Column 202 results

Looking Beneath the Surface

In the fishery, we are always concerned about what is going on underneath the surface of the ocean. Looking at the surface can provide helpful information but what is below the surface is what really matters. Beneath that surface is the part of the ocean ecosystem the fishery depends on. The different fish resources we harvest, the food for those fish and predators who compete with us to catch them are all down there somewhere. So is the fishing gear we use to catch them and even the ...

Quality – Again

In recent columns, I suggested that our industry is facing a very serious crisis, due to decreasing landings of our main commercial species (with the notable exception of lobster) and a shrinking workforce. That means we need to do more with less. If we can’t catch more fish, we need to obtain more value per fish. If we have fewer people, we need the people we do have to produce more output per person. I have also suggested how that might be done. In this column, I will talk about ...

Pop’s Pride – Part II

Three members of one fishing family, along with a family friend, all from Shea Heights-St. John’s, N.L., went fishing on September 6, 2016 in a 22-foot open boat. When Eugene Walsh, his son Keith and Keith’s son, Keith Jr., along with Billy Humby, had not returned by early afternoon, family members and friends became concerned. Winds had increased to 25–30 knots and waves reached six feet high outside the St. John’s Narrows — not good conditions for a small boat. This is Part II of ...

Consistency is Key in Measuring Fish Abundance

Have you ever wondered how fish populations are measured? With countless factors impacting abundance, such as changing ocean and ecosystem conditions, predator-prey relationships, mortality and recruitment rates, fishing pressure and the interconnected nature of the ecosystem — figuring out how a species is fairing is a complicated task. Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) conducts annual at-sea surveys to collect data that are later analyzed in its labs to ultimately answer the question ...

The Future is Bright for Global Aquaculture

The United Nations’ most recent biennial publication, State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2018, provides a reasonably accurate portrayal of the status of global fisheries stocks and the growing aquaculture sector. What is more, it provides a critical look at the major issues surrounding fisheries and aquaculture and highlights efforts to improve on these industry warts, as I like to call them. Here are some highlights from the State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2018 report, ...

Happy New Year

This issue of The Navigator marks the beginning of another new year. It’s a good time to reflect on the past, assess where are and think about the future. Like most people involved in the fishery in Atlantic Canada, I am a member of the baby boom generation. That means I can reflect back over several decades of involvement in this industry and even a few earlier decades, when I was growing up and hearing about things going on around me. It has been quite a ride. I can remember the ...

South Coast Mayors Learn About Aquaculture Operations in British Columbia

Mayors and community leaders from the south coast and central Newfoundland travelled to British Columbia in October to learn about the economic impact of aquaculture on Canada’s west coast. Jamie Gaskill, Managing Director of Marine Harvest Atlantic Canada, extended the invitation during a spring meeting in the province with local mayors and community leaders. Earlier this year, the Norwegian aquaculture giant acquired New Brunswick-based Northern Harvest, including its farming licences in ...

Why Do We Process Fish?

A couple of months ago, I asked the question, “how should we define success in the fishery in Atlantic Canada?” I went on to suggest we need to reconsider what it takes to be successful, because what we have been doing hasn’t been working. Last month, I continued with that overall theme by asking the related question, “why do we fish?” This month, I will go to the next step in the value chain and ask, “why do we process fish?” When your day job is catching fish, it is ...

Collaboration in the North

Sharing Knowledge About Species and Culture It’s not everyday that researchers get to learn as much as they teach. On a recent trip to the Labrador coast, two young biologists from Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) were on a mission to tag Arctic char and look for invasive species and they came back with something much more: An appreciation of how Inuit live off the land. Team members Sheena Roul and Jennica Seiden had been to Labrador before, but this was their first time ...

Combining Fishfinders with Underwater Cameras: The Future of Scientific Surveys?

“What is that red spot on the screen?” This is a question that every mariner and fishery scientist using fishfinders has been asked. While experience and knowledge of the ecosystem help provide some clues, we cannot be certain without further identifications. Fisheries scientists use scientific echosounders, also known as fishfinders, to survey the distribution and abundance of fish throughout the world. It is important to know exactly what species are detected by the echosounders and ...