Tag Archives: Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Sipekne’katik giving back lobster licences to DFO, starting own fishery

Sipkne’katik First Nation will announce Thursday, the voluntary relinquishment and return of their commercial licences to Fisheries and Oceans Canada. At the same event, they will announce their plans for their own self-regulated moderate livelihood fishery and a joint study with Dalhousie University’s marine affairs program. The move sets them squarely at odds with Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan, who in March issued a statement saying that DFO will work with First Nations to implement moderate livelihood fisheries this year but they must occur during established commercial seasons. >click to read< 17:16

2021 Yukon River Chinook salmon run will likely be small, according to forecast

Somewhere between 42,000 and 77,000 Canadian-origin fish are anticipated to make the journey from the Bering Sea this year, Alaska and Yukon experts told attendees during the Yukon River Panel’s pre-season meeting on Tuesday. The most likely run size would be 57,000, they said. That’s smaller than the pre season outlooks for 2020 and 2019, and both those years ended disastrously when it came to getting enough salmon across the border. Under an international treaty, Canada and the U.S. are supposed to work together to ensure at least 42,500 fish make it to their spawning waters in Yukon. That spawning escapement goal hasn’t been met since 2018, last year only about 33,000 Chinook made it. >click to read< 13:21

The flawed plan to rebuild Canada’s Northern cod – DFO’s plan is riddled with science and policy weaknesses

Canada is on the cusp of an inauspicious anniversary. Next year will mark 30 years since Newfoundland’s 500-year-old Northern cod fishery was shut down. The fishery was closed on July 2, 1992, because of a massive decline in the cod population, as much as 95 per cent, between the early 1960s and the early 1990s. The socioeconomic consequences were staggering: 30,000 to 40,000 jobs vanished overnight. Closure of what once was the largest cod fishery in the world stimulated an exodus of 10 per cent of the province’s population by the turn of the 21st century. Resource depletion was not anticipated when the federal Fisheries Act was passed in 1868.  >click to read< 06:25

Dimed Out! Call Leads to the Bust of Commercial Prawn Harvester fishing in a closed area

Hai A. Trinh was found guilty in Powell River Provincial Court for fishing in a closed area of Desolation Sound, retaining undersize prawns, and other violations of the Fisheries Act. The Honourable Justice Leven Wingham ordered the commercial prawn harvester to pay a fine of $30,000 and forfeit the value of his catch, which sold for $12,630. On June 18, 2019, fishery officers received information from the public about a commercial prawn fishing vessel operating in a closed area. >click to read< 17:18

DFO backtracks on rule that harvesters warned would destroy the local spot prawn industry

“The Minister has been informed that for this season, [conservation and protection’s] enforcement posture toward the practice of tubbing will be one of outreach and education,” reads a statement from the office of Minister Bernadette Jordan. James Lawson, a prawn harvester from Heiltsuk First Nation, says the latest announcement is cold comfort to fishermen like him. “They know the solution: just don’t bring [the change] in. Everyone is furious, the consumers, the prawn fishermen, it’s just ridiculous. People want local seafood and we want to supply it.” >click to read< 21:08

British Columbia: Prawn harvesters furious over DFO ‘tubbing’ ban – “Why are they reinventing the wheel?”

For decades harvesters in remote locations have flash-frozen one-pound tubs of a couple-dozen prawns in native sea water,,, This week Fisheries and Oceans Canada announced the practice of tubbing will be prohibited, as the block of ice prevents DFO inspectors from having ready access to the prawns inside.,, “Prawn harvesters have been using this method to store their catch for more than 50 years. “It would be just horrible for us,” said Prince Rupert prawn harvester Peter Haugen. “Why are they reinventing the wheel?” >click to read< 13:06

Fisheries Minister Jordan: A new path for First Nations to fish in pursuit of a moderate livelihood

We have never stopped working with First Nations to reach agreements and implement their right to a moderate livelihood. That is why effective this season, we will introduce a new path for First Nations to fish in pursuit of a moderate livelihood, one that addresses much of the feedback we’ve heard over the past year. This plan will support individuals, their families, and their communities. It’s a path that is flexible, adaptable, and based on three key principles: implementation of First Nations Treaty rights, conservation and sustainability of fish stocks, and transparent and stable management of the fishery. >click to read< 21:53

