Tag Archives: DFO

Fogo Island fish harvesters meet with DFO, Finally!

The third time was the charm for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) session with fishermen on Fogo Island. The meeting was cancelled twice because of weather and department members being unable to attend. The meeting finally went ahead on Feb. 13 with approximately 30 area fishermen in attendance. When talking about concerns in the fishery, they held nothing back – which is exactly what Ron Burton, area director for DFO, was looking for. >click to read< 11:50

Canada to introduce mandatory reporting of whale interactions this year

“Save the Whales” will take on new importance for Canadian fishermen in 2018 as the Department of Fisheries and Oceans introduces mandatory reporting for interactions Canada’s commercial fishing fleets have with marine mammals. The deaths of a dozen critically endangered right whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence last year is the driving force behind the effort, which has already resulted in changes in the Gulf of St. Lawrence snow crab fishery, whose gear has been implicated in some of the deaths. >click to read<08:18

Key northern shrimp stock off N.L. down again

Details of the latest northern shrimp stock assessment were released Friday with key Shrimp Fishing Area (SFA) 6 off the province’s northeast coast looking pretty grim. Fishable biomass is down 16 per cent and spawning stock biomass is down 19 per cent in SFA 6, thus leaving shrimp in that area in the critical zone of the precautionary approach framework employed by Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) science. That will likely translate into another drop in the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for the area,,, >click to read< 16:34

Federal Court dismisses Barry Group application for judicial review of 2016 DFO mackerel decision

Deciding in 2016 to wait until the fall of that year to go fishing for mackerel off the province’s west coast cost the over 65-foot fishing fleet there between $3 million and $4 million, according to information in a recent Federal Court decision. Mackerel is of higher quality at that time of the fishing season but for vessels fishing for the Barry Group Inc. there was nothing left for them to catch — the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for 2016 had already been taken during the summer months by the smaller boats in the under 65-foot fishing fleet. >click here to read< 09:48

Two Bay of Islands men fined for poaching, banned from fishing

Two men from Humber Arm South convicted of illegally harvesting lobster won’t be doing any fishing of any sort for a while. Leonard Stephen Greene, 60, and Paul Locke, 54, entered guilty pleas to poaching crustaceans when they appeared at provincial court in Corner Brook for what was supposed to be a joint trial this week.,, Greene also pleaded guilty to fishing for snow crab, without being authorized by a licence for that species, in May 2016. Locke entered a guilty plea to one offence, namely possessing illegally caught lobster in late June 2017. >click here to read< 08:45

Lots of inshore issues to talk about at DFO meeting in Shearstown

Wednesday’s meeting in Shearstown for inshore harvesters was filled to the brim with conversation, as the Department of Fisheries and Oceans allowed the event to continue well beyond its planned two-hour duration. The discussion covered an array of topics, from the future of bycatch to qualms about size restrictions for vessels and the potential for oil exploration to harm marine life. Chad Payne, a harvester from Old Perlican, brought up the bycatch issue. He said it seemed wasteful for harvesters to get rid of perfectly good fish,,, >click here to read< 20:36

Bonavista area fishers meet DFO

Dennis Miller of Burgoyne’s Cove is a typical inshore fisherman. Fishing up to 50 miles from shore in a 39-ft 11-inch boat, he makes his living from groundfish, capelin, herring, mackerel, lobster and snow crab.,, He wonders if the Department of Fisheries and Oceans will give smaller boats, like his, access to turbot by opening up fishing zones closer to shore. He was one of about 30 fishers who showed up for the meeting.,, With FISH-NL and the Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW) in the same room, there was bound to be an argument. >click here to read< 14:24 

Bidders hungry for part of Arctic surf clam fishery after decades-long monopoly

The competition for newly available Arctic surf clam quota off Cape Breton has three times more applicants than previously reported, which is a sign of the interest in a fishery that has been controlled by a single company for decades. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans says it is evaluating nine proposals vying for 8,924 tonnes of surf clams in 2018. Until this year, the surf clam fishery was held entirely by Clearwater Seafoods,,, >click here to read<10:37

