Tag Archives: Newfoundland

Shipwreck discovered off Newfoundland coast believed to be missing Galician vessel F/V Villa de Pitanxo

A shipwreck located off the coast of Newfoundland in Canada is believed to be that of the Galician vessel F/V Villa de Pitanxo. This news was relayed today by the underwater robot that had been submerged into the Atlantic Ocean yesterday, Saturday 4, from the ship ‘Ártabro’, which has been leading the search operation since departing Vigo last May 17. The Galician fishing boat sank on February 22, 2022, with the loss of 21 out of its 24-man crew. Only three of the crew members survived: the skipper, his nephew, and a sailor of Ghanaian origin. >click to read< 17:15

Snow crab harvesters prepared to stay on land as fisheries minister justifies secret ballot letter

Snow crab harvesters in Newfoundland say they’re still holding out on this year’s season in search of a better price, even after the province’s fisheries minister urged the Fish, Food & Allied Workers union to ask fishermen if they want to be on the water. “We’re at a standstill now. We can’t go fishing because right now the price, I mean it’s just too low at $2.20 a pound. It’s just not feasible to catch right now,” Jamie Stack, a snow crab fisherman in Petty Harbour. Stack and other harvesters spoke in response to a letter sent by Fisheries Minister Derrick Bragg to the FFAW on Wednesday, asking the union to hold a secret ballot vote to see if snow crab harvesters are ready to fish at $2.20 per pound as other provinces fish at similar prices. >click to read< 18:55

Morning Glory! Iceberg lovers go wild over viral photos of the ‘dickie berg’ off Newfoundland’s coast

A man from Dildo, N.L. has captured the attention of iceberg lovers after photographing an oddly-shaped hunk — now popularly known as the “dickie berg” on social media — off the coast of Newfoundland. “I’m gettin’ a lot of response, a lot of reaction to the photo because of its resemblance to … part of the male anatomy, say,” chuckled drone photographer Ken Pretty. In an interview Friday, Pretty said he noticed from his very first photograph that the iceberg, in an area of the province known as Conception Bay, had online potential. 2 photos, >click to read< 07:39

Supporting Innovation and Business Development in Ocean Technology

To enhance marketing and business development in the ocean technology industry, the Honourable Andrew Parsons, KC, Minister of Industry, Energy and Technology, today announced over $138,000 through the Business Development Support Program for two businesses operating in this sector. Notus Electronics Limited is a privately-owned, St. John’s-based manufacturer of hydro acoustic net monitoring solutions. SubC Imaging, founded by Chad Collett in 2010, designs and manufactures underwater cameras, systems, LED lighting, lasers, DVRs, and remote operations solutions.  >click to read< 19:50

‘What we’re looking for is a fair shake’: Newfoundland inshore crab fishers resume pop-up protests around St. John’s

They didn’t get a clear answer from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans on Monday, so inshore crab harvesters are holding “pop-up” protests again today, March 28, in St. John’s. Jason Sullivan and the 3L protestors say the crab stocks in the zone should be assessed as one biomass rather than as separate inshore and offshore stocks. That way, the protestors say, the inshore would be treated the same as the offshore fleets, using the same exploitation rate formulas if the crab stocks are growing.  >click to read<  14:52

‘The people’s fish’: Atlantic mackerel stocks have collapsed – can a moratorium bring them back?

Canada’s Atlantic mackerel population is a shadow of what it once was, and its decline threatens the well-being of the people who depend on it. Mackerel supports one of Atlantic Canada’s top recreational fisheries, and one of its oldest commercial fisheries. The fish is also used for bait, and it has an important place in Indigenous cultures. The same migratory stock supports recreational and commercial fisheries in the U.S. Last March, the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans closed Canada’s commercial and bait mackerel fisheries for one year and placed daily personal limits on the recreational fishery, to give the population time to rebound. But the U.S. fishery remains open, albeit with a reduced quota. Next week, federal Fisheries Minister Joyce Murray will decide whether to reopen the Canadian fishery. The DFO’s latest studies have found no sign of recovery in the mackerel stock. Photos, >click to read<  13:09

