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On the Waterfront – July 2019

Fatal Fishing Accident Off Labrador A 52-year-old veteran Newfoundland fisherman died after falling overboard from an offshore fishing vessel on May 28. The Transportation Safety Board (TSB) reported that the fisherman, identified as Robert Colbourne of St. Lunaire-Griquet, N.L., went overboard while working on the Newfoundland Victor about 400 kilometres northeast of Nain, between Labrador and Greenland. The TSB has deployed a team of investigators to St. Anthony, Newfoundland and ...

Atlantic Herring Stocks Listed as Critical

Fishery No Longer Certified by Marine Stewardship Council With the voluntary suspension by the Seafood Producers Association of Nova Scotia (SPANS) of its Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification for the 4VWX herring purse seine fishery effective May 30, the herring fishery is no longer MSC-certified anywhere on Canada’s east coast. Herring stocks in southwest Nova Scotia/Bay of Fundy had been relatively stable at a low level for many years, said Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) spokesp...

Mackerel Stocks Remain Low, DFO Reports

Despite a spawning stock biomass increase between 2016 and 2018, Atlantic mackerel “remains in the critical zone” says the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), with recruitment levels “at all-time lows” in 2017 and 2018. “Since 2005, the spawning stock biomass index has declined and is now approximately one twentieth of the levels observed in the 1980s,” reads the summary of the latest stock assessment conducted in March, with the 2015 year class representing “75 ...

N.L. Inshore Northern Shrimp Quota Holding Its Own

After years of drastic cuts, this year’s much anticipated inshore Northern shrimp quota in fishing area 6 (SFA 6) was quietly announced without much fanfare and the news was actually positive. Not only did inshore fishermen hang on to their quota levels from 2018, but there was a slight bump. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) recently announced that the total allowable catch (TAC) in SFA 6 will be increased by 2.6 per cent to 8,960 tonnes to maintain a 10 per cent exploitat...

Patent Issued for N.L. Robotic Snow Crab Processing Unit

Above: CCFI managing director Bob Verge explaining the patented crab butchering technology. Work Continuing on Final Phase of System The first patent has been issued and more are pending for a Newfoundland and Labrador-designed robotic system for butchering snow crab. “The U.S. patent is the first one and we expect it to be patented in other jurisdictions,” said Robert Verge, managing director of the Canadian Centre for Fisheries Innovation (CCFI) in an interview. “We’re ...

Lobster Season Ends in Southwest Nova

Above: Lobster fishing balloons are loaded onto a truck at the Lower East Pubnico wharf at the end of the LFA 34 lobster season. Kathy Johnson photos It is officially a wrap for the 2018/19 commercial lobster fishery in southwestern Nova Scotia. The season closed in Lobster Fishing Areas (LFA) 33 and 34 on May 31. This is followed by the season end in Bay of Fundy LFAs 36, 37 and 38 on June 29. The LFA 35 fishery closes on July 31. “Overall it was a decent spring,” said Bernie ...

Could Asian Carp be an Alternative Bait Source for Lobster Fishermen?

The continued stock decline and ever-rising prices of traditional bait fish like herring and mackerel is becoming a bigger issue every year for Atlantic Canada lobstermen. Now, a Nova Scotia businessman is hoping a plan he put in motion two years ago to import Asian carp to use as bait in the lobster fishery will come to fruition this year. “We’re almost there I think,” said Patrick Swim, CEO of Canadian Atlantic Lobster Inc. in an interview. An invasive species from southern ...

The Twine Loft – June 2019

Passed On: Niko Clair – Paqtnkek Mi’kmaw Nation, N.S. fisherman Clair, 29, died tragically with his cousin, Ozzy Clair, on April 8, 2019, in his home of Paqtnkek Mikmaw Nation, Antigonish County. He enjoyed hunting and fishing with his brothers and loved to teach anyone who wanted to learn. He was a prankster with a contagious laugh and smile. He often volunteered and was there for anyone in time of need, especially when the community needed a fire keeper for ceremonies or funerals. He ...

On the Waterfront – June 2019

FFAW Concerned Over Grieg Aquaculture Applications On May 2, the FFAW-Unifor said it was notified of three applications by Grieg Aquaculture for sites east of Merasheen Island in Placentia Bay. The union is now calling on the provincial government to not to move forward with any project approval until it has pursued a proper consultation process with fish harvesters, as this project may put the livelihood of harvesters in the area at risk. The three sites are for Darby Harbour, Butler ...

Weather Hampers Spring Lobster Fishery in Southwest Nova Scotia

Above: Kathy Johnson Photo Fishermen in southwestern Nova Scotia were hoping for better weather in May as the six-month lobster season in Lobster Fishing Areas (LFAs) 33 and 34 comes to a close. Strong winds and rough seas continued to hamper lobster fishing efforts throughout April. “The catches are above average from last year this time, but the problem is the boats aren’t getting out,” said Mike Cotter, owner of Cotters Ocean Products in Lockeport. “The weather has been ...