Editor’s Notebook 66 results

The Saga of Recommendation M16-05

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 ...

Will Coalition’s Funding Plea be Answered?

Everyone involved in some capacity with the Atlantic Canada fishery knows that the industry has ebbs and flows each year. As a particular fishing season looms on the horizon, chatter, speculation and arguments always seem to surface, almost like clockwork. Just look at what recently happened with snow crab in Newfoundland. And the Northern shrimp fishery has certainly not been immune to these disputes in the past. But this year, things have been strangely quiet in the lead up to the 2020 ...

Welcome to the New Normal

“People often ask when the world will return to its normal days. Don’t wait for normal days. Assume that abnormal days are normal days. Today’s abnormal normal is now our new normal.” Mehmet Murat Ildan (Turkish playwright and author)   Last month’s Navigator Magazine was the always-popular, annual safety issue. It always highlights and puts the importance of safety in the fishery out front, where it should always be. As every harvester knows, fishing is a dangerous ...

Industry Uncertainty Cannot Overshadow Safety

Like most industries around the globe, COVID-19 has many seafood harvesting and processing businesses reeling right now. At this time of the year, Southwest Nova lobster fishermen are normally putting a big push on to finish their season strong, while in other parts of Atlantic Canada, the snow crab fishery is about to ramp up into high gear, not to mention other Maritime lobster seasons. Economically speaking, spring is the critical season for many fishing enterprises. However, the ...

Does the Science Branch Need to be DFO’s Lightning Rod?

What does the international game of cricket have in common with fisheries science today? Stumped on this one? Well, let’s have an Indian cricket player sum it up for you: “Wicket keeping is a lot like umpiring, as it’s a thankless job. People only remember you for your mistakes. You try and do your best every day, but you won’t be at your best every single day.” Many scientists at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) are probably nodding in approval as they perused ...

The Continuing Enigma That is Cod

A needle in a haystack. A snowball in a blizzard. A black cat in a coal mine. You get the idea. Why is cod the Houdini of the fishing industry? As you all know by now, counting cod is as predictable as the weather of late. Fishermen report an abundance of cod in some areas, while scientists say they can’t find them. Harvesters say cod is showing up on their sounders as thick, solid bands, while scientific tow surveys are reporting that the groundfish is no longer found in ...

Is Federal MPA Plan Too Aggressive and Short-Sighted?

With 2019 now in the rear-view mirror, fishing industry stakeholders are looking ahead to the next decade and are anxiously awaiting new federal Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan to start work on her new portfolio. As you will see on page 22 of this month’s Navigator, the Nova Scotia Member of Parliament for South Shore-St. Margaret’s recently received her marching orders from her boss, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. There is nothing earth-shattering in her mandate letter — ...

2019: A Calming of the Tempest?

“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day”: American poet Edith Lovejoy Pierce. So good Navigator readers, what final entries will you be adding to your 2019 journal, while cracking the spine on your new 2020 memoir? What was the overall tone of your 2019? Could it be summed up by the normal terms associated with the fishery in Atlantic Canada — including adject...

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, ...