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Are Coastal Communities in Peril?

Atlantic Ocean Predicted to Rise Substantially in 20- 50 Years While President Trump contemplates a mega billion-dollar wall between the U.S.-Mexican border, recent news from the scientific community strongly indicates the wall should be constructed along the coastline of the United States to protect such entities as New York City, Miami and San Francisco. The accepted theory by most of the world’s leading marine scientists is that the world oceans would rise by one to two feet in the ...

The Bluenose and the Cape Islander: Two Different Fishing Vessels, Two Different Stories

Nova Scotia will have the honour of having two of its fishing vessels featured on Canadian currency when the Cape Islander will be part of a commemorative Loonie celebrating this country’s 150th anniversary. The first one was the Bluenose, which first graced the Canadian dime in 1937. Two different boats, two different tales. The Bluenose was built in Lunenburg, N.S., to fish and race against its counterparts in Gloucester, Mass., in the 1920s. The schooner design had actually ...

Trump Trade Threats May Not Amount to Much

The election of Donald Trump as president of the most powerful country in the world wasn’t an isolated incident, as other countries — especially in Europe — blazed the trail by electing people opposing global trade agreements and wide open immigration policies. Great Britain led the way with its opposition to the European Union and voted narrowly to opt out of the organization. France and Germany also have ultra-right wingers vying for top political offices, with free trade arrang...

EU Trade Deal the Perfect Christmas Gift for Our Fishing Industry

Christmas is a time for fellowship and giving, where, for a very brief period in time, an aura of peace and goodwill that seems to permeate the psyche of many of us, placing what we perceive as ill winds at bay, at least for a few weeks. The problem is, when we awake from the festivities, the ever-so-brief lull which is like medication to dull the pain does nothing to solve the cause of the pain. Free trade deals between nations have become a fact of life and as with most deals there are ...

Lobster Processing Revival in South Western Nova Scotia

When you think of lobster processing, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island readily come to mind. But it wasn’t that far back that south western Nova Scotia was a leader in this field. And with the success of Riverside Lobster International, based in Meteghan River, about 50 kilometres from Yarmouth, the revival is in full swing. Stepping back a bit, lobster canning was a major seasonal employer in this region from about 1840 to 1932, when the markets collapsed. Places like Harris ...

For Nova Scotia it’s Déjà vu All Over Again

The latest brouhaha between fishermen in Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia is over shrimp quota allocations. So what else is new? Years ago, I remember discussing various fisheries topics with the then-federal Fisheries Minister Romeo LeBlanc. At one point I asked him what was the most difficult part of his job and he quickly replied, “allocations.” Since the 1970s, a policy known as Last In, First Out (LIFO) has been in effect in Atlantic Canada. In other words, the first ...

Nova Scotia Says No to ‘Franken Salmon’ but GMO Foods All Around Us

There’s a big push globally to have all seafood labelled by its origin, how it was caught, by what means and if it is under sustainable management. While Atlantic companies and fisheries have become part of the project simply because they had to if exporting to most foreign countries, I’ve yet to see a label attached to fresh Atlantic salmon steaks or portions in local grocery chains stating where the salmon came from. Does everyone know that most are cage-reared and were fed copious ...

Scientists, Environmentalists Plead for Repairs of Damage Done by Harper Government

Fisheries and Oceans is wounded but not slain and many people in the fishing industry hope that it will rise up again because in these times of high uncertainty and anxiety, what the fishing industry needs is more credible science. The Harper government certainly did a job on Fisheries and Oceans. Budgets were slashed, scientists muzzled, all in the name of having a balanced budget which Harper hoped would return his party to power for a third term. Fortunately, this didn’t happen. The ...

Foreign Workers Rules Relaxed: Catamaran Ferry Wrong Boat for N.S. Fishery

A policy which was crippling Atlantic fish plants will see changes which will be to the industry’s benefit. Ottawa announced recently that it was moving ahead with exemptions to the Temporary Foreign Workers Program which would allow employers such as a fish plant operator to bring in an unlimited number of temporary foreign workers, provided the work period is shorter than 180 days. The Harper government literally killed a number of fishing enterprises when it limited the number of ...

Action Committee Hopes Liberals Stick to Commitment on Environmental Assessments

In a region which has been labelled as ‘have not’ for so many years, the thought of any project that will create jobs for any extended period of time is music in the ears of politicians, as well as their constituents. The problem with this scenario is Atlantic provincial governments did not practice due diligence on mega projects which promised much and produced very little. Thus we have major failures in the four Atlantic provinces in the field of attracting companies which last the ...