Tag Archives: DFO

Twillingate continues push for groundfish license/operation

The Town of Twillingate is still making working toward processing groundfish in the area. According to deputy mayor Cyril Dalley, after a discussion at their most recent council meeting, the town’s priority now is to meet with Notre Dame Seafoods president Jason Eveleigh before the year is out. “The fish plant is there, they own the plant and it would be ideal for [Notre Dame Seafoods] to go after government towards a groundfish license,,,, >click to read<09:21

Fundy North Fishermen’s Association votes to delay the start of the season due to bad weather

Brad Small, the president of the association, said all of the harbours under the association — which spans from the American border to Alma, N.B. — voted to stay off the water due to weather Monday. Environment Canada issued a special weather statement for much New Brunswick and some snowfall warnings for northern areas Monday. The weather will also bring another round of strong and gusty winds along with plummeting temperatures — a mixture of things Small said makes the job of setting traps very dangerous. >click to read<19:52

Heavy weather forcasted, Fundy lobster fishermen lose bid to set traps early

An appeal by Bay of Fundy Lobster fishermen to set their traps Monday instead of Tuesday has been rejected by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Fishermen on both Grand Manan and along the north Fundy Coast say weather forecasts for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday point to unsafe conditions with boats facing potentially 12-foot (four-metre) seas and winds of 35 to 40 knots. “Basically, the federal employees want their long weekend and they don’t give a hoot about the fishing fleet.” Laurence Cook, Grand Manan Fishermen’s Association >click to read<09:15

Turning an invasive problem into a bait solution

With concerns growing over a likely bait shortage in the lobster industry in Maine and Canada due to a drastic cut in the upcoming season’s herring quota, Nova Scotia resident Patrick Swim has a possible solution. Swim thinks he can solve the bait shortage by harvesting an invasive species. Silver carp is one of the four species of the invasive Asian carp (silver, bighead, grass, and black) that have placed the Great Lakes water system at risk. >click to read<19:45

DFO study results on crab stocks bad news for harvesters, Bonavista fisherman comments. Then, theres the Cod.

Fisherman Reg Butler of Bonavista wonders when the cuts will end for the snow crab fishery. After Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) scientists revealed the results of a six-year study of crab biomass last week, which is at a 25-year low,,, “And the fuel is not getting no cheaper, and the bait is not getting no cheaper — that seems to be increasing every year as well — where do I draw the line? Does it come to the point where I have to shorten up the crew because it’s a big expense to run?” >click to read<19:07

‘If I lose my right, I have nothing’: A Mi’kmaw fisherwoman’s fight for her right to fish

For the last 21 years, Marilynn-Leigh Francis has dropped her lobster traps near Digby, N.S. She said she has a right to fish there as a Mi’kmaw woman in Canada. However, Francis said The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has seized several of her traps, because they said the traps fall outside of Canadian fishing regulations. “They tell me that the fishing I’m doing in their eyes is illegal. But they have no grounds to charge me,”,,, >click to read<

Belliveaus Cove lobster outfit goes belly up

A company charged with purchasing lobster caught out of season by Aboriginal fishermen has gone into receivership. Grant Thornton is acting as receiver for Guang Da International. The company was charged this spring by Fisheries and Oceans Canada with purchasing lobster caught under an aboriginal communal fishing licence that doesn’t allow for sale. >click to read<07:51

Canada MPA’s – Ban oil, gas, bottom trawling in marine protected areas, urges panel

A panel that has spent the year studying marine protected areas (MPAs) in Canada says no oil and gas development, seabed mining, or bottom-trawling fishing should be allowed within their boundaries. In its final report released Tuesday, the National Advisory Panel on Marine Protected Area Standards, which was created earlier this year by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, recommended that the federal government adopt International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) standards and guidelines for all MPAs. That would also make dumping off-limits.>click to read<18:09

MPA’s – Report silent on whether lobster fishing should be allowed – >click to read<15:07

United In Protest Fishery – “We’re going fishing for mackerel Wednesday evening,”

Inshore harvesters on Newfoundland’s northeast coast plan to hold a protest fishery for mackerel Wednesday evening over the decision by Fisheries and Oceans to shut down the Atlantic fishery, while leaving it open for harvesters from the Maritimes. “We’re going fishing for mackerel Wednesday evening,” says Brad Rideout, who fishes out of Robert’s Arm. “DFO can either shut down the entire Atlantic mackerel fishery or give quota to Newfoundland and Labrador harvesters. Fair is fair, and nothing about this is fair.” >click to read<

