On the Waterfront — December 2016

EU Decides to Forgo Lobster Ban

The European Union has decided that lobster from Canada and the United States are not an invasive species after all, averting a ban on the live import of the valuable commodity.

lobster-img_0891The EU’s Committee on Invasive Alien Species told Sweden, the member nation that had sought the ban after discovering American lobsters off its coast, that it would not list Homerus Americanus for technical reasons, even though Sweden’s argument had persuaded the forum of EU scientists who study alien species to pursue the listing just two months ago.
A European Union committee decided it couldn’t support an import ban on North American lobsters because they are not an invasive species. But the group might explore other measures to protect European lobsters without disrupting trade.

TSB Investigating Fatal N.L. Fishing Accident

The Transportation Safety Board (TSB) recently announced it will be furthering its investigation into a September 6 fishing-related accident that claimed the lives of four men from the St. John’s neighbourhood of Shea Heights.

TSB officials said it has decided to pursue a Class 3 investigation into the incident. The board uses the following criteria to determine if a Class 3 or an individual occurrence investigation is warranted:

  • significant public expectation that the TSB should independently make findings as to cause(s) and contributing factors; or
  • potential for better understanding the latent unsafe conditions contributing to a significant safety issue; or
  • a government representative so requests; or
  • the board must do so to meet its obligations or commitments.

The victims were identified as as Eugene Walsh, his son Keith Walsh Sr. and grandson Keith Walsh Jr., as well as family friend Billy Humby. Only two of the four bodies were recovered.

The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) in Halifax reported that four fishermen, that had set out from St. John’s harbour to haul gillnets in their 22-foot open boat, were reported overdue late evening on Sept. 6.

Police confirmed that night that the bodies of two missing fishermen were recovered off Cape Spear. The JRCC in Halifax later confirmed that a boat carrying four missing fishermen outside St. John’s harbour was located by search and rescue crews early the following day.

On Sept. 8, despite an extensive search and rescue effort, Coast Guard officials said the search for the two missing fishermen was being handed off to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and was changed from a search and rescue effort to a recovery mission.

The Transportation Safety Board said it will post more information on its website about its investigation when it’s available.

Marystown Shipyard Sold to N.L. Interests

Kiewit Offshore Services has entered into an agreement to sell the property and assets of the Marystown Shipyard to a private Newfoundland company, according to Daniel Villeneuve, the CEO and president of the purchasing company.

In a press release, Villeneuve said the sale will include all of the assets and property associated with the shipyard site, while Kiewit will retain ownership of its Cow Head fabrication site.

“We are fully committed to returning to the area’s roots of shipbuilding, to build a stable workforce and to work with the union and the town council of Marystown,” Villeneuve said in the release.

In the same release, Glynn Smith of Kiewit said the sale will allow the company — which has owned the shipyard since 2002 — to centralize its operations at Cow Head.

“We continue to look for opportunities to bring work there and value the strong relationships we have built with the local workforce and the Marystown and the Burin Peninsula community,” Smith said.

Proposal Calls on Federal Government to Support South Coast Fish Harvesters

The FFAW-Unifor has submitted an enterprise retirement-income support proposal to the federal government on behalf of harvesters on the south coast of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Harvesters in the area are facing severe economic challenges as a result of an unprecedented decline of fish resources, the unions said. The proposal would improve incomes by reducing the number of enterprises through a voluntary license retirement program.

“Harvesters in 3Ps are facing a crisis through no fault of their own,” said Keith Sullivan, President of the Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union (FFAW-Unifor). “A license retirement program is the best opportunity to improve incomes in the area and provide a viable livelihood for the remaining enterprises.”

The enterprise retirement program will only apply to Placentia Bay harvesters, where there are approximately 300 enterprises. Harvesters in both the inshore (<40’) fleet and the supplementary (40’ to 65’) are able to participate. The program will take at least three years to complete.

The proposal was submitted to the federal government in mid-October. The program would require financial support from both the provincial and federal government. The provincial Department of Fisheries, Forestry and Agrifoods has already expressed support for the proposal.

“The success of the lobster sustainability program on the west and south coasts in 2014 proves that this type of program can dramatically improve incomes for harvesters and build a more economically viable fishery in the area,” continued Sullivan. “While there are no quick fixes to the environmental shift happening in 3Ps, both levels of government must swiftly address the significant financial challenges harvesters are facing and lay the groundwork for a viable fishery in the future.”

tall-ship-pictou-1Tall Ships 2017 Outport Program Announced

Nova Scotians from Sydney to Shelburne will have a chance to enjoy the majesty of tall ships in a port near their home next summer.

