On the Waterfront – April 2020

Conservation Groups Welcome Ruling on Hatchery Expansion

Ecojustice, on behalf of grassroots groups and individuals concerned about the health of wild Atlantic salmon stocks, welcomed the recent Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador’s decision on the Indian Head Hatchery Expansion Project.

Ecojustice went to court in November 2019 on behalf of the Salmonid Association of Eastern Newfoundland, the Freshwater-Alexander Bays Ecosystem Corporation, the Port au Port Bay Fishery Committee, Alan Pickersgill, John Baird and Wayne Holloway to close a regulatory loophole for fish farms in Newfoundland and Labrador.

“This ruling has confirmed that aquaculture projects in the province can’t proceed without a robust and comprehensive environmental assessment, which means the province must now strengthen its regulatory approach. Northern Harvest Smolt (a subsidiary of Mowi) is proposing an expansion of the Stephenville facility which provides smolt to Northern Harvest Sea Farms. Such an expansion poses a threat to wild Atlantic salmon populations that are already in decline,” the group said in a press release.

Ecojustice lawyers, on behalf of their clients, went to court to ensure that the environmental assessment for the Indian Head Hatchery expansion would include the project’s marine portion — that is, the addition of 2.2-million salmon smolt to open-net pens off the south coast of Newfoundland.

“Recent mass die-offs of farmed salmon, such as the death of millions of fish in Northern Harvest’s pens in Fortune Bay, have indicated the need for proper environmental assessments of these projects. The ruling is a positive step towards closing a regulatory loophole in environmental assessments of fishing farming projects in the province.”

CAII Joins High-Level Panel for a Sustainable Oceans Economy

Timothy Kennedy, the president and CEO of the Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance (CAII), recently announced that he will work with expert partners around the world as an invited member of the Advisory Network to the High-Level Panel for a Sustainable Oceans Economy (HLP).

HLP was created to develop, catalyze and support solutions for ocean health and wealth in policy, governance, technology and finance. It’s the only ocean policy body made up of serving world leaders — including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“I’m excited to represent Canada’s seafood farmers towards the HLP mission to inspire ambition, motivate action and accelerate progress towards a healthy ocean,” said Kennedy.

“Our industry’s work to realize Indigenous reconciliation, grow jobs in remote coastal communities and achieve constant improvement in operations, is sustainable economic activity in action: meeting economic, social and environmental goals.”

As part of the Advisory Network, Kennedy will provide input and knowledge to HLP as the group prepares for the UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon, set to take place from June 2–6.

Canada’s Ocean Supercluster Announces $6.8-Million Ocean Startup Project

Canada’s Ocean Supercluster team, with the support of the Government of Canada and other project partners, recently announced its first Innovation Ecosystem Project, representing an unprecedented investment and collaboration to make Atlantic Canada one of the best places to start and grow ocean companies.

The Ocean Startup Project will increase the number of quality, market-driven, ocean-focused start-ups in the region to support the kind of transformative ocean activity that will be realized through Canada’s Ocean Supercluster.

The Ocean Startup Project activities will focus on engaging with entrepreneurs in their communities and encouraging quality startups, identifying academic prospects with high potential for commercialization, showcasing industry issues and developing solutions with global market potential, attracting female-led, Indigenous-led and international startups and awarding grants for those companies demonstrating the greatest potential.

The project brings together, for the first time, six of Atlantic Canada’s leading incubators, accelerators and support organizations including Genesis, Creative Destruction Lab, Innovacorp, New Brunswick Innovation Foundation, PEI BioAlliance and Springboard Atlantic as partners to deliver on the $6.8-million Ocean Startup Project.

Canada’s Ocean Supercluster provided the bulk of funding at $3.9 million, with an additional $535,000 from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, as well as up to $2.4 million in contributions from the Atlantic provinces and the six project partners.

Funding for P.E.I. Seafood Processor

For 30 years, Summerside Seafood Supreme has been a leader in the Atlantic Canadian seafood industry by developing new products and finding new markets for Prince Edward Island’s iconic shellfish.

Bobby Morrissey, Member of Parliament for Egmont, recently announced funding of $1.5 million to support Summerside Seafood Supreme as it invests in specialized equipment to create new table-ready seafood products for growing export markets.

This investment is being made through ACOA’s Business Development Program, which helps businesses looking to modernize and expand. The announcement was made on behalf of Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages.

Established in 1990, Summerside Seafood Supreme is a production facility specializing in value-added seafood products with lobster, crab, shrimp and mussels. The company is recognized for its patented products such as Lobsterine, Crabterine and pasteurized mussel products. The company’s latest work focuses on the development of pilot projects to commercialize new product lines within their 35,000-sq. ft. facility and repurposing new technology for product development.

