Fisheries News

CETA Relevance to NL Inshore/Coastal Communities

Newfoundland and Labrador is blessed with some 40,000 kilometres of coastline which has hundreds of communities situated adjacent to some of the richest fishing grounds in the world. In 2012 we had nearly 5000 fishing enterprises operating in the inshore fleet which comprises vessels less than 65 feet.  Inshore fish harvesters are self-employed fishing enterprise owners that employ some 10,000 skippers and crew members in the communities in which they live. This does not include processing jobs nor the spin-off jobs created indirectly by these entrepreneurs. In 2012, this fleet landed $370 million worth of fish, which was 60% of the province's total landings. Between 2000 and 2012, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans recorded that the average annual landings of this fleet was $360 million, accounting for 66% of the total catch. This fleet has proven to be the foundation of a way of life in our Province.  For 500 years this fishery has been and it remains today the centerpiece of the economic, social, and cultural life of our coastal communities. Not only that, this fishery makes a much needed contribution to the food security of our coastal communities and the province. Throughout the east coast (i.e. in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Quebec combined) there are some 10,000 inshore enterprises, which in 2011 produced $1.8 billion in landed value and created more jobs than any other employer.

TAGS: CETA, sustainable, fisheries,coastal communities, NL, Winston Fiander

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Seals, the EU and the WTO

Prime Minister Harper has been busy promoting the Canada EU Trade Agreement recently. But he neglected to deal with the EU's ban on seal imports via this agreement. Don't worry, it's before the WTO, he told Atlantic Canadians. Last Monday the WTO issued its decision. The WTO pronounced that the European Union’s ban on the import of seal pelts, oil and meat is justified on moral grounds, a decision that could have a far-reaching impact and inject concerns about animal welfare into the trade of other types of animal products. Pardon me while I thow up....

The WTO admitted that the ban the EU imposed in 2010 undermines the principles of fair trade, but is justified because it “fulfills the objective of addressing EU public moral concerns on seal welfare.” So it endorses the hypocrisy the EU has been exhibiting for years. Canada says it will appeal the ruling. Good luck and fat chance that you are going to overturn a decision based on hypocrisy. What's next? Banning the slaughter of chickens and pigs on moral grounds since they are certainly treated far worse than seals...and most folks are happy to have these products on their meal plates regularly.

Oh yes, these Europeans are the same ones who raped and pillaged the straddling stocks on the Grand Banks for decades. Where were their morals then?

TAGS: seals, EU ban, WTO, undermines fair trade, moral concerns, EU hypocrisy, EU overfishing


Are Cod and Redfish Endangered?

Several valuable commercial fish species in Newfoundland and Labrador, including Atlantic cod and redfish, are being considered for threatened or endangered status.The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) has recommended Fisheries and Oceans protect select populations of Atlantic cod, American Plaice, deep water redfish and Acadian redfish under the Species at Risk Act (SARA).

COSEWIC's recommendation is based on a population decline of cod of 97 to 99 per cent off Labrador and northeastern Newfoundland over the past 33 years, and a 76 to 89 per cent population decline in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and on the south coast in 3Ps over the past 30 years.The province’s largest fisheries union(FFAW) is asking the federal government to reject the COEWIC recommendations. Union President Earle McCurdy said recent scientific assessments of key cod stocks do not support the COSEWIC recommendation.

Meanwhile George Rose, a former federal fisheries scientist who has studied cod for decades, said while stocks are not as plentiful as they once were, they are not nearing extinction.

TAGS: cod, COSEWIC, endangered, George Rose, Earle McCurdy


MSC suspends certification for Faroese Atlanto-Scandian herring

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) has withdrawn certification of the Faroese Pelagic Organization (FPO) Atlanto-Scandian herring fishery. In December 2012, the annual coastal states meeting resulted in a disagreement on TAC allocation key and Faroe Islands did not sign the Coastal States agreement for 2013. Nevertheless, the agreement was signed by other Coastal States (EU, Iceland, Norway and Russian Federation) and the Parties agreed to set aside a quantity of 31,940 tonnes for the Faroe Islands based on the sharing arrangement agreed between the Parties in Oslo 18 January 2007. The dispute on TAC allocation for 2013 raised the question on whether the FPO AS herring fishery still meets the MSC Principles and Criteria for Sustainable Fisheries. After a March review meeting t. It was concluded that the fishery would remain certified, but subject to an expedited audit should new information with ‘material differences to certification status become available.  On the 26th of March 2013, the Faroese Ministry of Fisheries announced its intention to raise its national catch ceiling for AS Herring to 17%. The size of the AS herring quota set aside by the Faroe Islands (105 200 tonnes) was  significantly higher than the share allocated to them by the Coastal states sharing arrangement (31 940 tonnes).

A MSC review concluded that the FPO Atlanto-Scandian Herring fishery does not meet the MSC’s scope requirements (Principle 3, Criterion A1): “A fishery shall not be conducted under a controversial unilateral exemption to an international agreement." The certificate for this fishery was suspended effective immediately.

TAGS: sustainable, fisheries, Marine Stewardship Council, Faroe Islands, herring, MSC certification suspended


Farmed Fish Production Overtakes Beef

There was a time when aquaculture was seen as a minor adjunct to the production from the wild fisheries. That has changed dramatically in recent decades. According to the Earth Policy Institute, in 2011 for the first time in modern history, world farmed fish production topped beef production. The gap widened in 2012, with output from fish farming—also called aquaculture—reaching a record 66 million tons, compared with production of beef at 63 million tons. And 2013 may well be the first year that people eat more fish raised on farms than caught in the wild.

But is this increase in aquaculture production sustainable? Farmed fish like salmon and shrimp are carnivorous species that eat fishmeal or fish oil produced from forage fish from the wild. Yet most forage fish stocks (think anchovies, herrings, and sardines), which typically make up about a third of the world oceanic fish catch, are dangerously overharvested. In the rush to meet world demand, the share of farmed fish being fed has increased because they can reach market size quickly. Norway, the world’s top farmed salmon producer, now imports more fish oil than any other country. China, the world’s leading shrimp producer, takes in some 30 percent of the fishmeal traded each year.

If aquaculture is to be sustainable we need to reduce the dependence on forage fish and fish oil. Readmore on this issue at:

TAGS: sustainable, fisheries, aquaculture, Earth Policy Insitute

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