“It’s always excitement”- Baby lobster numbers point to healthy future for P.E.I. fishery

A cage filled with rocks on the ocean floor seems like a strange place for a nursery, but for baby lobsters, it’s the ideal place to grow — and it’s how the Prince Edward Island Fisherman’s Association (PEIFA) works to study and predict the health of Island lobster stocks. For nine years now the PEIFA, with support from the province and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), has been putting 30 collectors — mesh-bottom cages filled with rocks — at seven sites around P.E.I., to attract baby lobsters and learn from them. Photo’s, >click to read<

Feds review this year’s right-whale protections

It was enough. But was it too much? That’s the question Fisheries and Oceans Canada wants to answer after a season of unprecedented measures to protect North Atlantic right whales — including mandatory ship slowdowns and fisheries closures. To date, none of the critically endangered whales has died in Canadian waters in 2018, unlike in 2017, when 12 died in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, largely due to ship strikes and entanglements in fishing gear.,,, On the East coast, the department (DFO) is now holding regional meetings with members of the fishing industry to gather feedback on those management measures. >click to read<15:03

Canadian fishermen want cheaper lobster bait. Americans want to stop an invasive fish. And so, one man hatches a plan

Like whales breaching ocean swells, silver carp fly out from beneath the surface of waterways in Illinois. Tens of millions of dollars have been spent trying to keep the invasive fish – which procreate rapidly, crowding out other marine life – from spilling into the $7-billion Great Lakes fishery. And in an era of expeditious information-sharing, the “flying fish,” a form of Asian carp imported into the States decades ago, with hopes of using them to manage American ecosystems, have also caught the attention of gawking social-media spectators around the world. Three years ago, one of those spectators was a Nova Scotian named Patrick J. Swim. But instead of merely gawking, the self-described “lobsterpreneur” hatched a plan: >click to read<12:32

Controversial bycatch monitoring program coming to Maritime lobster industry

Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans is rolling out a controversial bycatch monitoring program in three lobster fishing areas in Nova Scotia, but it won’t say when the program will be introduced across the Maritimes. The department is imposing at-sea monitors for the first time this fall in three lobster fishing districts in Nova Scotia from Halifax to Digby. The department said it needs to collect data on other species — such as cod, cusk and Jonah crab — that are inadvertently being caught in lobster traps, which is known as bycatch. The question is when the monitoring will roll out elsewhere. >click to read<11:14

Dismal returns for chinook salmon on B.C.’s Fraser River reveal latest threat to endangered orcas

A test fishery for chinook salmon on the Fraser River this year is reporting dismal returns, raising new concerns for the endangered southern resident killer whales who rely heavily on these fish for their survival. The federal government announced in May a reduction in harvest of chinook by roughly one-third and closures in some key whale foraging areas after declaring the southern resident killer whales are facing an imminent threat to their survival. The federal government acknowledges that lack of prey is one of the critical factors affecting the whales’ recovery. >click to read<20:36

By-catch monitoring coming to inshore lobster fishery (some fishermen are pissed!)

For the first time, inshore lobster fishermen in southwest Nova Scotia will have someone looking over their shoulders when they head out to sea later this fall. It’s a change many are unhappy about, causing fishermen to snub their own associations — some of which have banded together to create a monitoring program. “We didn’t want this. None of the associations wanted this, but we have tried to make it better,” said Heather Mulock of the Coldwater Lobster Association on Wednesday. The federal Fisheries Department wants to gauge how many species, particularly cod and cusk, are being inadvertently caught in lobster pots. >click to read<21:34

DFO investigation leads to another lobster pound in southwest Nova Scotia

For the second time in a month, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans has moved against a lobster pound in southwest Nova Scotia. RCMP said fisheries officers went to the facility to seize lobster, though it’s unclear whether any was taken. Police were asked to assist “by keeping the peace, and help to maintain open lines of communication between DFO and the fishers who were involved,” RCMP Cpl. Jennifer Clarke said in a statement. DFO would not confirm if the investigation is connected to an ongoing probe into illegal sales of lobster caught under an Indigenous food, social and ceremonial licence, which does not permit sales. >click to read<20:30