Persistence pays off for protesting fishermen – Hints of “flexibility”, and a meeting with DFO officials on Monday

Five days of persistence appears to be paying off for the 550 Newfoundland crab fishers from the 3L inshore fleet. The 3L fishing zone is off the island’s east coast. On Friday, March 24, the fishers received a letter from Fisheries and Oceans Minister Joyce Murray committing to review the possibility of amalgamation of the 3L inshore and offshore areas into one area of biomass. Murray also indicated in her letter, delivered to the Fish Food and Allied Workers’ (FFAW) union that “there is flexibility” in the precautionary approach framework,,, The protests this week, however, were not initiated by the FFAW. “I’ve gotta say thank you to Jason Sullivan. You sir deserve a medal for bringing this to light for 3L inshore fishing !! Without you I don’t think we’d be as far as we are,” wrote Jason Elliott. >click to read< 10:19

Angry inshore harvesters from fishing area 3L demand changes to allow for quota increases

A week of angry protests by inshore crab harvesters from eastern Newfoundland cooled slightly Friday following the promise by the federal fisheries minister of a review of their concerns, and a meeting on Monday between union and federal fisheries officials. Dozens of harvesters were summoned to a hotel in St. John’s on Friday morning by their union for an update on efforts to modify or rip up a management strategy that harvesters say is restricting their chances of higher quotas, and has the potential to drive many of them out of business as markets shrink following a banner year in 2022. There was talk of once again staging a protest, and at one point fisheries union president Greg Pretty donned his jacket and told protestors to follow him to DFO’s White Hills location. “Let’s go. Let’s get out,” Pretty said. >click to read< 13:51

Crab harvesters take protest inside St. John’s hotel as price-setting meetings continue

Newfoundland and Labrador’s crab fishermen resumed their protest Wednesday, calling for a quota increase and changes to the federal government’s fisheries management. Dozens of harvesters descended on a Fisheries and Oceans Canada office in the east end of St. John’s early Wednesday morning, with some using their vehicles to block traffic from coming in or out. Some used symbols of the fishery to protest, like a crab pot placed on the building’s flagpole. Fisherman Jason Sullivan said he and his colleagues are calling for changes to the precautionary approach framework that separates the inshore fishery of Zone 3L from the offshore fishery. >click to read< 16:44

Snow crab fishermen protest quota allocations on first day of price-setting

About 100 snow crab fishermen descended Monday on a St. John’s hotel, where officials had begun setting crab prices for the season, to protest a management system and quotas they say need an overhaul. The protest, at the Sheraton in downtown St. John’s, centred on a new precautionary approach designed to protect stocks, implemented in December by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, which manages inshore and offshore crab stocks differently. Bay Bulls fisherman Jason Sullivan says the change leaves them with less to catch. “These guys are at 30 per cent of their original quotas, and they need an increase,” Sullivan said Monday. “They’re catching their quotas in one single day.… . >click to read< 21:42

Protesting Fish Harvesters Interrupt Crab Price Setting Negotiations

The protesters fish in 3L, the area from Cape Freels to the southern Avalon. Instead of being one biomass, DFO has created two biomasses which protesters say leaves the inshore sector with less and the larger offshore boats with more. They accuse the union, the FFAW, of weak representation on the issue. Harvester Keith Boland says they’re upset about the way crab quotas are split. He says they have issued with the precautionary approach being taken and the way in which the department is dividing the biomass into inshore and offshore. “Years ago, there was no ‘inside 25 mile’….the crab moved in and the crab moved out,” He laments. “We’re not getting much science now.” >click to read< 13:22

The Fishing Revolution and the Origins of Capitalism

Fishing is older than humanity. Fishing for sale rather than consumption developed along with the emergence of class-divided urban societies about five thousand years ago. Getting fish to towns and cities where people could not catch it themselves required organized systems for catching, cleaning, preserving, transporting, and marketing. This was particularly true in the Roman Empire, where serving fresh fish at meals was a status symbol for the rich, and fish preserved by salting was an essential source of protein for soldiers and the urban poor. In addition to boats, an extensive shore-based infrastructure was needed to provide fish for millions of citizens and enslaved people: “elaborate concrete vats and other remains of ancient fish-processing plants have been found all along the coasts of Sicily, North Africa, Spain, and even Brittany on the North Atlantic. The first surviving account of fish depletion caused by overfishing was written in Rome, about 100 CE. >click to read< 10:29