DFO rep says agenda for meetings to be determined by fishers

There’s nothing to restrict fishers from talking about issues they have regarding fisheries management, rules and regulations at upcoming meetings scheduled by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO). DFO representatives will be in Central and Eastern Newfoundland over the next couple of weeks — starting in Baie Verte on Jan. 16 and ending in Petty Harbour on Jan. 25 — to meet with fishers. Locations, times and dates >click here to read< 20:31 

P.E.I. fishermen call for more officers to combat illegal fishing

The vice president of the Prince County Fishermen’s Association is renewing a push to have more fisheries officers in West Prince. Shelton Barlow, who fishes lobster out of Howard’s Cove, made the comments earlier this week at the association’s annual general meeting in O’Leary. “It is a large area,” Barlow said. “I’d like to see officers out there at every wharf. When you come into the wharf, you’d like to see an officer now and then to keep you in check. We need a lot more.” >click here to read<09:01

Inside DFO’s Battle to Downplay a Deadly Farmed Salmon Disease

Part One of a series. Provincial lab played key role in denying existence of HSMI in BC. In 2002, Dr. Ian Keith, a senior DFO veterinarian, began noticing strange heart lesions when he examined Atlantic salmon from B.C.’s growing fish farm industry. Keith was likely the first to detect signs of Heart and Skeletal Muscle Inflammation. The disease, first found three years earlier in Norwegian farmed salmon, went on to plague the industry there, killing up to 20 per cent of salmon in some outbreaks. >click to read the story< 19:21

Part II: DFO’s Plan to Gut Rules Protecting Wild Salmon from Fish Farm Disease – Part two of a series. After court losses, federal government has new strategy to protect industry. >click here to read< 1/11/18 20:29

 

Commentary on Controling Agreements: DFO meddling destabilizes fishermen

I’ve held my own lobster licence since 1973 and it is nonsense to suggest I am anything but an “independent” fisherman. Yet the Department of Fisheries and Oceans is reviewing my licence under the “owner-operator policy.” Under this policy, the owner of a lobster licence is supposed to be independent (as I am) and to benefit most from his licence (as I do). DFO seems to suspect that I am in a so-called “controlling agreement” with Yarmouth Sea Products Ltd. click here to read the story 08:43

FISH-NL questions quiet reopening of Canadian ports to banned Faroese and Greenland trawlers

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is calling on Ottawa to explain its decision almost a year ago to quietly reopen Canadian ports to trawlers from the Faroe Islands and Greenland that had been banned for overfishing northern shrimp. “Why exactly was the ban lifted, and why didn’t the federal government make the news public when the decision was made?” questions Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. click here to read the press release 11:48

DFO to study fish mortality at Annapolis tidal plant

Fisheries and Oceans Canada has commissioned a scientific review of the Annapolis Tidal Turbine’s impact on fish populations.,, The 20-megawatt tidal generating station in the Annapolis River has been operating without a ministerial dispensation allowing it to kill fish since it opened in 1984. Section 35 of the Fisheries Act prohibits “the carrying on of a work, undertaking or activity that results in serious harm to fish that are part of or support a commercial, recreational or Aboriginal fishery.” However, it allows the minister to grant an exemption if the facility doesn’t kill fish at population levels. “Absolutely, it kills a lot of fish,” said Michael Dadswell, who studied fish mortality at the Annapolis Tidal Turbine while working as a Fisheries and Oceans scientist during the 1980s. click here to read the story 10:31

Squamish First Nation’s bid for more sockeye fails in court

A British Columbia First Nation has lost a bid for a larger allocation of the scarce Fraser River sockeye salmon fishery. The Squamish First Nation opposed a decision by Fisheries and Oceans Canada in 2014 that raised its sockeye catch to 30,000 fish from 20,000, and also increased allotments of chum and pink salmon. The First Nation filed an application for a judicial review after federal officials rejected its request for 70,000 sockeye for food, social and ceremonial purposes. click here to read the story 17:44

Here’s why 12 right whales died in Canadian waters — and why more will die if nothing is done

A macabre joke in the field is that there are more North Atlantic right whale researchers than actual North Atlantic right whales. The scientific community is tight-knit: on top of the hours many of them spend sardined together on research boats and survey planes, a consortium dedicated to studying and conserving the species gathers every year for a meeting that tips further towards family reunion than your average academic conference. Still, as biologists, conservationists and policy-makers began filling an auditorium at St. Mary’s University very early on a Sunday morning in late October, the emotional register of the meeting felt unusually charged. Attendees greeted each other with bracing hugs. click here to read the story 12:27

Salmon or trout: What the heck is a steelhead, anyway?

