Tag Archives: DFO

Coronavirus: COVID-19 concerns delays southern N.B. lobster season 1 month, other fisheries scheduled to start on set dates

Department of Fisheries and Oceans accepted a request from the Fundy North Fishermen’s Association to delay the the start of the lobster fishery in the two zones from March 31 to April 30. The association represents fishermen from St. Martins to St. Stephen including the communities of Deer Island and Campobello Island. “In light of the current circumstances, and with input and support from groups involved, DFO has accepted this request and will be delaying the start of the fishing season by 30 days,” wrote Jane Deeks, press secretary to the Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan in an email. >click to read< 18:06

DFO report says Gulf of St. Lawrence herring that spawn in the spring in deep trouble

The grim projection was shared earlier this month by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, just days before the spring herring fishery is set to open in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, P.E.I. and Quebec. Predation is killing six of 10 older fish each year and a warming ocean is knocking down a critical food source for young. Spring spawners, as the population is called, have been in trouble for many years, but data gathered in 2018 and 2019 indicates very high levels of mortality, said Francois Turcotte,,, Seals, tuna and warm water, >click to read< 17:18

Possible quota reduction on Northern Shrimp concerns Newfoundland fishers and communities

This could mean hard times in an already hard businesses, harvester Chris Rose told the Northern Pen. He is hoping to make enough this season to pay the bills. The St. Carol’s fisherman owns his own boat, with a four-member crew, and has been fishing since 1991.“Two years prior to last year I had to give my crew some of my boat’s percentage so they could get enough to qualify for EI,” Rose said. “We are down to crunching numbers that fine.” He said when he started in 1999 shrimp fishing was great, then it exploded between 2008 to 2014. It has been going steadily downhill since.“Since the peak I’ve lost 80 percent of my shrimp quota,,, >click to read< 08:42

Northern Shrimp Harvester Roland Genge questions science methodology, hoping for changes to quota rules

He’s seen the best the Newfoundland and Labrador fishery has had to offer over the past 42 years — and the worst. From buying a new boat in the 1980s, to the collapse of cod in 1992, to the rise of shrimp quotas and price, Roland Genge has taken the waves of the inshore fishery in stride. Now, the Anchor Point fisherman is concerned about last month’s shrimp assessments. “We’re going to be cut … every year on account of the way the survey is being done,” >click to read< 08:14

Asking? The Feds are asking!!! Fed asking ships to slow down in Cabot Strait to protect right whales

Transport Canada is trying a new voluntary speed limit in the Cabot Strait as a part of its plan to protect the endangered North Atlantic right whale.
First announced in February, the voluntary speed limit would see vessels over 13 metres long slow down to 10 knots in a portion of the Cabot Strait between April 28 to June 15 and Oct. 1 to Nov. 15.,, Another measure impacting the Cabot Strait and Gulf of St. Lawrence is the government’s push to get more marine mammal observers on board vessels throughout the region. Sanders said Transport Canada and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans are working closely with shipping companies, cruise lines and ferry operators to get trained observers on board. more >click to read< 07:03

Big Bar Landslide blasting resumes, In-river drilling and excavation underway.

The huge remediation project is jointly managed by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the B.C. government and B.C. First Nations, who are guided by an Indigenous leadership panel. It involves equipment operators for excavators and rock trucks, drillers and blasters, rock scalers, emergency medical, river rescue and helicopter evaluation crews, environmental specialists and archeologists. “Blasting in waterways is not uncommon and the methods the contractor is using to drill and blast rock near and in-water are well understood,” the department said. more, >click to read< 12:02

Glum outlook scares salmon fishing industry – Wednesday, an expedition leaves for the Gulf of Alaska to try to help crack the puzzle

This year’s preliminary salmon outlook from Fisheries and Oceans Canada says overall expectations for salmon returns are generally low and similar to those in 2019. In many cases, expectations have even declined, it said, noting that the picture is brighter in “very few cases.”,, On Wednesday, a B.C.-based expedition leaves Victoria for the Gulf of Alaska to try to help crack the puzzle of plummeting stocks. Scientists from Canada, Russia and the U.S. will be on the chartered 37-metre commercial trawler Pacific Legacy No. 1. It returns April 4. more, >click to read< 10:00

