On the Waterfront – March 2023

ASP Names New Executive Director

The Association of Seafood Producers recently named Jeff Loder as its new executive director.

“Jeff’s experience as a senior executive and negotiator provincially, nationally and internationally will be an outstanding asset to our membership and ASP team,” said Paul Grant, Board Chair, Association of Seafood Producers.

“His extensive background in negotiations and his passion for advocating on behalf of the Newfoundland and Labrador fishery will position him to lead the association into the future.”

Loder has held various positions in the public and private sector that have involved overseeing numerous complex negotiations and regulatory files. Foremost among them was negotiating duty free access for Newfoundland and Labrador seafood in the European and other international markets.

“It is a privilege to be given the opportunity to contribute to the fishery in Newfoundland and Labrador and to represent seafood producers. I look forward to working with all members to tackle the challenges ahead and collaborating with industry stakeholders to grow our industry,” Loder said.



SEA-NL to Elect New President in First General Meeting

Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (SEA-NL) will be electing a new president during its first annual general meeting on February 25, 2023.

The previous president, Jason Sullivan, took a leave of absence to run for the presidency of the Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union (FFAW). Following his unsuccessful bid in favour of long-time FFAW staffer Greg Pretty, Sullivan resigned from SEA-NL to legally challenge the union’s election process.

All members of SEA-NL in good standing are eligible to run in the upcoming election. Candidates are encouraged to announce their intention to run prior to February 25.

“Nominations open today for enterprise owners willing to step up for their fleets and the future of the inshore fishery,” said Ryan Cleary, Executive Director of SEA-NL. “The leaders we need must not be bought and paid for or out for themselves but focused on the overall health and direction of the inshore as a whole.”

Elections will also be held for regional representatives of fishing zones 2J off Labrador, 3K off the northeast coast, 3L off the east coast, 3Ps off the south coast, 4R off the west coast and 3Pn off the southwest coast.

SEA-NL will also hold sessions on electronic logbooks, which the Department of Fisheries and Oceans intends to make mandatory in 2024, as well as a talk on seal herds in local waters.



AquaBounty Hits Another Roadblock with FDA

AquaBounty, a biotechnology company based out of Massachusetts known for developing genetically modified fish, has run into more trouble in getting its Aquabounty AquAdvantage Salmon approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

While the FDA had approved AquaBounty’s application in 2015, finding “no significant impact” on the “quality of human environment in the United States,” a number of organizations filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, challenging the approval.

While in 2019, the court had ruled the FDA “has statutory authority to approve and regulate the genomic alteration in AAS under the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act,” it later ruled in 2020 that the FDA must conduct additional analysis and reassess its “no effect” ruling. The FDA drafted an environmental assessment, which includes an “exhaustive analysis of the likelihood and severity of harms that could occur in the highly unlikely event that AAS or their broodstock were to escape confinement, migrate from Canada to the U.S., and be present in the U.S. aquatic environment.” The FDA is now seeking public comment on draft.

“AquaBounty raises fresh Atlantic salmon in a safe, secure and sustainable way,” said AquaBounty President and CEO Sylvia Wulf.

“The likelihood of our salmon escaping our land-based farms, surviving and establishing a population in the wild is ‘extremely low.’ Those are FDA’s words in its first review issued in 2015 and in the amended Environmental Assessment released on November 16, the FDA once again concluded there is a ‘negligible likelihood’ that our product would ‘cause significant harms’ or even ‘effects on the environment of the U.S.’”



Seafood Expo Global 2023 is Back and Bigger Than Ever

Seafood Expo Global, hosted by Diversified Communications, is scheduled for April 25–27 in Barcelona, Spain.

This is the second year the exposition has been held in the city.

The event will feature conferences to discuss challenges, opportunities and solutions in the worldwide fisheries sector. Diversified Communications says that over 45,000 metres squared of exhibitor space have already been booked at the Fira de Barcelona Gran Via, up from 39,847 metres squared in 2022.

2022 saw 26,703 visitors to the event with more than 1,550 companies from 77 countries at the exposition.

“We expect long-term growth in Barcelona,” said Liz Plizga, Vice President of the Diversified Communications Group.

“Last year’s successful first edition in the city confirmed the benefits of moving a global event of the size of Seafood Expo Global/Seafood Processing Global to a modern and convenient location that presents opportunities for long-term growth. The exhibition halls were buzzing with activity over the three days, and from both sides of the aisle, you could feel the excitement of being back in person. At the end of the event, both exhibitors and visitors were looking forward to the 2023 edition.”



