Aerial Surveillance Contract Awarded to N.L. Company
The federal government recently announced that it is awarding a five-year, $128 million contract to PAL Aerospace, an international aerospace and defence company based in St. John’s.
This new contract will provide fisheries officers with longer range aircraft, expanding their range of operations and giving them enhanced tools to combat illegal fishing and increase Canada’s maritime security. The contract will also allow high-fishing areas to be patrolled more often and for longer periods.
PAL is a global leader in airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, with over four decades of experience in both civilian and military aviation environments. The agreement also includes opportunities for PAL Aerospace to earn extensions that increase the life of the contract to 10 years. Over the next 18 months, PAL Aerospace will prepare bases of operation in Halifax and Campbell River, in addition to its headquarters in St. John’s, supporting over 100 jobs in the process.
Second N.B. Lobster Plant Destroyed by Fire
A February 24 fire has claimed another lobster processing plant in New Brunswick.
This time, the Cape Bald Packers lobster-processing plant in Cap-Pelé was totally destroyed. On February 7, the plant in Richibucto Village burned to the ground. Both plants were owned by Cape Bald Packers.
The processing plants employed hundreds of workers in each of the communities and surrounding areas.
Cape Bald Packers told CBC that it plans on rebuilding its Cap-Pelé fish processing plant.
The cause of both fires is still under investigation by officials.
MI Launches Canada’s First Online Degree in Safety Management
Memorial University’s Marine Institute has launched a bachelor of maritime studies (safety management) degree program, the first of its kind in Canada as a bachelor degree.
While the bachelor of maritime studies has been offered by the Marine Institute since the mid-1990s, this new major in safety management will focus on preparing professionals in the areas of maritime health and safety, environment, security and quality for the oceans sector.
The degree major will focus on developing essential skills to lead and contribute to the evolution of a safety culture for a variety of organizations, such as shipping companies, that operate in the maritime sector worldwide. Graduates will be equipped with competencies to implement, maintain and promote safety, environment and quality management systems.
Delivered entirely online, programs of this type are not readily available from Canadian institutions for employed practitioners seeking to balance educational needs with ongoing work and other responsibilities.
FISH-NL Pleased with DFO Move to Increase Seal Licences
The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) recently said it is encouraged that Fisheries and Oceans has finally moved to increase the number of commercial seal licences — the first step to combating the massive population.
“You can’t have a seal hunt without sealers,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “We see this as the first step to getting where we need to be — with a full-scale hunt that removes millions of harp seals from the ecosystem and restores balance.”
DFO recently issued an advisory to harvesters stating that new applications for commercial assistant sealers will be considered. As well, professional Level 1 and Level 2 harvesters who held a commercial assistant seal licence in 2018 will be upgraded to professional.
The harp seal population in the northwest Atlantic was last estimated in 2012 at 7.4 million animals — almost six times what it was in the 1970s.
According to FISH-NL, the impact of the harp seal population on Newfoundland and Labrador fish stocks has been enormous: In 2017, the entire fishery landed just under 200,000 tonnes of all species — representing 1.6 per cent of the estimated 12.5 million tonnes consumed by harp seals.
Meanwhile, federal statistics reveal the number of commercial sealing licences plunged in Newfoundland and Labrador to 4,558 in 2017 from 11,146 in 2009.
Clearwater Welcomes MSC Audit of Offshore Lobster Fishery
Following a request from Clearwater to advance the timing of the annual audit of the fishery, Lloyd’s Register recently announced its decision to undertake its annual surveillance audit of the Eastern Canadian offshore lobster fishery in compliance with the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) in April.
In the interest of transparency and to acknowledge stakeholder concerns, Clearwater welcomed the full review of its offshore lobster fishery. All stakeholders have an opportunity to participate in the audit process. The site visit for the audit will take place the week of April 8, 2019, earlier than the regularly scheduled annual review, which is typically done in June.
