On the Waterfront – December 2020

Qalipu Launches Seal Oil Capsule Initiative

Funding provided through the Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Fisheries, Forestry and Agriculture Seafood Development Program is supporting the launch of WASPU, a new Indigenous brand seal oil capsule developed by the Qalipu First Nation.

Funding up to $25,200 will be provided to the Qalipu Development Corporation — a business subsidiary of the Qalipu First Nation — to help with the launch of WASPU brand seal oil capsules into the domestic market by supporting the development of social media, a website and marketing materials.

“Mi’kmaq Commercial Fisheries is extremely happy to launch its new WASPU brand seal oil capsule into the marketplace. We believe this First Nation-branded health product will find a consumer niche not only here in the province, but in national and export markets as well. We are excited to be selling a locally sourced, Indigenous-branded product here in the province through the Coleman’s grocery chain,” said John Davis, Manager of the Qalipu Development Corporation.

Canada Needs to Act Now to Save the Right Whale from Extinction

Science released recently by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows North Atlantic right whale numbers are even lower than previously thought and that we are not doing enough to stop right whales from going extinct, according to Sierra Club Canada Foundation.

Research released by NOAA showed there are 366 North Atlantic right whales left, down from estimates of approximately 400 of these whales left on the planet.

“Canada’s so-called action plan on right whales is clearly not enough. The plan needs to be updated and implemented immediately to incorporate this devastating new science,” according to Sierra Club Canada Foundation National Programs Director Gretchen Fitzgerald.

“Canada must commit to no human-caused right whale deaths and achieving short-term recovery goalposts, such as protecting the 94 remaining right whale mothers. This would mean mandatory speed limits for vessels, limits to ocean noise across the right whales’ range and clear targets to get to ropeless gear. Otherwise, science released this week shows these magnificent whales will become extinct.”

Seismic blasting to find oil and gas deposits remains an unaddressed stressor to right whales, a glaring omission in Canada’s ocean and endangered species management that needs to be fixed, according to Sierra Club Canada Foundation.

“This summer, seismic blasting off Newfoundland and Labrador was so loud and pervasive that DFO scientists reported they could not hear right whales calling,” according to Fitzgerald.

Cooke’s True North Brand Acquires Mariner Seafood

Cooke Seafood’s processing division and flagship brand True North Seafood has acquired New Bedford, Massachusetts-based Mariner Seafood.

Mariner is an international fresh and frozen seafood company with a specialty in processing premium wild and farmed species including scallops, haddock, cod, salmon and shrimp.

Cooke noted Mariner’s key brands of GO WILD, which is in the packaged case and ready tray segments and MarSelect, a scallop entity. The company was created in 2001 and has since grown a strong retail presence with a trusted supplier network in both the U.S. and Canada.

Mariner’s workforce totals 170 and the company is able to process 8,000 metric tonnes of seafood at its 32,000-square-foot headquarters along with its 14,000-square-foot salmon processing facility on the vibrant New Bedford working waterfront.

“It has long been a dream of our family seafood company to have a presence in the number one value fishing port in the nation, New Bedford,” said Glenn Cooke, CEO of Cooke Inc. “We now have over 4,000 Cooke employees in 22 U.S. states and we will continue to invest and grow our New Bedford processing operations to supply our customers with healthy, top quality True North Seafood products.”

Grieg Postpones Post Smolt Building Construction Due to COVID-19

Grieg Seafood Newfoundland announced in October that it has made the decision to postpone the construction of its post smolt building in Marystown due to the impact of COVID-19.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the entire global economy in a way that nobody could foresee,” Knut Skeidsvoll, Regional Director of Grieg Seafood Newfoundland, said in a statement.

“The salmon markets are heavily impacted, causing lower prices across the board. As a responsible company, we see no other choice but to reduce the pace of investment and as a result we have taken the difficult decision of postponing the construction of the post smolt building. The current land-based facilities have the capacities to ensure necessary production as planned.”

While the post smolt building won’t be moving forward as planned, Grieg says that healthy fish are growing in its tanks in the land-based facility and it plans on stocking the first marine sites in 2021. The first harvest is expected to occur in 2022/2023.