NOAA calls off active search for killer whale J50

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has called off the active search for a sick killer whale that garnered international attention. The southern resident killer whale known as J50 hasn’t been seen for several days and earlier in the week was presumed dead by a scientist, but NOAA and Fisheries and Oceans Canada hadn’t given up hope, until now. “It seems like the window of time she would likely be alive has passed,” said NOAA spokesman Michael Milstein on Saturday. Dan Bate, a spokesman for the department of fisheries, said the DFO and Straitwatch, a marine conservation organization, continued looking for J50 on Saturday, but to no avail. >click to read<10:33

FISH-NL calls on DFO to halt FFAW fishery for northern cod, leave fish for fishermen

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is calling on Fisheries and Oceans to immediately cancel this year’s northern cod quality project, and leave the fish for struggling inshore harvesters to catch. “Inshore harvesters are fit to be tied that while the northern cod stewardship fishery is temporarily closed to them, cod is still being landed through the FFAW-Unifor’s cod quality fishery — which will reduce the overall amount of quota available to harvesters,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “The cod quality projects are seen by most inshore harvesters as yet another FFAW money-making scheme,” he added. “When it comes to quality and inshore harvesters getting the most money for their fish, the No. 1 action that can be taken is to grade the fish at the wharf — not the plant.”>click to read<12:49

LeBlanc in conflict of interest over surf clam licence, Clearwater to keep monopoly until 2020

Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc was found in breach of conflict of interest rules Wednesday for approving an Arctic surf clam licence to a company that employed a family member — a violation that comes with no penalties. Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion said in a report issued Wednesday that LeBlanc knew his wife’s first cousin was involved in the Five Nations Clam Co. and knew the cousin would have benefited financially when awarding the company a multi-million dollar license in February. >click to read<

Clearwater to keep Arctic surf clam monopoly until 2020 – Fisheries Minister Jonathan Wilkinson has confirmed Clearwater Seafoods has been given the go ahead to catch the outstanding 25 per cent of the 2018 and 2019 total allowable catch (TAC) for Arctic surf clams. A statement issued by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) on Sept. 11 reiterates the plan remains to identify a new Indigenous participant for the 2020 fishery, however. >click to read<18:49

Bid to reduce right whale deaths ‘extremely effective,’ Canadian officials say

A year after the population of critically endangered North Atlantic right whales suffered devastating losses, Canadian officials say measures taken this season to protect the species have worked. With the summer fishing season in the Gulf of St. Lawrence drawing to a close, the federal Fisheries Department confirmed Friday that not one whale has died as a result of a ship strike or fishing gear entanglement — the main causes for most of the deaths last season. In all, 17 right whales died last year — 12 of them in Canadian waters,,, The federal government responded with a series of protection measures, which included speed restrictions for boats, increased surveillance and a series of closures of fishing areas where right whales were spotted. >click to read<11:36

Atlantic salmon aquaculture farmers cited as ‘likely source’ of European strain spawning in Fundy waters

Tom Smith says it’s “misleading” to blame Atlantic Canadian aquaculture farmers for European farm salmon spawning in the Bay of Fundy over the past two decades. Fisheries and Oceans Canada published a report Aug. 31 confirming the presence of European farm salmon in the inner Bay of Fundy, saying the fish spawning has created a hybrid species in the Fundy. The Atlantic Salmon Federation released a report Sept. 6 and says it’s “disturbing” that DFO research has found the fish have been spawning in the bay’s inner waters since 1997, and that it identifies Atlantic open net-pen salmon aquaculture as the “likely source.”,,, “[The industry] is in violation of New Brunswick’s Aquaculture Act and the Federal Species at Risk Act and …Canada’s international obligations under the Williamsburg Resolution…, which prevents the introduction of non-native salmon in domestic waters,”,,, >click to read<17:34

FISH-NL calls on DFO to continue direct consultations with inshore harvesters

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is calling on the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans to once again hold direct consultations with inshore harvesters. “DFO is to be commended for holding outreach meetings last winter for the first time in a generation,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL, “but the precedent has been set, and the department must hold them every year to keep its finger on the pulse of inshore harvesters.” DFO held a series of 20 outreach meetings around the province in the fall/early winter of 2017/2018 to hear directly from harvesters. The consultations were called following years of complaints that the FFAW-Unifor is no longer the voice of harvesters, which, as it turned out, was the most common theme at the outreach meetings. >click to read<14:26

Ocean Choice International says DFO delayed informing the captain he was in newly-protected area

Ocean Choice International (OCI) is accused of fishing in a conservation area during a closed time — an allegation that the company says it takes “very seriously.” According to court documents, OCI and a numbered company linked to OCI were both charged with a breach of the Fisheries Act in June. The charge stems from an incident that allegedly took place between Feb. 4-10, 2018. OCI is accused of fishing for Greenland halibut in an area off the coast of the island, which DFO calls the “Northeast Newfoundland Slope Conservation Area,” during a closed time. >click to read<14:59

