On the Waterfront – November 2020



Fish Harvester Benefit and Grant Application Deadline Extended

The Fish Harvester Benefit and Grant Program has been extended by another two weeks to ensure that as many Canadian fish harvesters as possible can take advantage of it.

The online portal will now close on October 19, 2020.

The program is delivering financial support to self-employed harvesters across the country who are facing hardships brought on by the economic impact of COVID–19.

The program provides eligible Indigenous and non-Indigenous fish harvesters with the financial support they need right now, while also positioning the sector for a strong recovery in the long-term.

Harvesters are encouraged to visit the Fisheries and Oceans Canada website www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/harvesters-pecheurs to find guidance on eligibility and what documentation is required to complete the application process.

Applications are now being accepted until 6 p.m. EDT/3 p.m. PDT on October 19, 2020.

North Atlantic Fish & Workboat Show Postponed to 2021

Due to the ongoing uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, Master Promotions Ltd. recently decided to postpone the North Atlantic Fish and Workboat Show, which was scheduled to take place November 6–7, 2020, at the Mile One Centre in St. John’s, N.L. to November 5–6, 2021.

“This decision was not made lightly, but the health and safety of our exhibitors, partners, visitors and contractors is our top priority. Key factors leading to the postponement were the inability to secure government approval for an increase in the current allowable gathering limits and concerns surrounding the ability to provide a quality audience to the exhibitors,” Master Promotions stated in a press release.

Master Promotions added that it would like to thank the North Atlantic Fish and Workboat Show community for the unwavering support from exhibitors, visitors, sponsors and partners and looks forward to hosting an in-person event again when it is safe to do so.

“In an effort to bridge the gap between the postponed show and the next face-to-face event, our company is excited to launch a new product — introducing the North Atlantic Fish and Workboat Digital Marketing Platform. Over the next few weeks, we will be rolling out a brand-new feature on our website. This product is designed to connect our regular event attendees with our exhibitors in a unique way and allow them to continue to support the North Atlantic Fish and Workboat Show exhibitors via this online platform. More information about this exciting new venture will be released in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for more details.”

Cooke Named a Top Seafood Supplier in North America

Cooke Inc. recently announced it has been named by SeafoodSource.com as one of the Top 25 Seafood Suppliers in North America for Sustainability and Conservation.

The Top 25 list features North American seafood companies demonstrating efforts and advancements as it relates to sustainability and conservation. The chosen companies have proven to be leaders in transforming the industry to become more sustainably-minded and validated their commitment to protecting the environment within their business practice.

“In addition to our best practices and environmental certifications, being recognized as one of the top among some of the best-in-class seafood producers provides assurance to our customers that our True North Seafood products come from a sustainable, responsibly harvested resource,” says Joel Richardson, Vice President of Public Relations, Cooke Inc. “We are committed to maintaining and improving the health of our oceans and coastal communities as one of our guiding principles while producing fresh, quality seafood.”

SeafoodSource.com is a division of Diversified Communications, based in Portland, Maine, a leading international media company providing market access, education and information through global, national and regional face-to-face events, digital products and publications.

To compile the 2020 list, the SeafoodSource editorial team conducted an extensive nomination and analysis process involving the consultation of a panel of outside experts renowned in the seafood sustainability community. SeafoodSource also accounted for leadership, industry accolades and recognition, pioneering initiatives, partnerships and industry engagement. The resulting list catalogues best practices for driving the industry onward and upward, providing valuable insight into the inner workings of some of seafood’s most promising and prominent sustainability trailblazers.

Innovative OceanDNA System Launched in N.L.

Canada’s Ocean Supercluster recently announced its newest project, the OceanDNA System.

Led by eDNAtec Inc. together with partners Petroleum Research Newfoundland and Labrador, Nunavut Fisheries Association and Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the OceanDNA System will revolutionize how to assess, monitor and characterize the ocean.

With a total project value of $4.9 million, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster has provided $2.2 million in funding to the project with the balance of funding coming from project partners. Seventeen jobs will directly support the research and development activity related to the OceanDNA System and in addition, graduating university students will also have the opportunity to engage in the project to help build capabilities and experience in this area.

