Tag Archives: Newfoundland and Labrador

LETTER: Standing up for our fishery

A famous Newfoundland and Labrador politician was once asked about the impact of seals on the fish stocks off our coast. He replied using the wit many good Newfoundland orators are known for and said something to the effect of well, they don’t eat Kentucky Fried Chicken.  He was absolutely right then and the same holds true today as we see thousands of tons of fish consumed daily off our shores by these cute-looking mammals with voracious appetites for cod, crab and other lucrative species; the same fish our harvesters and processors depend on,,, by Paul Lane  >click to read< 07:21

Arnold’s Cove company investing $10M in high-tech plant

The president and CEO of Icewater Seafoods in Arnold’s Cove wants more cod.,, He said his company is investing $10 million over three years to buy the latest cod-processing technology, and claims Icewater is the only North American processor dedicated full-time to Atlantic cod production. Seventy-five per cent of the $10 million is coming in the form of conditionally repayable loans from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and the Atlantic Fisheries Fund. >click to read< 09:56

LETTER: ‘World class’ means something different in Newfoundland and Labrador. Smoke and Mirrors!

Here in Newfoundland and Labrador we routinely hear politicians and private industry speak of the “world class” qualities of whatever they are promoting. Whether it is megaprojects, various standards or qualities of whatever public or private business is involved — or just about anything it seems — our cup runs over with world class items. Here are a few examples: “The Muskrat Falls project is world class”; “The salmon aquaculture industry in Newfoundland and Labrador is world class” and recently, the new rules touted by our provincial government to regulate the aquaculture industry here are described as “surpassing the world as the place of best practise for aquaculture.” From the now six-week unfolding of the massive Fortune Bay farmed salmon die off,,, by David Downton >click to read< 09:33

2.6 million farmed salmon dead on south coast of Newfoundland, company says

A massive salmon die-off on Newfoundland’s south coast has led to the suspension of licences for Northern Harvest Sea Farms in Newfoundland and Labrador. The die-off first occurred on Sept. 3, but information about the incident did not go public until weeks later. No estimate for the amount of dead salmon in the Northern Harvest pens were disclosed until Friday, when the company announced 2.6 million salmon had died. “As a result of the ongoing investigation and evidence of non-compliance,,, >click to read< 14:45

FISH-NL launches ‘Full-Steam Ahead’ crowdfunding campaign

FISH-NL launched the “Full-Steam Ahead” public crowdfunding campaign today to raise $40,000 to support the ongoing province-wide membership drive. “Every time FISH-NL has put out a call for support, inshore harvesters, their families and our supporters in rural Newfoundland and Labrador have answered,” says Cleary. “We need you once again to push this movement over the top.” >click to read< 16:12

Police called as FISH-NL execs crash FFAW meeting in Baie Verte – Cleary and Leonard physically forced out

The president of an upstart fisheries union says he didn’t barge in on an meeting in search of a confrontation with the union that represents the province’s in-shore harvesters, but a confrontation is what he got.,,, What ensued was momentary, aggressive chaos, as Cleary shouted “I tell the truth” and “we want a debate,” amid other people yelling and swearing, before meeting attendees physically forced him and Leonard from the room. The RCMP were also called to the incident. >click to read<  16:37

“You never know the mind of a squid” – The squid’s short lifespan makes it hard to study

Late this summer, squid showed up in abundance in many bays in the province, a sight not seen in several harbours, including Holyrood, for decades. Why have the squid finally come back?,,, The squid that come into Newfoundland and Labrador waters are called northern shortfin squid. While they’ve been seen in great numbers near beaches, squid don’t come here to spawn. In fact, according to Baker, there are no known spawning sites in all of Canada. “The female squid that we see here are actually immature and maturing,” >click to read<  08:09