Premier Stephen McNeil recently announced the outport program for Rendez-Vous 2017 — Tall Ships Regatta Nova Scotia.

“Tall ships will bring together Nova Scotians and visitors alike for a celebration of our past, present and future,” said McNeil. “They are an important economic boost for our province. This event is also an opportunity to showcase Nova Scotia to the world. Outport programs promote local food and wine, local performers and artisans and local businesses to the thousands of visitors who will visit Nova Scotia.”

Between late June and mid-August, tall ships will visit 11 ports around the province, including Lunenburg, Pictou, Sydney, St. Peter’s, Louisbourg, Pugwash, Port Hawkesbury, Halifax, Shelburne, Digby and end with an evening sail past in Annapolis Basin, a first for Nova Scotia.

“Rendez-Vous 2017 is the culmination of a lot of hard work over a number years. We are thrilled that Nova Scotia is playing a key role by organizing roughly one-third of the Canadian ports for the program,” said Doug Prothero, chairman of Sail Training International. “The thousands of young people who will venture here will be moved by the hospitality, welcoming and knowledgeable ports along this magnificent part of the Canadian coastline.”

Thanks to a provincial government investment of $1.5 million, people from around the province will be able to see the majestic ships, many of which will have sailed from the United Kingdom, Portugal, Bermuda, Boston and Quebec City, in addition to multiple outports across eastern Canada.

Waterfront Development Corporation also announced key Rendez-vous 2017 partners, which include Taste of Nova Scotia, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Symphony Nova Scotia and Parks Canada.

Tall ships will visit Canada to honour the 150th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation in 2017. They are scheduled to stop at host ports in Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes. A large event is scheduled for Quebec City, from July 18 to July 23, giving hundreds of thousands of people the opportunity to admire the majestic beauty of these cathedrals of the seas. The Government of Canada has also provided support to make Rendez-Vous 2017 happen.

Tall ships schedule:

  • Pictou, Pugwash, Port Hawkesbury, June 30 to July 2
  • Halifax, July 29 to Aug. 1
  • Sydney, St. Peter’s, Louisbourg, Aug. 4 to Aug. 6
  • Lunenburg, Aug. 10 to Aug. 12
  • Shelburne, Aug. 14 to Aug. 15
  • Digby, Aug. 15 to Aug. 16
  • Annapolis Royal Sail Past, Aug. 16

superior-glove-logoNew Strategy Launched to ‘Double’ Superior Glove Works Opening New Plant in Springdale

Superior Glove Works recently announced it will be opening a second production plant in Newfoundland and Labrador in mid-November.

The Ontario-based industrial work glove company already has a factory in Point Leamington.

The company said it has had great success at Point Leamington and the new plant in Springdale ties in to its existing business model with the possibility for higher-end manufacturing.

The plant will start with 12 employees and will grow to 20 by 2017.

salmon-380Size of Scottish Aquaculture

A new roadmap has been launched in a bid to double the size of Scotland’s aquaculture sector within 15 years.

Businesses and organizations involved in the sector are seeking to boost the value of Scottish aquaculture from £1.8 billion this year to £3.6 billion by 2030, seafood.com is reporting.

They estimate this will generate more than 9,000 new jobs for the industry.

A working group has launched a new growth strategy, which identifies key actions that are required to achieve the goals.

The group includes representatives of the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation, Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre, Scotland Food and Drink, Association of Scottish Shellfish Growers and businesses in the sector.

The strategy, which was developed after industry-wide consultation, sets out key recommendations for action by both the industry and government. They include stripping industry regulator Marine Scotland of its industry development role and passing that remit on to the Scottish government’s Food, Drink and Rural Communities Division.

The strategy document also recommends introducing “world-leading innovation sites to trial cutting-edge equipment, technology and fish health strategies.”

Another key recommendation — creating a new industry leadership group to drive forward the plans — has already been accepted by the Scottish government.

Salmon is the largest component of the Scottish aquaculture industry, with about 170,000 tonnes produced on farms each year. The value of export sales alone is about £450 million, making it Scotland’s top food export.

High Liner to Relocate Production From Massachusetts Plants to Facility in Nova Scotia

High Liner Foods is adding 70 union jobs and investing $13 million upgrading its Lunenburg, N.S., plant, as it moves production from two idled facilities in Massachusetts to Canada.

“We could process more profitability in Lunenburg and ship it to the United States,” High Liner CFO Paul Jewer said recently in a keynote address to the Atlantic Provinces Economics Council.

Jewer reaffirmed the seafood company will remain headquartered in Nova Scotia, even though 75 per cent of its business is now in the United States.

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