Welcome to the Inverness South Fishermen's Association Homepage
Lobster Quality Improvement Project Meetings:
We will be holding meetings on Wednesday, February 24th and Thursday, February 25th from 1 - 3 pm at the Mabou Parish Hall to provide information and assistance to anyone interested in taking part in this program.
Due to COVID restrictions, we can only allow 40 people per meeting, so we are asking that anyone interested in attending please contact us and reserve a spot. Anyone who comes to a meeting without a spot reserved may not get in.
Please Note: as per public health guidelines, all those who attend will be required to sign in, disinfect, wear a mask and social distance at all times.
Contact us via:
Telephone (902) 945-2459
Facebook Messenger - click the link in the top right corner of this page.
Lobster Quality Improvement Project (AFF): Packages are in the mail to each member. We will be holding meetings next week (following public health COVID guidelines) for anyone who would like information or assistance. I have included below a copy of all documents that were mailed out:
NSCC Offering MED SDV-BS: This will probably be the last offering before fishing starts!
Postponed: Canada's longest-running, most successful commercial fishing show is being postponed. The Eastern Canadian Fisheries Exposition traditionally takes place around the end of January at the Mariners Centre in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. Organizers behind the show have made the decision to delay this year’s edition until June 4-5, 2021.
The 2021 dates for this biennial event were originally slated for slightly later than usual in early March, with hopes for more consistently positive developments around the COVID-19 pandemic and the reopening of the Atlantic Bubble. Unfortunately, the situation is still very fluid and given that the many of the trade show’s exhibitors and attendees come from New Brunswick and other parts of the Maritimes, moving the show to June will best position it for success.
“June is later in the year than we would normally hold the show, but we think there is a window at the end of the lobster season in the southwest Nova Scotia region,” said Show Manager Shawn Murphy. “We are optimistic that this additional time will allow for fewer restrictions on interprovincial travel so we can welcome those involved in the commercial fishing industry from throughout Atlantic Canada.”
The decision to delay the event was not taken lightly and was made in consultation with the show’s exhibitors and partners. Visit ECFX.ca or follow the event on Facebook and Twitter for the most-up-to-date information.
Update on Upcoming Changes to Lobster Gear for January 25th: DFO has clarified the situation regarding the change to a mandatory minimum 3 traps on a line. The decision to implement the 3 trap minimum is not yet final. DFO is requiring further study and consultation with industry before a final decision is made. IF they decide to go ahead, the earliest this change would take effect is for the 2022 season. We will update everyone once a final decision is made.
Update for SGSL Lobster Advisory Committee: there will be no meeting of the SGSL Lobster Advisory Committee prior to the 2021 lobster seasons. For everyone's information, you will find below answers to follow-up items asked by some members of the Advisory Committee and other documents of information from an email from DFO:
1) Electronic Logbooks (ELOG): A notice to fishers (attached) was sent on January 12 on this subject.
2) Sciences: The latest lobster stock status update is available at this link: https://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/csas-sccs/Publications/ScR-RS/2019/2019_008-eng.html
Rock crab: DFO aims to update the rock crab fishery indicators (scientific report) in 2021-2022. Here is an update of the new initiatives of the Science Sector, Gulf Region:
- In 2019, in collaboration with the PEIFA, we initiated a project on lobster and rock crab diets to better understand the predator-prey relationship between these two species. Laboratory analyses continue this year and we will complete a second field season in 2021. Fieldwork in 2020 was cancelled.
- In collaboration with the PEIFA and the MFU, an application was submitted for a Fisheries Science Collaborative Program (FSCP) project for 2021-2022 to 2023-2024 to collect carapace width data from rock crab landings in the directed fishery through dockside sampling.
- We are developing a new fishery-independent research project to estimate the density, size distribution and male/female ratio of rock crab through a trap survey. We will contact fishermen's organizations shortly to request their assistance in developing the sampling plan.
- We are exploring the possibility of using an underwater camera system to conduct rock crab surveys to estimate density and size distribution. We hope to test a new camera system in 2021.
- We are re-examining older datasets to look for opportunities to make better use of some of the data (e.g. bycatch study and telephone survey).
3) Gear modifications: A meeting with the lobster industry to discuss the measures for modifying fishing gear was held on December 16, 2020. Further updates will be shared on an ongoing basis.
4) Transport Canada (TC): Please contact TC directly for any questions related to their files since they have a process in place to discuss the protection of the North Atlantic right whales. Here are the names of the TC contacts to whom you can direct your questions:
- Michel Charron (firstname.lastname@example.org - manager)
- Lynn Alberta (email@example.com - senior analyst on the BNAN file)
- cc Haley Welsh (firstname.lastname@example.org)
5) Conservation & Protection (C&P): Attached is the C&P 2019 and 2020 Lobster Fisheries Review.
- With respect to illegal fisheries, Conservation and Protection cannot share information or engage in discussions on investigations that are ongoing. However, it is possible to view convictions under the Fisheries Act for the Gulf Region by following the following link: https://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/media/charges-inculpations/glf-fra.htm.
- With respect to the recommended penalties for fishery violations, Conservation and Protection (C&P) certainly seeks more severe penalties for those who are repeat offenders and in many cases, Prohibition Orders prohibiting fishing for a certain amount of days are requested. Fishery officers also seek scientific impact statements and in one recent case have drafted impact statements to articulate the magnitude of the illegal fishing issue to the judge. In addition, industry impact statements are sometimes requested from fisher associations, and some have provided them in the past, while others have not. These impact statements are presented to the court when the Crown speaks to its penalty recommendations. Fishery Officers strive for consistency in penalty recommendations among Areas, but ultimately it is up to the judge to assess all the circumstances surrounding the infraction and decide on the penalty to be imposed. If your association is interested in providing impact statements or penalty recommendations, you may contact your local C&P detachment. Considerable penalties have been handed in all three Gulf Region Areas in recent years.
6) Marine Mammal Protection Act: A presentation on this subject for Advisory Committees is attached. Also note that a virtual workshop will take place January 27, 2021 (invitations have already been sent).
7) Economics: A sGSL Lobster Economic Overview is attached.
8) Opening/Closing Guidelines: Thank you to those that provided comments on the draft guidelines. Attached are the approved Guidelines on the Opening / Closing Dates for the Commercial Lobster Fishery for the Gulf Region that will guide our decisions starting in 2021.
If you have any questions, please send them to me at Josiane.Massiera@dfo-mpo.gc.ca
Regional Senior Fisheries and Aquaculture Management Officer | Agent principal régional, Gestion des pêches et de l’aquaculture
Resources Management | Gestion de la ressources
Fisheries and Aquaculture Management Branch, Gulf Region | Gestion des pêches et de l'aquaculture, Région du Golfe
Fisheries and Oceans Canada | Pêches et des Océans Canada
343 avenue Université Avenue
P.O. Box 5030 | C.P. 5030
Moncton NB | N.-B. E1C 9B6
Telephone | Téléphone 506 - 851-7290
Important for all fishers in LFA 26B: Safety at sea vessel registration project - Collaboration initiative between Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) and Transport Canada (TC): LFA 26B has been chosen to take part in the pilot of this new initiative. The goal of this project is to ensure that both DFO and Transport Canada have both the DFO registration number and the Transport Canada registration number for your vessel. In the coming weeks please check your email as all fishers in 26B will be contacted through email and asked to fill out a simple form. I am including a copy of the questions below so everyone has a chance to look at them before they are received as well as the Safety at Sea Vessel Registration Project Q & A sheet that provides answers to common questions about this initiative. You will be asked to provide the VRN for each vessel you own as well as the Transport Canada registration number for each vessel. If you do not know the TC number for your vessel you can look it up on the TC website by clicking on the link below. If anyone needs help or has any questions, please contact us at 902-945-2459, email at email@example.com or message us on facebook.
Upcoming changes to lobster fishing gear: DFO will be requiring that lobster fishers change their gear to a minimum 3 traps per line for the 2022 season. Jordan has expressed opposition to this change and made it clear to DFO that our members do not want this. However, DFO is adamant that this change is to reduce rope in the water in order to meet MMPA conditions and will go through.
Notice to Fish Harvesters NEW VESSEL MONITORING SYSTEM STANDARD Moncton, NB – January 14, 2021 –
Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) Gulf Region wishes to inform industry, including First Nations, on developments with the Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) Standard. Currently, all VMS units in DFO’s National VMS program must meet the requirements set forth in the 2005 VMS Hardware Type Approval Process document. This document was prepared internally by DFO and reflected the state of VMS technology at that time. VMS technology has changed significantly since 2005; many of the requirements identified in the 2005 VMS document are no longer necessary. Meeting requirements that are 15 years old in today’s technologies is unnecessary and problematic for VMS Manufactures. This is also putting the fishing industry at a disadvantage as new technologies may offer less expensive solutions or enhanced features that are not currently available with present DFO approved VMS units.
A project was put in place to update and modernize the current 2005 Technical Specifications resulting in clearly defined requirements, a simplified approval process, increased innovation in the sector, and increased functionality to improve management and enforcement of fisheries, Marine Protected Areas and North Atlantic Right Whale closures. A technical committee was struck in 2018 to help develop the new Standard. This committee consisted of various DFO sectors & regions, representatives from several VMS service providers and venders and representatives from a few fishing associations. Other stakeholders were invited but did not engage.
A draft Standard was posted on the DFO website for public comments in the Summer 2019. An updated version containing comments and questions from the first consultation were posted for public comments in the Fall 2020. Not all units that are currently approved for use in Canada will meet the new Standard, resulting in some harvesters having to purchase new units. Following implementation, all units (those currently in the program as well as new units awaiting approval) will have to undergo a qualification process by DFO. Those that do not meet the requirements will be removed from DFO’s list of approved units and those harvesters who own these units will have to replace them within a specified timeframe. In order to lessen the impact of this, the Standard will have a grandfathering clause to allow harvesters time to purchase new units. Currently, this grandfathering period is set at 12 months.
In addition, newer technologies meeting the new Standard are projected to be sold at much lower prices than the units that are currently approved for use in Canada. The list of qualified units will be updated six months after the new Standard is developed. Harvester who must purchase a new unit will then have 12 months following this date to upgrade their unit. Harvesters will still be required to comply to their conditions of license during this time.
