Cape Bald Packers Announces Construction of New Lobster Processing Facility
Cape Bald Packers says it will build a new lobster processing facility in Cap-Pelé, New Brunswick after the company lost two plants to separate fires back in February.
The new 50,000-square-foot facility will be located in Cap-Pelé. The company expects the site to be up and running by May 2020, when spring lobster season will kick-off.
Although the company will build a new facility in Cap-Pelé, it decided to not rebuild its facility at Richibucto-Village. That facility employed 150 workers.
Quin-Sea Fisheries Opens First Live Lobster Facility in N.L.
Quin-Sea Fisheries has officially opened its live lobster facility in New Harbour, Newfoundland.
The first of its kind in Newfoundland, the facility is aimed at positioning the company to provide live Newfoundland lobster to global markets on a year-round basis.
Quin-Sea, a division of Royal Greenland, announced its intention to promote Newfoundland lobster and establish it as a globally recognized brand in late 2018. As part of its strategy, Quin-Sea has now initiated several successful international air shipments to target markets. China has been on top of the list, and sales into Europe will start in the coming weeks.
“Through significant investment by the company, new opportunities are being created to add value to the Newfoundland lobster and new employment is being created in regions where it is needed,” said Simon Jarding, managing director of Quin-Sea Fisheries.
The facility is expected to boost the local economy, with 20 positions already created and more expected through associated spin-off activities.
“Our emphasis on the technological solution we chose has been to ensure we become a preferred quality supplier when bringing the larger and hard-shelled Newfoundland lobster to the marketplace,” said Jarding.
“As much as we enjoy and celebrate that our first phase has been successfully implemented, we are already in preparation for phase two development at the live lobster facility in 2020. We plan to engage with a selected group of customers that are particularly interested in the lively, larger and hard-shelled lobster from Newfoundland,” Jarding added.
Seafood Expo Global/Seafood Processing Global Moving to Barcelona in 2021
Diversified Communications, the organizer of Seafood Expo Global/Seafood Processing Global, the world’s largest seafood trade event, announced it is moving the global expo to Barcelona, Spain, starting with the 2021 edition.
After 28 years at the Brussels Expo in Belgium, the event will host its 29th edition on April 27–29, 2021 at Fira de Barcelona, Gran Via venue, in Barcelona, Spain. The decision is the result of extensive market research based on exhibitor and attendee feedback over the years and an evaluation of major destinations throughout Europe.
Barcelona’s robust hotel offering will provide attendees and exhibitors considerable value for their investment and a larger, modern venue that will present long-term growth opportunities.
“The location of our event contributes to our customers’ overall experience,” said Mary Larkin, president of Diversified Communications USA.
“The Brussels Expo and the city of Brussels were great partners to launch and grow this event, and we appreciate the services and support they provided over the years. Moving the event to a larger city and venue, with opportunity for long-term growth, is a necessary evolution. It will enhance the visitor experience and the business being done between buyers and sellers.”
“We are excited to host the largest seafood event in the world,” commented Constantí Serrallonga, General Manager of Fira de Barcelona. “Barcelona is regarded as a global city with a multitude of options for accommodation, dining and activities. The Gran Via venue is conveniently located in one of the most modern cities in Europe and offers cutting-edge services and logistics.”
“Barcelona is an international destination and major seafood hub in Europe, which makes it the perfect location to hold a global event like Seafood Expo Global/Seafood Processing Global,” said Liz Plizga, group vice president at Diversified Communications. The vibrant seaside city has a lot to offer with a variety of restaurants, renowned cultural attractions, markets, outdoor activities and a busy nightlife.
Every year, Seafood Expo Global/Seafood Processing Global, continues to break records in terms of total attendance and exhibit space. The last edition hosted more than 29,000 seafood buyers and suppliers from around the globe with over 2,000 exhibiting companies, making it the largest and most successful event in the expo’s history.
Fira de Barcelona hosts around 150 events annually, bringing in-depth expertise servicing global trade events. Fira’s state-of-the-art Gran Via venue is one of the largest in Europe, with over 200,000-square metres of floor space, eight exhibit halls, more than 40 restaurants and is easily accessible by car, train and plane.
