Tag Archives: DFO

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

Small rebound for N.L.’s northern cod, but stock still in critical zone

A federal report released Tuesday said northern cod’s spawning stock biomass — fish that can reproduce — was higher than predicted last year, representing a four-per-cent bump from 2018. The stock is currently assessed at 48 per cent of the limit reference point, meaning it is about halfway out of the fisheries department’s “critical” zone. Biologist Karen Dwyer of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) said this year’s rise surpassed negative projections after further study of 2017’s mortality numbers. (she’s wrong about the seals) >click to read<19:04

Caplin news not strong: DFO

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) said Monday that despite a small increase in 2018, the spring acoustic abundance index remains at a relatively low level, similar to levels observed in the late 2000s. “A new forecast model predicts that the abundance index will increase slightly in 2019, but decrease in 2020,” a technical briefing document states.What this information means for the caplin fishery this upcoming season is no real change from last year. >click to read<17:43

The two sides of the Strait of Georgia roe herring fishery

The case for – Comox fisherman, Quincy Sample, was laying on the deck of his boat under the warm March sun, waiting for the waves to die down when reached by phone. The fishery opened for gill nets on March 15 in the Strait of Georgia, and Sample was hoping for the right conditions to get his net in the water. The case against – Ian McAllister’s boat, Habitat, drifts lazily on the unsettled water, anchored to a point nearby the mass of commercial fishing boats. McAllister, the executive director of Pacific Wild, had been out on the water since March 9, the first day the fishery opened, to take photos and video, and raise awareness about a fishery he doesn’t think should be open. >click to read<17:29

photo, the telegram

Fish harvesters, plants workers hold demonstration in St. John’s – ‘Put the crab back on the table,’ fishermen chant at rally

Fish, Food and Allied Workers’—Unifor members held a demonstration today at the Delta Hotel in St. John’s followed by a march through part of the downtown. Fish harvesters, plant workers and citizens attended united, the union says, in their concern for the future of the province’s fisheries. A news release stated that around the province, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) shuts out fish harvesters from science processes and continues to make fisheries management decisions without any meaningful consultation with inshore harvesters. >click to read<13:14

‘Put the crab back on the table,’ frustrated fishermen chant at rally – >click to read<

Fair Weather Fleet? How some coast guard ships stayed tied up when they could have been at work

There is more evidence suggesting Canadian coast guard mid-shore patrol vessels are a fair-weather fleet. Documents obtained by CBC News show that during a one-year period, two mid-shore patrol vessels based in Nova Scotia were tied up for 151 days in weather conditions when they were supposed to be operable. Last month, CBC revealed the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) is looking at installing stabilizers — blades that counteract the motion of waves — on its nine coast guard mid-shore vessels. This followed widespread complaints from crew about excessive rolling at sea. >click to read<10:20

Crab poaching under cover of darkness earns 10-year commercial fishing ban, vessel seizure

A Cape Mudge resident involved in poaching dungeness crabs in Vancouver Harbour under the cover of darkness in February 2019 is banned from fishing commercially for 10 years and had the boat he was using – which didn’t belong to him – and all the crabbing gear in it forfeited to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Arthur Michael Nelson pleaded guilty to fishing for shellfish in a closed time, fishing without a licence and obstructing a fishery officer and was sentenced in Campbell River Provincial Court Thursday. >click to read<18:43

Roe herring fishery opens under watchful eye of Tla’amin

The controversial roe herring fishery is opening this month despite an intense public campaign to shut it down. Seiners have been seen off Vancouver Island and Tla’amin Nation is watching what unfolds carefully. “We have treaty fishing rights and the treaty rights do stretch over to just short of Vancouver Island,” said Tla’amin hegus Clint Williams. “What we’ve done is we’ve asked [Fisheries and Oceans Canada] to stay out of the inside waters here.”So far, they have. >click to read<21:05

Change Islands harvester says removal of herring license unjustified after request to reinstate denied

A Change Islands fisherman has lost a license over what he calls an “honest mistake.” It’s one Lloyd White hopes will serve as a warning for other harvesters. In a letter from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) Regional Licensing Review Committee, dated Feb. 13, White was denied an appeal to reinstate his herring license. The 58-year-old lost the license when his wife Heather accidentally left the license unpaid in their online paperwork in 2017. >click to read<12:25