Updates, including timelines and relevant dates will be posted on the following website: https://dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fisheries-peches/consultation/vessel-monitoring-surveillance-navire/indexeng.html.
Questions and comments can be sent to: DFO.NAT.VMSStandard-NormeSSN.NAT.MPO@dfompo.gc.ca.
Upcoming Courses at NSCC:
Marine Advanced First Aid - ** NOT covered by FPB
GMDSS-GOC - ** NOT covered by FPB
Jan 25 – Feb 5
Marine Basic First Aid
March 10 – 12
Please contact Wilma Greencorn to register at the contact information below:
AFF Update: Our AFF proposal has been approved and the contract is signed. We are now preparing all the paperwork that will be necessary for all interested members to complete in order to take part in this project as well as organizing ourselves for its administration. The COVID restrictions have banned in-person meetings, so we are unable to hold a group meeting. Instead, we will be mailing everyone a package with information and forms in the coming weeks. Anyone with questions or needing assistance with the paperwork will be given the choice of a phone call, zoom meeting, or a one-on-one in-person meeting.
UPDATE: MANDATORY IMPLEMENTATION OF ELECTRONIC LOGBOOKS – SNOW CRAB, SHRIMP AND LOBSTER FISHERIES Moncton, NB – January 12, 2021 – Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) continues its progress towards the mandatory implementation of electronic logbooks (ELOGs) and continues to work on the challenges that arise during the voluntary phase. The Gulf Region is now aiming for a mandatory implementation of ELOGs in 2022 for the snow crab and shrimp fisheries and in 2023 for the lobster fishery. We will keep industry informed of any developments. We also invite you to visit the national ELOGs page for more information on various ELOGs related topics, such as frequently asked questions, guides and lists of authorized applications : www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/elogs.
Information on National Plastic Reduction Initiatives: The Canadian government is working with provinces and territories on strategies and action plans to address plastic pollution challenges.
The Canadian Council of Minister’s of the Environment has released a Canada-wide action plan on zero plastic waste. Phase 2 of this plan includes actions to reduce plastic waste and pollution generated by or affecting ocean industries. The action plan is available at:
Fishing for Tourism Workshop: The NS Fisheries Sector Council is partnering with the Tourism Sector Council to offer a workshop around using your fishing skills to offer "adventure tours" during your offseason. Please see the attached invite. Session will be held on Jan 20, 2021.
If you are interested in participating please respond.
Nova Scotia Fisheries Sector Council
38B John Street
Yarmouth, NS B5A 3H2
Unified Fisheries Conservation Alliance (UFCA): We have received some information regarding this newly formed group. Available below is a link to their press release as well as a letter they sent.
Message from Peter Dowd regarding Plebiscite vote in LFA 26A-2:
The deadline as indicated on ballots that will be received in the mail over the next few days will be for Jan 22.
For Covid compliance the ballots will sit in the post box in Pictou for a few days
The opening of the ballots will take place on Jan 27th
If you wish to attend the opening please indicate now so that we can start looking for a room that can accommodate for social distancing of the number of witnesses to Ralph Heighton from Provincial office opening and counting ballots.
thank you for all your help
Peter Dowd - Office Assistant
Gulf Bonafide Fishermens Organization
(tel) (902) 867-1438
(fax) (902) 867-1439
P.O. Box. 1798
Antigonish, NS, B2G 2M5
2020 COMMERCIAL BLUEFIN TUNA FISHING GULF NOVA SCOTIA – SEASON EXTENSION-4RST:
– Fisheries and Oceans Canada wishes to advise Gulf Nova Scotia (GNS) tuna licence holders that the fishing season in fishing area 4RST has been extended until Thursday, December 31, 2020. The 2020 fishery will close on January 1, 2021 or when the quota is captured, whichever comes first. Upon review of the landings for the commercial tuna fishery, 242 tuna have been landed up to December 15, 2020. This has resulted in approximately 58 t or 94% of the 2020 GNS Fleet’s quota being captured. Fish harvesters who wish to continue their fishing activities in 4RST will need to obtain new licence conditions. Amended conditions of licence have been released and are available through the National Online Licensing System (NOLS) for GNS licence holders.
Lobster Handling Class: I wanted to advise you that we have setup another Lobster Handling class which will take place January 19, 2021 in Cheticamp at the Fire Hall starting at 8:30 am.
NS Fisheries Sector Council
38 B John Street, Suite 1
Yarmouth, NS B5A 3H2
Online Lobster Handling Class: Please be advised that there will be an online Lobster Handling class December 17, 2020 at 8:30 am.
If you have anyone looking for a class have them contact me at 902-742-7521 or email to register.
NS Fisheries Sector Council
38 B John Street, Suite 1
Yarmouth, NS B5A 3H2
Minister Jordan strengthens protections for inshore commercial fish harvesters on East Coast: Read the press release by clicking the link below:
2020 COMMERCIAL BLUEFIN TUNA FISHING GULF NOVA SCOTIA – SEASON EXTENSION-4WD : Antigonish, NS –November 27, 2020 – Fisheries and Oceans Canada wishes to advise Gulf Nova Scotia (GNS) tuna licence holders that the fishing season in fishing area 4WD has been extended until Thursday, December 31, 2020. The 2020 fishery will close on January 1, 2021 or when the quota is captured, whichever comes first. Upon review of the landings for the commercial tuna fishery , 225 tuna have been landed up to November 26, 2020. This has resulted in approximately 54 t or 87% of the 2020 GNS Fleet’s quota being captured. Fish harvesters who wish to continue their fishing activities in 4WD beyond December 1, 2020 will need to obtain new licence conditions. Amended conditions of licence have been released and are available through the National Online Licensing System (NOLS) for GNS licence holders
North Atlantic Fish & Workboat Show Announces New Digital Marketplace:
For Immediate Release
Issued: November 16, 2020
St. John’s, NL – The Covid-19 pandemic has forced many businesses to pivot and offer their services in unique and alternative ways. The 2020 edition of the North Atlantic Fish & Workboat Show – which has been postponed to the fall of 2021 – has moved to an online platform, designed to connect regular event attendees with the show’s exhibitors in a new way.
The North Atlantic Fish & Workboat Show Digital Marketplace is now available as part of the show’s website. Those who would have attended the show in-person can search the platform by company name, or filter by category. Exhibitor listings include detailed company information, photos, videos, product highlights, and any special offers or promotions they choose to feature. Users can easily connect by clicking email, website, and social media buttons.
“It was a hard but necessary decision to postpone the show to 2021,” said Show Manager Shawn Murphy. “It’s important to us to help maintain a strong connection among show participants. We know both our exhibitors and attendees rely on face-to-face events to network and advance business opportunities and we hope that our new Digital Marketplace will facilitate that during this unpredictable time.”
The Digital Marketplace will be available for a limited time– from Monday, November 16th through Friday, December 18th. This represents a significantly expanded timeframe from the typical two-day event, and lets users take their time to easily browse through the exhibitor database from the safety of their own home. The platform features a variety of exhibitor categories including boat builders, marine and insurance brokers, manufacturers of fishing and safety gear, distributors, electronics and lighting manufacturers, and many more.
Would-be show visitors are also encouraged to visit the North Atlantic Fish & Workboat Show website to sign-up for email updates with the most current information as well as an opportunity to win door prizes and other giveaways.
For complete details, visit http://NAFWS.masterpromotions.ca or follow the show on Facebook and Twitter.
Shawn Murphy, Show Manager
Master Promotions Ltd.
Moira Pellerine, Marketing & Operations Manager
Master Promotions Ltd.
Lobster Harvester Online Survey - Tracy MacKeracher, a PhD. student at Dalhousie University, is conducting a quick online survey aimed at lobster harvesters. Below is the explanation and link to the 5 min survey if anyone is willing to help her out: Do you fish lobster in Nova Scotia? We want to hear from you!
Lobster is such an important fishery in Nova Scotia, but there are aspects of the fishery that are poorly understood by scientists and DFO. That’s why I’m doing a 5-minute survey with fishermen to find out what I should focus on in my research as a PhD student. I’m looking for input from anyone who fishes lobster in Nova Scotia. Your responses will be anonymous – they are never linked nor identifiable to you. If you have any questions, please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Additional information: https://bit.ly/2UijH8T
Your support will help ensure that lobster catches continue to provide social, cultural, and economic benefits well into the future. Thank you!
Gulf NS Halibut Fishery Update: The preliminary landings from the Gulf Nova Scotia 2020 Summer Halibut fishery are as follows:
Quota for 2020 Summer Halibut Fishery
First Opening for 2020 Summer Halibut Fishery
Started on September 2 at 06:00 hrs and ended on September 3 at 18:00 hrs
Number of hours
Second Opening for 2020 Summer Halibut Fishery
Started on September 10 at 06:00 hrs and ended on September 11 at 18:00 hrs
Number of Hours
Third Opening for 2020 Summer Halibut Fishery
Started on September 18 at 06:00 hrs and ended on September 19 at 18:00 hrs
Number of Hours
Fourth Opening for 2020 Summer Halibut Fishery
Started on October 2 at 06:00 hrs and ended on October 3 at 18:00 hrs
Number of Hours
Fifth Opening for 2020 Summer Halibut Fishery
Started on October 15 at 06:00 hrs and ended on October 16 at 18:00 hrs
Number of Hours
Sixth Opening for 2020 Summer Halibut Fishery
Started on October 23 at 06:00 hrs and ended on October 23 at 18:00 hrs
Number of Hours
TOTAL LANDINGS – 2020 SUMMER HALIBUT FISHERY
There will be no further openings for the Summer fishery in 2020. The plan will be to carry forward the maximum, 15% ( 3.830 t) of the initial Summer fishery allocation to 2021-2022.
The remaining balance (.089 t or 196 lbs) will be transferred back to the Summer fishery if captured in the Spring fishery prior to May 15, 2021.
