Opinion 87 results

A Tribute to Donald V. Graham

I always said the measure of a person is the number of people at their funeral service. Donald’s service was in Ferryland on Tuesday, January 15. The day was really bad, gale-force, Northeast winds, drifting snow that turned to freezing rain, then rain. Not fit to put your dog outdoors. Despite the terrible weather, the church was filled, not even standing room, as the old fishermen would say, stogged to the gills. My reason for my being at the funeral was simple, paying tri...

Seals Continue to Destroy Our Fisheries

I would like to add my voice to those that disclaim the recent information provided by DFO’s (Department of Fisheries and Oceans) Dr. G. Stenson (In The cull question: Part I, published in the Jan. 16 edition of The Central Voice). Seals have destroyed our fisheries in Atlantic Canada and particularly that in Newfoundland and Labrador. The poor condition of harp seals in terms of age, previously measured body mass and survivability of pups, is a direct result of the seal population ...

Time for Commercial Cod Fishery to be Opened

The fish in the photo I provided have spawned many times causing millions of eggs to be distributed in the ocean leading to perhaps millions of cod like this in the spawning biomass. So, the question needs to be asked once again, why are we still in a cod moratorium? Here are my thoughts on this question and it comes down to poor science. Codfish are back in historical numbers and beyond. The cod biomass has reached its limited food supply and if the regulators want the cod biomass to ...

Important N.S. License Freeze Issue Overlooked

While 2018 has left us, many significant fisheries announcements took place during the last year. The two I felt got little action from the Nova Scotia fishing industry were the right whale lobster closures and the announcement that the N.S. provincial government would no longer be issuing new seafood buyers/processors licenses — an indefinite freeze on new entrants. My old trusty dictionary states that the meaning of freeze is an act of holding or being held at a fixed level or in a ...

DFO Reverses Surf Clam Award After Refusing to Re-open Flawed Process

The Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) has withdrawn an allocation of 25 per cent of the Arctic surf clam quota from the small New Brunswick First Nation that won the award. It has also pledged to work with existing sole license holder, Clearwater Seafoods, to ensure that the unallocated quota can be used to support income and livelihoods of plant and vessel workers this year. This is welcome news to Newfoundland and Labrador. In an unheralded announcement, DFO said “the ...

Trump’s Great Gift to Canada

Thanks to Canada’s neighbour to the south, the optimism level of fishermen in lobster fishing areas (LFA) 34 and 35 must be on the rise. A few months ago, The Navigator’s sister publication, Atlantic Fisherman, speculated that if trade talks between the U.S. and China continued to go sideways, then the Nova Scotia lobster industry might be on the verge of more market share in the lucrative and all-important Asian market. And it appears that prediction, due mainly to the unpredictable ...

Sick Seal Garners Too Much Attention

Recent news articles say a lot about current public opinion on seals in Newfoundland and Labrador and the rest of Canada. When one sick seal washes ashore, the public, Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and the media carry the story for several days. There are an estimated 10 million seals (six species) in Newfoundland and Labrador and there are plenty of natural mortalities. Instead of wasting resources on an autopsy, why doesn’t DFO conduct scientific research on the real ...

A Call for a Commission of Inquiry

This is an open letter to the Prime Minister of Canada, the Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, all N.L. MHAs and all MPs for Canada   As stated by the late Alex Hickman, “the ocean is the backbone of our existence.” My ancestors, the Rices, Parsons and Bartletts, came from England to this province of Newfoundland and Labrador many years ago to make a living from the ocean. And they did for hundreds of years until the ocean with its many species of fish started to fail (or ...

The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same

About 23 years ago, I helped lead a team that designed and implemented the cod sentinel inshore survey on Northern cod (Southern Avalon, North East Coast and Labrador). The status of Northern cod has been in the news a great deal lately and the decision by DFO to cut the commercial quota has been met with some stiff opposition from the FFAW-Unifor. This prompted me to do a little investigating to see what the cod sentinel is telling us about Northern cod. Based on a review of cod sentinel ...

Issue of Adjacency Needs to be a Priority

My first reaction to a recent news story in The Telegram entitled “St. Anthony Seafoods becomes a seven-month operation the first time in its history,” was to nod my head and think that reductions in work at plants like this is the cause of the decline in our rural Newfoundland Labrador communities. After a few minutes though, it became clear to me that my initial thought was wrong. The worries and hardships inflicted upon hard working people, like those who work at the St. Anthony ...