Canada launches new aircraft to improve conservation and ocean protection

Fishery officers require state of the art aerial surveillance equipment to continue the important work they conduct protecting Canada’s marine resources, ensuring compliance with fisheries management measures and enforcing the Fisheries Act from coast to coast to coast. In 2019, Fisheries and Oceans Canada announced a five-year, $128 million contract with PAL Aerospace-located in St. John’s, to deliver a new fleet of four aerial surveillance aircrafts, including two long-range maritime patrol aircrafts. When operational, the planes will fly out of three bases of operation: St. John’s, Newfoundland and LabradorHalifax, Nova Scotia; and a brand new facility in Campbell River, British Columbia. >click to read< 15:22

Canada outlines its 2021 measures to protect North Atlantic right whales

The Government of Canada remains committed to protecting the endangered North Atlantic right whale. To help prevent entanglements with fishing gear, Fisheries and Oceans Canada is building on last year’s successful measures by continuing to close fishing areas wherever and whenever North Atlantic right whales are present in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Bay of Fundy, and Roseway Basin Critical Habitat,,, To help prevent collisions with vessels, Transport Canada will be re-implementing its 2020 season measures, including a restriction on vessel speed throughout much of the Gulf of St. Lawrence to protect areas where whales are detected,,, >click to read< 17:06

Canada’s sockeye salmon find their way home again after 50 years

For the first time in over 50 years, spawning sockeye salmon will return to Okanagan Lake in British Columbia,,, A fish ladder, left inoperable after the Penticton Dam was built in the 1950s, has been restored by the Okanagan Nation Alliance and Fisheries and Oceans Canada. A crane was used to remove a wooden gate blocking off the narrow concrete passage, opening the way for fish to get through.  “To watch that gate go up, and to know that fish can finally return to their historic grounds, was a tearful moment,” she said. McFayden is a member of the Okanagan River Restoration Initiative (ORRI) and the Okanagan Similkameen Conservation Alliance. >click to read< 07:55

Advocates say B.C. needs a fisheries minister

Each year, about 196,000 tonnes of seafood, everything from salmon to scallops, is harvested off the B.C. coast. But unlike its East Coast counterparts, the province doesn’t have a fisheries minister. In the past several decades, the province has seen tumbling salmon populations, an increasingly inequitable distribution of the fisheries’ economic benefits and a drop in local processing capacity. All have eaten away at coastal communities, and the province’s ability to feed itself from the sea, a situation that advocates say calls for a minister dedicated to the portfolio. >click to read< 18:38

Nova Scotia: Residents raise alarm over causeway’s threat to local fish stocks

“This river is already dying, we’re already losing all of our fish, and along with losing all of our fish, we’re losing our rights as well,” said Nikki Lloyd, of the Annapolis Valley First Nation. Darren Porter, a local fisherman and fishery spokesperson for the Fundy United Federation, said over many years, he’s seen a reduction in productivity for both professional and recreational fishers. Government efforts, he alleged, to improve passage times have fallen short of what’s required to keep the ecosystem healthy. >click to read< 13:08

Drilling fluid spill from Hibernia platform shuts down production

Newfoundland and Labrador’s offshore regulatory board is reporting a spill of drilling and production fluid from the Hibernia platform during well operations on Sunday, leading to an immediate shutdown of production. The Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board said the spill was reported Monday by the Hibernia Management and Development Company after water sampling indicated an “exceedance of produced water discharge.” Produced water is a mixture of seawater from the reservoir, used in injection, with drilling and production fluids for normal production operations, according to a press release from the C-NLOPB. >click to read< 16:49

Critics say federal government is wiping out commercial pink salmon fisheries

In emails obtained by the BC Wildlife Federation, British Columbia government staff and scientists say Fisheries and Oceans Canada is burying science and misrepresenting a crisis situation to the public, risking extinction of Thompson-Chilcotin steelhead trout. In the fall of 2017, only an estimated 150 Thompson fish returned alongside just 77 to the Chilcotin down from thousands just a decade and a half ago. The email chain shows the DFO changed the wording of a public scientific document that is based on peer reviewed science. >click to read<  18:40

Fisheries and Oceans Canada Blunder – Expert says feds should have acted more quickly on right whale migration

Fisheries and Oceans Canada says it has sighted another dead endangered right whale drifting off the Gaspé Peninsula, bringing the total number of deaths in Canadian waters this year to six. The government was still assessing recovery and necropsy options for this sixth whale. The new information late Thursday came as an expert said Canadian officials did not respond quickly enough to this year’s migration of North Atlantic right whales. >click to read< 08:55

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

British Columbia: What is behind the sockeye salmon collapse?