Atlantic Mackerel Fisheries Closure: Please be advised that Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) has issued Variation Orders to close the commercial mackerel fishery in all mackerel fishing areas as of 11:30 a.m. Atlantic Time on Tuesday, November 10, 2020 for conservation purposes as commercial landings are near or have reached the Total Allowable Catch of 8,000 tonnes. Given this commercial closure for 2020, DFO will allow harvesters that do not have access to handline for bait to ask for a new licence condition to allow the use of hand line (instead of gillnets) for this year only. Harvesters are required to continue to report bait catches as noted in licence conditions. The amended personal use bait licences will be valid through to November 30, 2020. The licences will allow harvesters to land up to 1,000 pounds per day using hook and line (hand lines). The gear would be limited to 3 rods / lines with the maximum of six hooks per line. Harvesters wishing to make this change can obtain revised mackerel bait licence conditions through the National Online Licensing System (NOLS). Regular bait catch reporting through logbooks will apply.
Commercial landings for Atlantic Mackerel for Nov. 2/20: based on preliminary data, commercial landings for Atlantic Mackerel are 6,675 tonnes.
Regulatory amendments to the Atlantic Fishery Regulations, 1985: ATLANTIC MACKEREL ADVISORY COMMITTEE (AMAC) / COMITÉ CONSULTATIF DE MAQUEREAU ATLANTIQUE (CCMA)
On October 10, 2020, regulatory amendments to the Atlantic Fishery Regulations, 1985, concerning the recreational mackerel fishery were published in the Canada Gazette for a 30-day public comment period
The regulatory amendments to the Atlantic Fisheries Regulations, 1985 would establish a yearly close time from January 1 to March 31 so that no person can fish Atlantic mackerel for recreational purposes during that time. The regulatory amendments would also set a daily limit of 20 Atlantic mackerel that a person can catch and retain in any given day when fishing recreationally. It would also increase the size minimum for possession of Atlantic mackerel to 26.8 cm for commercial and recreational fishing to protect juvenile fish.
DFO is currently targeting spring 2021 for final publication of the amended regulations.
Commercial landings for Atlantic Mackerel for October 30, 2020: based on preliminary data, commercial landings for Atlantic Mackerel are 6,657 tonnes
Canadian Domestic Exports of Lobster by Month - 2019 and 2020 - Sorted by Quantity: Source: Statistics Canada data retrieved from CATSNET Analytics, AAFC. Click the link below to view the data:
Lobster Exports - Top 10 Markets - by Month: Source: Statistics Canada data retrieved from CATSNET Analytics. AAFC. Click the link below to view the data:
Canadian Domestic Exports of Lobster by Month: Source: Statistics Canada data retrieved from CATSNET Analytics, AAFC. Cliick the link below to view the data:
Habitat Stewardship Program Launch: the 2021-22 Call for proposals for the Habitat Stewardship Program (HSP) for Aquatic Species at Risk is now open: http://dfo-mpo.gc.ca/species-especes/sara-lep/hsp-pih/proposal-proposition/index-eng.html.
The HSP for Aquatic Species at Risk is committed to supporting Canadians in their efforts to help protect and recover aquatic species at risk; it is intended to not only remove human threats to the habitats of aquatic species at risk but also to support their recovery and protect them in the future, so that the benefits of these efforts will be sustained for generations to come.
For more information about the program and to obtain the 2021-22 application guidelines, please visit Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Habitat Stewardship Program website: http://dfo-mpo.gc.ca/species-especes/sara-lep/hsp-pih/index-eng.html.
While not mandatory, Expressions of Interest are strongly encouraged: http://dfo-mpo.gc.ca/species-especes/sara-lep/hsp-pih/proposal-proposition/eoi-di/index-eng.html. The deadline for submission of an Expression of Interest is November 13, 2020.
Funding applications are due December 18, 2020. The Application Form: http://dfo-mpo.gc.ca/species-especes/sara-lep/hsp-pih/proposal-proposition/application/index-eng.html for HSP for Aquatic Species at Risk can be downloaded from the Program website. Please ensure you refer to the HSP Application Instructions: http://dfo-mpo.gc.ca/species-especes/sara-lep/hsp-pih/proposal-proposition/instructions/index-eng.html and the Program Guide: http://dfo-mpo.gc.ca/species-especes/sara-lep/hsp-pih/proposal-proposition/program-guide-programme/index-eng.html in completing an application.
Fishing Master Class 4 - Seats available - Nautical Institute (Note: course NOT covered by the FPB):
Fishing Master Class 4
Date: Jan 11 – March 26, 2021
Location: Strait Area Campus, Port Hawkesbury NS
Completed registration forms can be sent to: Wilma.email@example.com
Seats are now open and you must pay in full to secure your seat in this program
2020 COMMERCIAL BLUEFIN TUNA FISHING GULF NOVA SCOTIA - Allocation of Additional Tuna Tags: Antigonish, NS –October 27, 2020 – Fisheries and Oceans Canada wishes to advise Gulf Nova Scotia (GNS) tuna licence holders that upon review of the landings, 146 tuna have been landed up to October 24. Preliminary numbers show this has resulted in approximately 34 t or 55% of the 2020 GNS Fleet’s quota being captured. Fifteen additional tags will now be made available continuing with the 2020 Revolving Tuna List. Those eligible for one of these additional tags will be contacted by DFO. The tags provide access to the fishery but do not guarantee quota as the fishery is scheduled to close December 1, 2020 or when the quota is caught, whichever comes first.
Commercial landings for Atlantic Mackerel for October 28, 2020: based on preliminary data, commercial landings for Atlantic Mackerel are 6,441 tonnes.
Calling all Nova Scotia Fishing Guides!
Are you interested in joining a growing network of professional fishing guides? To take advantage of this unique opportunity, sign up for the free Fish Nova Scotia Guides Workshop.
Benefits for your guiding service:
• Industry specific learning opportunities
• Access to advertising and promotion for your business
• Personal Development
• Network with other guides from across the province
Location: Cranton Crossroads Community Centre in the beautiful Margaree Valley, Cape Breton
Date: November 21/22
Free Registration includes: meals catered by Gourmet By Nature.
Weekend will offer training on Social Media, Food Handler’s, photography, guiding etiquette, cultural sensitivity, diversity and more. (cost of accommodation is responsibility of participant and is not included with registration)
Call/text Sabrina Wolthers at (902) 759-7206 to sign up or for details • deadline to register is November 6th!
Upcoming Marine Courses at NSCC:
Marine Basic First Aid
Date: Nov 9, 10
Location: Strait Area Campus
Time: Monday, Tuesday | 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Date: Nov 16, 17, 18
Location: Strait Area Campus
Time: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday | 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Date: Nov 16, 17, 18
Location: Strait Area Campus
Time: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday | 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
To register please contact Wilma Greencorn at 902-625-4228.
GGAC 2020 - Record of discussion: find below the record of discussions for the 2020 Gulf Groundfish Advisory meeting held on March 23, 2020.
Commercial landings for Atlantic Mackerel for October 26, 2020: based on preliminary data, commercial landings for Atlantic Mackerel are 6,381 tonnes.
Commercial landings for Atlantic Mackerel for October 23, 2020: based on preliminary data, commercial landings for Atlantic Mackerel are 6,252 tonnes.
2020-2021 GULF NOVA SCOTIA – ATLANTIC HALIBUT (4T) FIXED GEAR FLEET, VESSEL CLASS A146 SUMMER FISHERY OPENING DATE - 6th Opening. Antigonish, NS – October 21, 2020:
Fisheries and Oceans Canada announces that the Atlantic halibut fishery will open for Gulf Nova Scotia fixed-gear licence holders, using vessel class A146, in the portions of NAFO Division 4T known as 4T1, 4T8, 4T2a and 4T2b.
This fishery will take place from 06:00 hrs Friday, October 23 to 18:00 hrs Friday, October 23, 2020. There will be no further consideration of delaying this fishery due to inclement weather or other uncontrollable circumstances. There is approximately 4.3 t of quota remaining for the 2020 GNS Atlantic halibut summer fishery. Should portions or all of 4T1, 4T8, 4T2a and 4T2b close due to the North Atlantic right whales dynamic closure protocol, Atlantic halibut fishing for the vessel class A146 will be permitted but it will be mandatory to closely attend fishing gear as identified in the conditions of licence.
Commercial landings for Atlantic Mackerel for October 19, 2020:
based on preliminary data, commercial landings for Atlantic Mackerel are 5,903 tonnes.
From DFO - Oct. 16/20 - Subject: Upcoming engagements on fishing gear modifications to reduce harm to whales from entanglement:
This letter is to inform you of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ intent to engage with you to identify the most suitable ways to modify fishing gear to reduce the risk of entanglement for the North Atlantic right whale and other marine mammals. The initial focus of those modifications will be to reduce the breaking strength of rope, within safety and operational limits, to minimize the risk of injury and mortality to whales. The Department will organize a series of meetings in the Fall/Winter 2020-2021 with Indigenous partners and members of industry, to discuss these new measures and to seek your input on how they can be incorporated into your fisheries. We will provide details for these meetings at a later date.
For licence holders who hold a Commercial licence in both Gulf and Maritimes regions, you will be invited to meetings held by both regions. The gear modification measures to reduce harm to whales from entanglements that were announced by the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard, Bernadette Jordan, in February 2020 are as follows:
To be tested through 2020-21 and required at the end of 2021: Non-tended fixed gear fisheries to include “weak” rope or weak breaking points, to lower breaking strength
To be tested beginning in 2020-21 and become mandatory sometime after 2021: Requirement for a maximum fishing rope diameters of 5/8 inches; Sinking rope between pots and traps; and Reductions in vertical and floating rope.
For more detailed information on potential options to achieve these fishing gear modifications, please refer to the attached documents. These reflect currently available methods, and the available options may increase and evolve through the engagement process including as a result of at-sea gear trials. During these meetings we will discuss these options and others that may arise. For any questions or clarification, please contact Carole LeBlanc by email at Carole.LeBlanc@dfo-mpo.gc.ca or by telephone at (506) 871-0213.
Please accept, Sir/Madam, my kindest regards.
Jacqueline Richard Regional Director, Fisheries and Harbour Management Directrice Régionale, Gestion des pêches et des ports
2020 SCALLOP CONSERVATION HARVESTING PLAN FOR SCALLOP FISHING AREA 24:-
Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) is announcing the management measures for the Scallop Fishing Area 24 (SFA 24) for 2020.
