Commentary 135 results

Is the Retail Seafood Market About to Bounce Back?

Long before it kicked off, everyone participating in the lobster fishing area (LFA) 33–34 fishery knew 2022–23 was going to be a challenging season. Lower shore prices, market uncertainty and record prices for bait and diesel are among some of the adversities facing harvesters this year. Buyers and processors in Nova Scotia are also being extra cautious due to slower than normal international markets at this stage of the season. At the same time, fishermen have their calculators out ...

Adding Insult to Injury

Author Elizabeth Edwards once wrote, “She stood in the storm and when the wind did not blow her way, she adjusted her sails.” With a challenging 2023 lobster season on the horizon, it looks as the though the resilient commercial fishermen in Southwest Nova Scotia might have quite a bit of metaphorical sail adjusting to do over the next six months. Harvesters in this region are no strangers to adversity and they are certainly going to have to call upon that experience to navigate the ...

Ramping up the “Red List” Resistance

American author James C. Collins once said, “Bad decisions made with good intentions, are still bad decisions.” After receiving and continuing to receive unmitigated backlash over its decision to “Red List” American lobster and Canadian snow crab, the California-based Monterey Bay Aquarium is sticking to its misguided guns — at least for now. As everyone in the Atlantic Canadian fishing industry already knows, as part of its Seafood Watch Program, in September, the conservation ...

Monterey Bay Discredits Itself With Red Listing of Lobster

One of the key points about Non-Governmental Organizations’ (NGOs) ratings of fisheries is their variability. Different organizations have different levels of independent governance, transparency and public accountability. The recent red (avoid) listing of American and Canadian lobster by Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch is an example of how rating organizations can reflect their own organizational biases. Seafood Watch is not among the nine seafood rating organizations benchmar...

The Greying of the Fleet

Rodney Dangerfield once said “It’s great to have grey hair. Ask anyone who’s bald.” And one does not have to visit too many commercial fishing wharves and harbours across Atlantic Canada to see plenty of examples of that grey hair peeking out from under ball caps. According to the federal government, for the first time in Canada’s history, there are now more individuals over the age of 65 than there are children under the age of 15. In Atlantic Canada, more than one in three ...

A Call for Cross-Border Collaboration

Canada’s Commitment to North Atlantic Right Whales   Since 2017, many of us in the Canadian lobster industry feel like we’ve been trapped in a South Park episode. There has been a steady drumbeat eager to blame Canada for the plight of North Atlantic right whales (NARWs). The unfair red-listing by Seafood Watch just adds fuel to the fire. Right whales were rarely observed in the Gulf of St. Lawrence until recently. Historically, they never ventured much beyond their norther...

Why Has the Shellfish Market Fallen So Hard?

U.S. shellfish, including snow crab, lobster tail, king crab and crabmeat, have all experienced some of their most rapid, and in some cases steepest, market declines in the past eight months. But shrimp, by far the largest volume shellfish item, has not seen a significant price decline. Urner Barry’s (UB) value-added shrimp index has barely moved, even while the volume of U.S. shrimp imports continue to set records. What factors made shellfish so vulnerable to a rapid correction, but ...

Canadian Centre for Fisheries Innovation: Your Local R & D Resource

The Aquaculture Canada and World Aquaculture Society North America 2022 Conference is a perfect occasion to celebrate the tremendous work of all the people and organizations who have contributed to the growth and development of aquaculture in our country, and around the world. They are to be celebrated because they recognize the immense opportunities that arise from providing sustainably sourced seafood to a growing world population that is hungry for it and because they are willing to face ...

The Challenges of Making Ends Meet

The late English comedian Les Dawson once said, “The way prices are rising, the good old days are last week.” It appears Atlantic Canadians’ fixation of talking about weather fluctuations has been overshadowed of late by tales of price fluctuations — fluctuations unfortunately headed in the wrong direction. The price of practically everything has gone up and the fishing industry is no exception. Just ask any lobster fishermen in the region. During the summer of 2020, fishermen ...

Aquaculture on “The Leading Edge of Food Production”

Aquaculture can sometimes seem a bit complicated to people with all the science and technology that goes into it. But the primary goal of the sector is very simple — it’s all about growing food to feed people. St. John’s, N.L. is welcoming the best and brightest from the aquaculture world to the Aquaculture Canada and World Aquaculture Society (WAS) North America Conference and Trade Show (Aug. 15–18, 2022) and as part of that event, there is no doubt folks will collectively ...