DFO Comments on Squid Contradict Approach to Mackerel Fishery
Comments made by a Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) scientist in the media recently confirming the abundance of squid surrounding Newfoundland this season has frustrated many fish harvesters who feel DFO is contradicting itself by acknowledging abundance in the squid fishery while ignoring it in the mackerel fishery, the FFAW-Unifor stated.
“There is no doubt that squid is arriving in record abundance this season, but it is frustrating for us to hear acknowledgement of harvesters’ observations of squid while the Department refuses to acknowledge and further investigate observed abundance of mackerel,” said Keith Sullivan, President of FFAW-Unifor.
“Mackerel harvesters are losing out on an opportunity to harvest an abundant mackerel stock this season despite repeatedly raising concerns that DFO is underestimating the biomass of the stock.”
Unlike other commercial fisheries, DFO is relying on observations of the abundance of squid as there is no science or stock assessment of the species.
In recent years, harvesters have put forward their observations at DFO’s mackerel stock assessment and advisory meetings. These observations have been repeatedly ignored in management decisions. As a result, harvesters collected small mackerel samples this year in an effort to provide scientific evidence to support their observations that mackerel are spawning on the northeast coast of the province, the union explained in a press release.
“Fish harvesters are investing their own time and resources in mackerel science to support their calls for a new management regime for this fishery. It’s time for DFO to acknowledge the gaps in their own assessment of the stock and listen to harvesters, who spend their lives on the water and have seen first-hand the abundance of this stock,” continued Sullivan.
“At the very least, DFO should provide additional quota this season so that harvesters can collect mackerel samples in the fall of the year, as this is the ideal time to do this work.”
Government Partnering with Indigenous Coastal Communities to Enhance Marine Safety
In 2017, the Canadian Coast Guard, as part of the Oceans Protection Plan, launched the Indigenous Community Boat Volunteer Pilot Program.
Under this program, communities are able to build up their on-water search and rescue capacity and are provided with the necessary funding to purchase boats and the required equipment to do so. This is an investment in the safety and prosperity of coastal communities and that strengthens the capacity of the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary.
As part of this program, the federal government recently presented a community boat to the Miawpukek First Nation in Newfoundland and Labrador.
As well, $2.7-million in funding was announced for 14 communities, including the Miawpukek First Nation, who is receiving funding under year two of the Community Boat program. This investment will support these Coast Guard Auxiliary members in coastal regions across Canada to be better equipped and prepared to respond to marine emergencies to maintain the safety of their community and the security of their waters and coasts.
“The Miawpukek First Nation is extremely pleased to have new Coast Guard Auxiliary members operating out of Miawpukek. We would like to thank the Canadian Coast Guard’s Indigenous Community Boat Volunteer Pilot Program for assisting with the acquisition of the dedicated community response vessel. The presence of this vessel, in addition to a highly trained crew in the Coast of Bays area, will provide greater peace of mind to all boaters should they require assistance,” said Chief Misel Joe, Miawpukek First Nation.
The Indigenous Community Boat Volunteer Program is a four-year pilot program which began in 2017. The Canadian Coast Guard continues to meet with coastal Indigenous communities to identify those that are interested in participating in the future.
Students’ Perceptions of Marine Careers Provide Insight into Workforce Challenges
Despite the recent growth and attention on the marine industry in Nova Scotia, a new study by the Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship (COVE) finds that interest in career opportunities among students remains low.
The Student Intentions and Perceptions Study found that only 12 per cent of Grade 6–12 English, French and Mi’kmaq Kina’matneway students in Nova Scotia are interested in career opportunities in the marine industry.
Led by Dr. Sherry Scully, Director of Learning and Organizational Development at COVE, the voluntary study measures students’ attitudes and perceptions of marine-related and trades/technology careers in Nova Scotia. The study was conducted in partnership with the Nova Scotia Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (EECD) and funded through an ongoing partnership with Irving Shipbuilding.
Findings show that awareness, understanding and interest in marine sector careers continue to be low with most students. While more than four in five students (84 per cent) are aware of marine-related career opportunities with the navy, only three in five identify as having ever heard of shipbuilding (60 per cent), commercial fishing (60 per cent), marine transportation (60 per cent), marine engineering (51 per cent) and ocean science and research (62 per cent). Awareness of careers in emerging regional sectors such as aquaculture (32 per cent), ocean technology (29 per cent), marine robotics (29 per cent) and naval architecture (41 per cent) ranked among the lowest.