Fishing Season : The scallop fishery will open on Monday, November 2nd, 2020 and will close on Wednesday, December 16th, 2020 (November 1st falls on a Sunday). The fishery will take place from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily, and will be closed on Sundays.
DFO wishes to remind fish harvesters to exercise caution when navigating in locations where dredging operations are on-going.
NEW management measures in place for 2020 season:
Logbook : Fisheries and Oceans Canada is implementing a new scallop logbook for the 2020 scallop fishing season. This new logbook version requirement is included in the 2020 conditions of licence, therefore it cancels and replaces any other previous scallop logbook versions. Fish harvesters are required to maintain a record of their estimated catches in the new Scallop Logbook (GLF VERSION 2020) prior to entering port. The new scallop logbook must be obtained from a pre-qualified supplier identified by DFO before the start of their fishing activities. Fish harvesters are required to forward their logbooks to DFO no later than two weeks following the closure of the fishing season.
Other management measures in place : The following management measures from 2019 will remain in effect for the 2020 fishing season. Further details are available in the scallop licence conditions:
Meat Count: On average, can not exceed 52 meats per 500g.
Notice to Fish Harvesters 2 EKME: 4199058 – EN / 4201350 - FR Ring size: The authorized ring size in the bucket construction is set at 82.6 mm (3 ¼ inches) with the exception of the first row of buckets where 76.2 mm (3 inches) rings may be used.
Drag size: Maximum cumulative width of 5.08 m (16 feet 8 inches) (outside measurements). Washers: Two (2) steel washers may be used to join each side of the rings together giving a maximum of eight (8) steel washers per ring. In addition, one rubber washer may be used vertically to join two (2) bucket rings together. The maximum outside diameter of rubber washers must not exceed 50.8 mm. Furthermore, chaffing gear on the underside of the drag will be allowed when the rings are joined only with steel washers.
Offloading requirements: No person shall land (off-load) any other part of the scallop except for the adductor muscle (no roe or other internal organs of the scallop may be retained).
Mandatory reporting of interactions between vessels or fishing gear and marine mammals: Any accidental contact between marine mammal and a vessel or fishing gear must be reported.
Buffer zones: All existing buffer zones remain in place for the protection of lobster habitat and the ecosystem.
Reminder: The Western Cape Breton scallop buffer zone (North of Mabou), is defined by specific coordinates since 2018 (see map and coordinates on page 2) and all fishing restrictions (scallop buffer zones) are included in the licence conditions .
Commercial landings for Atlantic Mackerel - October 16, 2020: based on preliminary data, commercial landings for Atlantic Mackerel are 5,337 tonnes.
GNS SUMMER HALIBUT FISHERY - 5TH OPENING - OCTOBER 15, 2020:
Fisheries and Oceans Canada announces that the Atlantic halibut fishery will open for Gulf Nova Scotia fixed-gear licence holders, using vessel class A146, in the portions of NAFO Division 4T known as 4T1, 4T8, 4T2a and 4T2b.
This fishery will take place from 06:00 hrs Thursday, October 15 to 18:00 hrs Friday, October 16, 2020. There will be no further consideration of delaying this fishery due to inclement weather or other uncontrollable circumstances.
There is approximately 5.3 t of quota remaining for the 2020 GNS Atlantic halibut summer fishery.
2020 ROCK CRAB FALL FISHERY SEASON IN LOBSTER FISHING AREA 25 Tracadie, NB, Charlottetown, PEI and Antigonish, NS – October 7, 2020: Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) is announcing that the fall fishery for rock crab in Lobster Fishing Area (LFA) 25 will open at 7:00 a.m. on October 17, 2020 and will remain open until November 27, 2020, inclusively.
Commercial landings for Atlantic Mackerel for October 10, 2020: based on preliminary data, commercial landings for Atlantic Mackerel are 4,246 tonnes.
Deadline Extension: The Fish Harvester Benefit and Fish Harvester Grant application deadline has been extended to October 19th.
GULF NOVA SCOTIA COMMERCIAL BLUEFIN TUNA FISHERY 2020 CONSERVATION HARVESTNG PLAN - AMENDMENT OCTOBER 1, 2020:
As of October 1, 2020 there is no longer a restriction on the number of tuna tags a tuna licence holder may receive or transfer during the season.
Commercial landings for Atlantic Mackerel for October 1, 2020: based on preliminary data, commercial landings for Atlantic Mackerel are 4,047 tonnes. We are now over 50% of the 8,000 tonne TAC.
2020-2021 GULF NOVA SCOTIA – ATLANTIC HALIBUT (4T) FIXED GEAR FLEET, VESSEL CLASS A146 SUMMER FISHERY OPENING DATE:
Antigonish, NS – September 29, 2020 – Fisheries and Oceans Canada announces that the Atlantic halibut fishery will open for Gulf Nova Scotia fixed-gear licence holders, using vessel class A146, in the portions of NAFO Division 4T known as 4T1, 4T8, 4T2a and 4T2b. This fishery will take place from 06:00 hrs Friday, October 2 to 18:00 hrs Saturday, October 3, 2020. There will be no further consideration of delaying this fishery due to inclement weather or other uncontrollable circumstances. There is approximately 7.7 t of quota remaining for the 2020 GNS Atlantic halibut summer fishery. Should portions or all of 4T1, 4T8, 4T2a and 4T2b close due to the North Atlantic right whales dynamic closure protocol, Atlantic halibut fishing for the vessel class A146 will be permitted but it will be mandatory to closely attend fishing gear as identified in the conditions of licence.
Grey Seal Pilot Project:
A pilot project is underway in Nova Scotia that aims to build professional capacity and generate economic opportunities for the grey seal industry. Nova Scotia been actively involved in ongoing national efforts to promote seals as a sustainable, healthy and humanely harvested resource. A solution is needed to address growing seal populations and their negative impacts on wild fisheries. The project aims to turn the economic impact caused by grey seals into profits for local communities. Markets are being identified for seal meat, oil and pelts in an effort to support full utilization of the resource. The intended outcome of this project will be an increased level of public awareness and acceptance of seal products to allow for long-term, sustainable growth of Nova Scotia’s seal industry.
The project began with identifying a small team of interested industry members from Cape Breton. A limited grey seal pilot harvest was conducted in February 2020. In order to build on the work done to date, year 2 of the pilot harvest is planned for winter of 2021. If you are interested in learning more about this project or opportunities for future involvement, please feel free to contact me by phone: 902-955-0248 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ashley Sprague, Seafood Development Specialist, Perennia
2020 Tuna Tags: just a reminder that, as per Gulf Nova Scotia Commercial Bluefin Tuna Fishery 2020 Conservation Harvesting Plan, the initial 205 tags available must be paid for by October 1, 2020.
16F FALL HERRING FISHERY CLOSURE: After assessment of landings, DFO anticipates the 16F herring quota has been captured.
Variation Order 2020-120 was issued this morning to close the 16F fall herring fishery at 12:00 Hrs on September 25, 2020.
Fish Harvester and Benefit Application Deadline Extended: Applications are now being accepted until 6:00 p.m. EDT / 3 p.m. PDT on October 5th.
Atlantic Halibut Opening:
2020-2021 GULF NOVA SCOTIA – ATLANTIC HALIBUT (4T) FIXED GEAR FLEET, VESSEL CLASS A146 SUMMER FISHERY OPENING DATE Antigonish, NS – September 15, 2020 –
Fisheries and Oceans Canada announces that the Atlantic halibut fishery will open for Gulf Nova Scotia fixed-gear licence holders, using vessel class A146, in the portions of NAFO Division 4T known as 4T1, 4T8, 4T2a and 4T2b. This fishery will take place from 06:00 hrs Friday, September 18 to 18:00 hrs Saturday, September 19, 2020. There will be no further consideration of delaying this fishery due to inclement weather or other uncontrollable circumstance.
There is approximately 9.881 t of quota remaining for the 2020 GNS Atlantic halibut summer fishery.
Should portions or all of 4T1, 4T8, 4T2a and 4T2b close due to the North Atlantic right whales dynamic closure protocol, Atlantic halibut fishing for the vessel class A146 will be permitted but it will be mandatory to closely attend fishing gear as identified in the conditions of licence. Fishers are reminded that during the period where fishing is authorized, it is the responsibility of the licence holder to take into account the marine safety notices issued, among others, by Environment and Climate Change Canada and Transport Canada, as well as the standards and best practices in marine safety, and to take all measures to ensure a safe fishery.
Sept. 9/20: **Apologies for the lack of recent content - technical issues had our site down, but have been resolved
Application for Fish Harvester Benefit and Grant open until September 21st, 2020:
Independent fish harvesters may apply for the Fish Harvester Benefit and Grant until September 21, 2020. Once you have all the information you will require, the application is completed online and takes approximately 10 mins. Payment is received within 5 business days.
See eligibility requirements and information needed to apply by clicking:
Apply for the Fish Harvester Benefit and Grant by clicking:
16 F Herring 2020 Fall Herring Fishery Opening:
Antigonish, NS – September 2, 2020: Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) wishes to advise 16 F herring licence holders that the 16 F fall quota is 2,734 t.
The fall fishery will open at 18:00 hours on Monday, September 7 until 12:00 hours on October 2, 2020 or until the quota is harvested, whichever comes first. In 2020, daily closures will again be implemented for the fall fishery from 12:00 hours to 18:00 hours in addition to weekend closures for all weekends while the fishery is open.
Fall weekend closures: 1. 12:00 hours Friday, September 11 to 18:00 hours Sunday, September 13 2. 12:00 hours Friday, September 18 to 18:00 hours Sunday, September 20 3. 12:00 hours Friday, September 25 to 18:00 hours Sunday, September 27 The fishing depth restriction of 50 feet in a portion of 16F will again be implemented by Conditions of Licence in 2020.
New for 2020: A maximum of 100 fathoms of nets are permitted to be fished with or on board the vessel. Little Judique Ponds, Nova Scotia has been added as an authorized port for off-loading of catch.
Furthermore, it is reminded that, during the period where fishing is authorized, it is the responsibility of the licence holder to take into account the marine safety notices issued, among others, by Environment and Climate Change Canada and Transport Canada, as well as the standards and best practices in marine safety, and to take all measures to ensure a safe fishery.
