On the Waterfront – August 2017

Polar Prince on Epic Voyage

A St. John’s-based Canadian icebreaker is on an epic voyage of discovery across the Arctic to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary.

The Canada C3 ship, the Polar Prince, is a 220-foot former Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker currently on a 23,000-kilometre voyage from Toronto to Victoria, via the Northwest Passage, stopping in many ports along its route.

The Canada C3’s journey from the Great Lakes into the Atlantic, Arctic and Pacific oceans has four main themes, including youth engagement, science and environment, celebrating diversity and reconciliation with Canada’s First Nations citizens.

Canada C3 began its voyage in Toronto on June 1, reached Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island — the home of Confederation — in time for July 1 and is scheduled to end its journey in Victoria this October.

New 2017 2J3KL Northern Cod Fall Fishery Options

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans recently announced that for 2017, harvesters will have two options to harvest their Northern Cod Stewardship fishery in 2017.

Option 1 — Fish the entire season at the weekly catch limit (including any additional shares); or

Option 2 — Fish only from September 17-November 30 at double the weekly limit (including any additional shares).

Harvesters that choose this option will not be eligible to fish between July 30 and September 16.

Details on the standard weekly limits and season dates are available online at: http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/decisions/fm-2017-gp/atl-11-eng.htm

Iceland Increases Groundfish Quotas

Iceland has significantly raised its cod and haddock quotas for the new fishing year, which begins on September 1.

The decision, particularly on haddock is certain to be welcomed by processors in the U.K. and Europe. Haddock remains a fish favourite in Britain.

The Minister of Fisheries has decided that the catch quota for cod should be raised to 255,172 metric tonnes, up by around 11,000 tonnes on the current fishing year. The figure is slightly less than the 257,572 tonnes recommended by Iceland’s Marine Research Institute.

The haddock quota goes up by over 5,000 tonnes to 39,890 tonnes. This is the first significant haddock increase for some time and shows that the stock, which was causing some concern not so long ago, is now making a sustained recovery.

According to a recent report from the Marine Research Institute, the position of many of Iceland’s fish stocks is strong.

Newfoundland Capelin Prices Set

The Newfoundland and Labrador price setting panel recently made its decision on capelin prices for the 2017 fishing season, siding with the Fish, Food and Allied Workers’ Union FFAW’s price proposal.

The Association of Seafood Producers (ASP) argued that the price for 2017 should be lower than what it was in 2016 and said last year’s price was too high. It argued this despite market indicators suggesting either stable or increased market prices for the upcoming season.

The panel also decided that harvesters are receiving a smaller market share for capelin compared to other species, such as with crab, shrimp and halibut.

As a result of these and other factors, the panel decided the FFAW’s proposal was most in line with market projections.

The prices for 2017 will be:

  • $0.24/pound for Grade A
  • $0.14/pound for Grade B

Public Consultation on Marine Recreational Fishing Licences for Eastern Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) recently announced it would consider a new marine recreational licensing system in Eastern Canada.

The Department is now commencing a public consultations process to seek views on a new marine recreational licence for Eastern Canada. The consultation will run until July 31, 2017.

The public and industry will have a variety of methods via which they can provide comments to DFO:

  1. Information on the marine recreational fishing licence for Eastern Canada and the consultation process is available at the Department’s website: http://www.nfl.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/NL/CC/Recreational-Groundfish-Consultations

The website provides an option via which to submit written comments.

  1. Comments, written submissions or any related questions can also be submitted directly to the following DFO email address: Recfish/PecheRec.XNCR@dfo-mpo.gc.ca
  2. Optionally, any written feedback can be submitted to by mail to:

Attn: Marine Recreational License for Eastern Canada

Room 13S038 – Fisheries Resource Management

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

200 Kent St

Ottawa, ON

K1A 0E6

All written comments and formal submissions should be provided to the Department by Monday July 31, 2017.

CCFI Hosting Cod Conference

The Canadian Centre for Fisheries Innovation (CCFI) has announced it will host a conference called Cod — Building the Fishery of the Future, on November 22-23, 2017 in Gander.

