Opinion 36 results

Restrictions on Outside Buyers Should be Lifted

The following letter was addressed to Steve Crocker, Newfoundland and Labrador Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture. Dear Minister, As president of the Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL), I’m writing to propose that the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador lift all restrictions and allow out-of-province buyers into the provincial marketplace for all species. Further, we propose that restrictions be lifted on local fish buyers to permit ...

Auditing Vital Fish Stocks to Ensure They Will Be There

As the auditor general of Canada’s Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, I have the privilege and responsibility of overseeing audits that examine some of Canada’s most fragile and valuable resources. The audits inform Parliamentarians and Canadians about how government departments and Crown corporations manage these resources. Recently, a team of environmental auditors from the office of the auditor general of Canada focused on one of Canada’s oldest and most ...

The Current Fishing Industry is Broken

I have seen a lot of cod in my time, but never before, especially at this time of year, have I seen cod foraging on the bottom for everything and anything to keep from starving. This year, in the stomachs of cod, I have seen sea spiders, star fish, but trying to survive on whelk takes the cake for me. (See above photo) The whelk in this photo came out of the mouth of this cod as I put it on the splitting table this past summer. Maybe, just maybe, we should consider why there are no ...

It is Time for Fisheries Policy to Change for the Better

This fishery policy of dumping fish, that’s happening in the EU, has been going on in Newfoundland for years. How can scientists correctly set fish quotas when most of the TAC is rotting on the bottom? DFO is telling fish harvesters they must dump bycatch dead halibut, herring and capelin over the daily limit, when capelin and herring are supposed to be a competitive fishery, free for all so to speak. DFO will take harvesters to court if they exceed their daily limit, but will not take ...

Our Fishery is in the Bantam Leagues Compared to Some

Despite what the chairperson of one of the recently appointed fisheries committees stated regarding the direction of future fisheries related to marketing, how in hell’s name can you have a market-driven industry, survival of fishing communities or indeed the industry itself when there are so few fish to catch? To begin with, there is no real indication the huge, diversified fishery we delivered to Ottawa in 1949 is recovering and there is clear evidence DFO is abandoning its management ...

The Fishery Needs a Call to Arms

On Thursday, March 3, 2016 I attended a rally in St. John’s protesting the shrimp cuts to the inshore fleet. After having spent years with others in the late 80s fighting to save the cod fishery from destruction by the offshore fleet on the cod spawning grounds, I thought to myself it is déjà-vu all over again. The cod collapsed because the politicians did not listen to common sense and 30,000 people lost their jobs — did the managers learn a lesson? I don’t think so. For a while ...

LIFO — A David and Goliath Shrimp Conflict

For several months, the Canadian Association of Prawn Producers (CAPP) has been conducting an advertising blitz in province-wide media extolling the “virtues” of the offshore factory freezer trawler shrimp fishery. The major fisheries policy issue at stake in this David and Goliath conflict is whether or not the federal government will continue to apply a Last-In First-Out (LIFO) policy that could lead to the elimination of the inshore fleet sector, onshore shrimp plants and certain ...

Rebuilding Groundfish Stocks Must be Made a Priority

During recent months I have been in contact with friends and former associates in Iceland, Norway and other advanced fishing nations regarding the present state of their fishing industries. In these discussions I have raised a number of matters including fisheries management, processing technology, customer demands for fresh, primary, and secondary processed fish products and ongoing technical advances in their respective fisheries sectors. I also raised the important issue of how these ...

Decision Will Result in Loss of $6.5 Million for 19 Cape Breton Communities

DFO has cut snow crab quotas by 54 per cent as the northeastern Nova Scotia snow crab season opens this year. Ever since the fishery was restructured 11 years ago by the fisheries minister, the North-ENS (Eastern Nova Scotia) snow crab fishers have received smaller quotas than were committed in the recommendations of the Independent Panel on Access and Allocation. The cut this season means that the 78 licensed snow crab boats will receive $2.5-million less for snow crab they land to the ...

How Fishermen’s Knowledge of Redfish Catches in the 1980s and 1990s Can Help DFO Now

The redfish stock of the Laurentian Channel area (NAFO zones 4RST, 3P — now called Unit 1+2) supported large fisheries in the 1960s and 1980s but since about 1995 catches have been quite small. In fact, these stocks fell to such low levels that the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) recommended listing the two redfish species in this area as “endangered” and “threatened.” DFO has devoted a lot of time since 2011 to determining the size of this ...