dfo 330 results

MPA Consultations Nearing an End

By the end of the year, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) plans to have a Marine Conservation Network Plan for the Scotian Shelf-Bay of Fundy Bioregion finalized. “When the plan is finalized, nothing changes on the water. It’s still just a plan,” said ocean biologist Marty King in a presentation to Argyle Municipal Council on April 9. King works at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography with the marine planning and conservation group. His main duty is to lead a process to develop a ...

Risk & Reward

It’s no secret to anyone semi-aware of commercial fishing in the Martimes that baby eels, or elvers, is Canada’s most lucrative fishery by weight. Coming in at around $5,000 per kilogram, these small, translucent creatures are shipped to Asia — Japan, in particular — to satisfy an enormous appetite for eel. In fact, the Japanese delicacy kabayaki accounts for around 70 per cent of the global consumption of freshwater eels. Japanese and European eels have suffered from overfishing ...

Federal Fisheries Minister Announces New Mackerel Bait Fishery

Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, recently announced the opening of a 470-tonne Atlantic mackerel personal-use bait fishery alongside the continued closure of the larger commercial mackerel fishery in 2024. The 470-tonne quota, according to the ministry, has been put in place to allow harvesters to continue to fish for bait without “jeopardizing the ongoing rebuilding of [the Atlantic mackerel] stock.” “For generations, harvesters have ...

Warming Waters Could Change the Gulf as We Know it, DFO Reports

The Gulf of St. Lawrence is warming and losing oxygen and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) said it will have a profound impact on species that call the Gulf home. Waters in the Gulf estuary and northern Gulf are warming rapidly, especially in deep waters, where average temperatures have increased by 1.8°C since 2009. “It’s primarily due to a change in water masses, with greater contributions of warmer Atlantic waters relative to colder Arctic waters entering the Gulf of ...

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 ...

DFO Releases New Data on Ghost Gear Program

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) gave an overview of the department’s Ghost Gear Program to the Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association and provided an update on the program’s progress. Beth Ann Hawco, Regional Ghost Gear Coordinator with Fisheries and Oceans Canada N.L. Region, highlighted the program’s achievements up to the end of 2023. Given that projects are still ongoing, Hawco said the updated numbers are usually released a few months behind. DFO tracks their ...

DFO Reopens Commercial Redfish Fishery After 30 Years, Extends AFF

After a nearly 30-year moratorium on Unit 1 redfish in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Diane Lebouthillier, recently announced the return of the fishery in 2024. “Our government understands the historic importance of the redfish fishery and the economic impact the moratorium had on coastal communities across Atlantic Canada and Québec,” said Lebouthillier. “Based on the latest science, the redfish stock in Unit 1 is healthy ...

Whale-Safe Gear Will Be on a Voluntary Basis in 2024, Reports DFO

Following consultation with industry members and experts, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) has decided to make the adoption of its lower breaking-strength fishing gear program voluntary as of 2024. The process of adopting lower breaking-strength gear, which is designed to break under 1,700 pounds of force to reduce the mortality risk to entangled whales, began in 2018 when the United States adopted similar legislation surrounding whale-safe fisheries practices. “Minister ...

Cod Stocks in 3Ps Remain in Critical Condition, Says DFO

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) held a briefing in late November to update the status of 3Ps cod off the southern coast of Newfoundland and Labrador, which has remained in the critical zone since 2000. In 2023, 3Ps cod stock was found to be at 55 per cent of the limit reference point, or the level below which the stock is considered to be subject to serious harm. Based on factors such as the current small stock size, small fish size and early maturation, DFO doesn’t believe ...

Has Fisheries Over-Analysis Created Action Paralysis?

Has there ever been a single Canadian industry that has been subjected to more studies, papers and analyses than the commercial fishery? Perhaps fisheries regulators in the country subscribe to the theories of American George Pólya, known by many as the father of modern mathematical problem solving. Pólya once said that “It is better to solve one problem five different ways, than to solve five problems one way.” The problem with the modern-day fishery is that challenges and ...