Research Finds Link Between Beached Dolphins and Alzheimer’s

Pan-Scotland research, a collaboration between the University of Glasgow, the University of St. Andrews, the University of Edinburgh and the Moredun Research Institute, has found a link between stranded dolphins and human Alzheimer’s disease.

The study may give insight into live-stranding events of toothed whale species such as Risso’s dolphins, long-finned pilot whales, white-beaked dolphins, harbour porpoises and bottlenose dolphins.

In the study, researchers examined stranded animals for the formation of amyloid-beta plaques and a change in cell numbers in response to central nervous system damage. These are considered hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease. Every aged animal studied revealed the presence of amyloid-beta plaques. However, the findings do not confirm whether the animals suffer from the same cognitive effects felt by humans with Alzheimer’s disease.

“We were fascinated to see brain changes in aged dolphins similar to those in human ageing and Alzheimer’s disease,” said Tara Spires-Jones of the University of Edinburgh. “Whether these pathological changes contribute to these animals’ stranding is an interesting and important question for future work.”



Cooke Aquaculture One of Atlantic Canada’s Top Employers

Mediacorp Canada Inc., a publisher of employment-related publications, has named New Brunswick-based Cooke Aquaculture one of Atlantic Canada’s top employers based on criteria such as physical workplaces, work atmosphere, benefits, training and community involvement.

“We’re a family company. That’s important to us as our seafood business has grown through Atlantic Canada and around the world,” said CEO Glenn Cooke.

“We’re connected to our communities, and we’re committed to helping them grow. As a company and as individuals, we value qualities like respect, compassion and generosity. It’s those values, and it’s our people, which make our company successful.”



Former ASP President Assumes Role with Nunavut Fisheries Association

Derek Butler, known for his long-held position with the Association of Seafood Producers (ASP), has been named the Executive Director of the Nunavut Fisheries Association (NFA), which represents four Inuit-owned fishing companies in Nunavut.

“We appreciate all the applicants, and after the review by the board, Derek Butler was selected,” said NFA Board Chair Julai Alikatuktuk. “He comes to us with extensive experience, and that is really what we needed.”

Butler comes to the NFA with 19 years of experience with the ASP, as well as experience with Global Affairs Canada, a tenure at an international affairs think tank and time in the Canadian Parliament.

“It is a great honour to be afforded this trust, to work on behalf of the Member-companies of the NFA and to work to advance their interests, including the growth of the fishery in Nunavut, and of course, to do that for the benefit of the stakeholders and communities who are behind it all,” said Butler.

“I look forward to contributing to that through this role at NFA.”



Government of Canada Pledges $40 Million to Canadian Shellfish Sector

In the aftermath of Hurricane Fiona, shellfish producers were hit particularly hard. To help with losses, damages and cleanup, the government of Canada will provide financial support of $40 million over two years.

The fund is meant to help with immediate needs such as repairs, equipment replacement, cleanup, loss of product and adapting to future extreme weather.

The financing is a part of the larger $300-million Hurricane Fiona Recovery Fund.



Canada Partners with Ocean Wise for Youth Career Development

Joyce Murray, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, recently announced $430,000 in funding in partnership with Ocean Wise to aid youth in their career development as ocean professionals.

Ocean Wise is a non-profit that seeks to assist communities and individuals in protecting and restoring the world’s oceans.

Ocean Wise will work through the Fifth International Protected Areas Congress (IMPAC5) in Vancouver from February 3–9, 2023, to deliver in-person and virtual mentoring, networking and knowledge-sharing opportunities to youth from across Canada and internationally.

IMPAC5 will be hosted by Musqueam First Nation, Squamish Nation and Tsleil-Waututh Nation alongside the government of Canada and British Columbia, as well as the Canadian Park and Wilderness Society and the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

“We know that youth are not only the leaders of tomorrow but are leading the charge today to save our ocean and our planet. The Coastal Connections program led by Ocean Wise will bring 100 young professionals together from Canada and around the world to amplify youth voices at IMPAC5 to inform, inspire and act on marine protected areas,” said Lasse Gustavsson, CEO and President of Ocean Wise. “We are thrilled that the Honourable Minister Joyce Murray, Minister for Fisheries and Oceans Canada, has joined us in announcing this exciting partnership that will place young ocean changemakers at the centre of this global congress to protect blue nature.”

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