Harvey Jarvis: Blame for fisheries woes lies with the union

Lately there seems to be more news stories about problems in the fishery then there are rodents at the Robin Hood Bay landfill. The province is blaming Canada, the provincial parties are blaming each other and the Fish, Food and Allied Workers-Unifor is blaming everyone but themselves for the mismanagement of our fisheries. The root cause of the problems with our inshore fishery today is it is micromanaged to a level that a fish harvester cannot go to the washroom without permission. Wither it be for a new species, an abundant species or a species deemed to be in the critical zone, there are more layers of management in Newfoundland and Labrador then there are Unifor members in the public service of Canada. “>click to read< 09:04

“we’ll go out with our vessels and we’ll get in the way”, FFAW vows to stop oil and gas exploration in crab fishing area

Newfoundland and Labrador’s largest fishermen’s union says oil companies shouldn’t be able to explore in some of the province’s most productive crab fishing areas — and members will stop them if necessary. Last week the C-NLOPB issued a call for nominations, asking oil companies which areas they’d be interested in bidding on. “We are not going to stand by and let someone take our livelihood,” said Fish Food and Allied Workers executive board member Nelson Bussey, who has fished for 43 years, on Thursday. “We’ve put too much into this. It’s our life, it’s our industry and we’re not going to stand by. If we’ve got to do it, we’ll go out with our vessels and we’ll get in the way.” >click to read<  20:36

Following seal predation report, FFAW calls for government action

FFAW-Unifor accuses the Department of Fisheries and Oceans of remaining “complacent while evidence mounts that an overpopulation of seals is having a serious impact on important fish species.” A study conducted by DFO shows that a lack of cod recovery in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence may be caused by predation by grey seals, and could account for up to 50 per cent of natural cod mortality. This is limiting the cod stock’s recovery, DFO said. An assessment predicts a 32 per cent drop in cod numbers over the next four years. >click to read<  10:03

What Newfoundland and Labrador could learn from the worst offshore oil disaster in U.S. history

Marine scientist Donald Boesch says the controversy fuelled by recent oil spills off Canada’s East Coast has some “fairly interesting and striking comparisons” to his past work examining how the offshore (oil) industry is managed, as part of a U.S. inquiry into the Deepwater Horizon disaster.,,, Boesch says one of the most critical lessons the commission learned is that the U.S. agency overseeing offshore oil in the gulf had a conflict of interest built into its mandate.,,, Critics have accused the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) of having a similar conflict. >click to read< 10:26

Governmental Hypocricy? N.L. fish plant owner ‘completely floored’ over gov’t cod market decision

The owner of a fish plant near Lewisporte is taken aback by the news that processors from outside Newfoundland and Labrador are going to be allowed to buy locally caught cod, when she says her operation has been denied that same ability. “I was completely floored. I couldn’t believe it,” said Alisha Hodder, who runs Hodder’s Shellfish in Stoneville with her husband. The Stoneville plant processes sea urchin,,, >click to read< 09:21

Outside buyers allowed in cod market as fishermen protest in St. John’s, Old Perlican

Buyers from outside the province will have a 14-day window to purchase cod from Newfoundland and Labrador harvesters, Gerry Byrne’s announcement comes as members of the The Fish Food And Allied Workers Union set up on the waterfront in St. John’s Monday morning, giving their cod catches away for free to protest what they say is a processors’ refusal to buy it. Union members are also protesting outside the Royal Greenland plant in Old Perlican, and the FFAW said it submitted an official request to Byrne Monday morning, asking that outside buyers be allowed into the market. >click to read< 16:48

FISH-NL asks Ottawa to review quota-sharing arrangements of adjacent stocks – A Letter to Fisheries Minister Wilkinson

“There should be no difference between the fish and oil off our shores in terms of who the principle beneficiary must be — Newfoundland and Labrador,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “That’s not the case with species like turbot, halibut, snow crab and scallops, which is unacceptable.” “Newfoundland and Labrador is slowly losing access to the fish off its shores, which, if not stopped and reversed, will be lethal to the culture and way of life.” In a letter Tuesday to federal Fisheries and Oceans Minister John Wilkinson, Cleary noted that Canada only holds 15 per cent of the turbot quota on the entire Grand Banks, with the remaining 85 per cent held by counties like the European Union, Japan, and Russia. >click to read<08:32