Jason Sullivan to run for FFAW Presidency

Bay Bulls fisherman and President of SEA-NL Jason Sullivan has announced plans to run for the top job at the FFAW-Unifor, despite long odds against a candidate unanimously endorsed by the union executive. “It’s easy to criticize, but you have to be willing to put your neck out there and offer the membership an alternative,” says Sullivan. “It’s time to change the course of the FFAW and regain the trust of the membership through communication and listening and acting on concerns.” >click to read< 10:05

Newfoundland’s fishing towns were built to survive, but Fiona changed the game

For generations, Cory Munden’s family has been building and living on the same piece of oceanside land in the southwestern Newfoundland town of Port aux Basques. The town is a former fishing village, and like many of the houses destroyed by post-tropical storm Fiona on the morning of Sept. 24, the Munden family home was built by fishers. The land on which it stood was bought by Munden’s fisherman grandfather because it was close to where he worked, and it was protected by an offshore island. For 70 years, the houses on that land withstood the worst weather Newfoundland had to offer. Then Fiona hit. >click to read< 09:41

Repeated Failures: DFO ship woes hampering East Coast science surveys

DFO has missed multiple surveys as it struggles to bring new offshore fishery science vessels into service, and aging ships near retirement. Sailing restrictions imposed early in the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to the problem, but so too have breakdowns on older ships and part replacements needed on the two new ships stationed on the East Coast. The science surveys are used to assess the health of major fish stocks and are critical in determining quotas for commercial fisheries worth hundreds of millions of dollars in Atlantic Canada. “There’s huge consequences. We want to know what’s going on. We need the data,” said Carey Bonnell, vice-president of sustainability and engagement at St. John’s-based Ocean Choice International, which is a seafood company. >click to read< 08:13

The last days of the F/V Newfie Pride

There were many nights he didn’t sleep. The numbers and scenarios turned over and over in his mind, making rest impossible. “I’d get up two, three o’clock in the morning, night after night, come out to the kitchen table and work the numbers every which way, trying to figure out how we could make it work,” Roland Genge told SaltWire this week. In the end, the Anchor Point fisherman realized it just wasn’t financially possible to keep going. So, the Newfie Pride, the family’s 60-foot shrimp trawler, is dry docked in Port Saunders on Newfoundland’s Great Northern Peninsula, sporting a fresh coat of paint and a For Sale sign. >click to read< 15:26

Snowsuits, bits of destroyed homes being scooped out of sea post-Fiona

Shawn Bath says his team has pulled an estimated 80,000 pounds of debris from Newfoundland’s waters in the month since storm Fiona’s destruction, mostly parts of people’s homes and personal belongings. Starting the week after Fiona hit, his team of up to five people has removed between two and six boatloads of debris per day. The storm destroyed dozens of homes in Newfoundland, sweeping many of them right out to sea along the island’s southwest coast. Some things retrieved from the sea, like fishing gear, are being documented in the hope they can be returned to their owners, but Bath said much of it has been damaged beyond use. Bath’s team were able to untangle and free the lobsters before they perished. But he said there could be hundreds of other nets under the water with the potential to tangle and kill thousands of lobsters and other sea life. Photos, >click to read< 19:22

SEA-NL on foreign investment

Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (SEA-NL) says a provincial government review of foreign investment in the fish processing sector misses the boat entirely in terms of addressing the extent of foreign control and corporate concentration. “The report certainly has nice pictures,” says Ryan Cleary, SEA-NL’s Executive Director. “Beyond that the takeaway about foreign control and corporate concentration in the fishing industry is that Minister Derrick Bragg missed his calling as a window-dresser.” The report of foreign investment in the processing sector comes more than two years after the province approved Royal Greenland’s takeover of Quinlan Brothers and St. Anthony Seafoods in September 2020 upon recommendation of the Fish Processing Licensing Board earlier that month. >click to read< 10:11

