Commentary 118 results

Are Whale Management Measures Levelling Off?

Have the federal government’s recent actions to help protect endangered North Atlantic right whales from fishing gear entanglements and collisions with vessels been working? For now, they appear to be. The Departments of Fisheries, Oceans (DFO) and Transport announced in March that for two successive years, there have been no reported right whale deaths in Canadian waters. This positive news was part of the federally mandated right whale fishery and vessel management measures for the ...

Seals Are Wreaking Absolute Havoc Off Our Shores

The environmental movement has gained significant strength over the last decade as discourse surrounding climate change and carbon emissions come into play for seemingly every economic, social and political issue we are faced with. But as we focus on how to live more sustainably to protect the earth for future generations, a troubling trend is emerging and it’s having unintended consequences on true sustainability. Greenwashing is the process of conveying a false impression or providing ...

DFO Continues Inaction on Category B Lobster Licences

Three years ago, we began our campaign to reverse the outdated “Moonlighter Policy” that targets Category B lobster licence holders in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and P.E.I. In that time, our efforts have consistently been met with delays and an unwillingness to address the issue from DFO. The 50-year-old policy was introduced by Fisheries and Oceans Canada as an attempt to remove people from the fishery as a conservation method. The policy achieved this by targeting fishermen who held ...

Anti-Russia Sanctions Could Hit Crab, Groundfish with Price Volatility

On February 24, Russia mounted a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, dashing any lingering hopes of a smaller-scale, more contained event. In the build-up to this conflict, the U.S. has managed to forge a stronger united front with Western Europe than most expected. Germany’s decision to suspend the Nordstream 2 gas pipeline, which will lead to sharply higher energy prices in Europe and elsewhere, is a measure of how seriously the Western governments are taking the invasion. Sanctions are ...

Seeing Red Over Lobster Fishery Proposal

From all reports, the lobster season in this region is chugging along and is on par with last year. Speaking of last season, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) recently reported that lobster fishing areas (LFAs) 33 and 34 recorded landings of 27,395 tonnes, for an approximate landed value of $515 million. That total equates to a whopping 62 per cent of total Canadian landings of lobster. There is no doubt that these are exciting times for the lobster fishery in Southwest Nova ...

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 ...

This Lobster Season, Just Wear a PFD

Above: Capt. Andrew Titus of Mersey Seafoods sporting his personal floatation device dockside, October 2021. Contributed photo   The preparation is over and Nova Scotia’s two largest lobster fishing areas’ (LFAs 33/34) captains and crews are now catching the prized crustaceans. For months, fishermen have been fixing gear, getting life rafts inspected, doing oil changes, arranging for bait and so much more to what some say is an endless list of things to do before the traps ...