On the Waterfront – January 2024

FCWC Returns to Moncton for 21st Edition

Canada’s largest marine event, Fish Canada Workboat Canada (FCWC), is returning to the Moncton Coliseum in Moncton, N.B. from January 19–20, 2024.

The trade show, presented by The Navigator in partnership with Master Promotions, drew over 7,000 visitors during its 20th edition in 2022. The 2024 event, according to show manager Shawn Murphy, is expected to significantly exceed past records.

“Exhibitors have been expressing their excitement to be back in 2024,” said Shawn Murphy, Show Manager. “The show floor is selling fast, and we can’t wait to unveil the show to the industry.”

Moncton’s centralized location makes it a hub of activity for professionals from all over the Atlantic region during this biennial event. Industries highlighted include fishing, aquaculture and workboat culture from all over the region. To register as a visitor or exhibitor to FCWC, visit www.FCWC.ca. Free pre-registration for visitors is available using code “FCWC2008.”



Future Ocean Foods Formed to Provide Plant-Based Seafood Alternatives

Made up of 36 companies across 14 countries, Future Ocean Foods aims to provide plant-based alternatives to salmon filets, sushi-grade tuna, smoked salmon, white fish, shrimp, crab and calamari, among other products.

The group was formed to help the individual companies conduct product trials, reach new markets and increase the nutrition profile of the products they offer.

“This is an incredible moment in time for the future of food and our oceans,” said Marissa Bronfman, founder and executive director of Future Ocean Foods. “Alternative seafood offers us the opportunity to build a more delicious, nutritious, sustainable and ethical global food system. I am humbled and hugely excited to be working alongside these visionary founders and pioneering companies to revolutionize the seafood industry and am emboldened by the spirit of collaboration among our members. We all embrace the adage: a rising tide lifts all boats.’”



CAIA and FCC Make it Easier to Purchase Canadian Seafood

The Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance (CAIA) and the Fisheries Council of Canada (FCC) have partnered to expand their “Choose Canadian Seafood” campaign, which has recently partnered with 300 Sobeys and Safeway locations to feature “Choose Canadian Seafood” labels.

These labels are intended to make it easier for consumers to identify local, quality Canadian seafood products.

“A recent study from Dalhousie University showed an overwhelming 86.7 per cent of Canadians regularly make fish and seafood staples in their diets, mainly driven by nutritional considerations,” said Paul Lansbergen, President, FCC. “With 64 per cent citing health as their primary motivator, the results underscore the relevance of the ‘Choose Canadian Seafood’ initiative. It’s clear we’re on the right track, particularly with the Millennial cohort, who place a premium on the twin pillars of health and environmental sustainability in their consumption choices.”



Newfoundland and Labrador Celebrates World Fisheries Day

In a tradition going back to 1998, the province of Newfoundland and Labrador celebrated World Fisheries Day on November 21, 2023.

The day offered provincial residents a day to reflect on the contribution the fishery has and continues to make to the province’s economy, history and culture.

“As we celebrate World Fisheries Day in Newfoundland and Labrador, we take pride in our rich maritime legacy and acknowledge the role our fisheries play in shaping our identity and economy,” said Elvis Loveless, N.L. Minister of Fisheries, Forestry and Agriculture. “I encourage residents to mark this day by saluting fisheries workers throughout our province and the hard work they do to ensure the health and longevity of our ocean resources.”



Invertable Takes Home Multiple Awards at Illuminate Awards

Invertable, a company started by PhD student Jessica Lamarre that is developing a feed substrate for insects that will allow them to be turned into food pellets for aquaculture facilities, took home multiple awards from the Memorial Centre for Entrepreneurship at Memorial University.

Invertable won the Diamond Award as the overall winner of the pitch competition for women and gender-diverse students as well as the Leadership Award, Social Impact Award and the Community Choice Award.

“There is a dichotomy between how important of a resource fish is to us and the way we overfish them and treat the marine environment altogether,” said Lamarre, whose field is cognitive and behaviour ecology. “Aquaculture could be a good solution to move away from harming wild stocks, but that’s only if we stop using wild stocks as a source of food for our farmed fish.”



Pew Charitable Trust Expresses Disappointment in ICCAT Results

Pew Charitable Trusts, a non-profit engaged in improving public policy, expressed disappointment in the results of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT). The organization has highlighted the lack of progress around the conservation of North Atlantic swordfish and West Atlantic skipjack tuna, and climate change.

“After several years of positive progress, ICCAT could have continued its momentum, but instead failed to take expected actions to modernize management for some of its most valuable fisheries,” said Esther Wozniak, a manager for Pew’s international fisheries team. “Now, it will be another year until governments consider science-based, precautionary measures for North Atlantic swordfish and western Atlantic skipjack tuna. ICCAT members also did not agree to adopt a work plan to consider climate change in its management, despite clear evidence that fisheries will continue to be impacted by ocean warming.



New Brunswick and Canadian Government Invest in Whale-Safe Gear, Acoustics for the Snow Crab Fishery

The government of New Brunswick and the federal government have invested $3,371,041 to allow snow crab harvesters to test whale-safe gear such as rope on-demand gear and low-breaking-strength gear, as well as acoustic technologies to track whales and other vessels.

“The snow crab fishery significantly contributes to the economies of many communities in New Brunswick,” said Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries Minister Margaret Johnson. “Innovation will play an important role in supporting the success of the fishery. In collaboration with our federal partners and the Association des Crabiers Acadiens Inc., we look forward to the development of sustainable harvesting technologies for the industry while protecting endangered marine life.”



Oceana Canada Audits Canada’s Fisheries for 2023

Oceana Canada, a non-profit marine environmentalist group, recently released its 2023 audit of Canada’s fisheries.

In it, the group highlighted the decline of healthy stocks in Canadian waters, which has seen an overall increase in the past several years. Oceana also highlighted that six out of 28 critically depleted stocks currently have a rebuilding plan, none of which they say are in line with Canada’s amended Fisheries Act.

The group also highlighted that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) has not released a single rebuilding plan in 2023, despite their requirements to publish 13 by April 2024.



Astatine to Acquire McKeil Marine

Astatine Investment Partners, a private equity firm, is set to acquire McKeil Marine Limited, one of Canada’s leading transportation and service providers, from TorQuest Partners.

McKeil operates a fleet of 13 dry and liquid bulk vessels as well as a fleet of tugs and barges in Canada’s Great Lakes. McKeil serves customers across the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence Seaway as well as Canada’s East Coast and Arctic regions.

“We are excited to partner with one of the most innovative and trusted marine service providers in Canada,” said Jim Metcalfe, CEO and Co-Managing Partner of Astatine. “McKeil provides meaningful downside protection through its long-term inflation-linked contracts. There is also a tremendous opportunity to evolve its service offerings and strategically expand its diverse fleet. We look forward to working closely with McKeil’s management team and talented crew to further build upon its market leadership and historical growth.”

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