The sockeye salmon run this year, is, according to Fisheries and Oceans Canada and other reputable sources, down considerably. The reason for this, depends on who you talk to. Aaron Hill, executive director of Watershed Watch Salmon Society, says part of the problem is the fisheries ministry has dragged its feet on the Cohen Commission recommendations. The Cohen Commission, created in 2009, issued a report in 2012 with 75 recommendations on how Fisheries and Oceans Canada (working with its provincial partner) could monitor and safeguard the Pacific salmon fisheries. click here to read the story 11:43

Canada: Atlantic bluefin tuna not listed as an endangered species

Atlantic bluefin tuna will not be listed on the endangered species list, a decision released Wednesday.  The federal government’s final decision was published in the Canada Gazette saying it would not be listed under the Species at Risk Act (SARA).  Fisheries and Oceans Canada rejected advice to list the species as endangered last summer, saying western Atlantic bluefin tuna stocks have been rebuilding since 2011, when the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) said tuna should be listed as an endangered species under federal species-at-risk legislation. Included in the decision was the government’s rationale and the steps that will be taken to help in its recovery. If the species would have been listed on SARS, it would no longer have been allowed to be fished commercially. The in Halfax is calling on the government to take steps to work and conserve the species. (of course!) click here to read the story 08:21

Report: Newfoundland cod stocks on rebound, but still at critically low levels

A new federal report says northern cod stocks off eastern Newfoundland continue to grow 25 years after a sweeping moratorium, but warns they remain in the “critical zone.” The Fisheries and Oceans Canada update concludes fishing should be kept to the lowest possible levels as a precaution. It finds that while total biomass was up seven per cent from 2015 to 2016, stocks are still at critically low levels. The report says there was a spawning biomass of about 300,000 tonnes in 2015. Fisheries biologist Karen Dwyer says a spawning biomass of about 900,000 tonnes would support a more extensive commercial fishery. Link 10:55

The cod are coming back to Newfoundland — and they’re eating the shrimp that had taken over

Theodore Genge has a big beautiful new dragger that’ll be ready to head for “the Labrador” as soon as the sea ice loosens its grip on Anchor Point. When the 63-year-old Newfoundland fisherman began building the $2.2 million trawler two years ago he had 750,000 pounds worth of shrimp quota to catch. But plummeting shrimp numbers in the cold water off Labrador have led Fisheries and Oceans Canada to drastically carve into quotas for that coast. Genge expects that by April he’ll be left with a total of 300,000 lbs of quotas — 220,000 lbs in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, where there is still plenty of shrimp, and 80,000 lbs on the Labrador coast. “Right now, yes, it’s pretty stressful – I don’t know whether there’s any hope or no,” said Genge. (Big read!) continue reading the article here 16:25

Herring stock falling to critical level say scientists at Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Even if there was a two-year hiatus in the spring herring fishery in the Gulf of St Lawrence, there would still be a 90 per cent chance the fish stocks would remain at critical levels, say scientists at Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Herring stocks have been dwindling for two decades. Despite the advice of its own scientists, Fisheries and Oceans Canada still allowed 2,000 tonnes of spring herring to be caught in 2016, and will allow the same this year. Federal herring biologist Jenni McDermid said there is a risk of pushing these fish beyond the recovery point. Read the story here 11:33

DFO justifies Area 6 northern shrimp catch by offshore fleet

Northern_Pink_ShrimpFisheries and Oceans Canada is defending its decision to allow offshore factory freezer trawlers to catch northern shrimp this spring, even though its own scientists say the stock is vulnerable to collapse. Inshore fishermen have criticized the fishing, because 2016 quotas have not yet been set, and could be cut significantly. Glenn Best, who fishes shrimp off Fogo Island, said the so-called “bridging policy” should not have been applied in Area 6 at a time when stocks are under review. “The [cod] moratorium would be a walk in the park compared to what’s going to happen if we lose this shrimp,” he said. “This is the bread and butter. This is what sustains communities from Fogo Island to St. Anthony to southern Labrador. We need this shrimp. Why are we taking chances with it?” Read the rest here 10:10

Redistribution of Quota has P.E.I. halibut fishermen disappointed with lowered catch

li-halibut-caught-fileP.E.I. fishermen will have less halibut to catch this year after a last-minute decision by Fisheries and Oceans Canada to redistribute the quota. The decision means the Island’s share of the allowed catch will drop down to 40 tonnnes from 46 tonnes — a 13-per-cent decrease — in a fishery that opens Sunday. “We’re still in a state of shock,” said the chair of the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association’s groundfish advisory board, Tony Carter. “We’re back to ground zero, basically.” All three Maritime provinces saw their quotas drop in the DFO decision Monday, while fishermen in Newfoundland and Labrador and Quebec got an increase. This reverses a decision made last year by former federal fisheries minister and Island MP Gail Shea. Read the rest here 09:35

