International Fleet has Doubled Since 1950
3.7-Million Fishing Vessels Now Plying the World’s Oceans
If you walk into any rural community or fisheries-related museum anywhere in Atlantic Canada, chances are you will see old, faded photographs of busy harbours hanging on the walls.
Harbours that were not only bustling with people and commerce but were absolutely filled with boats — in many cases hundreds of small fishing vessels, backed with impressive looking schooners at anchor.
There were so many small boats back then, that ...
A Cod Fishery Juxtaposition
The management approach for the Northern cod stewardship fishery for NAFO Divisions 2J3KL was recently announced by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO).
As in past years, the catch phrase for this fishery once again appears to be cautious optimism, as DFO unveiled a total commercial quota of 12,350 tonnes, a 30 per cent increase relative to 2018.
While harvesters on the eastern shores of Newfoundland await the detailed conservation and harvesting plan for this year’s Northern ...
Options Aplenty for Northern Cod
Some pundits might argue that there are nearly as many opinions of what to do with the iconic Northern cod as there are actual fish in the ocean.
While that might be a mild exaggeration, proposals and theories are aplenty once again, especially since the latest stock assessment from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO).
After a supposed setback last year, DFO recently reported that the Northern cod stock off eastern Newfoundland appears to be in better shape than initially ...
Plant Worker Shortages: A Complex and Stubborn Dilemma
Thomas Edison once said, “The reason a lot of people do not recognize opportunity is because it usually goes around wearing overalls looking like hard work.”
This tidbit of wisdom makes all the sense in the world. However, the Atlantic Canada seafood processing industry seems to have the complete opposite problem: the opportunities have been clearly identified, but the overall-wearing folks can’t be found.
Atlantic seafood processing is a critical link in the seafood value chain and ...
PFDs: A Regulatory Disconnect
On September 5, 2015, the fishing vessel Caledonian capsized 20 nautical miles west of Nootka Sound, British Columbia.
At the time, the vessel was trawling for hake with four crew members onboard. Following the capsizing, the master and mate climbed onto the overturned hull and remained there for several hours.
When the vessel eventually sank, the master and mate abandoned it and the mate swam toward and boarded the life raft. The Canadian Coast Guard subsequently rescued the mate and ...
Dealing with Trends and Countertrends
As the end of this decade starts to draw closer, climate change and the subsequent warming of the world’s oceans, notably the Northwest Atlantic Ocean, continues to be a major concern for the North American fishing industry.
Nowhere is this warming phenomenon more present than in the nearby Gulf of Maine. The Gulf of Maine stretches from Cape Cod to Nova Scotia and it is a key intersection between cold water masses from the Arctic and warm water masses from the Gulf Stream.
The National ...
A Small Fish in a Big Pond
For generations in Atlantic Canada, the fishery was a small,
insular industry where fishermen harvested fish and sold it to a local
The fishing seasons changed, but the process remained pretty
much unchanged for hundreds of years. However, as technology changed and
advanced at a near incomprehensible pace in the last few decades, fishermen in
this region are waking up to find themselves involved in the huge juggernaut
that is the international fishing industry.
It is always ...
No Dead Whales in the Gulf — Now What?
For many fishermen, the 2018 snow crab fishery in the Gulf of St. Lawrence will probably be filed away as one to forget.
The 2018 season was delayed in opening by the presence of heavy ice in the bays and ports of the region. And once the fishery finally opened, catch rates were much lower than 2017.
However, the biggest disruption to the valuable fishery was the closure of crab fishing areas due to the arrival of right whales in the Gulf. At least 18 North Atlantic right whales had been ...
2018: The Sharper the Blast, the Sooner it Will Pass?
Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us: American author Hal Borland.
So good readers, were any lasting lessons learned in 2018 that will better the fishery of the future?
What events transpired over the last 12 months that could impact the way the commercial fishery evolves in the years and decades to come?
Perhaps the best analogy one could use to describe the fishing year that was is to compare it to the ...
Fishing Safety: Much Work to be Done
The winter season is nearly upon us.
While some fishermen are hauling up their boats, storing gear and evaluating the season that was, many harvesters are just getting started.
In just a few weeks, more than 1,600 harvesters in lobster fishing areas (LFAs) 33-34 will be hitting the water to prosecute one of the largest and most lucrative lobster fisheries on the planet. The countdown to dumping day 2018 is on.
The planning and preparation for this multi-million-dollar fishery is ...