Tag Archives: Osborne Burke

Why Canada has ordered lobster pounds to kill all egg-bearing female lobsters

In an effort to reduce the spread of marine invasive species, Canada ordered lobster pounds to to kill all egg-bearing female lobsters. But two years after the measure was introduced, some in the business are still unaware of the requirement. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has banned the long-held practice of releasing egg-bearing or “berried” female lobsters when they are discovered in holding facilities. Instead pounds “must immediately euthanize the lobster,” according to licence conditions quietly introduced in January 2022. Video, more, >>click to read<< 07:12

Southwest Nova Scotia seafood industry on edge as wildfires surge

As many as 20 seafood processing and holding facilities along Nova Scotia’s South Shore could be at risk because they fall within the wildfire evacuation order areas in Shelburne County, a scenario one industry veteran says would be economically devastating for the region. “When you’ve got a lot of inventory, millions of dollars, it’s critical and a significant concern to our members who have these facilities,” Osborne Burke, president of the Nova Scotia Seafood Alliance, said in an interview. Burke said between 15 and 20 of the alliance’s members are affected by evacuation orders. Some of the facilities have generators that kick in automatically when the power goes out, while others require a switch to be manually activated. Relying on generators to maintain operations and preserve live lobster in holding tanks presents its own set of challenges, Nova Scotia Fisheries Minister Steve Craig told reporters on Thursday, because someone has to get fuel to those generators to keep the plants operating. >click to read< 20:31

Low prices could force out some snow crab harvesters

The snow crab industry in Cape Breton is in a world of trouble this year and a price of $2.25 per pound at the wharf may not be enough for some harvesters to continue. “You have the U.S. market with bank failures and they are close to a recession,” said Osborne Burke, general manager of Victoria Cooperative Fishery Ltd., located in Neils Harbour. Osborne says it’s been 15 years since the at-wharf price was that low. Factor in the economy issues and very high fuel prices and the number crunching simply isn’t working in harvesters favour. >click to read< 16:09

After a record-breaking year for Atlantic snow crab, facing huge price cuts is ‘worse than the moratorium,’

“It’s going to be worse than the moratorium.” That’s Jason Sullivan’s gut feeling about the upcoming 2023 snow crab fishing season. He has no doubt that the record-breaking prices of 2022 are a thing of the past. There’s talk of prices starting somewhere around $2 a pound, a nearly 70 per cent drop from last year’s starting price of $7.60. Sullivan said that would translate to a huge loss for the provincial economy. “We had a billion-dollar industry and now we’re taking $500 million out of it right away,” said the Bay Bulls fisherman. “That’s going to be devastating, especially for rural areas.”  >click to read< 13:02

Nova Scotia will lift moratorium on seafood processing and buying licences in 2023

Nova Scotia will end its five-year moratorium on issuing new seafood processing and buying licences. The “temporary” moratorium was imposed in 2018 while the province reviewed its licensing regime. Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Steve Craig says he does not know why the freeze was imposed by the previous Liberal government. “I’ve even had people tell me that the moratorium is the policy, which is not the case. The Nova Scotia Seafood Alliance lobbied for the moratorium, which still allowed for the sale or transfer of an existing licence. >click to read< 11:40

Atlantic Canada snow crab fishery hopes for another banner year

But concern over high fuel prices, fear of U.S. recession dampens hopes for one Nova Scotia processor. The snow crab fishery in Atlantic Canada is gearing up in hopes of another banner season in 2022, buoyed by expectations of more quota, high prices and less competition from rival nations. But will rising inflation, especially in the United States, and uncertainty over the war in Ukraine dampen the spectacular returns in 2021 when the fishery was valued at nearly a billion dollars? >click to read< 10:04

Snow crab market heats up with Record-Breaking Prices in northern Cape Breton

Soaring demand from the U.S. has resulted in snow crab coming in at over $8 a pound. The price was closer to $4.25 this time last year. Dave Donovan fishes out of Neils Harbour on board the Krista & Megan. “Eight dollars is a big bonus,” he said. “I guess it’s the best price I’ve ever seen since I’ve been in the fishery.” Donovan said the hot market this year is welcomed by all on the wharf, and in the processing plant. The high price is a surprise to Osborne Burke, “We didn’t anticipate this,” >click to read< 14:14

The public is credited with helping Cape Breton fishermen through Coronavirus impacted lobster season

