On the Waterfront – November 2023

North Atlantic Fish and Workboat Show Back in St. John’s This Fall

The North Atlantic Fish and Workboat Show, presented by The Navigator Magazine and Master Promotions, is back in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador from November 17 to 18.

“This event is always a keystone for Newfoundland’s fishing industry,” said Show Manager, Shawn Murphy. “It’s amazing to see how far the industry progresses every two years, so we can’t wait to put some new products and developments in the spotlight this year.”

The show, which runs from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 17 and 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on November 18 will be held at the Mary Brown’s Centre in St. John’s. More details and updates on the show can be found at www.NAFISH.ca.



Ocean’s Balance Partners with Aqua Veggies Ltd.

Ocean’s Balance, a Maine-based seaweed processor, has partnered with New Brunswick-based seaweed supplier Aqua Veggies Ltd. to expand their respective product offerings.

Aqua Veggies Ltd. is a supplier of dulse, a type of seaweed that grows in select regions of the world and is often used as a dietary supplement or snack food. The partnership, which was completed in August of 2023, comes on the heels of Ocean’s Balance’s purchase of a dehydrator that can dry and mill farmed seaweed on an industrial scale.

“We are honoured that Aqua Veggies, a company with 25 years of sustainable seaweed experience, has chosen to join forces with us,” said Ocean’s Balance CEO Mitch Lench. “This company has made a name for itself for wild-crafted sea vegetables that are 100 per cent organic, harvested by hand, and dried to preserve their dense nutrient content.”



Contract Awarded for Nova Scotia to Maine Ferry Study

Consulting firm 21 FSP has been awarded a contract to conduct a broad economic impact study on the ferry service between Yarmouth, Nova Scotia and Bar Harbor, Maine.

21 FSP’s contract, which is valued at $180,000, will take place over two sailing seasons to account for fluctuations in passenger numbers. In 2022, the ferry transported 36,151 passengers and 14,972 vehicles over the course of 113 round trips.

The final report of the study is expected in fall 2024.



NOAA Identifies Seven Countries Involved in IUU Fishing

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has identified seven countries that have engaged in illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in 2020, 2021 and 2022, including two that are involved in forced labour and two that target or incidentally catch sharks.

The seven nations that NOAA identified to the U.S. Congress were Angola, Grenada, Mexico, the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, The Gambia and Vanuatu. Of these, the People’s Republic of China and Taiwan were implicated in the use of forced labour for the production of seafood-related commodities. Likewise, the People’s Republic of China and Vanuatu were identified as nations with shark catch without regulations comparable to the United States.

The United States intends to work with the identified nations to address IUU fishing and forced labour activities in the identified fisheries.

“IUU fishing and other unsustainable fishing practices undermine U.S. and global efforts to sustainably manage fisheries and conserve marine resources,” said Janet Coit, assistant administrator for NOAA Fisheries. “Combating these practices is a top priority of the United States, and we’ll work with each identified nation and entity to remedy these activities and strengthen their fisheries management and enforcement practices.”



Mi’gmaq First Nations Expands Lobster Fishery Westward

Every fall for 20 years, Listuguj Mi’gmaq First Nations has fished Lobster Fishing Area 21B in the Baie des Chaleurs. Starting on September 30, 2023, Listuguj will expand its fishery westward into what was, until recently, considered unregulated water by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO).

Designated community members in this new fishing area will use up to five traps in small boats registered as pleasure craft. Given Listuguj’s treaty rights to fish in pursuit of a moderate livelihood, catches by the community members will be able to decide to use their catch as they see fit, including for food, social, ceremonial or commercial purposes.

“Reconciliation requires increasing First Nations’ access to resources,” said Scott Martin, Chief of the Listuguj Mi’gmaq Government. “This new community fishery is a step in the right direction. It means approximately a dozen more families will have a chance to get out on the water, exercise their rights, and support themselves.”



NOAA Announces Funding for Right Whale Conservation and Recovery

The National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has announced $82 million in funding for the conservation and recovery of the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale population.

Of the $82 million, $35.8 million will fund monitoring and modelling efforts such as acoustic monitoring, satellite tagging and high-resolution satellite artificial intelligence. $20.1 million will be used to fund vessel strike risk reduction, which will aid in the development of whale detection and avoidance technology. $17.9 million will go towards “ropeless” on-demand fishing gear to fund staff support, reimbursement for 50 separate vessels and training for on-demand fishing systems. The last $5 million will be used for enforcement and equipment like Doppler units, radar plotting aids, and marine monitor shore-based units.



FFAW Launches Online Survey to Understand Seal Distribution and Impacts

The Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union (FFAW) has received funding from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) as part of a Canada-wide seal and sea lion research project.

As part of the project, the FFAW has launched an online survey to document seal distribution, abundance and impacts in Newfoundland and Labrador waters. According to the FFAW, the union has long called for research efforts to better understand the impacts of seal populations on local fish stocks.

“Fish harvesters know that there are a lot of seals out there. Far more than there have ever been in living memory — that’s plain to see for those who live the reality. But until those observations are systematically documented and analyzed, our federal government will not take action to address the imbalance,” said FFAW President Greg Pretty. “This research is an important first step to address that ecosystem imbalance.”



NAFO Holds 45th Annual Meeting in Vigo, Spain

The Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) held its 45th annual meeting in Vigo, Spain to advance its goals of protecting vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs), combatting climate change, protecting fisheries observers and improving labour standards in NAFO fisheries.

During the meeting, NAFO expanded their VME protections by submitting its bottom fishing closure on seamounts and six of its sponge VME closures to the UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre for inclusion in the World Database on Other Effective Area-based Conservation Measures. NAFO also agreed to maintain all of its VME bottom fishing closures until December 31, 2026.

NAFO also agreed to consider the current and future effects of climate change on NAFO-managed stocks and non-target species, as well as revised the NAFO Observer Program to reinforce the protection and independence of fishery observers.



High Liner Foods Names Interim CEO

High Liner Foods Incorporated has named Paul Jewer as the company’s interim Chief Executive Officer while the company conducts an internal and external talent search to replace its outgoing President and CEO, Rod Hepponstall.

Jewer has served as the company’s Chief Financial Officer since 2014 and will continue to function in that role until the permanent President and CEO is named.

“I am humbled and honoured to serve as the Interim Chief Executive Officer of this incredible organization,” said Jewer. “I look forward, in this interim period, to working with our great leadership group to build upon the solid foundation and momentum we have in place.”



Bioriginal Expands Into Netherlands and Japan

Bioriginal Food and Science Corp., a subsidiary of Cooke Inc., has completed the acquisition of Netherlands-based The Fatory and Japan-based Cana Corporation.

The Fatory is a producer of fat and oil-based pet supplements and treats made from sheep fat and salmon oil that serves The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and German markets. Under Saskatoon, Canada-based Bioriginal, The Fatory’s products will be expanded to serve the European market at large.

Cana Corporation, which has been redubbed Bioriginal Asia, is a distributor of natural health products in the Asia Pacific region based out of Yokohama, Japan.

“We made these strategic acquisitions to support Bioriginal’s growth plans and increasing market demand,” said Shannon Sears, President of Bioriginal. “These are in line with Bioriginal’s intention to increase our product range, production capacity, and direct sales capabilities on a global scale. We’re excited to be expanding our operations on two continents, and for the unique growth opportunities we see at The Fatory and Bioriginal Asia.”

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