Commentary 128 results

Offshore Redfish Fishery Provides Essential Stability for Canadians

Canadians need stability now more than ever. Stable jobs and strong economic drivers are necessary to the recovery of our small, rural and coastal communities. The Canadian fish and seafood industry is able to promise this essential prosperity to thousands of Canadians just like it has been doing for decades, and it is important that we protect that stability at this critical time. Recently, the Fish, Food and Allied Workers union (FFAW) called on Fisheries and Oceans Canada to suspend ...

Existing Atlantic Sharing Arrangement Not Only Represents Historical Attachment to Unit 1 Redfish, but it Encouraged Big Investments

Above photo: MV Calvert   In order to properly manage any fishery, you must be able to assess how many fish there are and how many fish can be removed sustainably. You must also have the ability to measure the impact of those removals and adjust accordingly. Although the assessment part is certainly challenging, surprisingly the most difficult part of our current fisheries management system is not determining how many fish you can remove, instead it is the decision on who gets ...

Destabilized Supply Chain Here to Stay

The seafood industry has one of the most complex supply chains of all food commodities. Despite the disruption caused by the global pandemic, much of our industry has thrived due to the simultaneous surge in demand for our products. The higher demand has provided the money to cover the costs of extreme disruption, whether that is freight rates and driver shortages, temporary plant closures, or lack of plant workers. This demand surge has buffered us from the risks in our higher-cost ...

Class B Lobster Licence Holders Face Injustices and Unfair Treatment

Not many people can withstand the grueling conditions of lobster fishing. Even less can imagine continuing to lobster fish well into the age of 80. However, this is the reality for a group of aging fishermen across the Maritimes, many of whom have deteriorating health and continue to work against the risks. Their wish is to sell or transfer their licence and retire. However, a 50-year-old Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) policy prevents them from doing so. These fishermen are the holders ...

Fisheries Policy Facing a Period of Political Purgatory

The dust has now settled and after five weeks of verbal barbs and $600 million later, the electorate has spoken and honestly, not much has changed. After a hard fought and noticeably nasty federal election, the political landscape looks pretty much the same as it did in August. However, ousted Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan might not agree with the previous statement. The now former Member of Parliament for South Shore-St. Margaret’s was soundly defeated by Conservative Rick ...

Seafood Inflation May Be Less Than Meets the Eye

In the past couple of months, several news stories have highlighted the difficulty some restaurants are having coping with higher seafood prices. “Very few products are not going up in price,” Santa Monica Seafood President and CEO Roger O’Brien told SeafoodSource recently. The price inflation in the distributor, processor and food service operators’ sales to foodservice customers alone was a “whopping 29 per cent” in June, O’Brien said. This surge was a result of a ...

Are Right Whales Impacting Consumer Lobster Purchases?

As a few innovative Nova Scotia companies forge ahead with efforts to develop new ropeless fishing technologies, the presence of right whales continues to be a concern for area lobster fishermen and the industry in general. While the majority of Atlantic right whale sightings in Canadian waters and subsequent fishing closures have taken place to the north in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, lobster fishermen are still worried about an upsurge in the lobbying effort to further protect the endangered ...

The European Green Crab: Eradication Might Not be the Answer

Last summer, a story in the Navigator outlined the ongoing efforts to control the spread of the invasive and destructive European green crab in this region. According to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), green crabs were first found in Canadian waters in 1951 in southwest New Brunswick and have since expanded to many other locations in Atlantic Canada. They entered Nova Scotia waters in 1953/1954 and reached just south of Halifax in 1966. By 1982–1983, green crabs were present ...

Adjacency Should be the Most Important Criterion for Access to Fish Stocks

Above: Mark Blundon Photo   Much has been written recently regarding fisheries around Newfoundland and Labrador and most of it has merit for a sustainable industry in the future. Suffice to say, there is no use bemoaning the many mistakes made by past management practices. The following information came from experience working with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and industry, along with the many opportunities to speak with fishers and fishing captains on small ...

Are Hurricanes Really Getting Worse?

As the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season (June 1–November 30) has kicked off for another year, there is a lot of fear that these types of storms are getting more frequent and more severe. Many folks believe that warming oceans will mean more energy for these storms to absorb, which will translate to stronger and more destructive hurricanes when they make landfall. While this might make sense in theory, climate science is much more complicated in practice. Bill Pekny, author of A Tale of ...