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New Brunswick’s Connors Brothers Files for Creditor Protection

In late November, Blacks Harbour, New Brunswick-based Connors Bros. filed for creditor protection, as part of a larger bankruptcy filing by its parent company, San Diego, California, U.S.A.-based Bumble Bee Foods. According to media reports, Connors Bros. had commenced court-supervised restructuring proceedings under Canada’s Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act, as had fellow Bumble Bee affiliate Cloverleaf Holdings Company. The companies operate the Bumble Bee, Clover Leaf and Brunsw...

Industry Partnership Obtains Turbot MSC Sustainability Certification

Will Lead to Greater Market Access and Benefits for Canada’s Atlantic and Arctic Fisheries In early December, four Canadian industry associations, together with the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), announced that products from the Canadian Greenland halibut (turbot) fishery in fishing areas 0AB2J3KLMNO can now bear the MSC label that identifies sustainable, well-managed fisheries from across the world. “Obtaining this MSC certification is a testament to the cooperation and collaborat...

Progress Being Made on New Licensing System for N.S. Fish Buyers, Processors

A Nova Scotia revised regulatory framework for the licensing of fish buying and processing is advancing forward. “We’re making good progress,” said Osborne Burke, president of the Nova Scotia Seafood Alliance. “We’re not done yet, but we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.” Amendments to the provincial Fisheries and Coastal Resources Act approved last fall support the design of the revised regulatory framework. “The existing regulatory framework of fish buying and ...

Illegal Fishing and Whales Continue to be Major Concerns for MFU

An escalation of illegal fishing efforts from some individuals or groups under the guise of First Nations’ treaty rights to a moderate livelihood is a major concern for the Maritime Fishermen’s Union (MFU), as well as other industry associations, says executive director Martin Mallet. “From the beginning, associations have been working together and have no issues with First Nations’ rights as long as it’s done within conservation rules,” said Mallet. “Some individuals are ...

Opportunities Still Available Through Atlantic Fisheries Fund

With four years to go and lots of funding still available, the Nova Scotia Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture has been busy raising awareness and interest of the opportunities available under the Atlantic Fisheries Fund (AFF) for innovative projects that improve sustainability, quality and productivity in the harvesting, processing and aquaculture sectors. “Numerous presentations have been made to processing, harvesting and aquaculture associations, as well as to advisory boards and ...

Industry Reps Pleased Jordan Handed Federal Fisheries Portfolio

Above: Bernadette Jordan. Photo courtesy of bjordan.liberal.ca The appointment of South Shore-St. Margaret’s Member of Parliament Bernadette Jordan as the new federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard has industry representatives in Nova Scotia optimistic. “I’m just as happy as I can be,” said Kevin Ross, president of Brazil Rock 33/34 fishermen’s association. “I’ve worked a lot with her in the last three years. She’s gotten me meetings with ...

Seal Overpopulation Linked to Threatened Extinction of Two N.L. Cod Stocks

The Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union (FFAW-Unifor) is calling on the federal government to take immediate action to control seal overpopulation in an effort to protect extremely vulnerable cod stocks on the south coast of Newfoundland and in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The most recent assessment of southern Gulf cod (4T) was clear; extinction of that cod population is highly probable due to predation by grey seals, the union stated in a press release. “Scientists in the region took ...

Mainly Status Quo for Georges Groundfish TAC in 2020

Concerns Raised Over State of N.L. South Coast 3Ps Cod Stock With the exception of a slight increase of 42 metric tonnes for yellowtail flounder, it’s status quo for groundfish quotas on Georges Bank (5Z) in 2020. The combined Canada/U.S. total allowable catch (TAC) for Atlantic cod in 2020 remains at 650 metric tonnes (mt). The haddock TAC has been maintained at 30,000 mt, while the yellowtail flounder TAC increases from 140 mt to 162 mt. The TACs are as recommended by the Transboun...

FISH-NL Finally Folds After Failing to Sign Up 4,000 Harvesters

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is officially no more. The upstart labour organization finally folded on Dec. 3. In early November, FISH-NL said it was still far short of getting 4,000 inshore fishermen to sign union cards and the future was not looking good. FISH-NL needed at least 4,000 signed cards (representing 40 per cent of the 10,000 inshore harvesters the FFAW-Unifor claimed existed) to trigger a vote for them to choose which ...

New Technology on Display at Ropeless Consortium

Industry advances were on display at the Ropeless Consortium meeting at the University of Southern Maine in Portland last fall. Presentations on available ropeless fishing products, prototypes in development, testing results from the past year, as well as discussion of progress overcoming regulatory challenges, fisheries outreach, establishing experimental fisheries and funding opportunities and challenges were on the agenda. “There have been some advances,” said Colin Sproul, ...