On the Waterfront – October 2021

$20 Million for Whalesafe Fishing Gear Adoption

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) recently unveiled a $20-million fund aimed at helping harvesters in Atlantic Canada and Quebec adopt whalesafe gear.

The Whalesafe Gear Adoption Fund will provide funding over the next two years supporting Indigenous and non-indigenous harvesters, not-for-profit organizations, academia and other partners to purchase, test and refine existing whale-safe gear.

“Canada’s whale-protection measures are world-class, and their success always comes down to the hard work and cooperation of fish harvesters. This program is another huge step forward in our shared efforts. By supporting our industry partners to implement new, whalesafe gear, we’re investing in our seafood sector, and building a stronger, more sustainable blue economy for Canadians,” Fisheries Minster Bernadette Jordan said.

The whalesafe gear includes low-breaking strength rope and ropeless gear technology. DFO said it hopes this gear can become operational by 2023 through funding.

The Whalesafe Gear Adoption Fund will also provide support to Canadian manufacturers to encourage the domestic supply of commercially-ready, whalesafe gear by 2023.

Those interested could start applying for funding starting on August 13. Another $10 million will be available during the first call of proposals and an additional round will be available next year.


DFO’s Refusal to Extend Gulf Halibut Fishery is Indictment of Safety Culture: SEA-NL

Fisheries and Oceans’ (DFO) decision not to extend the halibut fishery in the Gulf of St. Lawrence for the province’s inshore harvesters who didn’t catch their quotas due to poor weather is a damning indictment of its safety culture, said Merv Wiseman.

“DFO is telling fishermen if you don’t go to sea because of bad weather you’re going to lose your fish,” said Wiseman, an organizer behind Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (SEA-NL), a new group representing licensed, independent owner-operator fish harvesters.

“Putting extra pressure on fishermen to make decisions contrary to safety is a recipe for disaster that we’ve seen play out too many times.”

Harvesters on Newfoundland’s west coast who fish in the Gulf of St. Lawrence had to choose in early spring one of six, two-week periods over the course of the summer to fish their 1,700-pound halibut quota.

“Only some harvesters weren’t able to catch their fish because of poor weather, and DFO has refused to extend the season for them. Many harvesters believe they should be allowed to catch halibut anytime in the June to October fishing season. DFO has said lengthening the fishing season could result in less fish per harvester because quotas were calculated on the assumption that not everyone would fish. DFO has also said lengthening the season could result in higher dockside monitoring costs,” stated a SEA-NL press release.


PEI Aquaculture Alliance Using Sustainable Buoys

With support from the federal and provincial governments, the PEI Aquaculture Alliance has replaced 87,000 Styrofoam buoys with a more sustainable option to curb shoreline waste.

Concerned about material disintegration, the buoys were exchanged for new high-density polyethylene buoys that are less prone to breakage.

“The EPS [Expanded Polystyrene] buoys are quite old (no new ones have been purchased in a decade or so) and EPS will eventually crumble and fall apart, leaving small pieces of plastic to wash ashore,” said Peter Warris, director of projects and industry liaison for the PEI Aquaculture Alliance.

“The newer buoys are more durable and the new material does not break up.”

The program was prompted by a number of growers applying directly to the Fisheries and Aquaculture Clean Technology Adoption Program (FACTAP) to replace EPS buoys.

The swap was delivered by the PEI Aquaculture Alliance, but the Prince Edward Island government and Fisheries and Oceans Canada provided significant funding for the initiative. The Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) Replacement Program covered between 50 to 75 per cent of the cost of the new buoys, along with the disposal fees for the old ones.

Additionally, the P.E.I. government and the Island Waste Management Corporation helped ensure the proper collection, storage and disposal of buoys for the project. P.E.I.’s Department of Fisheries and Communities contributed a total of $120,000 for the clean-up through the Aquaculture Futures Program and the Fisheries and Aquaculture Clean Technology Adoption Program.


Lobster Roll Wins P.E.I. Online Food Contest

After all the votes were tallied for this year’s PEI Lobster Love campaign, a classic version of the lobster roll received the most love from lobster fans.

From July 5 to 31, participating restaurants across the Island were vying for the title of Most Loved Lobster Roll. While many chefs put a unique spin on what most would consider the traditional lobster roll, the winner of the title was the perfect example of that famous down-home Prince Edward Island lobster dish.

Lobster in the Buff from Water Prince Corner Shop in Charlottetown walked away with this year’s title. The winning entry featured 3.5 ounces of fresh P.E.I. lobster cooked in-house, with lettuce and house mayo on an ADL buttered grilled bun from MacAulay’s Bakery.

PEI Lobster Love, created and managed by Fresh Media, was presented in partnership between Lobster PEI and the P.E.I. Department of Fisheries and Communities.

The winning lobster roll was determined based on online voting through the campaign website. While not all restaurants have reported their sales numbers as of the announcement of the Most Loved Lobster Roll, organizers are pleased with the feedback from those that went out and supported the industry during the promotion.


N.L. Harvesters Reminded to Return Logbooks

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) recently reminded fish harvesters that all fishing logs must be completed and submitted in accordance with requirements set out in Schedule 4 of their 2021 commercial fishing licences.

Instructions on how to complete a general log can be found with examples at the beginning of the general logbook.

