day : 01/05/2024 18 results

Another Bad Year for Wild Salmon Stocks Across N.L.

Wild Atlantic salmon in Newfoundland and Labrador have seen a second year of increasingly low returns, with most of the province’s rivers being classified by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) as being in critical condition. While salmon stocks are usually assessed biannually, low river returns in 2023 triggered an unscheduled stock assessment for 2024. Atlantic salmon born in Newfoundland spend between two to five years in their home river before going out to sea, while Labrador ...

DFO Reframes the Way it Assesses Capelin Stocks in 2024

While capelin stocks off Newfoundland and Labrador are still well below the levels seen pre-1991, a newly established limit reference point was “welcomed news” for fish harvesters in the province. Capelin stocks underwent a collapse in 1991 that saw the stock’s biomass plummet from 8,000 kilotonnes, or 8,000,000 tonnes, to well under 250 kilotonnes. The stock’s biomass currently sits at 333 kilotonnes. Since the collapse, capelin have adopted a new strategy wherein the population ...

Shrimp Fishing Area 4 Remains Healthy, 5 and 6 Continue to Decline

In contrast to 2023, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) was able to conduct a survey of all shrimp fishing areas (SFA) for its 2024 Northern shrimp stock assessment. In the 2023 assessment, SFA 4 off northern Labrador was assessed to be in the healthy zone with a fishable biomass of 79,500 tonnes and a spawning stock biomass of 51,300 tonnes — just above the limit reference point (LRP) that marks the boundary between the “healthy” and “cautious” zones of the stock. The ...

Warming Waters Could Change the Gulf as We Know it, DFO Reports

The Gulf of St. Lawrence is warming and losing oxygen and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) said it will have a profound impact on species that call the Gulf home. Waters in the Gulf estuary and northern Gulf are warming rapidly, especially in deep waters, where average temperatures have increased by 1.8°C since 2009. “It’s primarily due to a change in water masses, with greater contributions of warmer Atlantic waters relative to colder Arctic waters entering the Gulf of ...

DFO Adopts New Cod Framework for 2024 Assessment

Northern cod populations in 2J3KL off Newfoundland and Labrador have remained around the same levels since 2016, but a new limit reference point reframed how the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) interprets the stock. Following nearly two decades of little to no growth since cod stocks collapsed in 1992, cod saw a period of growth between 2010 and 2016, seeing the stock achieve a spawning stock biomass between 300–400 kilotonnes. This number has held steady since 2016, according to ...

Lobster Hits $20/Pound in Southwestern Nova Scotia

Above: The lobster fishing boat Wave Buster XVII steams out of Pubnico Harbour, bound for the fishing grounds. Kathy Johnson photo   A record-setting price of $20 a pound was being paid to lobster harvesters in southwestern Nova Scotia as March was winding down. “I’ve heard numbers above $19 before but hitting $20 is something new,” said Kris Vascotto, executive director of the Nova Scotia Seafood Alliance. “That’s a big number. The other LFAs (lobster fishing areas) ...

N.L. Harvesters Secure Outside Buyers, but Price Decisions Could Spell Further Unrest

Above: John Efford Jr., flanked by FFAW President Greg Pretty (Left) and FFAW Secretary Treasurer Jason Spingle (Right), address the crowd of harvesters after their meeting with Fisheries, Forestry and Agriculture Minister Elvis Loveless.    Newfoundland and Labrador harvesters won what they considered a major victory in late March, only for their enthusiasm to be dashed by what they see as another year of disappointing snow crab prices. Now, facing a minimum price of $2.60 per ...

CCG Completes First Steps in Building Two Polar Icebreakers

Above: The hull of the CCG’s newest icebreakers stands out from its predecessors because of its 60-millimetre-thick steel alloy hull, which will allow them to travel unrestricted in Arctic waters year-round. Credit: Canadian Coast Guard   The Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) is increasing its capabilities in Canada’s Arctic regions with the construction of two state-of-the-art icebreakers, due to set sail in 2030. The CCG currently operates two older heavy icebreakers — the CCGS ...

“If You’re Worried, Call Us,” says Coast Guard Ahead of 2024 Fishing Season

Above: Stephen Burke is a Maritime Search and Rescue Coordinator at the Canadian Coast Guard Regional Headquarters, Atlantic Region in St. John's, N.L. Nick Travis photo   As the 2024 fishing season gears up, the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) wants everyone on the water to know that no call is too small. According to Mark Gould, Deputy Superintendent of search and rescue (SAR) with the CCG, the situations that the SAR team handle varies both in scope and complexity. “It could be ...

Unbearable Grief: Fishing Industry is Fraught with Tragedy and Loss

Above: Island Lady. Photo by Joe Jenkins   Fishing is one of the most dangerous commercial occupations on the planet. Statistically, Atlantic Canada has lost an average of about one fisherman per month over the past six or seven decades despite just about everything else in the industry going through dramatic change in that period. In fact, the death rate is even higher these days if compared on a percentage basis — there are fewer people fishing but the number of lives lost ...