COVID-19 22 results

2020 Yarmouth Shark Scramble, Wedgeport Tuna Tournament Cancelled

Above photo: Employees at Brown’s Taxidermy in Florida pose with the life-size fibreglass replica of the Canadian record-setting, shortfin mako shark caught during the 2004 Yarmouth Shark Scramble. Contributed photo. Two signature southwestern Nova Scotia fishing events have been cancelled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Yarmouth Shark Scramble and the Wedgeport Tuna Festival and Tournament are both off the books for 2020. “It is with heavy hearts that we have made ...

Lobster Exporters Cautiously Optimistic Markets Will Continue to Recover

Above photo by Kathy Johnson While lobster exporters have been facing some COVID-19 obstacles moving product into China this summer, not all the news is bad. “In general, markets have recovered faster than we expected and we are cautiously optimistic that this will continue through the summer,” said Geoff Irvine, executive director of the Lobster Council of Canada (LCC). Irvine said the European Union markets are “opening slowly with volumes increasing in live and processed ...

A Call for Patience and Empathy in a Fishery Dealing with COVID-19

This letter is in response to Gabe Gregory’s May 4 letter, Fish union’s delay tactics appalling. Contrary to Gregory’s assertions, fish-processing companies are not operating during the COVID-19 crisis under some noble sense of duty to the province or nation and they are certainly not sacrificing for the greater good. Fish processing companies are doing what they’ve always done — trying to maximize profit and impose greater control over the inshore fishery in this province. ...

The Changing Face of Seafood Distribution

Like so many other businesses, the core business of major U.S. seafood distributors has been upended by the COVID-19 pandemic. We all know how restaurants, hotels and casinos and amusement parks shut down. And food service seafood sales have fallen anywhere from 30 to 98 per cent, depending on the type of venue and offering. I have been wrestling with what this might mean for our industry. The only certainty I have is that we won’t go back to the way things were before. The restaur...

Combatting COVID-19

Lobster, Seafood Marketing Promotions Stepped Up   Promotional efforts to help drive market demand for Atlantic lobster and seafood have been stepped up in recent months to try and counter the impact of COVID-19 on the industry. “To help drive demand as the world recovers from the pandemic, we are implementing our LCC marketing strategy and working with provincial and federal governments on many promotional projects for lobster and Atlantic Canadian seafood in general,” said ...

Fish Harvesters Benefit Program Leaves Little to be Desired

While news of $469.4 million in financial aid to help the harvesting sector is being welcomed, the timing of the announcement and the contents of the benefit package left little to be desired, say industry representatives. “It is unfortunate that for LFAs (lobster fishing areas) that opened in the spring, that the announcement was made the day that over 2,500 vessels hit the water,” said Ruth Inniss of the Maritime Fishermen’s Union (MFU). “This negated the opportunity for ...

Labour Shortages Continue to be Significant Problem in Processing Sector

In the best of times, finding enough workers is an issue that Maritime seafood producers deal with on a regular basis. Add COVID-19 to the mix and the loss of hundreds of temporary foreign workers and it’s turned into a very significant problem, says Jerry Gavin, executive director of the P.E.I. Processors Association. “Our number one issue is labour,” said Gavin. “We started the season down about 30 per cent of the workforce. It’s still not much better. We’re still down 25 ...

A Fisherman’s Daughter’s Perspective

I am a fisherman’s daughter who is very aware of the beauty and the dangers of the ocean. Fishing isn’t for everyone — it is a physical, dangerous, high risk profession in which generations of fishers have gone out on the water and, all too often, not come home. The fishery is one of Newfoundland and Labrador’s many highly dependent resource sectors employing thousands of people directly and indirectly. This year, the obstacles facing this sector are beyond what any industry ...

Welcome to the New Normal

“People often ask when the world will return to its normal days. Don’t wait for normal days. Assume that abnormal days are normal days. Today’s abnormal normal is now our new normal.” Mehmet Murat Ildan (Turkish playwright and author)   Last month’s Navigator Magazine was the always-popular, annual safety issue. It always highlights and puts the importance of safety in the fishery out front, where it should always be. As every harvester knows, fishing is a dangerous ...

On the Waterfront – June 2020

ISA Outbreak at Northern Harvest Smolt Facility Northern Harvest Smolt Limited (NHSL) recently announced that the suspect detection of infectious salmon anemia (ISA) at its hatchery located in Stephenville, N.L. has been confirmed. Follow-up sampling at the facility identified eight fish as positive for pathogenic ISA and six fish as positive for non-pathogenic ISA. In response to this confirmation and in keeping with best practice, NHSL is culling all 450,000 juvenile Atlantic salmon ...