Tag Archives: DFO

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

FISH-NL: C-NLOPB ‘waking up’ to concerns over impact of offshore seismic activity

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is frustrated the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board isn’t prepared to suspend offshore seismic work, but encouraged the offshore oil and gas regulator is waking up to concerns. “Ottawa takes a precautionary approach to fisheries management — which means being cautious when science is uncertain — but there’s nothing precautionary about allowing seismic to continue until the potential risks are understood. ,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “The hypocrisy doesn’t escape inshore harvesters.”  >click to read<20:06

DFO ‘complacent’ on fish kills at Nova Scotia’s turbines, biologist says

A former Fisheries and Oceans Canada scientist is accusing his former employer of skewing research to allow for the continued operation of Nova Scotia Power’s Annapolis Tidal Turbine. “The Fisheries Act says you shouldn’t destroy fisheries habitat,” said Michael Dadswell, On Wednesday, members of a Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat panel tasked with reviewing existing scientific literature to help determine whether the tidal turbine is violating the Fisheries Act were supposed meet at Acadia University to review their draft report. >click to read<20:01

FISH-NL pleased with DFO move to increase seal licences; first step in addressing population

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is encouraged that Fisheries and Oceans has finally moved to increase the number of  — the first step to combating the massive population. DFO issued an advisory to harvesters earlier today to say that new applications for commercial assistant sealers will be considered.,,, The Harp seal population in the northwest Atlantic was last estimated in 2012 at 7.4 million animals — almost six times what it was in the 1970s.,,, Groups in British Columbia have called for a cull of the estimated 110,000 harbour seals and sea lions off that province for the impact they’re having on Pacific salmon stocks. >click to read<16:36

Northern shrimp stock plunges off the coast of Labrador

The federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ latest northern shrimp assessment shows a dramatic drop in the offshore Labrador stock, with a slight increase for the inshore fishery in Newfoundland. New data from DFO Monday reveal a 46 per cent drop in the fishable biomass — defined as the weight of all the shrimp larger than 17 millimetres — between 2017 and 2018 in Shrimp Fishing Area 4, along Labrador’s northernmost coast, to 42,100 tonnes. Heading south down Labrador’s coast to Shrimp Fishing Area 5, the biomass has dropped 43 per cent, to 80,100 tonnes. >click to read<

Small shrimp biomass increase off Newfoundland’s northeast coast

The latest news about the state of the northern shrimp stock in key Shrimp Fishing Area 6 off the province’s northeast coast is a bit more uplifting this year than about the same time last year. Last year the news was grim — this year, although the shrimp stock remains listed in the critical zone, the fishable biomass has increased by three per cent between 2017 and 2018, and there’s a 27 per cent increase in spawning stock biomass between 2017 and 2018. >click to read<19:33

Fisheries official says 2018 saw a ‘reasonably good return’ despite low numbers

The number of sockeye salmon that made it up the Fraser River last fall was lower than originally predicted, prompting a conservation group to blame the federal fisheries regulator for allowing the area to be overfished. “This year, it was the lowest run or spawning return they’ve seen on record on this cycle,” Greg Taylor told CBC Radio’s Daybreak Kamloops host Shelley Joyce. “They were very disappointing,” said Taylor, a senior fisheries advisor for the Watershed Watch Salmon Society.,,, A DFO representative told Joyce on Thursday that, while the numbers were lower than predicted, the return numbers were not out of the ordinary >click to read<20:14

Salmon are going the way of the buffalo! West coast group campaigns for seal, sea lion harvest

A group lobbying for a commercial harvest of harbor seals and sea lions on the West Coast is encouraged after meeting with federal fisheries officials. Richmond-based Pacific Balance Pinniped Society is pressing Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) to consider a managed Indigenous fishery for seals and sea lions. Society members are convinced that a pinniped explosion is a contributing factor to declining populations of wild salmon and other finfish along the B.C. coast. “Our salmon are going and will go the way of the buffalo unless we do something,” said Thomas Sewid, founder of the society. “It’s not just fish, it’s a way of life.” >click to read<12:32

Ottawa: Ruling that prevents corporate takeover of inshore fishery upheld

In a decision released Friday, the Federal Appeal Court sided with a 2017 Federal Court decision that upheld Ottawa’s right to prevent the corporate takeover of inshore fisheries in Atlantic Canada and Quebec. At issue are controlling agreements used by companies to get around longstanding policies that local fishermen control inshore licences and the profits that come from them. The ruling revolves around the case of Labrador fisherman Kirby Elson, who entered a controlling agreement in 2003 with Quinlan Brothers Ltd. and Labrador Sea Products Inc. that gave the companies total control over every aspect of a licence — even in death. >click to read<

