Commentary 42 results

Is FFAW Crying Wolf Over 3Ps Cod?

Inshore Sector Increased Catches as Stock Remained Low   One of the characteristics of a fishery is that decisions about harvests run on two tracks:  the scientific track of what can be caught sustainably and the allocation track, where fishers and gear sectors fight over who gets what proportions of the catch. With Newfoundland’s 3Ps cod, mixing up these two tracks can take a relatively clear picture and turn it to mud. This was the effect of FFAW-Unifor President Keith ...

A Good Deal for Canadians

The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) is an updated, modernized North American trade agreement that is good for Canada and good for Canadians. It is the result of Canada being tough at the negotiation table, united at home and getting the job done. Canada negotiated hard. We stayed strong, even when some were urging capitulation. We held out for a good deal, and we got a good deal. Canadians can be justly proud of this. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce, which represents ...

Global Whitefish Supply Will Continue to Decline in 2019

At October’s Groundfish Forum, there were no unexpected developments in global groundfish stocks. On a year-to-year basis, it was very much business as usual. But if you look at a three-year picture, from 2017 to 2019, total global wild whitefish production has dropped four per cent, with cod down 13.4 per cent over the past three years. This change in the supply picture has had price impacts in several areas. First, international cod prices (Barents Sea) have climbed 21 per cent ...

Quota Cuts Coming for Georges Bank Groundfish

It looks like quota cuts are on the horizon for the Georges Bank groundfish fishery. Recent recommendations from the Canada/U.S. Georges Bank Transboundary Management Guidance Committee (TMGC) include a 25 per cent cut in haddock quotas, a 32 per cent cut for cod quotas and a 53 per cent cut in yellowtail flounder quotas for 2019. Co-chair of the Committee, Alain d’Entremont, Scotia Harvest Inc., said the 2019 overall recommendation for cod is 650 metric tonnes (a reduction from 950 ...

Massive Canadian Buying of Lobster Keeps Prices Steady in Maine

When the China lobster tariffs of 25 per cent went into effect on July 6, many feared an immediate reaction in Maine leading to lower prices. That has not happened. During the first six months of this year, lobster exports to China from Maine were booming. Many feared that the sudden cutoff of these exports would crash the market. During the January to July period, Maine shipped three-million pounds of live lobster to China in 2016, 5.6-million in 2017 and nearly 12-million in 2018. To ...

DFO Reverses Surf Clam Award After Refusing to Re-open Flawed Process

The Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) has withdrawn an allocation of 25 per cent of the Arctic surf clam quota from the small New Brunswick First Nation that won the award. It has also pledged to work with existing sole license holder, Clearwater Seafoods, to ensure that the unallocated quota can be used to support income and livelihoods of plant and vessel workers this year. This is welcome news to Newfoundland and Labrador. In an unheralded announcement, DFO said “the ...

Trump’s Great Gift to Canada

Thanks to Canada’s neighbour to the south, the optimism level of fishermen in lobster fishing areas (LFA) 34 and 35 must be on the rise. A few months ago, The Navigator’s sister publication, Atlantic Fisherman, speculated that if trade talks between the U.S. and China continued to go sideways, then the Nova Scotia lobster industry might be on the verge of more market share in the lucrative and all-important Asian market. And it appears that prediction, due mainly to the unpredictable ...

Why the China Tariffs Matter to the Seafood Industry

The proposed 10 per cent tariff on all Chinese seafood exports to the U.S., combined with the 25 per cent tariff on U.S. seafood products exported to China already in effect in response to the first round of U.S. tariffs is a major blow to the future of the Amercian seafood industry. The second round of tariffs has been proposed by the U.S. trade representative will not come into effect until sometime after August 30. Before then, there will be a public hearing, and various U.S. industries ...

Consumer Trust in MSC Certification Hanging in the Balance

Photo by David Greening A new poll commissioned by members of the Make Stewardship Count coalition indicates that the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) could face a significant erosion of consumer confidence as a result of the certification body’s inattention to a number of critical issues, including the bycatch of endangered and threatened species, the deliberate encirclement of dolphins, shark finning and habitat destruction. YouGov Deutschland GmbH polled 5,574 people in France, ...

With the Canadian Lobster Season Over and Maine Ramping Up, Shore Prices Lower than Last Year

There are many things buffeting the lobster market, but as of yet, problems like trade wars, whale interactions and possible gear changes have not had discernable price impacts in either the U.S. or Canada. Instead, lobster prices for both tails, meat and the live market represented a return to a more normal pattern than seen in 2017. The Canadian season, which primarily lasts from May 1 to June 30, saw shore prices lower in both P.E.I./New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The FFAW reports that ...