Opinion 135 results

Why Isn’t DFO Managing the Deplorable State of the St. Pierre Bank Fishery?

Recently, there was a Zoom meeting between representatives of the FFAW, the offshore operators and others with respect to the deplorable state of the St. Pierre Bank fishery (3PS). That cod resource, which had a quota of 70,100 metric tonnes (MTs) when Canada extended fisheries jurisdiction to 200 miles in 1978, is now at 1,300 tonnes. Several fishing operators from the mainland, trawlers from Newfoundland and Labrador and many inshore operators have been fishing there since 1978. The ...

Calling On DFO Minister to Clarify Comments

Editor’s note: The following letter was sent to Joyce Murray, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard on Feb. 22, 2022.   Dear Minister Murray: As the Shadow Minister for Fisheries in Newfoundland and Labrador, I write on behalf of the PC Official Opposition Caucus to express our deep concern over remarks you reportedly made during your recent speech at the recent annual meeting of the Canadian Independent Fish Harvesters Federation. The president of the ...

DFO Should Not Appeal Category B Licence Court Ruling

About 50 years ago, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) introduced the Moonlighter Policy to remove people from the fishery as a conservation method. The policy targeted fishermen who held other jobs or professions. It was deemed by government that fishing was not their primary source of income and they were left with a choice: leave your job and maintain your Category A licence or keep your job and be reduced to a Category B licence. Ultimately, for many this was not a choice at ...

Scientific Processes and Excellence in the Newfoundland and Labrador Region Being Undermined

A Perspective from the Professional Institute of Public Service Canada’s Members From the Newfoundland and Labrador Region   Editor’s note: The following letter was sent to Timothy Sargent, Deputy Minister, Fisheries and Oceans Canada in Ottawa by the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada.   The provision of unbiased scientific advice is a cornerstone of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO); the Department has used science advice for decades and it is the ...

Hello from the Other Side

On the far east of our country lies one of Canada’s most unforgettable provinces, Newfoundland and Labrador. And yet, to our very own federal government in Ottawa, we are easily forgotten, especially when it comes to our fishery resource. Our nation only joined Confederation in 1949. What most Canadians do not realize is that we brought into Canada one of the world’s richest fish resources — so much so, that Canada was propelled from 14th to 6th place as a fishing producing nation...

Significant Gaps Remain in Canada’s Fisheries Management Regime

The Navigator managing editor’s overview of the Oceana Fishery Audit in the January issue was welcome and invites comment. I agree with the Audit’s assessment that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ (DFO) management of our fisheries leaves much to be desired and I support Oceana’s goal of improving it. However, I would challenge certain basic elements of its approach that reflect the same mistaken assumptions that DFO’s management itself is shaped by. First, “rebuilding...

Northern Labrador: The Forgotten People

A few generations ago, as the population of Newfoundland grew, there wasn’t enough fish to sustain us all, so we started building schooners, not only to fish the Grand Banks, but to migrate further north. We moved north to a thousand miles of coastline with sparsely populated communities on the Labrador Coast for the rich catches of cod and salmon. Many built fishing rooms called stations where they would return with their families every year, shipping their fish back to the Island each ...

Fish Audit Confirms Fish Negligence

A new fish audit released by Oceana Canada confirms, yet again, that the Newfoundland and Labrador fishery is being basically abandoned by the federal government. The current audit exposes that Canada is failing the wild fisheries from coast to coast — with just one third considered to be healthy. The findings include the fact that nearly one in five stocks are critically depleted, including the Northern cod. Nearly 80 per cent of stocks lack a rebuilding plan and the health of a third of ...

Weak Rope Policy Puts Harvester Lives and Livelihoods at Risk

When a bureaucrat in Ottawa formulates a policy about fishing gear in Newfoundland and Labrador without first consulting with fish harvesters in the province, that policy is established in ignorance. That is exactly what is happening with the Department of Fisheries and Ocean’s (DFO) new “weak rope” policy that it plans to implement in 2023. The weak rope policy is the result of the possible impact that the death of a right whale, due to entanglement in fishing gear, could have on ...

PFHCB Rules Need to Change

I am sharing a photo (below) with you loyal Navigator readers of some of the squid that ran ashore on the beach near my fishing stage and fish store at Main Tickle, Twillingate recently. This is not an uncommon occurrence this time of the year, but the only difference now is that years ago when we were fishing, the squid would always be picked up for bait. In many fishing communities now, there are just one or two fishers left, their enterprises being sold out to “Big Fishing Skippers...