On the Waterfront – May 2024

High Liner Invests $5 Million in Norcod

In exchange for 10 per cent ownership and nomination rights for a seat on their board of directors, High Liner Foods has invested $5 million in the Norwegian aquaculture company Norcod.

Going forward, High Liner CEO Paul Jewer will sit on Norcod’s board of directors.

Norcod’s operates six facilities located in central and northern Norway with licenses secured to reach a production capacity of 26,000 metric tonnes of cod. The conditions in these areas, according to High Liner Foods, allows Norcod to avoid seasonal dependency and deliver product year-round.

“Today’s investment is a small but important step forward in our strategy to position High Liner Foods for the next chapter of leadership and growth,” said Jewer. “In a dynamic global seafood environment, we want to ensure that our Company and its stakeholders can benefit from the opportunities across the full value chain in highly sought after species like cod.”



WCB Nova Scotia Unveils New Strategic Plan

The Workers Compensation Board (WCB) of Nova Scotia has released a new strategic plan to become one of Canada’s top-performing WCBs by 2030.

This new strategy hinges on three pillars — preventing workplace injury, supporting safe and healthy return to work when injury does occur and providing exceptional service. The plan, according to the WCB, strives to protect Nova Scotians from “the impact of workplace injury, in all its forms.”

“We have work to do,” said WCB Nova Scotia CEO Karen Adams. “Our injury prevention performance is solid, but it takes too long for workers to achieve safe and timely return to work, and we need to improve our service. We help people every day in this province and most workers and employers are satisfied with our service. At the same time, we know we need to improve. This Strategic Plan will get us there.”



Norwegian Marketing Firm Tasked with Promoting Canadian Seafood

As part of a project created by the Atlantic Groundfish Council (AGC), the Norwegian marketing firm SDG\TBWA has been tasked with elevating the global presence of Atlantic Canadian seafood worldwide.

After a six-week competition involving multiple agencies, SDG\TBWA’s various branches in Norway and Iceland, along with their counterparts in Copenhagen, Denmark, will be hosting strategic planning sessions in Brussels, Belgium to enhance the visibility of Canadian seafood across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

SDG\TBWA’s first phase of their campaign has launched in Sweden, promoting a Canadian alternative to red plaice.



DFO Minister Shuts Down 2024 Maritimes Region Elver Fishery

In response to illegal fishing, conservation challenges and violent incidents surrounding the elver fishery, Diane Lebouthiller, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard has made the decision to not issue licenses or open the 2024 Maritimes Region elver fishery.

The move, according to a statement by Lebouthillier, is to allow fishery officers to address unauthorized fishing of elver. The minister also made it known that engaging in harvesting elver at this time would result in “enforcement action as per the Fisheries Act and the Maritime Provinces Fishery Regulations.”



Five Arrested in Relation to Unauthorized Elver Harvesting

In Southwest Nova Scotia, five individuals were arrested and later released by fisher officers who were under investigation for infractions of the Fisheries Act and Maritime Provinces Fishery Regulations for the unauthorized harvesting of elver.

Officers seized two vehicles, one fyke net, eight dip nets, elver fishing equipment and 1.14 kilograms of elver, which were released back into their river of origin.



Canada to Host 2024 All-Atlantic Ocean Research and Innovation Alliance Forum

Canada will host the All-Atlantic Ocean Research and Innovation Alliance Forum (AAORIA) from October 8–10, 2024, in Ottawa.

The annual forum will bring together AAORIA partners from Argentina, Brazil, Cabo Verde, the European Union, Morocco, Norway, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States to focus on collaborative science in the realms of ocean observation and understanding the relation between the ocean and climate.

“Canadians rely on healthy oceans — they are the backbone of our economy, cultures and ecosystems. As a maritime nation, Canada is fully committed to engaging the ocean science community to find sustainable solutions,” said Diane Lebouthiller, Canadian Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard. “I am honoured that Canada will be hosting the 2024 All-Atlantic Ocean Research and Innovation Alliance Forum. Together with our All-Atlantic partners, we will continue to roll up our sleeves to tackle climate challenges of today and tomorrow.”



Phillips Foods Expands into Canada with Purchase of Canadian Processing Companies

Baltimore-based Phillips Foods has acquired the Pêcheries Bas-Caraquet Fisheries facility in Bas-Caraquet, New Brunswick, and is in the process of acquiring South Shore Seafoods Ltd., which possesses plants in Prince Edward Island as well as holding tanks in Nova Scotia.

Phillips Foods intends to reopen the Bas-Caraquet facility in April 2024 and close on the South Shore deal by the end of March 2024.

“As the market leader in crab, Phillips is perfectly positioned for this expansion of our product line into North Atlantic seafood,” says Steve Phillips, Founder and CEO of Phillips Foods. “Our customer base is always on the lookout for new seafood products, and they count on us to deliver the best. These acquisitions will allow us to bring our same dedication to quality and product safety into a new area of the seafood market.”