Fishermen say price is right this year for northern shrimp and lobster

Shrimp and lobster prices have plummeted in recent years, but what about this season? Fishermen say the price is right.  Video, >click to watch<13:25

Two years after CETA took effect, fisheries minister says Tory exemptions devalued the industry

In 2013, negotiations between Canada and the European Union over the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, or CETA, included talks on how Newfoundland and Labrador might be compensated for losses once the deal was implemented. The provincial PC government of the time insisted on a $400-million compensation program, noted Byrne. “I can certainly understand why they’d take that position,” Byrne said. But that fund never materialized, >click to read<10:56

Politicians mum on fisheries during election campaign, says advocate

Kimberly Orren works to spread knowledge of the fishery’s place in Newfoundland and Labrador’s culture, but says politicians haven’t been spreading much of anything about the industry during this ongoing election campaign. Orren, a board member of the non-profit social enterprise Fishing For Success, said she’s been disappointed by the lack of talk she’s perceived. “There’s been no discourse about the fishery or fishing in the election talks so far. And I’m wondering where is it?” >click to read<09:24

Newfoundland and Labrador: Fishing for the future – a two-part series

Since he was 12, Trent Emberley fished with his father. Now many years later, they still fish together. This generational bond through fishing was common throughout the lineages of Newfoundland and Labrador. But today, many in the province are calling it a rare sight. Even rarer, now at the age of 23, Emberley has signed off on his own inshore fishing enterprise. With his required five years experience as a full-time harvester, his level II certification, and massive investments for his boat and quotas begun, the Southern Harbour man has laid the foundations for a career in the industry.,,,>click to read part one<The Prime Berth Fishing Heritage Centre, the first structure past the causeway into Twillingate Island, is run by owner and harvester David Boyd. “One of the goals is to see the licences in Atlantic Canada remain in the hands of independent owner/operators, not to corporations or processing companies. >click to read part two<09:45

Provincial government creating more opportunity for Newfoundland and Labrador shrimp processors

The provincial government has struck a deal with offshore shrimp companies and onshore processors that will see more product handled in Newfoundland and Labrador.  As of April 15, offshore companies landing frozen-at-sea industrial shrimp — smaller shrimp, frozen with the shell on — will give onshore processors the opportunity to buy through a new process. Previously, only a small fraction of industrial shrimp was processed in this province. >click to read<12:12

Caplin news not strong: DFO

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) said Monday that despite a small increase in 2018, the spring acoustic abundance index remains at a relatively low level, similar to levels observed in the late 2000s. “A new forecast model predicts that the abundance index will increase slightly in 2019, but decrease in 2020,” a technical briefing document states.What this information means for the caplin fishery this upcoming season is no real change from last year. >click to read<17:43

Study looks at socio-economic impact of offshore oil and gas industry in Newfoundland and Labrador

A newly-released study exploring the socio-economic impact of the offshore petroleum industry over a three-year period from 2015-17 offers a clear snapshot of how much it contributes to Newfoundland and Labrador’s prosperity.  But while the numbers remain big, they’re also in decline when assessing both the direct and indirect impact the industry is having on the province. Funded by Petroleum Research Newfoundland and Labrador (PRNL), a non-profit organization supported by big oil companies operating in the province, the study confirms the industry is still an essential element to gross domestic profit. >click to read<14:36

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<

Building blocks of ocean food web in rapid decline as plankton productivity plunges

They’re teeny, tiny plants and organisms but their impact on ocean life is huge.​ Phytoplankton and zooplankton that live near the surface are the base of the ocean’s food system. Everything from small fish, big fish, whales and seabirds depend on their productivity. “They actually determine what’s going to happen, how much energy is going to be available for the rest of the food chain,” explained Pierre Pepin, a senior researcher with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans in St. John’s. Pepin says over the past 3-4 years, scientists have seen a persistent drop in phytoplankton and zooplankton in waters off Newfoundland and Labrador. >click to read<10:16