Minister Jordan announces dates to apply for the Fish Harvester Benefit and Grant Program:
Program will open for applications on August 24, 2020, through to September 21, 2020.
Read the entire press release:
See eligibility requirements and information needed to apply:
2020-2021 GULF NOVA SCOTIA – ATLANTIC HALIBUT (4T) FIXED GEAR FLEET, VESSEL CLASS A146 SUMMER FISHERY OPENING DATE:
Antigonish, NS – July 31, 2020 – Fisheries and Oceans Canada announces that the Atlantic halibut fishery will open for Gulf Nova Scotia fixed-gear licence holders, using vessel class A146, in the portions of NAFO Division 4T known as 4T1, 4T8, 4T2a and 4T2b.
The allocation for the 2020 Atlantic halibut summer fishery is 24.677 t.
Only those harvesters who did not participate in the GNS spring halibut fishery are eligible to participate in the summer halibut fishery.
This fishery will take place from 06:00 hrs Wednesday, August 26 to 18:00 hrs Thursday, August 27, 2020 and from 06:00 hrs Wednesday, September 3 to 18:00 hours Thursday, September 4, 2020. There will be no consideration of delaying the fishery due to inclement weather or other uncontrollable circumstances. Landings will be monitored and the length of opening and fishing areas may be modified due to quota remaining after each opening.
GULF NOVA SCOTIA 2020 SUMMER HALIBUT FISHERY
DFO is proposing the following changes to measures from 2019 to meet in the middle for everyone so all stakeholders who wish to, may participate in the fishery safely and productively:
As was implemented in the Spring fishery in 2020, replacement vessels or vessel transfers will only be authorized from another fisher whose homeport is in the GNS administrative area;
Ø Number of Hooks
Reduction in number of hooks from 1500 in 2019 to 1000 in 2020;
Ø Fishing Areas
Status quo – 4T1, 4T8, 4T2b, and 4T2a ;
Wednesday and Thursdays starting from 6 am Wednesday to 8 pm Thursday, starting on August 26, 2020.ur
Please give feed back by July 22 and we will send a letter with what our thoughts on these changes are.
GNS 2020 SPRING HALIBUT FISHERY - JUNE 27, 2020 OPENING:
The fishery will be open from 5 am to 9 pm Saturday, June 27.
There are approximately 34.5 t left remaining for quota in the GNS Spring Halibut fishery.
2020 – LOBSTER FISHERY SEASON CLOSING DATES IN LOBSTER FISHING AREAS (LFAs) 23, 24, 26A AND 26B SOUTH AND 26B NORTH
Moncton, NB – June 24, 2020 – Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) is announcing that there will be a shift in the lobster season in LFAs 23, 24, 26A, 26B South and 26B North of the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence The last day of fishing will be July 4th, 2020
Reminder - Financial aid for Harvesters: The federal governments aid package for fish harvesters can be found here:
Lobster Season Extension update for June 24th, 2020: DFO is supposed to release their decision later today. It will be posted here this evening.
GNS 2020 SPRING HALIBUT FISHERY - JUNE 22, 2020 OPENING
Unfavorable weather prevented the GNS Spring Halibut fishery from opening this week.
Due to the delay in opening, the Spring fishery opening on Monday will be extended to 40 hours.
The Variation Order has been requested to open the fishery from 5:00 am Monday, June 22 to 9:00 pm Tuesday, June 23 .
2020 CONSERVATION AND HARVESTING PLAN FOR THE ROCK CRAB FISHERY IN LOBSTER FISHING AREA 25:
The summer fishing season in LFA 25 will open at 6:00 a.m. on June 29, 2020 and will remain open until July 25th, 2020. These season dates comply with the practice of opening the fishery on the last Monday in June until the last Saturday in July.
The fall fishing season will open five calendar days after the closure of the fall LFA 25 lobster fishery (unless the rock crab opening date would fall on a Sunday in which case it will open on the Monday) with the season closure being the last Friday of November. Opening and closing dates for the fall fishery will be published in a subsequent Notice to Fish Harvesters.
2020-2021 GULF NOVA SCOTIA –ATLANTIC HALIBUT (4T)FIXED GEAR FLEET, VESSEL CLASS A69SPRING FISHERY OPENING DATE: Antigonish, NS–June9, 2020:Fisheries and Oceans Canada announces that the Atlantic halibut fishery will open for Gulf Nova Scotia fixed-gear licence holders, using vessel class A69, in the portions of NAFODivision4T known as 4T9a and 4T9b.The fishery will open for 16 hours from 5:00 am to 9:00 pm on Wednesday, June 17, 2020. This opening date may be modified due to weather conditions or other circumstances. Should the fishery not open on Wednesday, an alternate opening will be on Thursday, June 18, 2020 or Friday, June 19, 2020. If conditions do not allow for an opening any of these days, industry will be consulted prior to the next opening. The allocation for the 2020Atlantic halibut spring fishery is 52.245t.
NARW PRE-NOTICE of upcoming grid closures - June 6, 2020:As per attached detection map, due to the confirmed presence of North Atlantic Right Whale (NARW), the following grids will be closing on June 9, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. Atlantic Daylight Time (ADT):
- Full grids GU37, GU38, GV39, GW39, GX39
- Portion of grids GU36 (from 20 fathom line to deeper waters only), GZ34 (from 20 fathom line to deeper waters only), HA34 (from 20 fathom line to deeper waters only)
Following repeat detections on separate days within a 15 day period, the following grids will be placed into a seasonal closure status starting today until November 15, 2020:
- Full grids GW36, GW37, GW38, GV37, GV38, GX36, GX37, GX38, GX40, GZ35, GZ36, HA35, HA36
- Portion of grids GV36 (from 20 fathom line to deeper waters only), GY35 (from 20 fathom line to deeper waters only)
The related Notice to fish harvesters and Variation Order will be issued on the next business day.
The closures will be in effect for non-tended fixed gear fisheries, crab trap fisheries and lobster trap fisheries. Fishing gear should be removed from the above grids accordingly.
DFO reminds licence holders that it is the responsibility of the licence holder to take into account the marine safety notices issued, amongst others, by Environment and Climate Change Canada and Transport Canada, as well as the standards and best practices in marine safety, and to take all measures to ensure safe fishing operations.
Notice to Fish Harvester - TAC Atlantic Halibut 2020: DFO has announced the TAC and Management Plan for Atlantic Halibut in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Click the link below:
COVID - 19 Table of Federal and Provincial Programs: Subsidies, Grants and Loans to assist harvesters from the PEIFA: Click the link below to read the list. Items 1 - 5 are Federal programs that apply to all fishers, items 6 - 8 are Provincial (PEI) programs:
Notice to Fishers re: Halibut for May 26th: Please find below a Notice to fish Harvesters announcing an interim Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for Atlantic halibut, the final TAC for Greenland halibut and other groundfish species.
2020-21 INTERIM TAC FORGREENLAND HALIBUTIN THE GULF OF ST. LAWRENCE (4RST):
Lobster Opening from DFO for May 13th:
The LFA 26A and 26B weather call was held with industry representatives this morning, the season will open as recommended:
- Friday, May 15, 2020 at 6:00 a.m. in LFA 26 A1, A2, A3 and LFA 26B South.
- Saturday, May 16 at 6:00 a.m. in LFA 26B North.
Please see below a summary of the Search and Rescue (SAR) assets for the opening of the fishery:
VesselsArea of Operation
CCGS Cap Nord FRC
May 15, FRC off Malpeque PEI 0900-1700 UTC
May 16 , Back at base and on 30 minute standby
CCGS Cape Spry
May 15, Lifeboat Off Georgetown 0900 -1700 UTC
May 16, Back at base and on 30 minute standby
CCGS Corporal Teather C.V. – Magdalen IslandsMay 15 and 16, On 30 minute primary SAR Standby
CCGA Sir William Alexander
May 15, Northern shore of PEI beginning at 0900 UTC
Area of Operation
413 Squadron, May 15th Standby starting at 0900 UTC– 30 Minute. May 16th Standby – 2 hours.
Lobster Weather Call Update:
Call took place at 11am . All participants on the call recommended a 6am on Friday, May 15th start except 26B north. They requested a 6am Saturday, May 16th start. Official word will be released soon and will be posted as soon as it is received.
Lobster COVID-19 conference call minutes for May12th:
- no major issues or changes from anyone
- processors discussed plant preparation
- no mention of a package yet
- no temporary foreign workers have tested positive
- PEI processors are in discussions with harvesters about how to control supply. Talk of no culls and daily trip quotas.
GNS Halibut Advisory Conference Call Minutes for May 12th:
- To begin there was a review of the 2019 fishery. Click the link below to read.
- Discussions for the 2020 halibut season:
- There were discussions on whether or not we wanted to fish our 4VN quota ourselves or continue to transfer pound for pound. The general consensus was to continue the transferring process with the 4VN fleet.
- Spring was talked about having a shorter opening the first time so that the 2nd opening would be longer. More discussions to come on the next call.
Summer opening was talked about whether we were going to contiue to fish in 4T2b. There were strong feeling that what happened last year was not right. There was concern that this year there might be even more interest which could lead to overfishing the quota if things were left the same. Some suggestions were to :
- cut 4T2b out of our fishing area
- have limits for how much fish per opening a vessel would be allowed to keep; suggestions range from 2,500 to 4,000 pounds of fish per week.
- there was also a motion to keep the Fishery to gulf-based vessels only.
These options were going to be looked into and a future conference call will take place.
Advance Notice of Fisheries Closures (Presence of NARW) for May 11th, 2020:
The Gulf and Quebec Regions are providing notice of new grid closures due to the confirmed presence of North Atlantic Right Whale (NARW). The information presented herein is consistent with the 2020 NARW management measures previously announced by DFO.
All times listed in this document are in Atlantic Daylight Time (ADT). This document also includes all NARW related grid closures currently in effect in Canadian waters.
Upcoming closures in the Gulf of St Lawrence
The following grids will be closing on May 16, 2020 at 5:00 p.m.:
Full grids GV52, GV53, GV54, GW45, GW46, GW47, GW52, GW53, GW54, GX45, GX46, GX47, GX52, GX53, GX54, GY45, GY46, GY47
The above date has been revised from the one communicated in the pre-notice to allow an additional delay for these grid closures due to the marine weather forecast. All gear affected by this notice must be removed from the closed area before the time of closure.
