Editor’s Notebook 58 results

Will the Fishery be a Top-Tier Government Priority?

As our thoughts begin to turn to that most festive of giving seasons, the last thing anyone wants to read right now is yet another post-federal election analysis. Enough already you might be screaming at this moment, if you have even made it past the word election in the lead sentence. But in the spirit of the season, let’s look at this early gift of a minority federal government that Santa or somebody has flicked under the proverbial fisheries Christmas tree. Did you ever receive a ...

Shrimp Fishery Showing Signs of Life?

To say the Northern shrimp fishery has had a few rough years would be more than an understatement. In fact, not too long ago, many in the industry were starting to talk about the possible end of this once lucrative and profitable fishery. One cannot understate the growth of the shrimp fishery off northeastern Newfoundland. The fishery for Northern shrimp began off the coast of Labrador in SFA (shrimp fishing area) 5 in the mid-1970s, primarily in the Hopedale and Cartwright Channels, ...

The Game is Afoot

It has been a while since the old Navigator time machine has been fired up and taken for a spin. Hopefully it should not take too much coaxing to turn over the engine as we take a quick hop back to the days following October 19, 2015. A four-year spin should hopefully not burn too much fuel, since we are not sure if time machines fall under the new carbon tax legislation or not. Anyway, let’s take a short walk back to the days after the Liberal red tide washed over the shores of ...

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 merchant. 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 ...