Canada unveils 2020 protection measures for North Atlantic right whales

Over the past several years, Canada has put in place comprehensive measures to help protect this species from interactions with fishing gear and vessels.,, announced the enhanced 2020 measures that will help reduce the risks to North Atlantic right whales during the 2020 season from April to November. To help prevent entanglements with fishing gear, Fisheries and Oceans Canada: will implement new season-long fishing closures in areas where whales are aggregating in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, expand temporary fishing closure areas into the Bay of Fundy, more >click to read< 07:59

B.C. Herring fisherman charged with tossing a ‘bear banger’ to disperse group of sea lions last year

Herring fisherman Allen Marsden is facing three counts under the Fisheries Act and Explosives Act for tossing a small, explosive device known as a “bear banger” from his boat toward the crowd of animals on March 4, 2019. Fishers and Oceans Canada (DFO) confirmed the charges Wednesday but declined to comment further.,,, “We’re not out there trying to kill the sea lions. We’re not out there looking for sea lions. We’d rather if they weren’t here,” said Marsden. Marsden added the explosive was needed to ensure the safety of fishermen. He said he’d personally been bitten in the past. Video, (I cheered!) >click to read< 17:50

Cautious, healthy and critical. Northern shrimp stocks a mixed bag, suggest DFO’s latest numbers

Shrimp in fishing areas 4, 5, and 6 are assessed by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans every February. On Monday, the agency said despite some uptick, “We continue to be concerned about the future of these stocks.” For shrimp fishing Area 4, the stock remains in the cautious zone. For shrimp fishing Area 5, the stock is in the healthy zone. For shrimp fishing Area 6, the stock remains in the critical zone, according to DFO’s briefing. DFO said there are several factors that could account for Area 6 retaining critical status, including above-average bottom temperatures, and more predators. >click to read< 15:31

VIDEO: DFO northern shrimp stock assessment for N.L. far from rosy>click to read<

Salmon fishing closures won’t save the whales. Federal government accused of going after salmon fishery as ‘low hanging fruit’

“We (recreational fishers) are taking one per cent of the chinook salmon stock. That’s not the problem. The real problem is these whales are swimming in waters full of human waste,” said Peter Hovey. “It’s all the drugs going down the drain, the human waste, toxic runoff from agricultural operations, and everything else we’re putting into the water. Between that and the inbreeding that we caused, it’s no wonder their numbers are in decline.” Connie and Peter Hovey, >click to read< 10:19

P.E.I. fishermen adjust to newly imposed gear markings

The P.E.I. Fisherman’s Association said it’s receiving calls from local fishermen asking for clarification over the new gear markings imposed by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Like any new management measure, Griffin said, it will take time to get used to. “Prior to this there were no gear markings,” she said. “It’s a brand new … management measure in place, so there’s always a little bit confusion when a new management measure comes in,” Griffin said.  To reflect the United States Marine Mammal Protection Act, fixed gear fishermen on P.E.I. will now be required to have specially-coloured fishing gear rope. One piece to represent the Gulf region, one to represent the species they are fishing and one to represent the location of their trap. >click to read< 11:48

Access To Information docs from DFO shine light on collapse of Atlantic Harp seal harvest

As first reported by Blacklock’s Reporter, the harp seal harvest last year was halved from 2016 despite subsidies paid to processors to promote seal meat recipes. A total 30,435 harp seals were hunted last year, a fraction of the 217,850 taken annually prior to a European Union ban on Canadian seal exports. Legislators have blamed the 2009 E.U. ban on exports of Atlantic pelts, oil and other Atlantic seal products for the death of the industry.,, The Commons fisheries committee in a 2017 report Newfoundland & Labrador’s Northern Cod Fishery said Canada should promote a larger seal hunt, >click to read< 22:30

MP Rachel Blaney: Trudeau government breaks promise to remove fish farms by 2025

She says they’re backpedalling on an election promise to remove British Columbia’s open net salmon farms in five years’ time. “Sadly, it doesn’t surprise me,” Blaney says. “I think about how many promises they’ve made to our region and not followed through and this seems like another one.” This is a trend she’s noticed again and again. “They say one thing and then they do another and people are left not knowing.,, DFO is still playing a dual role as “the protector of wild salmon,, “But, they’re also supposed to promote fish farming. >click to read< 11:32