Over 75 N.B. Businesses Present at Seafood Expo North America

The 2024 Seafood Expo North America in Boston saw a large amount of New Brunswick representatives this year, with over 75 provincial businesses in attendance.

Margaret Johnson, N.B. Minister of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries was in attendance, taking the opportunity to meet with her federal and provincial counterparts to discuss policy and market access issues and the opportunity to enhance the success of businesses in her province.

“New Brunswick seafood is enjoyed in 54 countries around the world,” said Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries Minister Margaret Johnson. “It is a success story, but we must continue to find new markets. Seafood Expo North America was the perfect opportunity for New Brunswick seafood firms to find new customers. Their success will increase seafood exports, which create well-paying jobs and benefit our communities economically.”



Dalhousie, OFI, NFB Launch Shipping on the Seaway by Ocean School

Ocean School, a collaboration by Dalhousie University, the Ocean Frontier Institute and the National Film Board of Canada has launched “Shipping on the Seaway,” an educational experience for 11–17-year-olds to cultivate the next generation of marine professionals.

With 43 per cent of the marine workforce expected to retire in the coming decade, this joint initiative featuring educational material surrounding career paths in the marine sector hopes to invigorate youth to pursue a career on or around Canada’s waters, with special attention on the Great Lakes region.

“Ocean School has developed an incredible way to encourage exploration of the rewarding and diverse marine career opportunities in Canada,” said Julia Fields, Executive Director of the Canadian Marine Careers Foundation. “Our sector is facing critical labour shortages, and it’s essential that we educate the next generation about the dynamic and multifaceted nature of the marine industry.”



N.L. PC Party Leader Unveils Plan to Create Standalone Fisheries and Aquaculture Portfolio

Tony Wakeham, leader of the Newfoundland and Labrador Progressive Conservative Party, has announced his plan to create a separate ministry in the province solely dedicated to fisheries and aquaculture.

Currently, the portfolio covering fisheries also covers the realms of forestry and agriculture.

“The pressing needs of the fishery were on full display last week during the protest by our fish harvesters, plant workers and crew members. This would never have occurred under my leadership.”

“The Furey Liberals have not given the industry the attention and respect it deserves. For PCs, a stronger fishery is a stronger Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Wakeham. “A PC Government under my leadership with a standalone Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture will promote open and fair access to our fishery while bringing decision-making closer to home by demanding a seat at the table. Harvesters deserve to go fishing, processers deserve to process, and plant workers and crew deserve to earn a good living. Rural Newfoundland and Labrador deserve better.”



CCC, CME to Supply Watercraft to U.S. Army Corp of Engineers

The Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC) and Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME) has been awarded a contract to supply the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers a Z-drive boom boat, built by Dartmouth, Nova Scotia-based CME.

The boat designed and built by CME measures 18 feet with an eight-foot beam and a 360-degree steerable z-drive, capable of producing 230 horsepower. The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers will use CME’s new boat to support navigation activities in Lower Granite Lock and Dam in Washington. This will be CME’s first contract with the U.S. Department of Defense.

“For over 30 years, CME’s highly trained, experienced and knowledgeable workforce have supported customers around the world and we’re proud to partner with CCC to deliver our marine products to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,” said Gordan Yelland, Project Manager with CME.



FPC Welcomes Outside Buyers in N.L.

In response to the announcement that Newfoundland and Labrador will welcome buyers outside the province for their seafood products, Fisheries Protective Co-operative (FPC) representative Ryan Cleary has invited outside buyers to contact the newly formed co-operative to supply seafood ahead of the 2024 snow crab season.

While the FPC has a long-term goal to operate its own processing plants, the co-op has made attempts to hire an existing processor in the province to process crab from its members with no luck. Cleary and the FPC have been critical of the limited number of processors in the province in the past, claiming the lack of outside buyers stifles competitive pricing in the province.

“Give us a call,” said Cleary. “The more competition the merrier to deliver the best possible price to our enterprise owners and break the power of the cartel.”



Governments to Bring New Ferry to Bedford/Halifax Region

In a joint effort between the Nova Scotian government, the Halifax Regional Municipality and the federal government, people in the Halifax area will soon be able to utilize the Mill Cove Ferry Service between Bedford and downtown Halifax.

The Mill Cove Ferry project will include five all-electric ferries, two terminals and a maintenance facility as well as a bridge to connect road and foot traffic to the new ferry services in Bedford. The province has contributed $65 million to the project, while Canada has put forward $155.7 million in funding and the Halifax Regional Municipality has invested $38 million.

“This project addresses road traffic in the area and helps us plan for future population growth,” said Environment and Climate Change Minister Timothy Halman. “The new ferry route will also encourage people to use public transportation and help us meet our climate change goals by using fast zero-emission electric ferries.”

The Mill Cove Ferry Service is expected to be completed in 2027–2028.

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