“The postponement causes the ramp-up of the project to take some more time than originally planned, but it will not impact the final result,” explained Skeidsvoll.

“Grieg Seafood Newfoundland is here to stay and will contribute to jobs and economic development locally as planned over the years to come.”

Call for Expressions of Interest for Aquaculture Industry Expansion

The Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Government has identified an opportunity to establish a marine salmon farming operation in the Bays West area of Bay d’Espoir towards Burgeo and Port aux Basques, to create employment and economic development through production of 15,000 to 20,000 MT of Atlantic salmon.

Expressions of Interest in this opportunity will be accepted until Thursday, November 26, 2020, at 4 p.m. NST.

To ensure a transparent and streamlined process, the Department of Fisheries, Forestry and Agriculture is employing a third-party fairness consultant for review, assessment and selection of the successful proponent. Expression of Interest guidelines are now available on the department’s website.

Announced on July 31, this marine salmon farming development is part of a plan to support renewable, resource-based businesses and employment in rural communities during the COVID-19 global pandemic through investments in forestry, agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture.

2021 Maine Fishermen’s Forum Cancelled

The Maine Fishermen’s Forum’s Board of Directors recently announced the cancelation its 2021 event.

“There is no possible way that we can protect our Forum participants in such a tight environment, due to COVID-19 and required safety restrictions. The Board intends to continue serving the commercial fishing industry throughout 2021. We will be meeting soon to discuss options and will share more details as they become available. Please check our website or Facebook page for updates,” the organizers stated.

The Board added that it intends to hold the next Forum on March 3, 4 and 5, 2022.

The popular Maine Fishermen’s Forum normally takes place in March of each year in Rockport, Maine.

Canso Seafoods’ New Space and Equipment Improves Processing and Productivity

The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) recently announced a repayable contribution of $900,000 to Canso Seafoods Ltd. (CSL) for facility upgrades and new equipment.

This investment, provided through ACOA, has enabled Canso Seafoods to add a new extension building to its existing manufacturing plant. The addition of a custom-made steam cooker and high-efficiency freezer will allow the company to increase its production, lengthen its processing season and diversify its product lines.

The expansion and new technology will help Canso Seafoods maintain a competitive edge in local and international markets for lobster and snow crab.

Royal Greenland Announces Sea-Launch of Prawn Trawler

Royal Greenland recently announced that its latest fishing vessel was launched at the Astilleros de Murueta shipyard in Bilbao, Spain.

The new vessel, which is named Nataarnaq, will replace the prawn trawler of the same name in the Greenlandic fishery. The vessel, which will be the third delivered by the Spanish shipyard to Royal Greenland’s operations, is set to be completed this year.

The Nataarnaq is 82.3-metres long and 18-metres wide. The vessel has a loading capacity of 2950 m3, which will allow for longer fishing trips. The new vessel, which has room for 30 crew members, will also feature single-person chambers, good common areas, exercise rooms, as well as other facilities.

Government of Canada Marks the Delivery of the CCG Ship John Cabot

The federal government recently welcomed the newly-built Canadian Coast Guard Ship (CGGS) John Cabot, to the Coast Guard fleet.

The delivery of this third and final offshore fisheries science vessel (OFSV), along with the acceptance of the CCGS Sir John Franklin and the CCGS Capt Jacques Cartier in 2019, marks the completion of the first class of large ships built under the National Shipbuilding Strategy.

It is a significant milestone in the renewal of the Coast Guard fleet while also supporting Canadian technological innovation and bringing jobs and prosperity to many communities across the country.

Built in Canada by Seaspan Shipyards, these ships will ensure that Fisheries and Oceans’ scientists are working with the best equipment to conduct their vital work on fishery resources, other marine species and their environments.

The OFSVs are the first class of large ships to be built by Seaspan Shipyards, as part of the non-combat package under the National Shipbuilding Strategy. The OFSV CCGS Sir John Franklin was delivered to the Canadian Coast Guard in June 2019 and CCGS Capt Jacques Cartier was delivered in November 2019. Both vessels are now dedicated primarily to science missions. The construction of the CCGS John Cabot began in February 2017.

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