Lobster Round Table COVID-19 conference call minutes:
- There will be NO changes to opening dates.
- Another COVID call on May 12th.
- If bad weather is forecast for the 15th, setting will not be earlier. A later date will be set. Opening will be the 15th or later.
Prov. of NB
- new help has to self isolate
- they are in stage 1 re-opening
- plants are managing to get workers locally, although these employees have no experience and all have to be trained.
- support package coming soon.
- won't consider extensions to end of the season until closer to the end of the season.
Prov. of PEI
- they are in stage 1 reopening
- will move to the next stage every 3 weeks if no surge in cases.
- plants are ready to go, but processors are worried fishers will stay off the water once the aid package is released.
Prov of NS
- NS plants TFWs are in isolation and will be ready for work by the 15th.
- call with financial committee in Ottawa went well.
- on the issue with TFWs, some countries wouldn't allow their people to come. There are usually approximately 3,000 TFWs and there are approximately 1,000 now.
Fisheries Minister Says Aid Package Coming: Support for fishermen coming sooner rather than later says Fisheries Minister. Click the link to read the CBC news article:
SGSL Lobster Conservation Harvesting Plan: 2020 -SOUTHERN GULF OF ST-LAWRENCE LOBSTER CONSERVATION HARVESTING PLAN OFTHE LOBSTER FISHERY FORLOBSTER FISHING AREAS(LFAs) 23, 24, 25, 26A AND 26BMoncton, NB –May 5, 2020
–Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), Gulf Region, announces the 2020 management measures for Lobster Fishing Areas (LFAs) 23, 24, 25, 26A and 26B. Unless indicated otherwise, existing management measures remain in place. Please refer to your lobster licence conditions for further details.
Opening Dates in 2020:
The fishery in LFA 23, LFA 24, LFA26A and LFA 26B will open at 6:00 a.m. on May 15 and will remain open until June 30, 2020. The fishery in LFA 25 will open at 6:00 a.m. on August 9 and will remain open until October 10, 2020. The openings of the fishery are subject to ice and weather conditions.
NEW Management measures in place for the 2020 fishing season are available to be read in the Notice to Fishers:
COVID-19 Relief Update: Fishers and helpers whose EI benefits have expired are eligible to apply. The link is below and in the COVID section on the right.
Letter from the President, May 1st:
Due to the extremely volatile response to the update that was posted this morning I feel it is necessary to further clarify exactly what the conversation was about and the timeline of things discussed.
I reached out to Ron Pumphrey, our Regional Director in Antigonish, this morning to discuss the 3 traps on a line effort we have been hearing is coming for our area. We discussed that our fishers are dead set against being forced to go to 3 on a line and Ron shared that the push for it is coming from the International community as another whale safety action, and not from DFO as I had previously thought. We discussed that it made no sense for fishers in our area to need to take this step and he agreed.
We then went on to discuss the conference call held yesterday and the fact that one association wants to ask for a May 6th start. As Regional Director, all asks are sent to Ron and are then forwarded to Moncton and on to Ottawa. Ron explained that he intended to speak to each association to see what their members want, given that there is a push to seek another new start date. He stated that the new ask would be on Minister Jordan’s desk on May 5th. I told him clearly that our membership had wanted to fish May 1st, as always. Given that she will not see this request until May 5th, it made more sense to ask for a May 7th or 8th start. I did tell him that in Inverness the remaining boats are scheduled to be put in the water on the 5th, and that they could be ready for a 7th or 8th start. My intention has always been to support an earlier start and ask for a 1 week extension at the end of the season.
So, to clarify a few things:
- I have always expressed that our membership is extremely upset at the Minister’s decision to set our start date at May 15th and that they want the May 1st start they voted for. I have stated it on every call and in all correspondence.
- There is no discussion from DFO for any other start date other than that decided by the Minister – May 15th.
- The May 6th start date was asked for by Duane Boudreau, President of Gulf Bonafide. He chose this date, and he is asking for a request to be sent in to the Minister. Many fishers are reacting as though the May 6th start is already decided. It is not. It is one of many requests being sent into the Minister’s office.
- Other associations in the area have also expressed that their membership would not be ready for a May 6th start as they were preparing based on the Minister’s decision of May 15th. Gordon Beaton expressed on yesterday’s call that his membership would not be ready for a May 6th start but would support a May 7th or 8th start.
- The Minister of Fisheries does not take part in these weekly calls. Serge Doucet, the Regional Director General out of Moncton is the lead on these calls. All complaints and concerns raised on these calls are noted by him and forwarded to our Federal Minister.
It is unfortunate that some fishers and representatives took it upon themselves to make it seem as though our season opening was officially changed to May 6th just because one group plans to ask for it. This request will not even be seen by our Minister until May 5th.
As far as the boat situation in Inverness goes, it was merely a comment I made to Ron as another factor in our effort to get ready this year. My support of a May 7th or 8th start was based on the fact that our Minister will not see this request until May 5th. Basil has called and said he can put all our boats in the water tomorrow if we wish. It is unfortunate that he had to deal with calls about this when his family is grieving the loss of his brother.
We are all frustrated with the Minister’s decisions and handling of this season. I will continue to support the earliest opening we can get from Ottawa. I will continue to respectfully work with our local representatives to push for the necessary changes needed to make this season successful for everyone.
Update for May 1st, 2020 regarding Season Opening: We were contacted by DFO this morning to inquire about our members position. Jordan emphasized that our members had requested a May 1st start and still wish to fish as soon as possible. He also informed DFO that fishers at the Inverness wharf would not be able to be ready for a May 6th opening. Their boat hauler can only put their boats in the water on May 5th, so he explained that a May 7th or 8th start would be the earliest that fishers at that wharf could be ready. DFO expressed that Minister Jordan is considering all requests and complaints that are sent to her.
Minutes from Lobster COVID Round table Conference Call, April 30th:
Updates since last call:
Update from Transport Canada
– speed reductions for whales vessels >13m must reduce speed to < 10 knots.
- They made modifications to this so lobster vessels >13m will be exempt from this rule.
Opposition to Condition of License – landing restrictions
- Had this lifted over the weekend.
- Relying on buyers and harvesters to regulate this.
Minister Announced the Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund
- 62.5 Million, mainly for processors and managed by ACOA.
Update from NB
- Expressed appreciation for measures to limit people at wharves.
- NB has restricted foreign workers, as well as lifting some of the restrictions on the public – workers can now car pool again.
- They are investigating labour issues in the province.
Update from PEI
- FAQs being put on the website
- Conference call with Harbour Authorities this morning.
- Chief Health Officer shared with public that fisheries are beginning, to be aware of the rules at wharves and maintain social distance.
Update from NS
- No public health changes.
- Harbour Authorities are posting signage advising the public of rules at wharves.
- Hearing concerns about public at wharves.
- AFF – have a project in to get funding to assist with following protocols.
- Safety protocols are being prepared by NS Fisheries Sector Council - are available on their website.
Update from NB Processors (Jerry Ameriault)
- Dept. of Labour has reached out to fish plants to address labour shortages.
- NB processors were shocked by the decision to restrict temporary foreign workers.
o These are key people needed to run plants. They intend to use NB unemployed to fill shortages, but these people are inexperienced.
- Stabilization funds – working with NS and ACOA
Update from NS processors (Jerry Ameriault)
- Working on protocols.
- Some plants have received their TFWs (temporary foreign workers).
Update from PEI processors
- Completed all work on protocols.
- Ongoing discussions with fisher associations on how to avoid gluts in the market.
- Overseas markets improving.
- One positive point to all this – communication is much better.
- Concern that there is still talk of cancelling season.
o PEI is ready to start
o Tons of money has been spent getting ready
Update from Industry in NB
- There was NO ask to delay by any fisher group – Minister keeps saying she is listening to fisher groups but then set a delayed start date.
Update from Industry in NS
- Duane Boudreau expressed his frustration that his membership has repeatedly requested a May 1st start. Other fishers started fishing today. The health risks and conditions are the same everywhere, yet we are delayed and not other areas. He believes we are being sacrificed to save the south shore fall fishery. Frustrated that there is still no financial aid for harvesters. Formally asking for a May 6th start.
- James from North of Smokey – expressed his support and agreement with Duane’s comments.
- Leonard LeBlanc – commented that his fishers might not be ready for a May 6th start. Said it about time the Government comes up with aid for harvesters; they have waited long enough.
- Jordan MacDougall – expressed again that his harvesters are concerned about the length of the season. Expressed frustration that 26B has worked hard to increase our carapace size to 82.5mm and we’re being lumped in with all others who fish canners. Noted again that his fishers had requested a May 1st start, not the May 15th start we were given.
- Gordon Beaton – his group were also supporting a May 1st start, and would support a start for May 7th or 8th.
- Dennis, Northumberland Fishermen’s Association – his members may not be able to be ready before the 15th, as many have been getting ready with the announced May 15th start date in mind. They are still waiting for some aid for harvesters. Have lost 25% of their season, believes many won’t survive this season.
Update from Industry in PEI (Ian MacPherson)
- Start date – LFA 24 voted 60.9% for May 6th, 39.1% for May 13th.
- LFA 26 voted 48.8% for May 6th, 51.2% for May 13th.
- Both dates were rejected by Minister.
- Hope to have boat protocols in place this week.
- Important that NB come up with the labour they need and figure out what capacity they will be able to handle.
Notes from the Conference Call with Mike Kelloway, Wednesday, April 29th:
- Everyone is receiving lots of calls re: the May 15th start date.
- discussions are ongoing with Fisheries Minister.
- shows how interconnected we are.
- DFO is working with Small Craft Harbours to take measures to ensure safety at wharves.
-protocol for wharves is available on the government website.
- As of Wednesday, 8 million people had applied for the CERB and 200,000 businesses had applied for the $40,000 loan.
- Our concerns are being addressed with regard to small fishers and those who do their payroll through their buyer.
- It was brought up that many fishers boat insurance has increased this year, some by as much as 40-50%.
- Mike said his team would look into it.
