Barry Darby 7 results

Disappearing Redfish and DFO Math

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) announcement in late January with respect to redfish puts a glaring spotlight on the numbers problem in its science and management divisions. Its new research purports to show that the biomass of redfish in Area 1, despite there having been essentially no fishery, has declined since 2019 from 4.3 million tonnes to 2.8 million tonnes after growing exponentially for a decade. This follows news in December 2023, that the estimated number of seals ...

We’re Not There Yet: Price-Setting Review Report Understandably Lacking

As a long-term observer and analyst of the fishery, my initial comment on the Price-Setting Review report was “underwhelming.” But that’s not surprising. The task the Strategic Review Team undertook was well-nigh impossible to start with. The Minister asked the Team “to assist with the development of a formula-based framework for fish price-setting and other potential mechanisms.” The Team concluded that the current process (including final offer selection and the Fish Price-S...

The Capelin Conundrum

Capelin are almost as controversial, in fishery circles, as they are essential in Newfoundland and Labrador’s marine food chain. The call in March by WWF-Canada, Oceana and the NunatuKavut Council for a ban on the capelin fishery and the vigorous responses from the FFAW and the Association of Seafood Processors, highlight the need for a solution that everyone involved would be able to live with. On the one hand, WWF and Oceana recommend we stop fishing the capelin stocks, whose numbers ...

When is a Plan Not a Plan?

For years there have been calls for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) to develop a rebuilding plan for our Northern cod stocks. Leaving aside the larger question of whether it is even possible for humans to rebuild wild stocks, we want to look at what the department finally came up with just before Christmas to supposedly satisfy those calls. The federal rebuilding plan as presented by DFO begins with four overviews — a biological synopsis, an overview of the cod fishery, ...

Gulf Redfish: Bonanza or Boondoggle?

By Barry Darby The history of Newfoundland and Labrador is replete with stories of our people’s ability to deal with hardship. Stories of disasters and bravery form the basis of how resilient we know ourselves to be. What is less celebrated is the catalogue of historical events where we have failed to transform our great advantages, opportunities and natural wealth into sustainable economic and societal growth. In fact, we have often been quite adept at “snatching defeat from the ...

Re-Examining DFO Basics

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you'll always get what you’ve always got.” An old trite saying perhaps, but still profoundly true. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) needs to seriously consider altering two of its long-held beliefs/practices in light of obvious changes in the ecosystem and failed attempts to produce a recovery of our cod stocks. We do not need to go back and revisit the failures of the past. There are enough current examples of continued ...

Fisheries Management Suffering from Recurring Issues

Our current approach to fishery management results in some crucial and recurring problems that are currently highlighted by three particular issues. One is the controversy over the latest 3PS cod stock assessment and the new computer model being used there. Despite the continuing discussion and whatever the pros and cons of the two approaches, no change in the assessment method can change the amount of fish in the ocean. Moreover, there appears to be no clear idea of how the results will ...