Commentary 38 results

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The Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) has withdrawn an allocation of 25 per cent of the Arctic surf clam quota from the small New Brunswick First Nation that won the award.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 ...

Right Whales: Reason Needs to Outweigh Reaction

I have worked for the Grand Manan Fishermen’s Association for 25 years. It’s been a good career; there’s always something new in the fishery. I’ve gotten to know some great people both locally and across the country. I come from a fishing family; my father, brother and brother-in-law are all fishermen. I have a strong attachment to what I do and why I do it. While as a fishing community, we have the same seasonality markers as most places (Christmas, Easter, Canada Day, ...

Protecting the Right Whale Must be a Collaborative Effort

Much has been written about the ongoing challenge of protecting the North Atlantic right whale (NARW) along the Eastern seaboard of the U.S. and in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. The impact the 18 reported deaths in 2017 has had on the entire NARW population cannot be understated. The issue in many cases has been a lack of substantiated facts with regards to specific fisheries and the ongoing commitment by key fisheries to protect the NARW. The Canadian lobster fishery is one of those key ...

Federal Government Updates Ocean Protection Initiatives

With the longest coastline in the world, the Pacific, Arctic and Atlantic oceans have been part of Canadians’ way of life for centuries and they have helped to build Canada’s history and sustain our economy over generations. We all want our oceans to remain productive, sustainable and able to support healthy marine ecosystems and coastal communities. As Canada’s Oceans Minister, these are priorities for me and this Oceans Day is an opportunity to reflect on our accomplishments and ...

Unit 1 and 2 Redfish: Making the Most of the Future

Unit 1 and 2 redfish is a good news story. As recently as 2010, the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) recommended the species in this stock be listed as endangered and threatened. Fortunately, favorable environmental conditions from 2011 to 2013 allowed extraordinary recruitment. With millions of tonnes of mostly juvenile redfish in the water today, the industry is faced with entirely different questions — how fast and hard to fish it. These decisions will ...