The conference is being held to provide industry with information it will need to launch a new cod fishery based on the recovering fish stocks off the Island and Labrador. The ultimate aim is to help create a sustainable, viable, globally competitive cod fishery that will be particularly attractive to the province’s youth.

It will look at N.L. cod in the global context of market demand and supply, as well as cod product buyers’ needs and expectations. It will also examine what others — in Iceland, Norway and Alaska — are doing to harvest cod and similar species and turn them into products for world markets. And it will look at the province’s current industry and its readiness to take on the challenge of positioning our cod and to achieve optimum prices in international markets.

FISH-NL Applauds Appeal Court Decision

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) applauded a recent appeal court decision involving the Fish, Food and Allied Workers’ Union (FFAW).

The FFAW had appealed a March 2016 Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador ruling in favour of scallop fishermen who took the union to court over a compensation fund for lost fishing grounds in the Strait of Belle Isle.

In a unanimous ruling, the three judges with the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador, Court of Appeal, found that the “FFAW was clearly acting outside its usual role and did not appreciate the full implications of its behaviour.”

Nalcor agreed in 2014 to pay out $2.6 million in compensation to scallop harvesters who would lose some of their grounds in the Strait of Belle Isle to an undersea cable needed to bring Muskrat Falls power to the island.

The lawsuit was brought by 71 harvesters who argued the money should be shared through lump sum payments among everyone who held a scallop licence. The union argued the money should be paid out over 30 years, to active fishers who can demonstrate annual losses.

In the original Supreme Court decision, Justice Carl Thompson concluded the FFAW failed in its responsibilities to harvesters.

Baffin Fisheries to Build New 75-Metre Trawler

Baffin Fisheries announced in June that it has signed a letter of intent (LOI) with Norway’s Havyard Ship Technology for the design and construction of a new Arctic trawler to fish cold water turbot and shrimp in the Arctic Ocean adjacent to Nunavut.

The vessel under consideration is 75 metres long and 17 metres wide, with a capacity to hold up to 1,200 tonnes, nearly double the capacity of the largest vessel currently operating in Nunavut.

“Acquiring a new, efficient, purpose-built factory trawler will allow us to improve operations, create new Inuit employment opportunities, and ensure more Nunavut seafood resources are harvested by Inuit owned vessels and companies. The acquisition of this modern vessel with the very latest fishing and navigation technology signals that Baffin Fisheries is investing in the future,” said Baffin Fisheries Chairman and President Jacopie Maniapik.

The letter of intent allows Baffin Fisheries to enter into a shipbuilding contract with Havyard before the end of August 2017, with a potential delivery date for the vessel in April 2019.

“This is a long-term, strategic decision that demonstrates our confidence in the industry, and the strength of Inuit-owned companies. This is a great day for our company, our communities and for Nunavut,” Maniapik said.

The new vessel is expected to replace the company’s first trawler, Inuksuk I, which will be 32 years old when the new vessel is delivered.

Sunwell Partners with Marine Institute

Sunwell Technologies Inc. recently announced a collaborative partnership with the Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland to conduct a series of tests on various species of seafood to establish the benefits of the DeepChill process.

The Fisheries and Marine Institute is Canada’s most comprehensive centre for education, training, applied research and industrial support for the ocean industries.

As part of a collaborative initiative, this partnership with industry stake holders will enable the test program to reflect prevailing process parameters. In the coming months, senior faculty members from the MI’s Centre for Aquaculture and Seafood Development and research engineers from Sunwell will begin comparative tests to record the benefits of cooling with DeepChill for shellfish (crabs, lobsters, mussels), pelagics and groundfish.

DeepChill is an advanced slurry ice process developed and patented by Sunwell in 1978. For the seafood sector, DeepChill has been successfully used for on-board processing and packaging.

Made from ocean or fresh water, DeepChill has millions of perfectly round crystals that impart rapid and effective cooling without damaging the fish. As pumpable slurry, DeepChill also aims to reduce labour, contamination risks and energy bill.