A massive fine for fishing in an MPA off the coast of Haida Gwaii

Michael Bullock, captain of the commercial halibut fishing vessel Hopefull, has been hit was fines totalling $45,000 after he was convicted of illegally fishing in the protected sponge reefs off the coast of Haida Gwaii. Bullock was ordered by the court to pay $20,000 for illegal activity prohibited under the Hecate Marine Protection Act and ordered an additional fine, under the Fisheries Act of $25,000 for possessing illegally caught fish. The final conviction on Oct. 15, 2019 made it the first such case under the Oceans Act. >click to read< 16:14

Numbers on the Rise! Lobster might become one of the most important fisheries in Newfoundland

Warmer waters are getting part of the credit for an uptick in lobsters off the coast of Newfoundland and some companies are betting big on the crustacean’s future.,, In the last five years, lobster landing volumes have seen almost an 80 per cent increase, up to about 4,400 metric tonnes from roughly 2,100. While an impressive increase, those volumes are still small in comparison to the rest of the Atlantic provinces. For example, in 2017, the total volume of lobster harvested in Newfoundland represented just three per cent of what was harvested in the Atlantic provinces. >click to read< 08:40

Seal attack on Nova Scotia island leaves a hunter left defenseless by fishery officers, with 26 stitches

Alexis Boudreault, 29, and nine other hunters were on Pictou Island Tuesday when the attack occurred. Only four of them were carrying hakapiks — clubs tipped with sharp hooks — after federal fisheries officers confiscated the tools from the others earlier in the day because their hooks were judged to be too long. Boudreault, therefore, was defenseless when the 225-kilogram male seal charged. >click to read< 14:21

A message from NOAA’s Chris Oliver on conservation and management efforts for North Atlantic right whales

United States and Canada Must Sustain Additional Efforts to Reduce North Atlantic Right Whale Mortalities, Serious Injuries – Last Friday, we met once again with Canadian officials to continue our bilateral focus on the conservation and protection of North Atlantic right whales. The United States and Canada have a shared interest in recovering right whales, and it is critical for both countries to take and sustain additional efforts to reduce right whale mortalities and serious injuries. >click to read< 12:27

Fishery Mismanagement?: Research suggests DFO worsened impact of salmon fishery crisis

Unifor has released a new report that says artificially low catch limits over the past 25 years pushed the West Coast salmon fishing industry to the brink, leaving it unable to cope with the 2019 crisis. “The federal government created a commercial fishing economy so precarious that when the salmon collapsed this year, the industry went with it,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Commercial salmon fishing may never recover.” >click to read< and to read A Report to Governments on the 2019 Salmon Season  >click here< 13:18

P.E.I.’s fall lobster fishermen raise concerns about ghost fishing

A fisheries officer attending the annual meeting of the Prince County Fishermen’s Association said the amount of lost or abandoned lobster gear retrieved from the Northumberland Strait lobster grounds after the fall season ended was “extremely high  said fisheries officer Anthony Cheverie. Cheverie said gear was retrieved throughout Lobster Fishing Area 25 (LFA 25), which takes in fishermen from P.E.I., New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Laura Ramsay, with the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association, said fishermen are concerned about the amount of lost gear and agreed Canadian regulations “make it hard for fishermen to help go clean up that gear”. Gear Innovation Summit planned for Feb. 11, 12,  >click to read< 10:20

Canada’s high-stakes herring fishery gamble

This year, in response to an expected low herring return in the Strait of Georgia, Fisheries and Oceans drafted a plan to keep the harvest level at 20 per cent, the same level as when herring are abundant. Evidence over the past couple of years shows herring populations have fallen rapidly due to natural variation, which means precaution is required. The current assessment suggests there’s a one-in-four chance the stock will fall below the point when no fishing is permitted. Leading fisheries management agencies around the world have implemented rules for these types of scenarios to rein in the risk. Beginning this year, Fisheries and Oceans Canada must strive to do the same. >click to read< 15:50

Proposed Fisheries Regulation Amendments Target Fish Processors & Buyers

The Fall 2019 re-election of the Liberal government means the proposed amendments to federal fisheries regulations remain a concern for industry participants.,, However, the government has, to date, not implemented the amendments. The proposed amendments target arrangements that transfer license rights and privileges from license holders to third parties. In the Statement, the Minister notes the perceived narrowness of the definition of “Controlling Agreement”,, McInnes Cooper has prepared this document for information only,, >click to read< 12:27