Until just a few days ago, anyone interested in learning about B.C.’s struggling steelhead might stumble upon a website from Fisheries and Oceans Canada describing them as a type of Pacific salmon. The fish, according to this now-defunct page, “were at one time considered a trout species but have been discovered by biologists to be more closely related to Pacific salmon than other trout.”There’s just one problem with that: The current consensus is that steelhead aren’t salmon, they’re trout.,, A trout that behaves like a salmon click here to read the story 16:42 

Fishermen greatly affected by announced marine refuges, union says

The Hawke Channel (off the southeast coast of Labrador) and Funk Island Deep (off the northeast coast of the island) marine refuges will be closed to all fishing activity to help conserve seafloor habitat that is important to the recovering northern cod stocks. The Northeast Newfoundland Slope, formerly known as Tobin’s Point, is an area off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador just inside the 200-mile limit. It is thought to contain key spawning and breeding grounds, nurseries and refuges for many aquatic species. click here to read the story 08:37

DFO reviewing cod quota policy after report says it may encourage dangerous fishing

Fisheries and Oceans Canada said it will be taking a long, hard look at its regulations after a report said a few of the department’s policies could be putting pressure on harvesters to fish in dangerous conditions. The report was issued in late November by the Transportation Safety Board after an investigation into the death of four fishermen from Shea Heights whose boat went down in the waters off Cape Spear. click here to read the story 11:32

Canadian government says chances are minimal that virus will spread from farmed to wild salmon

Canadian fisheries officials say their research concludes there are minimal risks to sockeye salmon in the Fraser River in British Columbia of an infectious virus from Atlantic salmon farms transferring to wild populations. Current fish health management practices such as vaccination and eradication of infected fish help to minimize the risk, according to Fisheries and Oceans Canada in Ottawa. The advice in the report on infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus (IHNV) was developed by consensus of the peer review group of 39 experts from various disciplines, Canadian officials announced during a teleconference from Ottawa on Dec. 20. click here to read the story 17:47

Lobster fisherman defends maligned practice of ‘controlling agreements’

The federal government’s attempt to stop corporate control of the lucrative lobster fishery is facing another challenge, and the Nova Scotia fisherman at the centre of the case has taken the rare step of speaking out about it. Hubert Saulnier, 63, is a familiar face on the Meteghan wharf in southwestern Nova Scotia. He has been fishing for more than four decades and has held many positions with the local fishermen’s association. Saulnier is also one of 14 fishermen in a so-called controlling agreement with Yarmouth Sea Products, one of southwest Nova Scotia’s largest lobster buyers. click here to read the story 09:36

Bluefin tuna in P.E.I. are so hungry they no longer fear humans

Bobbing up and down on cold Atlantic waters, several fishermen toss scaly, silver mackerel overboard. It’s a delicious snack for a bluefin tuna — the largest species of tuna in the world, measuring more than six feet in length and weighing up to 1,600 pounds. The newcomer among them, a writer and ecologist, expects to spend the afternoon patiently waiting for a bite. Instead, the bluefin tuna here in North Lake, P.E.I. are so abundant and so hungry that within minutes their trademark yellow caudal finlets are circling the boat. click here to read the story 18:29

DFO says changes at St. John’s facility a result of disconcerting spring protests

Those measures are a direct result of (Richard) Gillett’s protest, which began on April 13, and an earlier protest on April 7 when a group of protesting fishermen kicked in a window at the building’s main entrance and stormed inside the building. Jan Woodford, regional director of communications with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Newfoundland and Labrador Region, confirmed Thursday a new security review was conducted as a result of the protests. “Yes, this review was carried out in response to an incident at the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Centre during which protesters forcibly gained access to the building,” Woodford said. click here to read the story 10:01