Mi’kmaw woman seeks to charge Canada with theft for seizing fishing gear

A Mi’kmaw woman from Acadia First Nation in Nova Scotia has asked the RCMP to charge the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) with theft for seizing lobster traps she laid while fishing by inherent right, outside of Canadian fishing regulations. Marilynn-Leigh Francis and her three nephews dropped 19 lobster traps into St. Mary’s Bay at the beginning of August. Last week, Francis confronted DFO officers on the water after they pulled them back up. Seeing the seizure as unwarranted, Francis called the RCMP and filed a complaint asking the police to charge DFO with theft. It was the second time she had filed a complaint against DFO, she said. As far as she knows, no charges have been laid. >click to read<13:07

Fraser River sockeye finally catch a break with cooling water temps

Sockeye salmon entering the Fraser River this week will be aided by cooling water temperatures, which should decrease mortality and help them reach their spawning grounds up river in better condition. Commercial fishers are optimistic that the sockeye run will live up to early season predictions as late-season fish start to enter the river. Sockeye migrating into the river this summer are the grandchildren of the record-breaking 2010 run that exceeded 28 million fish. “The fishing we’ve had up to this point has been pretty darn good,” said Chauvel. “You have to make your money in these peak years. The years in between are subsistence, so it’s these sockeye years that put you over the top.” >click to read<22:02

Whale-watchers ask why herring fishery carries on where right whales sighted

A whale-watching tour operator and one of her customers say they are concerned nothing was done to stop herring seiners after two North Atlantic right whales were spotted in the Bay of Fundy off Brier Island, N.S. ,,”My big concern is the herring fishery,” Blackman said. “The seiners have been moving in every night. The last three nights they have been right in the place we spotted the whale this afternoon. Right in the opening between Brier Island and Long Island. “We’re watching the herring seiners come in, and they set up with these huge nets which are endangering the whale.” >click to read<09:51

Fisheries officers seize 100 crates of lobster from unnamed seafood distributor

Inspectors with the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans seized more than $50,000 worth of lobster from a seafood distributor in New Edinburgh, N.S., earlier this month.  The department says fisheries officers from the Meteghan detachment inspected the fish distribution facility on Aug. 9 and seized more than 100 crates of lobster. A spokesperson for the department said the officers believed the lobsters were caught and retained under an Indigenous food, social and ceremonial fisheries licence. >click to read<11:24

Due to abundance of capelin this summer, harvester and union director hope for improved science

With capelin flooding the beaches and nets of harvesters in numbers not seen in years, the abundance and quality of the species is turning heads across the province. Fixed gear harvester Dennis Chaulk had three days fishing capelin in Bonavista Bay from July 23-25. Like the capelin fishers in the Notre Dame Bay region of central Newfoundland, Chaulk witnessed a successful and plentiful fishery. ,, But now that harvesters and buyers across the province are saying it’s the best quality and population of capelin seen in over two decades, Broderick says this summer’s capelin fishery has shown that the science available on capelin is far from accurate and needs to be seriously scrutinized. >click to read<17:58

Fisheries and Oceans quietly cancels plans to award Indigenous surf clam licence

The federal government says it has cancelled plans to issue a controversial clam fishing licence to a First Nations company with ties to the Liberal party and several sitting Liberal MPs — including the former fisheries minister. A news release from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans says the process to issue a fourth licence to harvest arctic surf clam off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia was cancelled in early July, and that it won’t be issued this year at all. That multimillion-dollar licence was supposed to go to the Five Nations Clam Co., a company court documents suggest did not initially meet key eligibility requirements spelled out in the government’s tender process. >click to read<15:16

P.E.I. fisherman prepare for fall lobster season

Lee Knox is hoping the forecast for this Thursday’s setting day of relatively light wind of up to 15 knots holds, as it will allow for good conditions for fishermen to unload their traps.,, The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has a conference call with port representatives set for this morning to assess setting day weather conditions and make the decision on whether the season opens Thursday, as scheduled, or gets delayed. Knox is anticipating it will get started on time. Approximately 218 western P.E.I. fall fishermen share Lobster Fishing Area 25 in the Northumberland Strait with mainland fishermen from Chatham, N.B., nearly to Amherst, N.S. >click to read<