“The Canadian offshore lobster fishery was the first on the eastern seaboard to be certified under the MSC standard and continues to be a model for sustainable fisheries management,” said Christine Penney, vice president of sustainability and public affairs at Clearwater.
“We operate in a responsible and sustainable manner and anticipate the MSC audit process will reaffirm that the fishery continues to meet the very rigorous MSC standard.”
The MSC standard relies on an independent review by third-party scientific experts. It requires full vetting of all the available information. Clearwater has been an engaged participant in this program for over 10 years, providing detailed information for expert review and consideration during this annual process.
Tasmania and Nova Scotia Sign Memorandum of Understanding
The Governments of Tasmania and Nova Scotia recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) as part of strengthening collaboration on fisheries and aquaculture matters.
Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Keith Colwell led a group of industry representatives on an eight-day mission to Tasmania, Australia in February to help build business relationships and learn more about best practices.
“Nova Scotia’s seafood industry is one of our province’s most valuable and successful resources,” said Colwell.
“It is important to take advantage of opportunities to learn from other leaders around the world, so we can continue to build on our successes here in Nova Scotia.”
Tasmania has recreational, commercial and aquaculture industries including rock lobster and salmon farming. The purpose of the mission was to share ideas and best practices on sustainability, quality, safety and Tasmania’s clean green program.
The group met with Tasmania’s Minister for Primary Industries and Water Guy Barnett in the capital Hobart, as well as the Tasmanian Seafood Industry Council, the Tasmanian Rock Lobster Fisherman’s Association, the University of Tasmania and the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies.
They also visited lobster fishermen at their wharfs, marine salmon farms, a salmon hatchery and a food tourism operation.
Following the Tasmania meetings, Colwell joined other Nova Scotia seafood companies at the Pan Atlantic mission to Singapore and Japan.
During that mission, he met with key stakeholders to build trade relationships and showcase the province’s high-quality seafood through targeted business to business meetings. Market diversification will play a vital role as companies work to grow their business at home.
Companies had the opportunity to hear directly from industry experts in each of the markets.
In 2017, exports from Nova Scotia to Japan were valued around $111 million, up from $62 million in 2009. Seafood is the number one export with fruit and nut products coming in second.
N.L. Shipyard Awarded CCG Refit Contract
Public Services and Procurement Canada, on behalf of the Canadian Coast Guard, recently awarded a contract of $10,070,952.50 to Newdock St. John’s Dockyard Limited for the refit of the Canadian Coast Guard Ship (CCGS) Hudson.
This contract will help sustain approximately 180 direct project-related jobs for Newdock and its subcontractors.
The refit work involves replacing steel and repairing various areas of the vessel’s decks and tanks. This regular, planned maintenance will ensure the vessel’s continued compliance with regulatory requirements.
Work began on February 25, 2019 and will be completed in fall 2019.
The CCGS Hudson is currently located in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia and is an important part of Canada’s Coast Guard fleet. It is mainly used for science programs, as well as support to Coast Guard programs and emergency operations, such as search and rescue.
Quebec Innu Communities Receive Funding through the Oceans Protection Plan
The federal government recently announced that the Agence Mamu Innu Kaikusseht (AMIK) will receive $1,200,000 over four years to help restore deteriorated coastal habitats important to Innu communities of the Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence.
Restoring coastal habitats that are important for the Innu communities of the North Shore is a strategic initiative that benefits the communities involved, because in addition to creating regional synergy, the project will contribute to the maintenance of traditional activities and the strengthening of the capacity of several stakeholders to restore key fish habitats, the federal government explained in a press release.
The objective of the first phase of the project is to identify and prioritize restoration sites that will benefit Innu communities that are members of AMIK.
In the second phase, the characterization and planning of the interventions will make it possible to implement restoration projects on the selected sites and ensure the sustainability of the developments.
The sites that will be restored are located along the Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence. The coastal habitats targeted by the project are eelgrass beds, salt marshes, shellfish beds and habitats frequented by forage species.