Canada imposing mandatory gear marking for lobster, and crab fisheries in 2020

Specially coloured rope will become mandatory with the start of the season in every lobster and crab fishery in Eastern Canada. The rope must identify the region, species being fished and individual fishing area. The requirement is also intended to maintain access to the United States seafood market by demonstrating Canada has rules comparable to those in place for American fishermen. >click to read< 07:20

Opponents call for closure of herring fishery in Strait of Georgia

A Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) management plan for herring recommends a 20 per cent harvest in the Strait of Georgia. Opponents say the harvest rate has contributed to a 60 per cent decline in the population size since 2016. The roe fishery is slated to open early March, pending approval of the Integrated Fisheries Management Plans from the director general of the Pacific Region. >click to read< 09:41

DFO says south coast cod numbers down – ‘This new assessment model is overly pessimistic,’ Atlantic Groundfish Council

Cod stocks are at critical levels off the south coast of Newfoundland and Labrador, according to the new model used by the Department of Fisheries and Ocean,, Even if there was no fishing permitted in the area this coming season, the stock is predicted to decline further. DFO says the natural mortality of the fish caused by predators and changes to the environment is around three times that of fishing mortality.,, But at least two organizations are slamming the new way DFO compiles its data. >click to read< 18:54

 Cod stock in Area 3Ps off southern Newfoundland in ‘critical zone’ until at least 2022 – New model used to determine cod biomass questioned by industry, union. There are fewer cod in the 3Ps area off southern Newfoundland than ever recorded, according to new data released Wednesday by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO).  >click to read< 21:45

Skipper Michael Joyce says fish littering the shore indicates stocks higher than expected

A Lark Harbour fisherman says it’s frustrating to see thousands of mackerel wash up dead on local shores, while fishermen were not permitted to catch any of the fish last season.,,, Andrew Smith, a stock assessment biologist for Atlantic mackerel with DFO, says the input of harvesters is an important part of studying fish stocks, but he said the scientific data doesn’t support the idea that stocks are higher than estimated. >click to read< 10:29

“There are a lot more boats coming and bigger boats,” Tensions rise after suspected sabotage of Eskasoni fishing boat

The RCMP are investigating the apparent act of sabotage at the St. Peter’s Canal and have copies of recordings from video cameras there. The Eskasoni fishermen were catching lobster under the banner of a moderate livelihood fishery. While the right was acknowledged by the Supreme Court of Canada in its 1999 Marshall Decision, Fisheries and Oceans Canada has yet to reach an agreement with the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs on how to implement it. Meanwhile, tensions rise as First Nations fishermen on the Northumberland Strait, Cape Breton, Eastern Shore and South Shore have started to fish outside of the normal commercial seasons. >click to read< 07:44

Eskasoni lobster fisherman ‘saddened’ after boat vandalized

Sceven (Seki) Anthony Bernard said he and other crew members of the April and Brothers found the 10-metre vessel underwater on Boxing Day. “I started noticing that the boat was sabotaged,” Bernard said in a phone interview Saturday, adding that he spotted lines that had been untied or cut. A crane arrived the next day to hoist the boat from the water. Bernard said RCMP, the Canadian Coast Guard and DFO were also on scene. >click to read< 07:25

B.C. fish farm fire may have allowed non-native salmon to escape

A Vancouver Island fish farm company says it’s still trying to determine whether any farmed Atlantic salmon escaped into B.C. waters after a fire damaged one of their pens. There were 21,000 Atlantic salmon in the pen when it was damaged on Dec. 20, according to Mowi, the company that operates the fish farm near Port Hardy on Vancouver Island. >click to read< 12:09

Energy conglomerate spent $14.5M to bury subsea cables as result of unexpected redfish population boom!

It’s a fish story no one saw coming, at least not Halifax-based energy conglomerate Emera. The parent company of Nova Scotia Power disclosed this week to the Utility and Review Board that it spent almost $14,492,000 this summer to bury its Maritime Link cables lying on the floor of the Cabot Strait between Newfoundland and Cape Breton. The cables were protected because an unprecedented explosion in the redfish population in the Gulf of St Lawrence is about to trigger a corresponding boom in bottom trawling in the area. >click to read< 10:09