Logbooks should be returned to DFO according to the Homeport NAFO Division at the following addresses:


Fisher Homeports

NAFO Divisions 3PS, 3PN, 4R:

Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Area Statistics Office

1 Regent Square

Corner Brook, NL A2H 7K6




Fisher Homeports

NAFO Divisions 2GHJ, 3K:

Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Area Statistics Office

Suite 200, 4A Bayley Street

Grand Falls-Windsor, NL A2A 2T5




Fisher Homeports

NAFO Division 3LMNO:

Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Area Statistics Office

Client Service Centre

P.O. Box 5667

St. John’s, NL A1C 5X1




Fish Harvesters are responsible to ensure their logs are submitted to the appropriate DFO office listed above. DFO no longer supplies logbooks or postage paid return envelopes.

A list of prequalified suppliers of logbooks can be found on the website: https://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fisheries-peches/sdc-cps/nir-nei/log-suppliers-eng.html#nfld


Iridium Announces Partnership with Canadian Coast Guard

Iridium Communications recently announced that the Canadian Coast Guard has adopted Iridium Certus connectivity, with support from Iridium partner MetOcean Telematics.

The Coast Guard has deployed dozens of Iridium Certus Thales VesseLINK 700 terminals on its vessels, including icebreakers, to contribute to reliable internet connectivity as crew members deliver programs and services to ensure the safety of mariners in Canadian waters and protect Canada’s marine environment.

Iridium Certus delivers weather-resilient and completely global coverage, ensuring dependable connectivity in the high Arctic where the Coast Guard serves.

The Canadian Coast Guard responds to marine search and rescue and environmental incidents, provides icebreaking and aids to navigation services, and ensures waterways are safe and accessible for business year-round, including in the Arctic, during the operational season from June to November.

While on duty in the high Arctic, the Iridium network will support Coast Guard ships’ and crew members’ ability to stay in touch with headquarters.

Iridium Certus connectivity also supports the Coast Guard’s general safety with access to navigational data and weather reports, which is a large improvement from historical solutions.


China Imports More Seafood in First Half of the Year

Though COVID-19 has had a negative impact on China’s seafood trade, the country is still one of the most influential seafood markets worldwide.

Despite the pandemic, its seafood imports have increased in the first half of 2021 and it intends to buy more abroad to meet domestic demand.

China’s seafood imports have increased by two per cent to US$6.88 billion during this first half of the year compared with the same period last year, according to Coldeal, an online platform of frozen food. This increase is mainly due to its greater purchases from Canada, Norway and New Zealand.

As statistics show, imports from Canada have increased by 23 per cent to US$0.467 billion, while those from Norway and New Zealand have increased by 16 per cent and 26 per cent respectively to US$0.336 billion and US$0.207 billion.


Funding for N.L. Small Craft Harbours

Five communities on the Avalon Peninsula are welcoming a significant federal investment that will benefit the local economy and community.

The Government of Canada is investing approximately $12 million to enhance the marine infrastructure in small craft harbours on the Avalon Peninsula.

The investment will support the following Small Craft Harbour infrastructure projects which will renew and maintain the infrastructure that is essential to the region, but also stimulate job opportunities that will benefit both fish harvesters and local communities:

  • Removal of deteriorated slipway and construction of new retaining cribs in Petty Harbour
  • Construction of floating docks in Bay Bulls
  • Construction of a finger pier to expand the St. John’s (Prosser’s Rock) small boat basin
  • Advanced planning for the construction of a breakwater in Witless Bay
  • Reconstruction of wharves that experienced storm damage in 2020 in St. Philip’s.


2020 was Warmest Year on Record for Arctic

The American Meteorological Society recently released its annual State of the Climate report for 2020, carrying a grim message.

“The annual global average carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration at Earth’s surface was 412.5 ppm, an increase of 2.5 ppm over 2019 and the highest in the modern instrumental record and in ice core records dating back 800,000 years.”

While human-caused carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2020 decreased around six to seven per cent globally due to reduced human activities during the COVID-19 pandemic, it “did not materially affect atmospheric CO2 accumulation as it is a relatively small change, less even than interannual variability driven by the terrestrial biosphere,” the report said.

The report was written by meteorologists and other scientists from around the globe. Different dynamics such as El Nino, atmospheric rivers, changing jet streams, and droughts that fueled wildfires were examined in detail in different regions. The Arctic stands out as leading the global warming race, due in large part to no landmass under the ice pack making that melt more rapidly than in Antarctica.

“North of 60°N, the annual mean temperature over Arctic land areas was 2.1°C above the 1981–2010 average, the highest in the 121-year record. On June 20, a temperature of 38°C was observed at Verkhoyansk, Russia (67.6°N), provisionally the highest temperature ever measured within the Arctic Circle,” the executive summary of the report states.

The Arctic experienced its highest fire year in terms of carbon emitted into the atmosphere, surpassing the record set in 2019 by 34 per cent, with most of the fires occurring in Arctic Asia.

Scientists tracked 102 named tropical storms during the storm seasons around the globe, well above the 1981–2010 average of 85. Major Hurricanes Eta and Iota made landfall along the eastern coast of Nicaragua in nearly the same location within a two-week period, impacting over seven million people across Central America.

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