Commentary 65 results

Industry Must Prepare as COVID-19 Changing Supply Chain Behaviour

With the spread of the coronavirus to new countries, I now believe the seafood industry is going to face its worst crisis since the economic collapse of 2008. That was difficult and frightening enough. From October to December of 2008, fresh whole salmon prices dropped 20 per cent. From August 2008 to January 2009, shrimp prices in the Urner Barry farmed shrimp index fell 16 per cent. Cod loins, which were at record prices in November of 2008, fell 34 per cent over the next 11 months, in ...

Fisheries Science Failures on Full Display in 3Ps Cod Projections

Cod still remains “fish” in Newfoundland and Labrador, but the optimism of growing cod stocks in the past few years has been tempered. Newfoundland once had one of the world’s great cod stocks on the Grand Banks and in the 2J-3K NAFO area off the northeast coast of Newfoundland and off Labrador. According to George Rose of Memorial University, one of the world’s foremost scientists on Atlantic cod, the collapse of the stock in the early 1990s was precipitated when most of the ...

As the Decade Ends, What Battles Will the Industry Face Over the Next 10 Years

Above: David Greening photo New Year’s Day 2020 offered a good chance to think about how the next 10 years may be different for the seafood industry. If you think back to where we were in 2010, it is quite different than where we are today. Ten years ago, certification was still controversial. The MSC was about to decertify Alaska salmon. Retailers were facing a multiplicity of certifications and ratings and the shrimp industry with BAP and the tuna industry with International ...

Putting the ‘Fisher’ Back Into Fisheries Science

Scientists Reaching Out in Two Key Atlantic Fisheries: Units 1 and 2 Redfish and Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence Cod   One of the key challenges facing fisheries management is that of establishing effective communication between fishermen, scientists and decision-makers. It is no secret that scientists aren’t always successful in communicating their results. Indeed, the frustrations of stakeholders are often hard to hide. For fisheries management, however, poor communication can be ...

Can We Stop IUU Fishing by Thinking Outside the Box?

Above: Participants at the recent International Coldwater Prawn Forum held in St. John's, N.L. Campaigns against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing by both the industry and environmentalists continually run up against a problem: government enforcement. Enforcement is not as much of an issue for rich countries with well-developed fisheries management systems and strong enforcement histories. In these cases, when IUU fishing happens, it can be successfully exposed, ...

Fishing for Phantoms

Using the Local Ecological Knowledge of Fish Harvesters to Assess the Extent of Ghost Fishing Gear in Nova Scotia In recent years, Canadian and Global public awareness of ghost gear has improved. Ghost gear is traditionally defined as fishing gear that has been lost or discarded at sea and which continues to fish. This continued trapping of both targeted and bycatch species has negative environmental and economic impacts. One point of view that has often been overlooked with ...

What’s Going Right with Pollock

The single largest American fishery by volume, Alaska pollock, is having a banner year — and it is no accident. The pollock industry is one of the most efficient producers of protein on the planet, yet three years ago the industry was in crisis. Pollock prices were at their lowest level since 2005 and there were huge inventories of product in Europe largely due to the discount wars on pollock initiated as Pacific Andes struggled and Russian competitors were ramping up to produce single ...

FCC Conference Serves Up Insights and Solutions as Seafood Industry Adapts to Dynamic Challenges

For over a year, the Fisheries Council of Canada (FCC) has led a campaign to promote Canadian fish and seafood under the tagline, “Three Oceans, Two Million Lakes, One Place.” However, given the strong and enthusiastic showing at FCC’s recent Annual Conference, the tagline might have earned a new twist, “Hundreds of Participants, 11 Speakers, Lots of Value — in Two Days.” Indeed, as industry leaders from all three coasts and at all points along the supply chain gathered in ...

The Impacts of Climate Change on Atlantic Canada are Unprecedented

As the world reacts to dire new warnings contained in the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate, Ecology Action Centre (EAC) is focusing on how changing oceans could impact Atlantic Canada and what we can do about it. “Atlantic Canada’s way of life is so closely tied to the ocean,” says Shannon Arnold, senior marine coordinator, EAC. “The impacts of climate change on marine ecosystems could severely ...

High-Tech Cod Acoustic Tracking Project Underway off N.L.

Atlantic Canada’s interest in developing high-tech ocean industries and its traditional groundfish industry is coming together in a project recently announced in St. John’s, N.L. aimed at improving tracking of Northern cod. The Association of Seafood Producers and the Atlantic Groundfish Council announced an $8.5-million Northern cod acoustic tracking (NCAT) project. The project is part of a Northern cod fisheries improvement program (FIP) that was launched in 2015 in NAFO divisions 2J, ...