Green Crabs Blamed for 21 Per Cent Decline in Maine’s Clam Landings

Clam harvesters just south of the border might be facing another tough year, according to the Portland Press Herald.

The second mild winter in a row means Maine’s tidal flats will likely be overrun by large numbers of ravenous, invasive green crabs this summer.

One green crab can consume 40 half-inch clams a day and will dig six inches to find clams to eat. In 2016, clam landings fell 21 per cent, from 9.3 million to 7.3 million pounds, the lowest total reported since 1991, according to the state Department of Marine Resources.

Clammers had hoped for a cold winter so the deep freeze and ice would kill off a lot of the crabs, allowing the clam seed still found in high numbers in Maine waters a chance to settle in the tidal flats and grow, forming those telltale tiny holes that tell clammers a harvest awaits them under the mud.

Homarus to Work with l’Agence Mamu Innu Kaikusseht

Homarus, a non-profit group within the Maritime Fishermen’s Union dedicated to the conservation of the lobster resource and its fishing industry, will offer its expertise, technical assistance and support to l’Agence Mamu Innu Kaikusseht (AMIK) in helping develop a new project.

AMIK is a non-profit organization on the Côte-Nord of Quebec that supports Innu communities in the sustainable management of aquatic and ocean resources and the development of a fisheries economy.

This new partnership is partly achieved through funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) PromoScience Program.

Since 2014, Homarus has offered an educational program in the form of workshops on the marine lobster ecosystem, “The Homarus Mobile Laboratory.” These workshops, given in schools throughout New Brunswick, target several science curriculum outcomes.

This new collaboration will allow numerous opportunities for exchanges between the two groups leading to the development of new tools for raising awareness and education with regards to the sustainability of marine resources, so dear to our coastal communities.

Career Website Launched for N.S. Fishing Industry

The Nova Scotia Fisheries Sector Council (NSFSC) recently launched FishJobs.ca, a new website dedicated to career information, training and potential employment opportunities in the fishing industry.

The website hosts a wealth of information for employers, job seekers and anyone else looking to learn more about the industry.

The fishing industry has encountered challenges when attracting new entrants to harvesting, aquaculture and seafood processing. The website intends to assist in remedying this issue by providing adequate information and assistance for those interested in a career in the fisheries. FishJobs provides a simple one-stop portal for navigating occupation choices including guidance for training and career paths.

FishJobs also hosts a job posting section for employers to advertise available positions in harvesting, aquaculture and seafood processing.

This component helps employers create accurate job advertisements and attract suitable candidates to their company. This also provides an online outlet for Nova Scotian job seekers to research and apply for available positions specific to the industry.

“We are happy to provide this service to the industry and the general public. This site gives us an opportunity to improve the image of the industry by showcasing the types of careers available, along with potential employment opportunities. We are hoping it’s a great resource for employers to secure new talent for their operation.” says Lisa Fitzgerald, the Executive Director of The Nova Scotia Fisheries Sector Council.

The NSFSC assists the fishing industry with planning and implementing human resources development strategies to attract new entrants to the industry; which FishJobs will play a big part of. For more information, go to www.FishJobs.ca

DFO Conducted Three Necropsies on North Atlantic Right Whales

Over the Canada Day weekend, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and its partners performed necropsies on three of the whales found in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

In a complex operation, approximately 30 people assisted with the necropsies, including DFO experts, the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative-Atlantic Veterinary College, the Université de Montréal, the Marine Animal Response Society, the University of North Carolina Wilmington, the Marine Mammal Commission, the NB Museum, Dalhousie University and the provincial governments of Nova Scotia, British Columbia and Prince Edward Island.

The first necropsy began Thursday, June 29, and by Saturday, July 1, all three were completed. Although six right whale carcasses were found, DFO plans to conduct only three necropsies given the other whales’ advanced state of decomposition.

The department will continue to collect information on the presence of North Atlantic Right whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Until recent years, North Atlantic Right whales were not normally seen in the Gulf and the Department needs to consider changes to their seasonal behaviour before determining what conservation measures may be needed.

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