Feds tight-lipped on seal summit in Newfoundland

Five months after Canada’s Fisheries and Oceans minister Joyce Murray responded to the Atlantic Seal Science Task Team (ASSTT) report by saying she would hold a summit on seals there are few details about the event, other than the dates. The summit is being held in St. John’s, N.L., Nov. 8 and 9. So far there’s no word on the location of the summit, the lineup of speakers or panelists, or an agenda for the two days. A Sept. 23 release from the minister’s office offers very little information. That worries Bob Hardy, who was a member of the ASSTT. His main concern is that DFO appears to have organized the summit with little if any input from industry or stakeholders. >click to read< 15:53

After Fiona’s wrath, Atlantic fishing communities look to rebuild livelihoods

All week, fishermen across Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick were left to reckon with the damage left in Fiona’s wake, and to the region’s industry, which exports more than $4.5-billion worth of seafood each year. But as officials plan for the future, they face two competing priorities: the need to rebuild fast to be ready for the coming fishing season and the need to rethink infrastructure entirely in the face of climate change – a costlier, and potentially slower, approach.  “PEI’s a mess. Newfoundland’s a mess. Nova Scotia’s a mess. And it’s all the same people who are fixing them,” said Leonard LeBlanc, President of the Gulf Nova Scotia Fishermen’s Coalition >click to read< 10:03

Newfoundland fishers face livelihood questions after Fiona storm damage

Colourful fishing stages bobbed in the water by Rose Blanche-Harbour Le Cou Tuesday as Cliff Bateman watched from his property. Days earlier, the picturesque buildings that are used to land and process fish were upright before post-tropical storm Fiona swept them into the ocean by the southwestern Newfoundland town. Bateman watched the storm toss them through the water. “It’s a big loss, I tell you that,” he said from inside his kitchen. The now-retired fisherman said he stored a priceless accumulation of gear and history inside the structures that were passed down through his family, some built over 100 years ago. >click to read< 10:08

Public Advisory: Hurricane Fiona Incident Command Centre Established; Registration Details for Canadian Red Cross

In the aftermath of Hurricane Fiona, an Incident Command Centre team has been established to assist communities in southwestern Newfoundland. For impacted individuals that are in need of supports, it is critical that they register with the Canadian Red Cross by calling toll-free at 1-800-863-6582 or visiting the emergency shelter at St. James Regional High School located at 200 Hardys Arterial Road, Channel-Port aux Basques. >click to read< 17:31

Body found as Canada struggles to restore power after storm – ‘Everything is unusable’

Hundreds of thousands of people in Atlantic Canada remained without power Sunday and officials said they found the body of a woman swept into the sea after former Hurricane Fiona washed away houses, stripped off roofs and blocked roads across the country’s Atlantic provinces. After surging north from the Caribbean, Fiona came ashore before dawn Saturday as a post-tropical cyclone, battering Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Quebec with hurricane-strength winds, rains and waves. >click to read<

‘Everything is unusable’: Fishers, farmers assess damage as Fiona wreaks havoc on industry – Officials have said areas exposed to storm surges have seen the most severe damage from the storm. In Morell, the Red Head Harbour wharf was almost completely totalled. Ken Drake was one of the fishers who spent Friday night there keeping an eye on their boats. He said all the boats have at least some damage. >click to read< 08:05

‘This is going to be a bad one’: Newfoundland’s hardy fishermen, not usually ruffled, wait in fear for Fiona

Andy Francis points to the sky, where low-lying clouds race north. Francis, like so many Newfoundlanders along the island’s southwestern shore, comes from a long line of fishermen, known collectively as the Port aux Basques’ local meteorologists. They’re used to high winds and stomach-churning waves. But what’s on the way has most of them squinting in worry at the sea and sky Friday morning. Combined with a high tide, rain and winds, Francis says most of what’s close to the water, like docks, boats, fishing stages and even houses could be gone after Hurricane Fiona takes her leave. Dennis Stone spent the morning shoring up his trailer with cinderblocks, hoping the wind won’t tip it over.  He, too, doesn’t like the sound of the forecast. If the water rises high enough, it could be costly to fix the damage and get back on the water, he says. Photos, >click to read< 18:06