- NB Premier has blocked temporary foreign workers. There was discussion that this will also effect NS fishers.
- There are ongoing discussions to see what this means for NS.
Fisheries Safety Association of Nova Scotia COVID resources: The Fisheries Safety Association has developed several checklists for Captains and crew to use as we all deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. These checklists are meant to assist fishers and are not mandatory. The newest to be developed is a checklist for crew and visitor temperatures. Follow the links below to see all checklists available for your use:
Lobster Condition Update for April 27th: DFO has confirmed that Condition 11.3 - Catch Limitations has been removed from our conditions. Everyone will be sent new conditions.
Message from Ron Pumphrey Regarding Lobster License Condition 11.3 - Catch Limitations:
"I heard from several of you yesterday regarding the Lobster License Condition 11.3 Catch Limitations. I am addressing your concerns and I am working with Moncton to have it removed. Please do not panic as DFO will not impose limitations. There is an already established process between buyers and harvesters if catch limitations are required. I will update you within 24 hours."
Trudeau Announces $62.5M for Fish and Seafood Sector: Funding mainly for processing sector but support for harvesters coming says Fisheries Minister.
Letter from our President for April 24, 2020:
I took part in another lobster conference call on April 22nd, the first since it was announced that our season was delayed until May 15th.
Some notes from the COVID Lobster Roundtable Conference call:
- The decision to go May 1st will not be changed. I expressed my concern that many of our members are very upset about this decision.
- EI - the current requirements to file were reviewed. As of now, there are no changes to filing requirements.
- There is aid for seasonal workers whose EI has expired and who haven’t yet returned to work due to the virus.
- Processors have received details regarding foreign workers in their plants. Plants will be taking measures to ensure social distancing and will be operating at reduced capacity.
- PEI expressed their upset about the season delay, missing Mother’s Day, as well as the fact that there was even talk about not having a season.
- We were asked to compose an email outlining problems we see with the aid packages that are available (such as the $40,000 loan).
§ We will be recommending that the $20,000 payroll qualification be lowered further so fishers with smaller payroll will qualify.
§ We will be asking for help with those fishers who use their buyer to do payroll; we want them to be eligible for the loan and the 75% wage subsidy.
Please note that as an association, we are trying to share as much information as possible so everyone can make informed decisions. We are trying our best to be on every call, to ask our members for direction, and to represent the needs and wants of our members as you direct by voting. We are only one voice in a very large industry. Our requests are noted but are not always followed. As an industry, we are all trying to make the best decisions in the middle of a unique and very trying situation.
Temporary changes to the Vessel Hail System before departing:
GulfRegion2020 – Notice To Fishers - Temporary changes to the Vessel Hail System before departing
Fisheries and Oceans Canada wants to inform all fish harvesters that are required by condition of licence to contact the Department of Fisheries and Oceans' Vessel Hail System before departing for a fishing trip of the following temporary changes to their hail requirements. For hails prior to departure, the licence holder/operator must contact the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Vessel Hail System at 1-800-561-2467 or, at 1-902-464-8103 (satellite phone only) at least three (3) hours before departing for each fishing trip.
a)If the licence holder/operator decides to cancel or delay a previously confirmed departure time for a fishing trip, he must cancel his hail-out or confirm a new departure time prior to his original departure time by contacting the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Vessel Hail System at 1-800-561-2467 (Gulf Region) or, at 1-902-464-8103 (satellite phone only).
b)If the licence holder/operator decides to cancel a previously confirmed departure time for a fishing trip, as defined in paragraph a), and indicates a new departure time for a fishing trip, the call must be made at least one (1) hour prior to the new departure time.
c)If the licence holder/operator decides to delay, as defined in paragraph a), a previously confirmed departure time for fishing trip, he must confirm a new departure time at least one (1) hour prior to the new departure time. Note: A delayed departure is a departure made after the original departure time. These changes are due to the temporary suspension of the At-sea observer program and will remain in effect until May 17th2020. The time frames will revert to what is indicated in the conditions of licence on May 18th2020.
Snow Crab Fishery Opening: Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) announces the opening date of the snow crab fishery in Crab Fishing Areas 12 (12, 18, 25 and 26) and 12E.
The fishery will open at 10:00 a.m. Atlantic Daylight Time (ADT) on April 24, 2020.
The fishery will close on July 1, 2020 at 00:00 hrs ADT. All gear must be removed from the water before the end of the day June 30, 2020, meaning that the hauling of gear is prohibited after June 30th, but landing of traps and crabs can occur on July 1st.
Conference Call Notes from April 22, 2020: Jordan was on a conference call with Mike Kelloway. Some of the issues discussed:
- Small Craft Harbours is providing signage for wharf usage during the COVID crisis, most of which was delivered yesterday.
- DFO is still working with the health department on protocols to be in place during fishing.
- 75% wage subsidy - fishers will qualify. We are still looking into the eligibility of those whose payroll goes through their buyers.
- The $40,000 loan - still trying to lower eligibility requirements so more fishers qualify. Checking if independent fishers will qualify.
- They are still working on EI for fishers until next season.
From DFO, April 22, 2020: SOUTHERN GULF OF ST. LAWRENCE LOBSTER FISHERY OPENING DATE IN LOBSTER FISHING AREAS (LFAs) 23, 24 AND 26Moncton, NB –April 22,2020–Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) is announcing that the lobster fishery in LFAs23, 24 and 26 will open at 06:00 a.m. on May 15,2020, subject to weather conditions. The last day of fishing will be June 30, 2020.
The Notice to Fishers is available below:
Lobster Season Start Has Been Delayed to May 15th: We just received word that our lobster season has been delayed to May 15th. Details will be released by DFO at 10am and will be posted immediately.
Season Start Vote Results: Our 26B south members voted on when they wished the season to start. The totals were:
May 1st - 71 votes
May 14th - 43 votes
Therefore, we will not be submitting a request to delay the season start.
Environmental Health Contact Information: if you have questions around the Health Protection Act and it’s implementation as scenarios occur contact:
Letter from our President, April 17th, 2020:
I have been made aware of a program being offered as part of the COVID-19 assistance from the Federal government.
The Canada Emergency Business Account allows eligible businesses to get a loan of up to $40,000 from the Federal Government. The funds are to be used for operating expenses required to sustain the business through the COVID crisis. This program is offered through our lending institutions, such as the Credit Union.
To qualify, the following criteria must be met:
- You need to have been a registered Canadian business and operating on March 1, 2020.
- You will need to document that you paid between $20,000 and $1,000,000 in T4 salaried income last year (2019).
- You will need to have had an active current account for your business at the financial institution where you are applying on March 1, 2020.
- Any loans with the financial institution must be in good standing.
- You can only apply with one financial institution.
For those who qualify, this is an excellent program. Its details are as follows:
- Borrow up to $40,000.
- The loan is funded as a term loan, 0% interest and no payments until December 31, 2022.
- Beginning January 1, 2023, interest accrues on the balance of the term loan at a fixed rate of 5% per annum, payable monthly on the last day of the month.
- If you pay 75% of the balance of the term loan on or before December 31, 2022, the remaining balance of your term loan will be forgiven. For example, if you balance is $40,000 on January 1, 2021 and you repay $30,000 on or before December 31, 2022, the remaining $10,000 will be forgiven.
- If you do not repay the 75% of the balance of the term loan on or before December 31, 2022, the full loan balance and all accrued and unpaid interest will be due and payable on December 31, 2025.
I recommend that those who qualify take advantage of this assistance to help get through this difficult time. Speak to your financial institution if you believe you qualify and are interested in taking part in this program.
Notes from the April 16th, 2020 COVID-19 Lobster Round Table Conference Call:
There is a lack of consensus among fishers in the Gulf. There is disagreement regarding whether or not to fish, and disagreement about when to start if we do fish. We are expecting the Federal Minister of Fisheries, Bernadette Jordan, to come out with an announcement by the end of the week.
Mobile (Road-side) Vendors (Selling lobster roadside) - Permit information from Dept of Environment
Covid Roadside vendors are permitted to be open, the Health Protection Order does not require that they close. It is recommended that vendors & customers practice the following public health measures:
Maintain social/physical distancing:
Vendors should ask customers to stay in their vehicles to order (consider posting a sign)
Have vendors place orders in the trunk/back seat of customers vehicle to maintain distance
Recommend that payment be placed in back seat. If a debit machine is used maintain proper physical distance
If customers are out of their vehicles, ensure a separation distance of 2m(6ft). Customers must be separated from one and other if there is a lineup.
Practice proper hygiene measures:
Alcohol based hand sanitizer must be available for vendor use and must be used after every transaction
Clean high touch surfaces frequently (i.e. coolers, cash box, debit machine, etc.) using an approved disinfectant or a bleach/water solution (100ml bleach per 1000ml water)
Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth, especially with unwashed hands.
Mobile/Road-side vendors need to apply for a permit: https://novascotia.ca/nse/food-protection/docs/AppFoodEst.pdf
Application for Food Establishment Permit Nova Scotia Environment; Inspection, Compliance and Enforcement
Nova Scotia Environment; Inspection, Compliance and Enforcement March 2017 . The information contained in this application may be subject to public release. Please answer all questions and type or print in ink clearly. Establishment Name and Location (Must be CIVIC address) Establishment Name Telephone
. There is a difference between vendors: those who sell live lobsters only and those who sell other species.
For Seafood Mobiles (selling any other products than live lobster) – Mobile 3:
Vendors need to apply for a permit (link above, check the Mobile Class 3 option), fees ($89.01), and inspections will be done by Department of Environment
*Note that Mobile 3 Licenses can sell dressed or whole fish that hasn’t been CFIA inspected, but if they sell filets and/or steaks, those products must come from a CFIA plant. Bivalves, just need to be legally harvested, and do not have to go through a plant.
For Live Lobster Mobile (only selling lobster, no other seafood):
Lobster Fishers need to apply for a permit (link above, check the Mobile - Lobster Fisher option). Permits are valid for one year, there is no fee for the permit and no inspections.
*Note: Lobster Fishers must provide DFO Lobster License number in order to get this type of license.
