Commentary 33 results

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 ...

Investors Swoon Over Land-Based Salmon Farming in Maine

Down East Maine is one of the poorest parts of the United States. The area used to have large numbers of salmon canneries and paper mills, which have all disappeared. Now, the drop in costs for land-based salmon farming has resulted in an investor-led rush to acquire and build suitable properties in Maine. The latest investment group is Whole Oceans, a company owned by the private equity venture group called Emergent Holdings, which first filed its Securities and Exchange Commission ...

Gillnets, Hook-and-Lines and Pots

Gear Considerations in a New Newfoundland Cod Fishery   In 2017, Yann Rouxel worked with fishermen on the Northeast coast to complete his master’s thesis entitled Evaluation of Best Practices for Fishing Sustainability: Fishing Gear Assessment in the Newfoundland Northern Cod Fishery, through the University of Westfjords in Iceland. Here are some of his perspectives derived from his experiences, analysis and education. Bill Montevecchi supervised the research through his lab at ...

Surf Clam Decision a Massive Failure on the Part of Fisheries Minister

The recent decision to award 25 per cent of the Arctic surf clam quota in Canada to a bidder consisting of a small company in Nova Scotia and five unknown indigenous band partners in Atlantic Canada appears to be a massive failure. The decision by Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc has pitted region against region, has pitted various first nation’s groups against each other, has crippled a multi-million-dollar investment in the fishery by Clearwater and quite possibly will significantly ...

We Need to Enhance Atlantic Canada’s Fisheries

Demand for Canada’s seafood exports should continue to grow dramatically, as Asian markets remain strong and European markets open up under the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with the EU. Yet many leaders in the seafood industry in Atlantic Canada fear fisheries policies may be adapted in a way that creates instability in the industry and compromises investment and economic growth. In a speech last summer in Nova Scotia, Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc hinted at far-rea...

Missing the Mark on N.L. South Coast Cod

Above photo: The Icewater Seafoods plant in Arnold's Cove, N.L. Photo courtesy of Icewater Seafoods A new year provides an opportunity for all participants in the fishery to take stock of its successes and failures. One area that needs reflection from industry as a whole is the cod resource off the South Coast of Newfoundland in 3Ps. The state of this stock is no surprise to anyone. Science representatives from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans have repeatedly told participa...