FFAW, N.L. government team up in push back against lobster, snow crab being labeled foods to avoid

Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program which runs what it calls a science-based seafood recommendation list to inform consumers, chefs, and business professionals, placed all Canadian lobster and snow crab on an “avoid” list because of what the group calls a potential impact for North Atlantic right whales to become entangled in fishing gear. But Jason Spingle, secretary treasurer of the Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW), says the snow crab and lobster recommendation is “totally unfounded.” Spingle said of the hundreds of harvesters he has heard from, none have actually seen a right whale while fishing. What’s more, Spingle said, he only knows of two sightings in Newfoundland waters, neither during lobster fishing season and zero reports of entanglements. >click to read< 07:37

Supply ships, Coast Guard help rescue seven people and two dogs from sinking fishing vessel

“This was a good day. This is as best as you can hope for in a situation that’s grave like this,” said Mark Gould, a regional supervisor with the Coast Guard’s Marine Search and Rescue. The mayday call came around 1:00 a.m. from the F/V Gypsy Mariner, a fishing boat from Quebec, as it was taking on water about 60 nautical miles off St. John’s. The Maritime Rescue Sub Centre directed all nearby vessels to the scene. The two supply ships, the Atlantic Griffon and the Atlantic Shrike, and a Canadian Forces Hercules aircraft were the first to arrive at the scene. A Coast Guard cormorant helicopter arrived about 30 minutes later.  “We did drop a pump to the vessel just in case there was a way to save it, but it quickly became clear that that wasn’t going to be an option,” >click to read< 21:33

F/V Villa de Pitanxo: “this is very similar to the Alvia, the Yak-42 and Spanair, politicians who do not assume their responsibilities”

The families of the 21 deceased in the Villa de Pitanxo traveled this Friday to the Sub delegation of the Government in Pontevedra to read a manifesto in which they show their discomfort with the central Government of Pedro Sánchez for failing to fulfill its commitment to “do everything possible and impossible” to investigate what happened. The promise was made by the president on the night of February 21, when the nine bodies located in Terranova arrived by plane to Santiago de Compostela, and almost six months later they remind him that “he does not fulfill his commitment.” Kevin González, son of one of those killed in the shipwreck, read the statement on behalf of the 21 families of those killed in the shipwreck, accompanied by a small representation of relatives and two banners with the faces of the sailors who did not survive the sinking and with their claims. Photos, >click to read< (you may need to click translate)16:27

How did a captain survive? – The mysterious death of 21 men on a Spanish fishing boat

On 15 February, the Villa de Pitanxo, a Galician fishing boat sank off the coast of Canada in mysterious circumstances. The families of 21 men who lost their lives that night are campaigning to ensure the truth of the tragedy is revealed and that those responsible face justice. Investigators have been trying to understand what caused the accident and surviving crew members have very different versions of what went wrong. Video, >click to watch< 10:49


Good afternoon, FFAW will be holding a rally tomorrow, July 15th, in Port-au-Choix to support the inshore shrimp fishery. The demonstration is in response to Royal Greenland and Ocean Choice International deliberately acting in poor faith and causing economic distress to inshore harvesters in NL. The rally will begin at 2pm and people are asked to gather in the parking lot of Ocean Choice International, 10 Fisher Street, Port-au-Choix. All inshore fish harvesters, processing plant workers, and concerned residents in the area are encouraged to attend and express their support for provincial government to act.  ASP Member, Royal Greenland, Deliberately Hurting NL Inshore FisheryMEDIA RELEASE: Northern Peninsula Shrimp Fleet Facing Crisis-16:55

Crews in Colliers carefully dismantle shipwrecked fishing vessel

A ship that sank in Newfoundland’s Conception Bay 16 years ago is now being demolished and will be recycled, according to the Canadian Coast Guard. The Hamilton Banker has a lengthy history. The fishing vessel sank in June 2006 in Harbour Grace, before being refloated and towed to nearby Colliers. Andrew Wakeham, a senior response officer with the coast guard’s environmental response program, says the ship eventually drifted ashore and ran aground during the January 2020 blizzard known as Snowmageddon, and has remained there ever since. photos, Video, >click to read< 12:06