Fishermen push back on new approach to determine health of snow crab stocks

Fishermen are pushing back this week at a Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) plan to bring in a precautionary approach principle to help determine the overall health of snow crab stocks around Newfoundland and Labrador. The approach is used to assess the health of other fishery stocks. The proposal has three levels or zones of classification — critical, cautious and healthy. >click to read<17:15

LETTER: Seals to blame

I would like to add my voice to those that disclaim the recent information provided by DFO’s (Department of Fisheries and Oceans) Dr. G. Stenson (In “The cull question: Part I”, published in the Jan. 16 edition of The Central Voice). Seals have destroyed our fisheries in Atlantic Canada and particularly that in Newfoundland and Labrador. The poor condition of harp seals in terms of age, previously measured body mass and survivability of pups, is a direct result of the seal population reaching a threshold capacity level. They are finding it more difficult to find fish (all species) to eat. Thus the recent influx in fresh water river systems — this is not their natural habitat and they are there to consume any fresh water species that might be available (salmon, trout, eels, etc.).  We have had a cod moratorium for 26 years,,, Bob Hardy >click to read<

South coast Newfoundland fishers angered by short notice on closure of 3Ps cod fishery

Ross Durnford of Fortune has seven deep freezers powered up to keep 1,000 pounds of bait frozen until next cod fishing season, after the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) shut down the cod fishery in his fishing zone. Durnford had 10 tubs of cod fishing gear baited up and ready to drop in the water, but the early closure of the fishery in zone 3Ps — on the south coast of Newfoundland — forced him to cancel his plans. >click to read< 11:19

Canadian seafood giant Clearwater convicted of ‘gross violation’ in lobster fishery

Canadian seafood giant Clearwater was convicted of “gross violation” of fisheries regulations last fall after senior management ignored federal government warnings to change the way the company conducts its monopoly offshore lobster fishery, CBC News has learned. The decision to prosecute North America’s largest shellfish producer occurred amid a lengthy and still ongoing lobby effort by Clearwater to change the rule it broke: a Canadian requirement that fishing gear at sea must be tended every 72 hours. Clearwater company CS ManPar was convicted for storing 3,800 lobster traps on the ocean bottom off the Nova Scotia coast for upward of two months in the fall of 2017,,, >click to read<08:46

FISH-NL renews call for halt to seismic testing – ‘If plankton isn’t protected you might as well say goodbye to the fish’

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is once again calling on the Canada/Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) to suspend offshore seismic work in light of new research that reveals plankton productivity has plunged. The research by the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) doesn’t link the dramatic and persistent drop in plankton to seismic activity, but other research has found the intense acoustic signals may damage the critical elements of the food chain. “It’s highly coincidental that as seismic activity ramped up plankton productivity plunged,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “Seismic activity may be necessary for offshore oil and gas development, but it must not come at the expense of our wild fisheries and marine ecosystem — cutting off our nose to spite our face.” >click to read<10:43

Conservancy Hornby Island calls for government to shut down herring roe fishery

A Hornby Island organization is calling for the federal government to shut down a Pacific herring roe fishery scheduled to operate in the Strait of Georgia in March. According to Conservancy Hornby Island, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans is preparing to approve the catch of 20 per cent of herring that spawn in the Strait of Georgia. This is approximately 28,000 tons of spawning herring or approximately 200 million fish.,, Neil Davis, director of resource management with the DFO says determining a fishing allowance that will ensure the sustainability of a species is not something that is taken lightly. Each year prior to spawning season in late February or March, DFO does large amounts of research before setting a fishing allowance. >click to read<12:24

Talking kettles of fish with Fisheries and Oceans Minister Jonathan Wilkinson

iPolitics spoke with Fisheries and Oceans Minister Jonathan Wilkinson earlier this month, on the day before his six-month anniversary at the helm of the department. We asked him about his role, marine protected areas, whales and oil spills, and other issues. This interview has been edited and condensed. Q: You’re half a year in. How’s it been going so far? A: Well, you’ve been keeping better track (of time) than I have. It’s been incredibly interesting and incredibly busy. I have been travelling enormous amounts. Obviously, when someone becomes a new minister in a new area, there’s a huge learning curve, but I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s certainly a challenge; lots of the files are not simple, but it’s been great. >click to read<12:45

DFO recruiting fishery officers in N.L.

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) is looking to bring new fishery officers to the province. DFO’s conservation and protection unit is in the midst of a nation-wide recruitment campaign. Applications for new recruits will be accepted until Jan. 2. “Our fishery officers are on the water, on the wharves, in communities and at facilities ensuring the conservation and protection of species, and the long-term sustainability of Indigenous, commercial, and recreational fisheries,” reads a news release from DFO. >click to read<11:03