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Coast Guard Investments Bringing More than Just Safety to Coastal Communities   Canada has one of the most effective search and rescue (SAR) systems in the world. The Canadian Coast Guard and Coast Guard Auxiliary respond to about 13 search and rescue calls, assisting 43 people and saving 13 lives a day across the country. The Canadian Coast Guard is responsible for maritime SAR, including the coordination, control and conduct of SAR operations in addition to prevention ...

A Tale of Two Fishery Officers

Garnet Blake and Leon Hancock are both fishery officers with Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO). But the most powerful thing they have in common is the love and pride they have for their jobs. They also both believe Labrador, although they live in different parts, is the best place in the world to live. Blake is from Goose Bay and moved to Nain 12 years ago. He intended to stay for one year, but he never left. He’s been with DFO for 19 years now, drawn by a life outdoors and the freedom ...

Redfish Biomass in Gulf Unprecedented

The biomass of the two redfish species combined accounted for 90 per cent of the total biomass of all captured organisms in the 2019 research survey conducted by federal fisheries scientists in the Estuary and northern Gulf of St. Lawrence. “This relative biomass of redfish is unprecedented and could have important ecological impacts on other species,” reads the latest DFO stock assessment on redfish species sebastes mentella and sebastes fasciatus. By comparison, the biomass of the ...

2020 Northern Shrimp Prices Take a Major Hit

Despite Newfoundland and Labrador’s Standing Fish Price Setting Panel siding with the price put forth by harvesters this year, the 2020 season will still be a challenging one. The panel recently accepted the Fish Food and Allied Workers’ (FFAW-Unifor) price recommendation of $1.18/pound for Northern shrimp landed at the plant and $1.15/pound for trucked shrimp. Last year, fishermen were paid a minimum price of $1.78/pound. At the time, it represented an 18 per cent increase over 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 ...

Northern Cod Recovery Appears to Have Stalled

Some Industry Groups Taking Issue with Recent 2J3KL DFO Stock Assessment   In the midst of other fisheries across the region facing uncertainty due to the world-wide impact of COVID-19, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) recently released it’s latest Northern cod stock status assessment and the news was not good. A DFO technical briefing document stated that “We continue to be concerned about the status of the Northern cod stock, which remains in the critical zone. ...

Outlook Bleak for Southern Gulf Spring Herring Stock

The outlook is bleak for the spring spawning herring stock in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence, with the most recent stock assessment projecting it could be close to extinction in 10 years. “In the projections it doesn’t reach zero but goes pretty close to zero,” said Francois Turcotte, Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) marine biologist based in Moncton, N.B. There is “a lot of uncertainty” around the projection which is based on the declining biomass, said Turcotte. ...

N.L. Crab Fishery Might Not Start Until May

Thanks, in-part, to the COVID-19 virus, the lucrative Newfoundland and Labrador snow crab fishery continues to find itself in limbo. The season, which normally opens the first week of April, could be delayed for several more weeks or even longer. Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) recently advised that while the management plan for the 2020 Newfoundland and Labrador snow crab fishery has not been finalized, the fishery will not open before April 20, 2020. “A decision on the 2020 ...

Shrimp Stocks in SFA 6 Down Eight Per Cent

FFAW Takes Issue with 24 Per Cent of DFO Survey Not Completed After a hint of promise last year in the Northern shrimp fishery off Newfoundland’s northeast coast, it seems the stock has dropped yet again — particularly in the all-important shrimp fishing area (SFA) 6. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) held a technical briefing in February regarding the 2020 Northern shrimp stock assessment and reported that the SFA 6 biomass has dropped in relation to 2019. SFA 6 is where the ...

Back to Basics

Researchers Prepare for More Ocean Activity in Placentia Bay   Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) has a unique opportunity to survey the marine environment to see what it looks like before human interaction and marine traffic increase in the Placentia Bay area. Kate Dalley is a biologist, who was raised in Mobile, Newfoundland and Labrador, by two biologists. “There was never any question that this was what I was going to do. My studies are in ecology, which is understanding ...