DFO looking at fines instead of charges for minor fishing offences

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) is seeking the public’s views on plans to expand the use of tickets for minor fishing infractions. The new ticketing regime would mean fixed fines for minor commercial and recreational fishing violations instead of charges and court appearances. click here to read the story We plan to expand our options for enforcing the following regulations: Pacific Fishery Regulations, Atlantic Fishery Regulations, Fishery (General) Regulations,  British Columbia Sport Fishing Regulations,  Newfoundland and Labrador Fishery Regulations, We want to expand our use of tickets for minor fishing offences. click here to read the notice 11:50

Department of Fisheries and Oceans installs security office, excavates hill where hunger strike held last spring

The hill is alive with the sound of an excavator at the start of the road leading to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) headquarters in St. John’s where Twillingate fisherman Richard Gillett held an 11-day hunger strike in April. The site where Gillett pitched his tent is all mud now. According to a statement from DFO, the excavation and the security office are part of new security and safety protocols being implemented at the facility.,, Gillett’s hunger strike started on April 13 and his supporters caused a bit of disruption at times for people trying to enter and leave the facility. But that wasn’t the only protest action by fishermen in the spring that caused some concern for DFO officials. click here to read the story 21:08

Ryan Cleary calls for federal investigation over rumours and allegations

Two fishermen in Cartwright are making accusations of backdoor dealings and foul play around a Labrador committee of harvesters. Curtis Heard says he’s spent the past two years trying to get answers from a shrimp allocation committee that he claims is breaking the rules to satisfy its own ends.  “This committee operates with no oversight,” said Heard. “They’re making criteria to treat themselves, and if they don’t meet that criteria they’ll still walk through it.” In 2003, as a way to offset the impact of declines in crab and cod stocks, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) established an allocation of northern shrimp for crab and cod harvesters from Cartwright to L’Anse au Clair. click here to read the story 14:43

FFAW payback: FISH-NL supporters say union pressured DFO to close cod fishery

Well-know Grand Bank fisherman Wayne Meade accuses the FFAW-Unifor of being behind a recent federal Fisheries and Oceans decision to shut down the cod fishery in a small area of Fortune Bay because most inshore harvesters who were fishing there are FISH-NL supporters. “This was not a DFO decision because DFO doesn’t run the fishery, and hasn’t since the moratorium — the FFAW calls the shots,” says Meade, who’s publicly endorsed FISH-NL since it was organized in the fall of 2016. “Eighty to 90 per cent of the fishermen who were fishing that cod support FISH-NL, and it’s the FFAW getting back at us.” click here to read the press release 10:48

How Newfoundland is grappling with the return of cod fishing

Tony Cobb is seated at his usual table at the Chester Fried Superstop, a roadside gas station and convenience store that serves some of the best fish and chips on Fogo Island.,, His ritual is interrupted every few bites by the coverall-clad fishermen who approach the table after paying for their gas. In baymen’s accents and with hands held chest high, they tell Mr. Cobb, whose new fish business offers the best price for top-quality northern cod in Newfoundland, about the huge, gleaming fish they’ve been catching. The late fall yields the best cod of the year, from “foxy” reddish ones to black-backed hulks. These are not fish tales, and Mr. Cobb is happy to banter. But when the fishermen turn away, his eyes darken: His mind has wandered out of the diner and into the bleak murk of fishery politics. click here to read the story 14:06

Safe opening day to lobster season off southwestern N.S.; some calls for assistance on Day 2

Dumping day, the most risky day of the six-month lobster fishery off southwestern Nova Scotia, was reported to have been a safe day with no incidents occurring. But day two of the season has not been incident free while vessels have been on the water hauling up catches. While the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) says there were no incidents reported to it, and no assets needed to be tasked, on Tuesday, Nov. 28, the day the lobster season got underway, this wasn’t the case the following day. click here to read the story 14:21

Pacific herring: Fisheries and Oceans Canada seeks herring input from the public

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) is drafting its 2018 management plan for Pacific herring and looking for the public’s thoughts. DFO herring resource manager Roger Kanno said the federal fisheries agency is preparing its integrated fisheries plan for the herring, which be available for the public to read and comment on in December. A food and bait herring fishery, the smallest of DFO’s four herring fisheries, is currently open in the Strait of Georgia at Pacific Fisheries Management area 15, the part of the strait around the upper Sunshine Coast, although the main harvesting is happening near Hornby Island and Campbell River. click here to read the story 14:56