The Ecosystem and the Connection Between Capelin, Cod and Seals
Growing up, every year we would go out in my grandfather’s trap skiff to get a load of capelin for the gardens.
You did not have to search for capelin back then, they would land in the same beaches every year.
I returned to the fishery in 1977 and spent the winters sealing — there were good markets, good prices and you could sell seal meat for canning. You could cut open a mature harp seal and fill a five-gallon bucket with capelin — but not any more. The seal hunt continued until ...
More Input Needed Before Fishery Closures Implemented
I have recently been watching the federal government in Ottawa and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans from the comfort of my home.
“Robust, science-based, coherent measures to protect these highly endangered North Atlantic right whales. We’re really playing Russian roulette with the entire future of the Canadian fish and seafood industry,” Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc was quoted to say.
Very strong words. But wait a minute. Don’t we live in Canada? What about our ...
What is the Definition of an Inshore Fish Harvester?
I write this letter to inform your readers why it’s important to define an inshore fish harvester for purposes of a vote by the Labour Relations Board to ultimately decide which union should represent them.
Here are three, real-life examples:
Two men who hold commercial fishing licenses are on the provincial government’s “sunshine list” as having made more than $100,000 in base salary/overtime in 2016 (one alone made more than $130,000), should they also be eligible to vote?
Fact Checking Georges Bank Haddock
I noticed a letter from the FFAW in the June edition of The Navigator that used 5Z (Eastern Georges Bank) haddock as an example in an unrelated point.
The statement read “The last haddock assessment reported a spawning stock biomass (ssb) of 33,700 tonnes” and later that “they land nearly 15,000 tonnes.”
While stock assessments are publicly available online, I wanted to ensure Navigator readers are aware that the 2017 stock assessment showed the stock was extremely healthy with ...
The More Things Change, the More They Remain the Same
The announcement recently that the Grand Bank surf clam fishery is going to be downgraded because the federal Minister of Fisheries Dominic LeBlanc decided to take quota away from Newfoundland and Labrador and give to the Indigenous people of other provinces should not be a surprise.
Remember Gail Shea? They all do it. It makes for great politics and there is nothing we can do about it.
We found out approximately 27 years ago what Minister Gerry Byrne announced a few weeks ago.
GEAC Attempting to Discredit N.L. Inshore Sector
I feel compelled to respond to the letter submitted to the May issue of The Navigator by Kris Vascotto of the Groundfish Enterprise Allocation Council (GEAC).
Many of the issues raised by Vascotto require correction or at a minimum, clarification. In many cases, Vascotto cherry picked information and made an attempt to discredit the inshore sector of the fishing industry in this province.
The Newfoundland and Labrador Groundfish Industry Development Council (GIDC) is a recently-establi...
FFAW President Refutes Content of GEAC’s Northern Cod-Related Letter
I am writing in response to Kris Vascotto’s letter entitled, Northern Cod: Focusing on Facts and Science to Protect the Future, that appeared in the May issue of The Navigator.
The title chosen contains a fair amount of irony, as the letter itself relied on nothing more than falsehoods and finger pointing in an attempt to further the divisive messaging driven by the organization Mr. Vascotto represents, the Groundfish Enterprise Allocation Council (GEAC).
First, let’s be clear on who ...
Those Criticizing Arctic Clam Award are Ignoring History of the Fishery
I feel compelled to write to you to provide some clarification on a number of items related to the Arctic surf clam fishery that I feel are not being presented in recent news articles.
These show, in my opinion, that the Minister of Fisheries, Dominic LeBlanc, made an informed and correct decision and that some of the claims being made about the negative impacts of this decision are being overstated in an effort to undermine the minister’s decision.
What is not being reported is the ...
Northern Cod: Focusing on Facts and Science to Protect the Future
In March, word of a single-year 30 per cent decline in Northern cod attracted the attention of media, scientists and environmental groups from around the globe.
The world was clearly watching Canada’s management of this stock.
It was quite telling to see how various stakeholders responded.
From a scientific perspective, I was disappointed but not surprised with the dramatic decline. Since 2015, our organization, the Groundfish Enterprise Allocation Council (GEAC), has repeatedly ...
FISH-NL Issues Warning to DFO on Changes to Harvester Registration in Atlantic Canada
The following letter was addressed to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) — National Fisheries Policy Office in Ottawa.
As FISH-NL warns the Government of Canada to proceed with extreme caution and to revisit changes implemented years ago in Newfoundland and Labrador because of the conflict of interest created between the Professional Fish Harvesters Certification Board (PFHCB) and FFAW-Unifor, the union that currently represents inshore fish harvesters in collective ...