Commentary 18 results

Quebec Private Equity Firm Creates $140-Million Lobster and Crab Group

The Montreal-based private equity firm, Champlain Financial, has purchased Riverside Lobster of Nova Scotia and will merge the company with Cheticamp Fisheries, which it purchased in May 2017. The primary products of Riverside and Cheticamp are lobster and snow crab. The group will be led by Marc Poulin, formerly CEO of Sobeys, who will become the executive chairman of Champlain’s seafood platform. “Both companies are strategically located in the most productive crab and lobster ...

There is No Silver Bullet for Groundfish

The great philosopher Yogi Berra said, “You can observe a lot by watching.” You can also learn a lot by listening. I try to do a lot of listening. I think it’s the most important part of my job and of all of our jobs at the Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office and the Northeast Fisheries Science Center. With all of the activity in the last couple of months, there has certainly been a lot to listen to. For example, we held recreational roundtable meetings in New Jersey and New ...

St. Anns Bank, New Marine Reserve, Open to Non-Trawl Fishing, Including Crab and Lobster

On World Oceans Day, Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc announced that St. Anns Bank, east of Cape Breton, is officially Canada’s latest marine protected area. St. Anns Bank Marine Protected Area is 4,364-square kilometres in size and is located off the eastern coast of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. The area is important for conservation, containing leatherback sea turtles, deep-sea corals, sponges, sea pens and recovering populations of Atlantic cod and Atlantic wolffish. Over 100 ...

Gulf Snow Crab Quota Even Higher Than Expected

The snow crab supply picture from Atlantic Canada is coming into better focus. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) announced in April that the quota in the Southern Gulf, which was 21,725 tonnes last year, will more than double to 43,822 tonnes this year. Combined with the Newfoundland quota of 35,419 tonnes, total Canadian harvests from the two primary producing areas will total 79,241 tonnes of crab, or nearly 175 million pounds of live crab if the entire quota is caught. In ...

Canada Will Ship Lobsters and Scallops to Europe Duty Free as Early as May 1

The Canadian free trade agreement with the European Union (EU), called CETA (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement), has been in the works for years, but its first real fisheries effects are about to be felt on both sides of the border. As early as May 1, the treaty will come into force. The final step is the final ratification by the Canadian Parliament which is likely to occur very soon. Most observers think May 1 is the most likely date. As is usual in most trade agreements, many ...

How Alaskans Forced Snow Crab Prices Above $8/Pound

Price Likely to Carry Through to Boston Reports from Japan say Bering Sea opilio (snow crab) prices are escalating wildly above $8/pound due to the production cutback in Alaska. As a result, wholesale snow crab prices in Japan have smashed all records and are up about 50 per cent over last year. As of late February, about 12.6 million pounds has been caught and nine million pounds remains to be fished, or about 41 per cent of the total 21.6 million pounds, which includes both the IFQ and ...

Don’t Give Up on Snow Crab

2017 Data Says Canadian Volumes Will Come Roaring Back There are major changes in snow crab quotas projected for the Gulf of St. Lawrence in 2017. The preliminary survey data done by DFO shows significantly higher crab biomass than expected. The data will be peer reviewed in February, at which time the biomass and exploitation rates will be set. But the industry in the Gulf is talking as if it may see its highest total landings ever. The snow crab market has shot up dramatically this ...

N.B. Lobster Processors Warn of Possible Shortage of Tails This Winter

The major lobster processors in New Brunswick are concerned about a possible disconnect between what they see happening in the market this winter and the expectations of their major customers. Although the lobster meat market has been near record highs, lobster tails have traded normally and have been priced around $15 per lb. for a 4 oz tail since July. Packers say this is a good price point for retailers, but they feel it may not last, despite the fact there is still some lobster tail ...

Groundfish Forum May be Too Pessimistic on Atlantic Cod

The single biggest change in whitefish forecasts presented at the recent Groundfish Forum in Hamburg, Germany was for Barents Sea Cod, where Norwegian and Russian catches were thought to drop 11 per cent in 2017. However, closer reading of the situation suggests this might not be the case. The forecast was largely based on International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) recommendations and in 2015 the organization recommended a quota of 805,000 tonnes, while the actual TAC was ...

Icewater Seafoods Calls for Balance in Newfoundland Cod Allocations, Management

In a statement to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans, which recently held a hearing in St. John’s, Icewater Seafoods called for a more balanced approach to the exploitation of Northern cod stocks. Icewater is the second largest holder of enterprise (greater than 100-foot vessel) allocations for Northern cod and is the company that received the cod allocations formerly belonging to Fishery Products International. When that company was split up and sold to ...