As Canada probes Haida Gwaii ocean fertilizing, new project proposed in Chile

The federal government is still investigating an experiment off the West Coast almost four years ago aimed at boosting salmon stocks that sparked an international outcry. Now a former director and operations officer of Haida Salmon Restoration Corp. says he wants to carry out another ocean-fertilizing exercise, this time off South America. Jason McNamee says the company Oceaneos, where he serves as chief operations officer, has been in talks about fertilizing the ocean with iron with the Chilean government, which could not be reached for comment. In July 2012, the now-inactive Haida Salmon Restoration travelled to international waters near the islands of Haida Gwaii where it dumped 100 tonnes of iron sulphate into the water in an effort to restore waning salmon stocks. Read the rest here 08:26

B.C. First Nation vows to stop herring roe fishery in its territory

The Tla’amin First Nation has served notice that it will take action to halt any commercial herring roe fishery in its traditional territory. A band council resolution sent to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) says a commercial fishery would cause “irreversible damage” to a herring stock that is just showing signs of recovery after a catastrophic collapse in the 1980s. “If the decision of Fisheries and Oceans Canada is to proceed with the commercial herring fishery, Tla’amin Nation will take steps to restrain the mismanagement of the fishery,” the resolution reads. A DFO manager alerted the band’s fisheries manager Kevin Timothy to the possibility of a commercial opening in waters near Powell River. Read the rest here 08:24

FFAW-Unifor NEWS RELEASE: Thousands of Jobs at Risk in Northern Shrimp Fishery

SHRIMP-master675Thursday, February 25, 2016 St. John’s – Thousands of harvesting and processing jobs in rural Newfoundland and Labrador may be lost if the current fisheries management policies for northern shrimp are maintained. The Fish Food and Allied Workers Union (FFAW-Unifor) is providing further details on the impact of sharp declines in the northern shrimp stock as outlined in Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s (DFO) stock status report. “The implications of the stock status report, if they are confirmed, will be challenging if DFO’s quota allocation policies do not change,” said Keith Sullivan, President of the FFAW. Read the press release here 11:56

Kits Coast Guard Station will be reopened says Fisheries Minister

hunter-tootooIt’s official, the Kits Coast Guard Station will be reopened. Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Hunter Tootoo, made the announcement at a press conference outside the base. A timeline has not been given, but the base will be opened “as soon as possible.” “The Prime Minister made the commitment to re-open the Kitsilano Canadian Coast Guard Base and we are delivering on that commitment,” said Tootoo. “I have directed my officials to begin restoration work as soon as possible,,, Read the article here 15:21

Canada’s new Liberal government says it is currently developing priorities for the lobster industry

hunter-tootooCanada’s new Liberal government is in no rush to implement Stephen Harper’s promise aimed at wooing voters in Atlantic Canada during the recent federal election of $20 million in funding for lobster promotion and research. Harper made the pledge Sept. 10 in New Annan, P.E.I. and promised $5 million for research and $15 million over three years to the Halifax-based Lobster Council of Canada to promote lobster sales. Fisheries and Oceans Canada would not address Harper’s promise, saying new Fisheries Minister Hunter Tootoo is developing priorities. Read the rest here 08:44

Liberals to reopen Maritime Rescue Sub-centre in St. John’s

hunter-tootooNew federal Fisheries Minister Hunter Tootoo and the Liberal government will reopen the Maritime Rescue Sub-centre in St. John’s. The Nunavut MP signed the mandate given to him by new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a letter nine days after he was sworn in as the minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The sub-centre was closed in 2012 despite loud outcry from advocates and fishermen. Provincial and municipal politicians — such as St. John’s Mayor Dennis O’Keefe —have lobbied since to have it reopened. Read the rest here 08:32

U.S. crab-fishing troubles could boost B.C.

dungenesscrabB.C.’s crab fishermen are waiting to see if demand picks up for their catch as the presence of an algae-borne toxin postpones much of California’s crab fishing. Storms have dissipated an algae bloom off B.C.’s coast. Even at its height in the summer, the massive bloom did not have the high concentrations of algae associated with demoic acid that showed up off the U.S., said Ian Perry, a research scientist with Fisheries and Oceans Canada in Nanaimo, on Friday. That has allowed B.C.’s fishery for sweet Dungeness crab to remain open. Read the rest here 15:29