Lobster in Atlantic Canada is a billion-dollar industry with 90 per cent of Canadian lobster landed in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

Bioretur Lands Newfoundland Aquaculture-Related Contract

Norway-based Bioretur recently announced that it has been chosen to handle fish sludge at Grieg Seafood’s operation being built in Newfoundland and Labrador.

They have been providing its fish sludge treatment services at multiple land-based aquaculture facilities in its home country, converting the waste into sustainable fertilizer.

“We are now taking with us the expertise and experience we have from Norwegian smolt production out into the world,” said Steinar Wasmuth. “We are very proud that Grieg Newfoundland has chosen us.”

The project has a long-term annual harvest potential of 30,000–45,000 metric tonnes of Atlantic salmon, which represents a significant step in Grieg’s target to reach harvests of at least 150,000 tonnes per year by 2025.

“Grieg’s new plant in Newfoundland is impressive and from the very first contact with Bioretur, it has been very clear that they want to be among the leading companies globally when it comes to sustainable solutions,” Wasmuth added.

Mowi Reaches Record Salmon Harvest in 2019

International salmon farmer Mowi has announced it harvested record-highs of 436,000 metric tonnes in 2019 and 116,000 metric tonnes in Q4 2019.

Mowi topped its harvest record in 2019, with the 436,000 metric tonnes total, but the company is eyeing further improvement in that sector. Mowi’s 2020 harvest goal is 450,000 metric tonnes.

In terms of the future, Mowi highlighted a few projects the company is focusing on. The company is looking to hire Chief Operating Officers for its Norway, Scotland and Ireland, and the Americas and Faroes operations.

Mowi will also launch brands in the United States and France in the first quarter of 2020.

The company did face some hardships in 2019, including a significant fish die-off in Newfoundland. Northern Harvest Sea Farms, which is owned by Mowi, lost 2.6-million salmon. The die-off led to the Canadian government suspending 10 of Mowi’s 47 licenses in the province.

N.S. Officially Declares February 28 Lobster Day

Stephen McNeil, the Premier of Nova Scotia officially recently proclaimed that February 28 will be now known as Nova Scotia Lobster Day.

“The South Shore of Nova Scotia is home to some of the richest lobster fishing grounds in the world and the Municipality of Barrington, which stakes its claim as The Lobster Capital of Canada,” the proclamation read.

The new day will coincide with the Nova Scotia Lobster Crawl, an annual celebration of the province’s seafood industry along its South Shore.

In its third year of existence, the Lobster Crawl is operated by the South Shore Tourism Cooperative. The festival features overnight stays, tours, experiences, cultural events and more. In all, the festival entails 150 events, experiences and more.

Company Will Not Be Rebuilding Black Duck Cove Shrimp Plant

Gulf Shrimp Limited recently announced it will not be replacing its Black Duck Cove, N.L. fish plant that was totally destroyed during a May 15, 2019 fire.

The company, owned jointly by QuinSea Fisheries Limited and Quinlan Brothers Limited, said that following a six-month assessment, in conjunction with declining shrimp quotas, the closure of other shrimp plants and the outlook from recent biological reports, the facility was determined to be inadequate and at a level that would not allow for successful reinvestment.

Environmental Preview Report Required for Marystown Lumpfish Hatchery

The Newfoundland and Labrador Minister of Municipal Affairs and Environment, Derrick Bragg, recently rendered his decision with respect to Marbase Cleanerfish Limited’s proposal to operate a lumpfish hatchery in Marystown.

He has ordered that Marbase prepare an Environmental Preview Report for the project.

Marbase owner Paul Antle accepted the decision.

“We respect and accept the Minister’s decision and will begin work immediately on the Environmental Preview Report in the hopes of minimizing delays to the project.”

The lumpfish hatchery is the first step to establishing a service hub in Marystown for the province’s aquaculture industry.

“The hatchery has received overwhelming public support for which we are very grateful. People understand and welcome the fact that the hatchery will play an important role in providing the province’s salmon farmers with an environmentally friendly way to control sea lice, thereby reducing the need for pesticides. It will also create employment and bring other badly needed economic activity to the Burin Peninsula,” Antle added

In related news, Antle announced that despite much speculation, he will not be seeking the N.L. provincial Liberal leadership.

Antle issued a news release indicating that, despite the fact that he has been urged to run by people from across the province, he’s decided not to throw his hat in the ring.

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