Wonders of the Deep Ocean are Worth Saving
This letter is in response to an article in the August 2023, Navigator Magazine by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) entitled Labrador Discovery, Scientists Find Something Unexpected in the Labrador Sea.
A recent discovery has shown why DFO scientists have discovered a hotspot of corals and sponges near Makkovik, Labrador.
The research for this coral and sponge hotspot started two years ago when Joey Angnatok, a Nunatsiavut fish harvester, thought he had discovered a seamount while ...
Electronic Tracking Systems Versus Ropeless Gear
Earlier this year, I appeared before the House Committee on Fisheries and Oceans personally in Ottawa and made a presentation on the negative impacts that ropeless fishing gear and reduced breaking strength buoy lines would have on our industry and resource.
I covered all aspects as I’ve been in this industry 51 years and have been on many committees and chaired several meaningful organizations during my career.
The North Atlantic right whale, like other whales, are breathing animals ...
Floundering Like a Ship With No Rudder
When going through my files recently, I came across a letter from former Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Brian Peckford, dated Dec. 21, 1979, entitled Northern Cod Stocks.
One thing in that letter that really sticks out is the statement “the government of Canada is in the process of establishing the shape of things to come.”
What I can say 43 years later is things have only gotten worse with no inquiry into what happened and no plan is in place to try and restore the great cod ...
Remembering My Friend Cabot Martin
On June 21, 2023, a service was held for Cabot Martin at the St. George’s Anglican church in Petty Harbour.
Cabot’s roots were in Port aux Basques, but he spent most of his life in St. John’s. However, he never forgot the rural parts of this province and spent a lot of his time and money working for our rural communities and for the ocean that was the life blood and our reason for being here.
One of his projects was cod farming, where fisher people would catch small cod and put them ...
The N.L. Fish Pricing System is Broken
Not only did the FFAW-Unifor come out on the losing end of the snow crab tie-up, the union has nothing to save face.
The local labour movement would be ashamed, if its back wasn’t already turned on the fishery.
Premier Andrew Furey shared a picture on his Twitter account on May 19th to mark the agreement to start the 2023 snow crab fishery at $2.20/pound — the same price set by the price-setting panel on April 6th — 43 days earlier.
I’m not sure which was more shocking: the ...
From Fisheries Mismanagement to Oceans Management
Imagine if the future of the planet was being decided by a small group of bureaucrats and mining bosses in closed meetings in far-flung parts of the world.
Rather than looking at the overall impacts, these meetings only looked at things from one perspective — making sure that the mining companies could increase their takings — and ignoring other consequences, be they environmental, social or economic.
If that were the case, wouldn’t you think there would be an outcry, massive ...
Offshore Companies Get Leg-Up From DFO
In March, the news broke that DFO (Department of Fisheries and Oceans) spent untold millions completing two weeks of science work for redfish on the Mersey Venture, a 200-foot factory freezer trawler owned by Mersey Seafoods and part of the offshore lobby group, the Atlantic Groundfish Council, headed by Bruce Chapman.
Go on, ‘by. Surely the Union’s not out complaining about the government doing more science work when that’s what they’re going on about half the time?
In an effort ...
Legislation Jeopardizing Future of Fishing Enterprises
Recently, I was out for a little beachside ride on my quad near the once busy fishing community of Black Duck Cove, on Twillingate Island, when I noticed a Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) sign washed ashore on the beach.
The sign read “structure in disrepair — keep off.”
As I picked it up, I thought, not only a literal statement of the decrepit wharf which it had obviously been attached to, but a sad metaphor for the future of so many of our fishing villages.
So, I ...
Price Negotiations Process is Skewed in Favour of Processing Companies
The provincial government recently released the review recommendations for our fishery’s price setting panel late last week.
The review was mainly done in response to the 2022 fishery — where processors refused to sit across the negotiations table from us, refused to pay the prices set by the panel and closed some fisheries down entirely.
2022 was by far the most difficult year of negotiations I can recall as someone who has been around the table now for over a decade. I’ve been ...
Monterey Bay Aquarium Spreading Misinformation About Sustainability of Maine Lobster Fishery
Given the recent recommendations released by Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Program for American lobster, we write to share important facts about the Maine lobster industry’s long history of sustainability and commitment to protecting the endangered North Atlantic right whale.
We ask that you will respect the science and evidence outlined below as you consider purchasing American lobster.
In Maine, more than 4,500 lobstermen and women, all of whom are, by law, self-employed, ...