The project will reduce threats to the habitats of several fish species and maintain or restore certain traditional and economic activities related to the marine environment of Innu communities.
This project, led by AMIK, will help seven member communities increase their capacity towards conservation and restoration of coastal habitats.
N.S. Legislation Recognizes Volunteer Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary
Nova Scotians who volunteer for the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary will now be recognized for their support for marine search and rescue operations.
Auxiliary members will qualify for an exemption of their vehicle registration fee under new legislation introduced Feb. 28. The exemption includes cars and trucks.
“I am proud that we are the first province to recognize that marine search and rescue volunteers deserve this important recognition,” said Finance and Treasury Board Minister Karen Casey.
“Nova Scotians appreciate the selfless contributions made by search and rescue volunteers on land and at sea.”
Other services, such as volunteer firefighters and ground search and rescue workers, already qualify for a vehicle registration fee exemption under the Motor Vehicle Act and Regulations.
The auxiliary provides valuable support for the commercial fishery year-round and for pleasure craft during the summer.
In Nova Scotia, there are more than 400 active auxiliary members who may be eligible for the exemption. These members provide the service of their own vessels to help cover extensive coastline.
Members live in communities such as Yarmouth, Liverpool, Advocate Harbour, Cumberland Co., Pugwash, Sheet Harbour, Ingonish and Glace Bay.
“When a distress call goes out, our members are typically already on the water or very close by. They are well positioned to reach the scene quickly and are trained to stabilize the situation and offer support,” said Darcy Henn, of the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary – Maritimes.
“This will help us retain and recruit volunteer members by recognizing their Maritime Search and Rescue service within their communities.”
January 2019 was Third Warmest on Record
The globally averaged temperature over land and ocean surfaces for January 2019 tied with 2007 as the third highest for the month of January in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) global temperature record, which dates back to 1880.
The January temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.58°F above the 20th century average of 53.6°F. This value tied with 2007 as the third highest for January in the 140-year record. Januaries 2016 (+1.91°F) and 2017 (+1.64°F) were warmer.
The January globally averaged sea surface temperature was 1.17°F above the 20th century monthly average of 60.5°F — the third highest global ocean temperature for January in the 1880–2019 record. The record January global ocean temperature was set in 2016. The year 2017 was the second warmest on record.
The January average Arctic sea ice extent was the sixth smallest in the 41-year record at 332,000 square miles (6.0 per cent) below the 1981–2010 average, according to analysis by the National Snow and Ice Data Center using data from NOAA and NASA. Sea ice coverage was below average in Baffin Bay, as well as the Barents, Okhotsk and Bering Seas.
Antarctic sea ice extent during January was 450,000 square miles (23.4 per cent) below the 1981–2010 average, the second smallest January extent on record. Only the Antarctic sea ice extent in January 2017 was smaller.
According to data from NOAA and analyzed by the Rutgers Global Snow Lab, the northern hemisphere snow cover extent during January was 140,000 square miles above the 1981–2010 average. This ranked near the median value in the 53-year period of record. The North American and Eurasian snow cover extents were each slightly above average.
DFO Announces Changes in Reporting Requirements for Licences
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) recently advised fish harvesters that licence conditions have been changed for 2019 and outline the new mandatory process for reporting lost and retrieved gear.
Licence holders must report all lost fishing gear by completing and submitting the new lost fishing gear form within 24 hours of determining that gear has been lost.
This form is available online at http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fisheries-peches/commercial-commerciale/index-eng.html
Licence holders who retrieve lost gear must report that by completing and submitting the retrieval of previously reported fishing gear form within 24 hours of retrieving gear previously reported as lost.
Retrieval can only occur under a valid fishing licence and only in relation to the specific type of gear authorized to be used by the fishing licence.
This form is available online at http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fisheries-peches/commercial-commerciale/index-eng.html