Early ice growth means busy icebreaking season for coast guard vessels, officials in St. John’s say

The Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker fleet is expecting a busy season with the freeze-up of sea ice occurring three to four weeks ahead of a normal ice year, officials said in St. John’s Tuesday. Brad Durnford, superintendent of ice operations for the Atlantic Region, said during a technical briefing that water temperatures are lower than normal around the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Newfoundland and Labrador, and long-term forecasts show Eastern Canada having a chance of a cooler than normal winter, which will continue the ice growth. >click to read<09:44

Oil spill raises new questions about fast-growing N.L. oil industry

Newfoundland and Labrador’s ambitious plans to dramatically expand the province’s lucrative offshore oil and gas industry got a nasty jolt on Nov. 16. Amid a fierce winter storm, an estimated 250,000 litres of oil spilled into the ocean from Husky Energy’s SeaRose platform, about 350 kilometres from St. John’s. There are currently four platforms producing oil off Newfoundland: Hibernia, Hebron, Terra Nova and SeaRose Expansion plans include a proposed 100 new exploration wells and over 650,000 barrels of oil per day by the year 2030. This long-term vision also includes “shortened time from proceptivity to production.” >click to read<13:53

Nova Scotia looks to keep redfish quota as other provinces want in

A Nova Scotia seafood company is urging the federal government to wait several years before starting a large-scale commercial harvest for redfish in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Also known as ocean perch, the species has made a remarkable comeback after a 25-year moratorium. “This biomass is huge. It’s probably the largest in history,” said Jan Voutier of Louisbourg Seafoods Ltd., a Nova Scotia redfish harvester and processor. It’s believed 3.5 million tonnes of redfish are in the gulf today, setting the stage for a looming interprovincial conflict in Atlantic Canada over who gets a piece of the action.”All of a sudden, everyone wants to rush in and get the pot of gold, as it were,” said Keith Colwell, Nova Scotia’s fisheries minister. >click to read<12:20

Newfoundland and Labrador: Snow crab fishery changes tactics as stocks hit 25-year low

A study six years in the making shows some grim statistics for snow crab in Newfoundland and Labrador. The study was released at the same time the Department of Fisheries and Oceans announced the crab fishery was moving to a precautionary approach. That means if the crab numbers are low, the total allowable catch will be lowered, meaning less fishing for the province’s harvesters. >click to read<19:11

Harvesters worry their efforts in producing a quality catch will be lost due to delays in grading

With hefty nets, healthy livers and plump fish, harvesters across the central region are seeing signs of a healthy and rebounding cod fishery this summer. But fishers and union representatives agree, the most pivotal mark to grow this future fishery is not in quantity but in producing a quality grade codfish. “The only thing that’s going to do it for us is quality,” Salvage harvester Gordon Janes said. “Norway and Iceland got it down to a science, and the fish we put out in comparison to them is very little. In recent years, harvesters have been encouraged in a variety of techniques for producing a fresher and higher-quality fish. These techniques include an emphasis on more fish caught through hook and line, decreasing the amount of time harvesters leave out gillnets, pulling out the fish’s gills to drain the blood from its fillets, and gutting the fish and putting it in ice immediately after it’s caught. >click to read<11:09

More Waiting – Labour board to decide number of full-time inshore fish harvesters

After 500 years of fishing history you’d probably think it would be easy enough in Newfoundland and Labrador to determine who is and who is not a true, full-time fisherman. Yet, with so many people over the years dipping into the fishery for full-time, part-time or one-time earnings — and with often blurred lines as to who makes up part of a fishing crew — it’s not that straightforward. And that became apparent during a hearing held by the province’s Labour Relations Board Monday in St. John’s regarding an application by FISH-NL for certification to represent the province’s commercial inshore fishermen — fishermen who are currently represented by FFAW-Unifor. >click to read<08:31