U.S. Marine Mammal Protection Act regulations could impact Canadian fishers

While there were no active harvesters at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) public meeting on Thursday, Feb. 28, at the Clarenville Inn, the resource managers still discussed two topics which will affect fishers in the future — the United States’ marine mammal protection act and potential fishery monitoring policies. DFO resource manager Jackie Kean explained the United States Marine Mammal Protection Act is nothing new, it’s been around since the 1970s. However, DFO made clear that all countries who export to the U.S.A. must meet their requirements for marine mammal bycatch while fishing various species in local waters. >click to read<18:33

FISH-NL takes stand against precautionary approach management system for snow crab; ‘inshore harvesters don’t want it’

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) has taken a stand against the implementation of the so-called ‘precautionary approach’ management system in the commercial snow crab fishery. “The message is loud and clear from all coasts — inshore harvesters don’t want it,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “Fishermen say the management system that’s in place now works well enough, and follows the normal cyclical nature of the stock.” The precautionary approach would have three levels or zones of classification — critical, healthy and cautious, with talks are ongoing between DFO and the FFAW-Unifor on setting the reference points dividing each category. FISH-NL is against the introduction of the precautionary approach altogether. >click to read<17:20

Striped bass population drops sharply in Gulf of St. Lawrence

The spawning population of striped bass in the Gulf of St. Lawrence plunged in 2018, ending a remarkable run of sustained growth over the past decade, according to a newly released update from Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans. The average estimate is now about 333,000, down from 900,000 in 2017. DFO’s analysis notes its 2018 estimates vary widely from a low of 154,000 spawners to a high of 623,000. So why has the population of striped bass fallen? “Potentially it may be linked to the last few winters. Since 2017, it’s been very rough winters,” said Martin Mallet, a biologist and executive director of the Maritime Fishermen’s Union. >click to read<10:50

Clearwater defends its lobster fishery

With a fisheries conviction in the news and an important eco-sustainability certification at stake, Halifax-based Clearwater Seafoods is defending the way it conducts its offshore Canadian lobster fishery. The company offered media a tour this week on board its 40-metre offshore lobster vessel, the Randell Dominaux, at its home port in Shelburne.,,, Clearwater holds all licences in Canada’s offshore Lobster Fishing Area 41. The boundary begins 50 miles from shore to Canada’s 200-mile limit. In practice, the fishery takes place off southern Nova Scotia. >click to read<13:02

Lake Huron – Thriving family fishery spans 2 centuries, 5 generations

Tim Purdy gets a little emotional when he talks about his son Josiah becoming the fifth generation to work at the family fishery in Point Edward. “It’s good to see your kids want to be involved,” Purdy says. Though proud his son is part of a thriving business that’s operated for nearly 120 years, he’s worried too. “We’re trying to figure out how to stop the Asian carp,”,,, >click to read< 18:07

Latest DFO assessment of NL snow crab presents a ‘mixed bag’ of stock health

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) released its stock assessment for snow crab Tuesday, Feb. 26 and overall it was described as a “mixed bag.” According to information provided in a technical briefing, there are modest increases in overall exploitable biomass of snow crab but it is near its lowest observed level since the mid 1990’s. DFO crab scientist Dr. Krista Baker did point out there is a return to cooler waters, which is a positive sign going for the stocks. >click to read<18:14

Licence Revoked! Change Islands family says herring licence lost due to paperwork error

Lloyd White is warning others in the commercial fishing industry after he lost his herring licence in 2018 and had a review of his licence reinstatement revoked by Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Be sure to fill out your paperwork correctly, said the Change Islands man, who blames his situation on a clerical error. Heather White, Lloyd’s wife, incorrectly filled out the paperwork online in 2017 when applying and paying for her husband’s licences for the upcoming season. Lloyd has been a commercial fisherman for the last 40 years. She paid, in full, for the licences she had correctly filled out — but Heather had simply missed a check-box,,, >click to read<14:09

Newfoundland and Labrador 1994 crab quota agreement not a contract: judge

A judge’s decision last week brought an end to a nearly 13-year-old court case between a group of Newfoundland and Labrador snow crab fishermen and the federal government. The Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador ruled in favour of the federal government saying that there was no “contract” in place between the group of fishermen and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans following an agreement on quotas in 1994. The background of the case is that in the fall of 1994, two years after the moratorium was placed upon the northern cod stocks that crippled the fishing industry in the province, fishermen were struggling to keep their boats on the water. >click to read<14:20