editor’s notebook 74 results

Forward Thinking Versus Dwelling on the Past

The infamous anniversary date of July 2 has now come and gone. As all Navigator readers are more than aware, that date this year marked the 30th anniversary of then federal Fisheries Minister John Crosbie announcing the closure of the 500-year-old Northern cod fishery. The anniversary of any historical event is always a time for reflection and looking back on what exactly happened — oftentimes made up of a combination of both facts, fallacies and fantasy. The funny thing about ...

Has Politics Overshadowed Autonomy?

Scottish academic and philosopher Gordon Graham once said, “decision is a sharp knife that cuts clean and straight; indecision, a dull one that hacks and tears and leaves ragged edges behind it.” Right now, it is a little too early to analyze the outcome of the recent decision to award more snow crab processing licences in Newfoundland and Labrador, but there appears to be quite a bit of collateral damage surrounding this controversial call. On May 24, N.L. Fisheries Minister Derrick ...

What Has Been Learned From Perils Past?

There must have been an underlying air of irony as groundfish industry stakeholders met in Barcelona, Spain on April 26 to discuss the ongoing Northern cod fishery improvement project (FIP). Stakeholders included Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP), Marks & Spencer and Youngs Seafoods from the United Kingdom, Sysco France, High Liner Foods from Canada/United States and producer organizations in Canada, including Ocean Choice International, Icewater Seafoods, the Association of ...

Fishing Safety Knows No Boundaries or Borders

“The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore” — Vincent Van Gogh. Through many of his masterpieces, Dutch post-impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh had a genuine appreciation and empathy for the dangers faced by fishermen every time they set out on the water. Skip ahead more than a century to present day and commercial fishing is still a dangerous professional and tragically still ...

Atlantic Canada’s Seafood Pivot

“Growth is never by mere chance, it is the result of forces working together” — James Cash Penney, founder, JC Penney. The American businessman and department store entrepreneur might have been referring to the retail sector when he uttered those words decades ago, but one could argue that the same adage could be applied to the current Atlantic Canadian fishery. The last few years have proven very lucrative for both seafood harvesters and processors in our region. One only has to ...

Breaking Down the Priorities

On December 16 of last year, Joyce Murray received the long-awaited marching orders from her boss. Yes, on that day the fledgling Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and Canadian Coast Guard received her ministerial mandate letter from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. While some onlookers might argue that a mandate letter is only a 30,000-foot snapshot of ministerial responsibilities and expectations, it actually sets the parameters and priorities the particular federal department will be ...

Important Lessons From the Past

As you may or may not be aware, the United Nations has named 2022 as the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture (IYAFA 2022). IYAFA 2022 is aimed at highlighting how small-scale artisanal fishers, fish farmers and fish workers contribute to human well-being, healthy agri-food systems and poverty eradication through the responsible and sustainable use of fisheries and aquaculture resources. A recent Food and Agriculture Organization WorldFish study indicated that the ...

Public Opinion Versus Public Policy

While some of you readers sitting at home might look back at 2021 as a smouldering carry over of the dumpster fire of a year that was 2020, the same can’t be said about the fishery on the east coast. In fact, despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many fishermen are reporting that they just had one of their most successful seasons ever. Record or near-record prices for key species such as snow crab and lobster had a lot to do with that, not to mention steady and consistent catch rates. ...

Another West Coast Fisheries Minister

Has the Atlantic Canadian fishing industry been given a proverbial lump of coal in its Christmas stocking or a surprise gift in disguise? In announcing his new cabinet picks, in many cases, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had both the media and public guessing right until his chosen few meandered their way across the hallowed grounds of Rideau Hall on October 26. And one of these big question marks for the readers of this magazine was who would get the federal fisheries portfolio — easily ...

To Cull or Not to Cull

The 17th century English author and philosopher William Penn once said, “in all debates, let truth be thy aim, not victory, or an unjust interest.” It is safe to say that when Penn penned these words more than three centuries ago, he had no idea how applicable they would be in describing the decades-old Canadian seal population debate. Are the millions of hungry harp and grey seals frolicking in the waves of our shores having a negative impact on fish stocks — notably cod? That is ...