The findings will help inform future targeted messaging, and career and ocean literacy programs. The study also shows that there is an opportunity to increase awareness of marine-related career opportunities.
Results in the 2019 study are aligned with those from a similar 2016 study by Scully. The 2019 study summarizes data captured from the original sample group who are now in grades 9–12 to gain insights into if and how attitudes, perceptions and intentions have shifted, as well as the current grade 6–8 cohort to compare with the same grade grouping from the original study.
“Understanding the perceptions of marine-related and trades/technology careers among today’s youth provides useful insights to inform recommendations for the design of future awareness and career development programs to help us shift the dial on this workforce challenge,” says Scully. “We found the results from this study are consistent with those from the original 2016 study. However, there were significant changes with older students having less interest in leaving the province for work or study and showing more interest in pursuing different career pathways after high school.”
North Sea Cod Loses MSC Certification
Triggered by a drop in North Sea cod stocks below biologically sustainable levels, the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) has suspended its certification of the fishery.
The suspension affects all MSC certified fisheries targeting the North Sea cod stock.
A recent stock assessment by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) found spawning-stock biomass (SSB) has decreased since 2015 and is now below its biological limit. Recruitment into the fishery of younger cod is poor, a situation that has been apparent since 1998.
Scientists have long suggested the situation may be the result of warming waters — driven by climate change — and fewer young cod surviving into adulthood for the last two years running.
Cod stocks in the North Sea peaked at 270,000 tonnes in the 1970s.
After the stock fell to just 44,000 tonnes in 2006, the industry worked closely with the Scottish and U.K. governments to implement a cod recovery plan to help nurse the stock back to health.
The plan linked conservation measures to the number of days fishing, aiming to reduce cod catches by 25 per cent in 2009, followed by subsequent annual reductions of 10 per cent. The Scottish industry closed large spawning areas to fishing, trialed new nets and a system of remote electronic monitoring using CCTV cameras onboard boats.
In 2017, the fishery was MSC certified with the stock reaching 152,207 tonnes, the highest since 1982. Moreover, stocks were forecast to hit 180,990 in 2018, the highest since 1975.
But in 2018, the ICES reported a far smaller stock estimate, a trend that has continued with the latest advice showing a stock of only 81,224 tonnes, below the safe biological level for the stock, putting it in increased danger of collapse.
The U.K. consumes 115,000 tonnes of cod each year, 37 per cent of which carries the blue MSC label. Most of the U.K.’s cod — 94 per cent — is imported, with other sustainable MSC certified options originating from cod stocks outside the North Sea such as from Iceland, Norway and Russia.
EPA Plans to Provide Relief for U.S. Lobster Boats
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the U.S. recently proposed to amend the National Marine Diesel Engine Program for Maine lobster fishermen.
The amendment is meant to provide relief to boat builders and manufacturers of engines that are used in commercial lobster fishing vessels.
“This proposed rule will give boat builders and Maine’s lobster fishermen regulatory certainty and encourage continued progress for cleaner diesel engines,” said EPA New England acting regional administrator, Deborah Szaro.
“This action is a win-win for builders and lobstermen and allows Maine’s vibrant fishing economy to continue.”
The proposal will assist boat builders that have been negatively impacted by the limited number of certified engines available for the vessels they are looking to produce. With lack of engines that feature the ideal power and size, the new proposal will give boat builders more lead time to meet the EPA’s Tier 4 standards for qualifying engines and vessels.
A new waiver process will also be implemented. It will allow for boats to use Tier 3 engines if proper Tier 4 engines are not available. The new amendment will also feature a streamlined engine certification process.
“Due to the unique design of Maine lobster boats, at this time there are no Tier 4-compliant diesel engines available on the market that can safely fit in these types of vessels. This delay in the implementation of the Tier 4 emission standards for commercial lobster-style boats should provide engine manufacturers time to design and certify engines that will both comply with Tier 4 emission standards and work safely and efficiently in these boats. It also prevents lobstermen from being burdened by requirements that are impossible to meet with the currently available technology,” said U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King and U.S. Representatives Chellie Pingree and Jared Golden in a joint statement.