Herb Nash, president of the 4Vn management board, said catches were decent this year and those prices made the crustaceans a meal for everybody instead of simply a rare treat. “Instead of lobsters $7-$7.50 lb at the end, lobsters were $5 pound, so people were buying them,” the 55-year-old fisher said. “The local markets helped a lot this year.” This year, people could purchase lobster for $45-$50 a dozen compared to $70-$75. “If the local market wasn’t as good as it was, more lobster would have had to be shipped out to sell and I think we would have been swamped with lobsters.” Nash said with the pandemic affecting the community and businesses, they were grateful to get through it and get a paycheck.,, ”While this season was a historically difficult one, Nash can recall the 1970s when the lobster catches were bad back then — sometimes 15-25 pounds per day. >click to read< 18:13

Global Affairs Canada takes no stance on whether lobster exporters should sign Chinese liability form

Chinese customers want Canadian shippers to sign a declaration their lobster is free of COVID-19, and assume liability if it’s detected in China. The stipulation has alarmed shippers like Osborne Burke of Victoria Co-op Fisheries, a Cape Breton company that ships frozen lobster to China. “Absolutely under no condition would we sign anything,” he said. Burke, who is also president of the Nova Scotia Seafood Alliance, does not recommend members sign anything either.,, The province declined comment on the matter Monday. >click to read< 07:52

Cape Breton lobster fishermen struggle – ‘This is the first year I had to tell my fishermen I couldn’t move their product,’

There is a lack of demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, the price for lobster has dropped to $4.25 a pound. In some areas, buyers are restricting the amount they purchase from fishermen. Marlene Brogan, the manager of Ballast Grounds Fisheries, a lobster buyer in North Sydney, said they’ve had to tell fishermen they can’t buy their catch some days. “We’ve been in business 21 years and this is the first year I had to tell my fishermen I couldn’t move their product,” said Brogan. She said there have been many days the fishermen at their wharf haven’t gone out to fish. >click to read< 14:19

Bernadette Jordan says harvesters have requested delays, and resists calls to shut down lobster fishery

The federal fisheries minister is resisting calls to close the Atlantic Canadian lobster fishery down completely this year in response to COVID-19. The pandemic shut down the market for luxury food on cruise ships and in restaurants, leading to the collapse of sales in Asian markets and leaving a glut of inventory that has increased with the lobster fishery ongoing in southwestern Nova Scotia.,, “There have been a handful of delays that have been asked for, but at this point the plan still is to open all fisheries.” >click to read< 15:18

Seafood processors getting no negative vibes from China

Cape Breton seafood processors say they are not hearing about any potential negative impact on their industry as a diplomatic dispute between Canada and China continues to simmer. Earlier this week China suspended a second major Canadian canola exporter over alleged safety concerns, further deepening a diplomatic row set off by Canada’s decision to detain a top executive with telecom giant Huawei Technologies Ltd. at the behest of the United States. Osborne Burke, general manager of Victoria Co-operative Fisheries Ltd. in Neils Harbour, was at a seafood expo in Shanghai in February where there was no mention of the Huawei dispute. >click to read<12:15

‘We want limited entry’ – Nova Scotia Seafood processors lobby for permanent ban on new entrants

A group representing seafood buyers and processors in Nova Scotia is defending a new temporary provincial government moratorium that blocks new entrants into the shore side of the business.,, On the other side of the issue are lobster fishermen like James Brow of Havre Boucher, N.S., who sees the freeze as an attempt to stifle competition at the wharf as prices rise from lows of $3 a pound several years ago to over $7 today. >click here to read< 09:31

Donated, discounted traps going to lobster fishermen whose gear was destroyed

People in Cape Breton are rallying to help lobster fishermen after stormy seas drove traps onto the rocks over the weekend, destroying expensive gear and killing crustaceans. The weather station on St. Paul Island reported a northwest peak wind gust of 93 km/h. Bay St. Lawrence and Smelt Brook were especially hard hit. Stephen Bornais, a spokesperson for Fisheries and Oceans Canada, said the number of destroyed lobster traps is in the thousands. He expected to have more concrete numbers later this week. Osborne Burke, manager of Victoria Co-operative Fisheries in New Haven, said some fishermen lost as many as 150 of their 275 traps. Burke spent Tuesday trying to round up replacement traps. click here to read the story 08:00