commentary 61 results

U.S. Lobster Industry Braces for Christmas Disruption as Canada’s Zero Tariff for EU Goes Into Effect

Canadian live lobster exporters are about to see the elimination of the eight per cent EU tariff on live lobsters, as a result of the implementation of the Canada Europe Trade Agreement (CETA). The agreement has various provisions, lowering tariffs on Canadian seafood exported to the EU over several years, but the eight per cent tariff on live lobster was eliminated completely the day the pact went into force. This has the potential to disrupt live lobster trading patterns during the ...

Stronger Canadian Dollar Creating Issues For Lobster Industry

The strengthening Canadian dollar is pressuring the lobster industry. In Nova Scotia, the season is currently closed. This means that dealers are selling off live inventory purchased at higher prices. With the Canadian dollar dropping from $1.35 to $1.25 in late July, this is the equivalent of a seven per cent drop in money returned back to Canada, squeezing margins. This caused the Canadian Lobster Council to warn that the country’s lobster processors were under pressure. In New ...

Quebec Private Equity Firm Creates $140-Million Lobster and Crab Group

The Montreal-based private equity firm, Champlain Financial, has purchased Riverside Lobster of Nova Scotia and will merge the company with Cheticamp Fisheries, which it purchased in May 2017. The primary products of Riverside and Cheticamp are lobster and snow crab. The group will be led by Marc Poulin, formerly CEO of Sobeys, who will become the executive chairman of Champlain’s seafood platform. “Both companies are strategically located in the most productive crab and lobster ...

There is No Silver Bullet for Groundfish

The great philosopher Yogi Berra said, “You can observe a lot by watching.” You can also learn a lot by listening. I try to do a lot of listening. I think it’s the most important part of my job and of all of our jobs at the Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office and the Northeast Fisheries Science Center. With all of the activity in the last couple of months, there has certainly been a lot to listen to. For example, we held recreational roundtable meetings in New Jersey and New ...

St. Anns Bank, New Marine Reserve, Open to Non-Trawl Fishing, Including Crab and Lobster

On World Oceans Day, Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc announced that St. Anns Bank, east of Cape Breton, is officially Canada’s latest marine protected area. St. Anns Bank Marine Protected Area is 4,364-square kilometres in size and is located off the eastern coast of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. The area is important for conservation, containing leatherback sea turtles, deep-sea corals, sponges, sea pens and recovering populations of Atlantic cod and Atlantic wolffish. Over 100 ...

Gulf Snow Crab Quota Even Higher Than Expected

The snow crab supply picture from Atlantic Canada is coming into better focus. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) announced in April that the quota in the Southern Gulf, which was 21,725 tonnes last year, will more than double to 43,822 tonnes this year. Combined with the Newfoundland quota of 35,419 tonnes, total Canadian harvests from the two primary producing areas will total 79,241 tonnes of crab, or nearly 175 million pounds of live crab if the entire quota is caught. In ...

Don’t Give Up on Snow Crab

2017 Data Says Canadian Volumes Will Come Roaring Back There are major changes in snow crab quotas projected for the Gulf of St. Lawrence in 2017. The preliminary survey data done by DFO shows significantly higher crab biomass than expected. The data will be peer reviewed in February, at which time the biomass and exploitation rates will be set. But the industry in the Gulf is talking as if it may see its highest total landings ever. The snow crab market has shot up dramatically this ...

N.B. Lobster Processors Warn of Possible Shortage of Tails This Winter

The major lobster processors in New Brunswick are concerned about a possible disconnect between what they see happening in the market this winter and the expectations of their major customers. Although the lobster meat market has been near record highs, lobster tails have traded normally and have been priced around $15 per lb. for a 4 oz tail since July. Packers say this is a good price point for retailers, but they feel it may not last, despite the fact there is still some lobster tail ...

Groundfish Forum May be Too Pessimistic on Atlantic Cod

The single biggest change in whitefish forecasts presented at the recent Groundfish Forum in Hamburg, Germany was for Barents Sea Cod, where Norwegian and Russian catches were thought to drop 11 per cent in 2017. However, closer reading of the situation suggests this might not be the case. The forecast was largely based on International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) recommendations and in 2015 the organization recommended a quota of 805,000 tonnes, while the actual TAC was ...

CETA Deal Could Fall Apart Under Pressure of Brexit

The EU Commission is deciding how the free trade deal between the EU and Canada will be ratified. Since the Brexit vote, the conditions have shifted markedly. Until recently, this was considered a done deal that would give a significant boost to Canadian exports, particularly of shrimp, lobster and crab. Now the deal may not happen as the EU struggles with the aftermath of the Brexit vote. One proposal is for the deal to take effect if it is ratified by the EU Commission and the EU ...