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Destabilized Supply Chain Here to Stay

The seafood industry has one of the most complex supply chains of all food commodities. Despite the disruption caused by the global pandemic, much of our industry has thrived due to the simultaneous surge in demand for our products. The higher demand has provided the money to cover the costs of extreme disruption, whether that is freight rates and driver shortages, temporary plant closures, or lack of plant workers. This demand surge has buffered us from the risks in our higher-cost ...

Class B Lobster Licence Holders Face Injustices and Unfair Treatment

Not many people can withstand the grueling conditions of lobster fishing. Even less can imagine continuing to lobster fish well into the age of 80. However, this is the reality for a group of aging fishermen across the Maritimes, many of whom have deteriorating health and continue to work against the risks. Their wish is to sell or transfer their licence and retire. However, a 50-year-old Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) policy prevents them from doing so. These fishermen are the holders ...

Fisheries Policy Facing a Period of Political Purgatory

The dust has now settled and after five weeks of verbal barbs and $600 million later, the electorate has spoken and honestly, not much has changed. After a hard fought and noticeably nasty federal election, the political landscape looks pretty much the same as it did in August. However, ousted Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan might not agree with the previous statement. The now former Member of Parliament for South Shore-St. Margaret’s was soundly defeated by Conservative Rick ...

The European Green Crab: Eradication Might Not be the Answer

Last summer, a story in the Navigator outlined the ongoing efforts to control the spread of the invasive and destructive European green crab in this region. According to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), green crabs were first found in Canadian waters in 1951 in southwest New Brunswick and have since expanded to many other locations in Atlantic Canada. They entered Nova Scotia waters in 1953/1954 and reached just south of Halifax in 1966. By 1982–1983, green crabs were present ...

Adjacency Should be the Most Important Criterion for Access to Fish Stocks

Above: Mark Blundon Photo   Much has been written recently regarding fisheries around Newfoundland and Labrador and most of it has merit for a sustainable industry in the future. Suffice to say, there is no use bemoaning the many mistakes made by past management practices. The following information came from experience working with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and industry, along with the many opportunities to speak with fishers and fishing captains on small ...

Are Hurricanes Really Getting Worse?

As the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season (June 1–November 30) has kicked off for another year, there is a lot of fear that these types of storms are getting more frequent and more severe. Many folks believe that warming oceans will mean more energy for these storms to absorb, which will translate to stronger and more destructive hurricanes when they make landfall. While this might make sense in theory, climate science is much more complicated in practice. Bill Pekny, author of A Tale of ...

SEA-NL: A “Distinct” Voice for Owner-Operators

Photos courtesy of SEA-NL   Oddly enough, the idea of a new association to serve as the “distinct” voice of the province’s more than 3,000 licensed, independent owner-operator inshore fish harvesters originated with the FFAW. In 1993, a federal Task Force on Incomes and Adjustment in the Atlantic Fishery held a focus-group discussion with the union’s inshore council. This is part of what it had to say: “Government should be dealing with owner-operators — not the ...

Despite Punching Above its Weight, Canada’s Fish and Seafood Sector has an Opportunity for Growth in Canada’s Blue Economy Strategy

Over the last six months, the fishing industry has been seized by the announcement and supporting consultation on the development of Canada’s Blue Economy Strategy. Roundtables have been held, papers have been produced, and the seafood sector enthusiastically participated, providing the Federal Minister with its perspective on how to best maximize the value of our wild-capture seafood sector while supporting resilient, viable and flourishing coastal communities. Unfortunately, what is ...

The Seafood Industry and the Bullwhip Effect

Seafood trading is hard when a couple of bad decisions on pricing or timing can wreck a business. As a result, we are trained to focus on short-term problems. Most of our time is spent managing supply, shipping and customer needs within a six-to-12-week time frame. This can obscure long-term issues that will transform our business. The last year is a great illustration of this and we are not out of the woods yet. When the pandemic first hit the U.S. in March of 2020, seafood prices ...

There is no “Magic Machine” Leading to Sustainable Fisheries Management

“Everything we do is science-based.” That’s the standard response of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) to doubts or criticisms about how it manages our fisheries. Well, my B.Sc. degree doesn’t make me a scientist, but I do have enough scientific background to know when science is being applied and when it is not. And a lot of what DFO does in fishery management falls into that latter category. The department’s website, news releases and interviews constantly ...