The OceanDNA System has applications across ocean sectors and could be used to help inform sustainable ocean management and activity. By reading DNA from environmental samples, such as sediment or sea water, a comprehensive range of organisms can be identified — from bacteria to marine mammals — which yields a complete picture of the ecosystem. eDNAtec’s technology achieves proven cost reductions, strengthens environmental stewardship, enhances safety and supports regulatory compliance.

Project activity will be led from eDNAtec’s Centre for Environmental Genomics Applications (CEGA) in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, in collaboration with project partners to develop and commercialize genomics solutions to modernize the way we monitor, measure and assess fish stocks. Environmental DNA (eDNA) data can also be combined with complementary data derived from acoustics, remote sensing, counts from fishing activities, and historical knowledge to generate predictive models about the presence, location and abundance of high value target species.

Conventional approaches for ecological assessment, such as direct sampling, and visual/acoustic observation, are expensive and often imprecise. Catch and look sampling, sorting and individually identifying organisms is lengthy and labour-intensive and is sometimes harmful or disruptive to rare or endangered species.

Through Canada’s Ocean Supercluster program, the OceanDNA System will not only address these limitations with its innovative technology, but will also commercialize the solution in world markets, generating new economic activity, creating new jobs and opportunities, while also helping to position Canada as a global leader in ocean genomics.

Local Company Unveils Lobster Shell Drying Technology

Halifax-based Aethera Technologies Ltd. has developed a containerized lobster shell drying system for the Verschuren Centre Inc., of Sydney that will make it possible for added value products to be generated from lobster shells.

Traditionally, lobster shells are considered waste product. Every day, tonnes of lobster shells go directly to landfill.

“The Verschuren Centre has been looking for ways to add sustainable value creation in the seafood processing industry by finding applications for waste product,” according to Beth Mason, CEO.

“When properly dried, lobster shells can be used to extract bio-polymers, proteins and mineral compounds that can be used in water treatment, agriculture, food products, nutraceuticals, pharmaceutical products and biomedicine.”

Aethera has applied its expertise in radio frequency (RF) power to develop drying systems that make it possible to efficiently and effectively dry bulk materials. In the case of lobster shells, the drying system dries the shells in bulk, at low heat, to avoid burning, so that the compounds can be extracted. According to Tim Hardy, RF engineer and Aethera’s Chief Technology Officer, “this system will have the capability to dry several tonnes of lobster shell per day to the desired moisture content needed for follow-on processes.”

This is a new application of radio frequency power which has traditionally been used for thawing/tempering and baking in the food industry as well as in applications in the wood product, paper and textile industries.

According to Hardy, “radio frequency heating and drying is particularly effective in industrial applications in which bulk materials need to be dried uniformly at controlled temperatures while meeting production speed requirements.”

Aethera Technologies uses RF power innovation to help clients achieve high power for process heating and drying applications while improving energy efficiency.

The Verschuren Centre for Sustainability in Energy and the Environment at Cape Breton University was established in 2011 to bring sustainable industry development to Nova Scotia and accelerate clean technology scale up and adoption.

Coronavirus Assistance Available for Maine Aquaculture Operations

In late September, the Maine Department of Marine Resources sent a bulletin to all aquaculture facilities in the state announcing an expansion of USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) to include eligible aquaculture producers.

It will provide producers, including eligible aquaculture operations, with financial assistance that gives them the ability to absorb some of the increased marketing costs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

CFAP 2 follows the first round of CFAP, which closed its application period on September 11. CFAP 2 began taking applications on September 21 and will accept them through December 11, 2020.

Under CFAP 2, aquaculture species that are eligible include any aquatic organisms grown as food for human consumption, fish raised as feed for fish that are consumed by humans, and ornamental fish propagated and reared in an aquatic medium. Eligible aquaculture species must be raised by a commercial operator and in water in a controlled environment.

The CFAP 2 program is restricted by a payment limitation of $250,000 per person or entity for all commodities combined. Applicants who are corporations, limited liability companies or limited partnerships may qualify for additional payment limits when members actively provide personal labour or personal management for the farming operation.

Producers will also have to certify they meet the Adjusted Gross Income limitation of $900,000 unless at least 75 per cent or more of their income is derived from farming, ranching or forestry-related activities.

