Commentary 47 results

2019 Crab and Lobster Overview

For the past 10 years, I have made an annual trip to New Brunswick following the Boston Seafood Show to discuss the market outlook for snow crab and lobster with harvesters and processors in a series of meetings around the province, sponsored by the Dept. of Fisheries and Aquaculture. Here are a few thoughts on those species.   Snow Crab I heard from several people at the Boston Seafood show that sentiment on crab changed on the last day of the show. At least two Japanese orders ...

Shrimp Market Turmoil With High Prices in Newfoundland and Strike on West Coast

There was a lot of turmoil in the coldwater prawn market prior to the Brussels seafood show, as demand seems to be stronger at the moment, but it is unclear whether the strength will last. Norway is beginning to see landings from the Barents Sea and export volumes of cooked and peeled shrimp are about 40 per cent higher for the first three months of this year than last year. However, current prices for cooked and peeled are about 11 per cent lower than the full-year average of 2018. The ...

Appeals Court Upholds DFO Right to Enforce Fleet Separation

A Canadian federal appeals court recently found that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) acted properly in taking the license of Labrador fisherman Kirby Elson, after he refused to terminate a controlling agreement he had made with Quinlan Brothers Ltd. and Labrador Sea Products. The agreement, which began in 2003, gave the companies control over the disposition of the fishing license. In return, Quinlans supplied a vessel, crew, financed the boat and reaped the profit. Canadian ...

2018 was Positive on Trade, Negative on Investment Confidence

It seems not so long ago that Canadian exporters were considering how the business landscape would change without the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Fortunately, that scenario hasn’t played out and a new trade agreement, the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) was reached. For export sensitive sectors, this was especially welcome news, but CUSMA, and other trade agreements like it, are not an end-point, more accurately, it’s a foundation for Canadian exporters to ...

Canadian Lobster Sector Lands a Jumbo Opportunity with the Canadian Fish and Seafood Opportunities Fund

This year the Lobster Council of Canada (LCC), the only cross-sectorial, cross-provincial industry association for lobster, has an unprecedented opportunity to fulfill our mission, to increase demand and price to fortify economic sustainability, rewarding everyone within the Canadian lobster value-chain. The announcement came in early December of the long-awaited Canadian Fish and Seafood Opportunities Fund (CFSOF), a funding program to support the LCC’s important work. We must work ...

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 ...