Commentary 149 results

Disappearing Redfish and DFO Math

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) announcement in late January with respect to redfish puts a glaring spotlight on the numbers problem in its science and management divisions. Its new research purports to show that the biomass of redfish in Area 1, despite there having been essentially no fishery, has declined since 2019 from 4.3 million tonnes to 2.8 million tonnes after growing exponentially for a decade. This follows news in December 2023, that the estimated number of seals ...

Redfish Re-opening – Getting It Wrong

The recent announcement of the re-opening of the redfish fishery in the Gulf of St. Lawrence is of crucial importance on multiple levels — economic, ecological and political. In order to take advantage of this opportunity that nature is offering, we need to get it right. Unfortunately, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and many informed commentators are getting it wrong. Since the early evidence of a redfish population explosion five years ago, harvesters have been looking forward ...

Sharing the Redfish Pie

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) recently announced the reopening of the long-dormant redfish fishery after some 30 years. Until the season begins in earnest, DFO has yet another “pie” cooling on its metaphorical windowsill. And, as always, representatives of different groups are lining up to argue that their slice isn’t quite as big as they would like it to be. Everyone wants a bigger slice of the pie than they’ve gotten, whether it’s cod, crab, mackerel, turbot or ...

A Journal Entry of a Fisherman’s Widow

The hardest part for me is that my mind believes he’s still at sea. He left that morning, everything was completely normal. We planned our vacation for when he got in and said our goodbyes multiple times as usual. Now, he’s never coming home and many months have now passed since we unknowingly said our last goodbye. As long as his boat is away at sea, I seem to be able to cope and as soon as I know she’s on her way in, my heart rips apart. He’s supposed to be on her, heading home ...

Investigation into Loss of Life at Sea Reveals a Lack of Oversight

TSB Calls for Urgent Action in Canadian Fishing Industry On August 26, 2021, a crew member of the fishing vessel Suvak lost his life after going overboard while setting gillnets in Davis Strait, Nunavut. The vessel was wrapping up a two-week fishing trip with two crew members hauling and setting nets to complete the fishing operations before returning to port. In the early hours of the morning, while setting the nets, the arm of one of the crew members became entangled in a buoy line, and he ...

Canada-EU Summit: Opportunity Missed, But Not Lost

On November 23 and 24, leaders from the European Union and Canada met for the Canada-EU Summit in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. Meetings such as these provide high-level government representatives with an opportunity to discuss issues that matter to their respective governments behind closed doors and far removed from everyday citizens. This Summit, however, was different. Instead of being monitored only by political gadflies and lobbyists, people in remote communities across ...

We’re Not There Yet: Price-Setting Review Report Understandably Lacking

As a long-term observer and analyst of the fishery, my initial comment on the Price-Setting Review report was “underwhelming.” But that’s not surprising. The task the Strategic Review Team undertook was well-nigh impossible to start with. The Minister asked the Team “to assist with the development of a formula-based framework for fish price-setting and other potential mechanisms.” The Team concluded that the current process (including final offer selection and the Fish Price-S...

Taking a Page from the American Playbook

An often-unspoken cornerstone of Canadian culture is our tendency to distance ourselves on the world stage from our American neighbours when it comes to culture, lifestyle and a litany of other minute details. What even less of us are likely to talk about, however, is just how much we can learn from our southern brethren. For example, Americans have a penchant for resisting governments that overstep their boundaries, a characteristic that we seem to be sorely lacking. In an effort to ...

The Future of Fuel: Electrification of the Fleet

By Courtney Langille FFAW Government Relations and Campaigns   In 2021, FFAW-Unifor undertook a Feasibility Study led by Dr. Sue Molloy of Glas Ocean and David Lea of CBCL Limited to examine the greenhouse gas (GHG) impacts of the fishery and the way forward towards an electric powered fishing fleet. The study also examined the benefits, challenges and potential compromises that may be needed for such a transition. The inshore fishing fleet of Newfoundland and Labrador is much ...

Come Home Safe for the Holidays

Above: Jessica Roy Photo   The holiday season and all of its festivities and traditions will soon be upon us. The countdown is on to when your home will be strewn with tinsel and lights, your tree will be overrun with gifts and there might even be a stocking hung with your name on it. Most importantly, your loved ones will be home waiting for you. If you work at sea, staying safe guarantees you can be home for the holidays this year. It’s a tale as old as time for those in ...