Marel and Fusion Marine Technology Announce Partnership

Fusion Marine Technology recently announced it will be providing services for Marel’s marine scales and graders onboard vessels in North America.

This agreement also includes repair shop activities, service contracts, OEM spare parts from Marel and product training for newly-installed products.

“As the world’s largest and most innovative producer of advanced processing equipment, it is imperative to support the equipment in a manner that allows the processor to utilize the full potential of the machinery, and realize the full value their purchase. Partnering with Fusion Marine Technology provides a unique opportunity to raise the level of service and support for this market segment,” stated Einar Einarsson, Marel’s President of the North American Region.

SubC Control Receives Funding from NL Government

Newfoundland and Labrador’s Department of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation recently announced a non-repayable contribution of $262,500 through the Innovation and Business Investment Corporation, to SubC Control Ltd., in support of a research and development project to improve its high-end camera system.

The National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) also assisted with a non-repayable contribution of $200,000 towards the project.

SubC Control is one of seven technology companies in the world that develop underwater camera systems that autonomously collect ultra-high-resolution video footage and image data. Support from the provincial government will assist the company in its innovative efforts to further develop underwater image quality and big data functionality, and reduce system complexity and cost by offering products that have multiple features in one system.

Based in Clarenville, SubC Control is an ocean technology company providing state-of-the-art solutions focusing on underwater imaging. The company offers a suite of underwater solutions and scientific survey platforms (Trawl Camera), while providing a wide range of services including mechanical design, computer-aided design and rapid prototyping for equipment serving in hostile marine environments.

Tidal Power Industry Gets Boost

The federal government recently announced a $9.4-million investment in four tidal energy projects that will bring clean energy technologies to the Atlantic region and help Canada build a cleaner future.

Tidal energy is a renewable energy generated by ocean tides and currents. It has the potential to significantly reduce Canada’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and improve local air quality by displacing electricity generated from fossil fuels.

The announcement took place following a tour of the Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy’s facilities in Parrsboro, Nova Scotia.

The investments are:

  • $4 million to Nova Innovation to build a tidal turbine array using sub-sea tidal technology in Petit Passage in the Bay of Fundy.
  • $1.58 million to the University of Manitoba, in partnership with SOAR — Sustainable Oceans Applied Research, to advance research on river hydrokinetic and in-stream tidal energy technologies in the Canadian context.
  • $2 million to Offshore Energy Research Association of Nova Scotia to research an environmental effects monitoring solution for the instream tidal energy industry in Canada, including fish and marine mammal interactions with tidal devices.
  • $2 million to Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy to outline a plan to assess the encounter risk for fish with tidal devices and create a tool to support the regulatory authorization process for tidal energy projects. The tidal energy risk assessment program involves participation from multiple partners, including Acadia University, Marine Renewables Canada, Mi’kmaw Conservation Group, Ocean Tracking Network at Dalhousie University and Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy.

The first project was funded through Natural Resources Canada’s (NRCan) Energy Innovation Program, which provides support to projects reducing emissions, including GHGs, through research, development and demonstration of clean energy technologies, with the aim of meeting 2050 clean growth targets.

The second project was funded through NRCan’s Clean Growth Program, which invests in clean technology research and development projects in Canada’s energy, mining and forest sectors.

The program is a $155-million investment fund that helps natural resource sectors and innovators come together to accelerate the development of clean technologies that reduce the impacts on air, land and water while enhancing competitiveness and creating jobs.

The Clean Growth Program also provided support to the University of Manitoba for the capacity to collaborate with CanmetENERGY Ottawa on the optimization of river turbine arrays through numerical analysis and the identification of potential hydrokinetic resources in northern Canada through the use of radar satellite image processing. This investment was made through the Program’s Science and Technology Assistance for Cleantech (STAC) initiative, which provides federal laboratory support for innovators, intended to help bring Canadian clean technologies to market by providing federal research expertise, facilities and equipment.

Funding for the remaining projects comes from NRCan’s Emerging Renewables Power Program, a $200-million program from Budget 2017 and part of Canada’s $180-billion Investing in Canada infrastructure plan for public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes and Canada’s rural and northern communities.


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