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Is the Snow Crab Market a Bellwether or a Blip?

In the U.S., snow crab outperformed every other seafood product during the pandemic. Yet today, the snow crab market is crashing at the fastest pace since the spring of 1995. That year, between May 1995 and May 1996, the price fell 46 per cent. This year, Urner Barry quotations from last summer until this May are down 33 per cent and the bottom has not been set. This is already the largest percentage decline in price since 1995. Since February, the market has been going down around 50 ...

Herring Fishery in Risk Management Mode

The 2022 Atlantic Canada pelagics fishery is in a tailspin. The March 30 announcement by Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) Minister Joyce Murray that there will be no directed commercial or bait fishing for southern Gulf spring herring and a complete closure of the Atlantic mackerel commercial and bait fisheries in Atlantic Canada and Québec sent shockwaves through the fishing industry. Now, the lucrative Bay of Fundy herring industry is doing its best to avoid further quota cut bombshells and ...

The NLGIDC Wants to Know What Happened to the Lumpfish Resource?

What happened to Newfoundland and Labrador lumpfish? “For years we had a viable fishery for lump roe in this province, then during the past 10 years we have been lucky to produce 500 barrels annually,” says Paul Grant, the executive vice-president of Beothic Fish Processors Ltd., based in Valleyfield, N.L. For many years the fishery for lump roe provided an economic contribution to inshore harvesters and processors alike in Newfoundland and Labrador. The fishery began in the early ...

2021 Was Fantastic for Seafood as Disruption Played to Our Strengths

The seafood industry is coming off a fantastic year, despite the turmoil and disruption of the pandemic. First, some numbers. When I went to analyze what happened with the U.S. seafood supply in 2021, I was blown away by our success. Using the data through October as a proxy for the year, we imported 4.2 billion pounds, six per cent over the volume of 2020 and 11 per cent over the volume of 2019. The value of these imports was up a staggering 24 per cent from their values in 2020. De...

Focus on Blue Economy Needed in 2022 for COVID-19 Recovery

We’ve come to the end of another year filled with uncertainty, with no sign of predictability on the horizon. No one is really sure what the new year will bring. Stability has been hard for Canadians to come by and it’s something that decision makers and leaders in both government and industry need to prioritize immediately to incite recovery. In 2022, decision makers are going to have to start implementing serious COVID-19 recovery measures as the pandemic continues to stretch on. ...

Whale Worries are Top of Mind

The lobster season is now well underway in Southwest Nova Scotia and from all accounts, everything looks positive, especially the all-important price per pound. However, if you head south, crossing the border into the Gulf of Maine, there is much more worry, anxiety and uncertainty and it’s all related to whales, North Atlantic right whales to be specific. According to the Portland Press Herald, on December 3, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a request to lift fishing restrictions in the ...

Elderly Fishermen Treated Like Class B Citizens

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. A 50-year-old Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) policy prevents them from doing so. These fishermen are the holders of ...

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 ...