Electronic Tracking Systems Versus Ropeless Gear

Earlier this year, I appeared before the House Committee on Fisheries and Oceans personally in Ottawa and made a presentation on the negative impacts that ropeless fishing gear and reduced breaking strength buoy lines would have on our industry and resource.

I covered all aspects as I’ve been in this industry 51 years and have been on many committees and chaired several meaningful organizations during my career.

The North Atlantic right whale, like other whales, are breathing animals and must surface. My suggestion to the committee was to place tracking devices on the whales just as they enter Canadian waters and have them transmit on the same frequency that our AIS on board our vessels and all vessels transmit and receive on. This way we can not only avoid them but can avoid closing fishing areas unnecessarily.

However, I should have titled my presentation “Common Sense Ignored.”

Your magazine is the voice of our industry and has a vast readership. I firmly believe you should do an elaborate article on the advantages of a tracking system versus the problem and impacts ropeless gear will cause.

We have a billion-dollar industry and the federal government is willing to compromise not only ours, but the rest of Atlantic Canada when there is another viable solution.


Gerard Chidley
Renews, N.L.

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