy to fixed-gear fishing Thursday after several North Atlantic right whale sightings east off Grand Manan. The closure will be in effect until further notice, the DFO said in a news release. All fishing gear had to be removed from the area by Aug. 29 at 5 p.m. Closures are in place for at least 15 days after a right whale is spotted in a particular area. >click to read<  18:45

Ocean Choice International will not be prosecuted for illegal fishing charge

In court, OCI’s lawyer argued a technicality and on Thursday, Judge James Walsh dismissed a charge of illegal fishing against the company. The charge arose from an allegation that OCI fished for Greenland halibut in the so-called Northern Newfoundland Slope Conservation area between Feb. 4-10, 2018. In a September 2018 press release, OCI said court documents from both sides — the company and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans — verified the captain wasn’t aware of the newly designated conservation area off the northeast coast of the island. >click to read< 18:47

Limited fish passage through landslide obstruction on Fraser River

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans, the provincial government and local First Nations set up a team to lead the response to the slide near Big Bar, north of Lillooet, after it was discovered in late June. The team says in a news release Monday that fish counting data shows some chinook salmon have been able to swim past the slide using the channels the team has created with large rock manipulation and blasting. It says as of last Tuesday, a rough estimate of 6,700 salmon have passed through the slide on their own. >click to read<  11:19

‘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

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

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

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

Ottawa stalls on restarting controversial contest for Arctic surf clam licence

The federal government has stalled on a plan to break one company’s monopoly on a lucrative Atlantic fishery by awarding part of the quota to an Indigenous group, after a disastrous attempt last year that led to an investigation by the federal ethics watchdog. Ottawa announced a year ago that it would choose a new licence holder for 25 per cent of the Arctic surf clam quota in the spring of 2019, to begin harvesting clams in January 2020. That has not happened, and the office of Fisheries Minister Jonathan Wilkinson now says there is no timeline on the process. >click to read< 14:02

101 lost snow crab traps, 9 km of rope removed from gulf to protect right whales

Federal fishery officers and Canadian Coast Guard crews have removed 101 lost snow crab traps and more than nine kilometres of associated rope from the Gulf of St. Lawrence as part of ongoing efforts to protect endangered North Atlantic right whales. The so-called ghost gear,,, Ropeless gear holds hope, Earlier this week, during a stop in Dieppe to discuss whale protection efforts, Jonathan Wilkinson,,, “But certainly from a fisheries perspective we see that as a very, very interesting way to address and separate the issues of fishing versus the whales.” >click to read< 21:36

More needs to be done to identify travel paths of North Atlantic right whales, scientist says

The Canadian and U.S. governments need to know exactly where North Atlantic right whales are travelling to better protect them, a whale researcher says. “There have been whales in locations that the Canadian government may not have known about, at least early enough, ” said Charles (Stormy) Mayo, director of the North Atlantic Right Whale Ecology program at the Center for Coastal Studies in Provincetown, Mass. “It’s a very thorny problem and the more that Canada can do, the better off we are.” >click to read< 20:29

P.E.I. fishermen feel unjustified blame in right whale deaths, says PEIFA

Island fishermen feel they’re being blamed in some cases of right whales becoming entangled in fishing gear and dying this year, according to the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association. Several of the eight dead right whales found this year have been entangled in fishing gear. “This year a number of the deaths that were necropsied already show to be due to vessel strikes rather than the entanglement,” >click to read<  19:45

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