Guidelines for Dry Holding of Live Lobsters are also attached:
Fisheries Self Isolation Fact Sheet: For anyone wondering what the rules are regarding fisheries and self isolation, click the link to read the rules:
A letter from our President, April 14th, 2020:
I am still advocating our membership to get ready to go fishing on May 1st. All the calls that I am personally on indicate get ready to go fishing.
Do not get caught unprepared to start the season. If a package is made available, we will have plenty of time to put our gear away.
Buyers and processors have articulated the information that the marketplace can handle 30 to 50% of our regular catch. If we open on May 1st, we will soon fill the buyer’s inventory. This will mean a very short season without a market after a very short time.
On April 20th the eastern shore LFA 32 will open. They will have 10 fishing days with a fair price. Then we start to fish and the price will probably drop.
As a business, please contact your lenders about deferring payments. The NS Fishery Loan Board, the Credit Union, and the banks will work with you to navigate this turbulent time. I personally am deferring loans. I recommend that everyone also look into the programs that are being offered by both the federal and provincial governments, such as the 75% wage subsidy for our helpers, to see what assistance is out there. We are also looking into which assistance programs will apply to our fishers and their crew and will share this information as soon as we have it.
Find a way to pay your helpers. These people are your most important asset. In rural communities it is getting harder to find good help.
In the meantime, adhere to social distancing. In our boats we know it is impossible to stay 6 feet away. When we unload our catches this year, stay in the boat!!
This situation is evolving daily. If anything changes, we will communicate it to our members immediately. For now, do not get caught unprepared. Get ready to fish.
Adapted Marine Basic First Aid: This program has been adapted due to the COVID-19 outbreak and can now be done from home.
Important Information for all Harbour Authorities regarding the COVID-19 virus: Small Craft Harbours has forwarded the following information regarding operation of our wharves during this pandemic. As well, signage is being produced and will be distributed for each Harbour to post. The letter from Small Craft Harbours and the signage that will be distributed are available at the bottom of this post:
From Small Craft Business Manager Debbie Feltmate:
Small Craft Harbours recommends that Harbour Authorities follow the guidelines set out by the provincial and federal governments to protect all Canadians. They were specific to mention that Harbour Authorities should practice the recommendations of social distancing, self-isolation for people that have traveled abroad and regular hand washing to help contain the virus.We ask that you communicate these precautions to all authorized people accessing your sites.
Following is a list of questions presented to me by various HAs and my recommendations to help protect yourself, the HA volunteers and users of the wharf.
Floating docks – Installation prior to season start date
Question: With the social distancing and the no more than 5 people rule can we proceed with installation of floating docks?
Answer: Yes, but first Harbour Authorities should notify the local RCMP office, tell them the date the floats will be installed and the number of people required to safely install the docks.
(One Harbour Authority already spoke with the RCMP, they were very appreciative of the advanced notice and said not to be surprised to see an officer come by).
Our concern of not contacting the RCMP is the $1000 individual fine or $7500 fine to the HA for having more than 5 people or not exercising the 2 metre rule.
The commercial fishing industry is deemed an essential service and harbours need to prepare for the upcoming lobster fishery. It’s so much simpler for the HA to make a quick phone call than explain to RCMP after someone files a complaint!
Private lobster sales to public individuals at the wharf:
Question: Can fishermen sell lobsters privately at the wharf?
Answer: No, the provincial and federal governments have closed all provincial and federal facilities, parks and beaches to the general public. This means no unauthorized persons permitted on the wharves so no private lobster sales are permitted at the wharf. Lobster sales only to licensed buyers at the wharf. Private sales must happen off the property.
Please relay this to ALL fishermen at your wharf.
Question: What are we going to do about the public on the wharf?
Answer: As mention above all provincial and federal facilities, parks and beaches are closed to the general public. This means no tourists, no private ferry services, no drives on the property, no locals out for a walk, no recreational boaters, kayaks, seadoos, etc.
Harbour Authorities with private tourist businesses such as, ferry operations, interpretive centers, tour boats, whale watching, etc., should contact these businesses and tell them they cannot conduct their business from the HA leased property this year under the current federal and provincial restrictions. I recommend contacting them as soon as possible so they are aware.
The SCH Regional office in Moncton is having signs printed they designed for HAs to put up at the wharves, as soon as we receive them we will deliver to Harbour Authorities.
The federal and provincial governments have addressed this issue repeatedly stating ALL federal and provincially owned parks and facilities are closed to the general public and are only open and accessible to the services they deemed essential.
Annual General Meeting:
Question: Because of COVID-19 physical distancing, gatherings no larger than 5 and orders to stay home should we hold our AGM?
Answer: No, all face to face meetings are to be avoided. Boards decisions should be made collectively by phone call, emails, skype, facebook messenger, whatever avenue is available to HAs. As a Not For Profit organization HAs are required by law to hold an AGM but the provincial restrictions regarding Covid-19 circumvent that from happening.
Campers on HA leased property:
Question: Can I move my trailer to HA property to stay in so I am not risking taking the virus home?
Answer: No, anyone wishing to do this can keep their trailer on their own property and use it there, we will not permit campers on federal property.
The same procedures should apply to the fuel systems as at a public gas station. I recommend all boat owners have disposable gloves on the boat for fueling…same as you would do at the public gas station. Use the gloves when fueling the boat and when fueling is complete dispose of the gloves immediately in the trash. This will reduce the risk of cross contamination. It doesn’t matter if the person before you wore gloves…it’s only important that you wear gloves and dispose of them immediately.
This is a stressful time for everyone and it’s important to remember that if everyone does their part we can get through this. I recommend you communicate to all the users of your facility that they must follow the recommendations of the provincial government and the provincial health authorities. I pasted the links below to the provincial coronavirus website and I encourage the HA to report to the local RCMP any unauthorized persons at the wharf.
The following is an excerpt from the website:
“Under the state of emergency police are authorized to enforce orders under the Health Protection Act. If Nova Scotians and businesses do not practice social distancing and self-isolation, they will face fines of $1,000 for individuals and $7,500 for businesses. Multiple fines can be given each day an individual or business fails to comply. Police can also enforce offences under the Emergency Management Act. For example, fines for charging higher than fair market prices for goods and services. If you’re aware of someone who isn’t following provincial direction, talk to them first – they may need help. If you need to call police, please call a non-emergency number for the police that serves your community. Do not call 911.”
Below is the telephone number to call in the event anyone sees any activity occurring which is contrary to the directives received by our various Public Health offices in terms of social distancing.
Info NS / NE 902 481-5800
Nova Scotia Health Authority : 811
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me as listed below or Jolene Hudson, GNS Area Manager, at 902-735-7109.
Business Manager-Small Craft Harbours
Fisheries & Oceans Canada
Snow Crab Openings 2020: DFO has announced the opening of the 2020 Snow Crab seasons in areas 12, 12E, and 12F. The fishery will open on April 24, 2020, if weather predictions are favorable for a safe season opening. A call with the Committee for setting the opening date of the snow crab fishery will take place on April 22, 2020.
Lobster Conference Call: A second lobster conference call regarding the COVID virus and our industry was held April 8th. Notes are available to be read below:
Vote results: Vote results are in.... 108 of our members voted to accept a proposal, 22 voted against. Out of the total fishers in the GNS Fleet Planning Board who voted, 378 voted for a proposal and 62 voted against.
**Important**Lobster Season Information, Proposal and Vote Link:
Prepare to go fishing May 1st, 2020. Get your gear and boats ready. DFO’s Serge Doucet clearly indicated the department is planning a May 1st opening. As well, go to our website and listen to Bernadette Jordan on CBC radio.
Leonard LeBlanc and Dwayne Boudreau have a proposal to bring to Ottawa. We are to vote on it by Sunday, April 5th at 12:00pm.
This proposal is a list compiled by different fishers and associations. Please vote so they have an indication if we want to go forward with this initiative.
We will be contacting Harbour Representatives to assist us in getting the direction Inverness South Fishermen Association desires.
This spring we are facing the most difficult conditions our industry has ever had to deal with. This global health crisis has affected every aspect of our fishery. Our markets, our work conditions, price, availability of plant staff, and the health and safety of our crew are all being affected.
We must make a decision. A group of dedicated individuals has been working hard to put together a package to present to our federal politicians. Given all the information they have with regards to the outlook for our spring fishery, they believe this is the best option. When deciding whether or not to vote for this proposal, please consider the following:
- It is not ideal. It will not replace a normal fishing season. The contents of this package will hopefully ensure no one suffers a devastating economic loss. This will not be a normal fishing season.
- This is not just about price. Unlike other challenging years in the past, this is not just about price. The price will be a factor, and it is expected to be low, but the market outlook for our product is dismal. Most buyers have no one to sell our product to. Restaurants in most of North America are closed. Casinos, cruise ships, and hotels are closed as well. European and North American markets for our lobster are closed or at a minimum. The Asian market is slowly recovering. People are in quarantine and are not buying a luxury product like lobster. It is uncertain when these markets will reopen.
- This is not just an economic issue. The COVID-19 virus is sickening hundreds of thousands of people worldwide and many are dying or hospitalized. The nature of our work makes it impossible to social distance while aboard our vessels. The same applies to the buyers. If any become sick, the entire crew would have to quarantine for 14 days. In addition, we would not want to risk having members of the public coming to the wharf to purchase lobster off our boats. None of us would want to be responsible for someone becoming ill so we could fish.
- Everyone understands that to have someone give up their job, their way to make money, even for a short time, is incredibly difficult. It is a sense of pride to earn our own money and provide for our families. However, these are unusual times. This is the biggest crisis to hit the entire population in our lifetime. We must balance our desire to keep doing what we’ve always done with doing what will keep this from being a financial and health disaster for our fishers. Many industries have been ordered to shut down. Hairdressers, restaurants, small business owners, and many more have all been ordered to close. The risk to public health is too great. These people are facing financial ruin and are being propped up by government aid to hopefully get them through.
- The government is looking at us, the fishers and the buyers, to lead our industry. They have been clear. The season will start May 1st as usual unless we ask otherwise. If given all the hurdles in front of us we decide to fish as usual, then we can go. The reality is that may mean that boats land at the wharf and cannot sell their catch. That 1 buyer out of 3 may be able to take a limited amount of fish each day. Local buyers claim they cannot find anyone who can take our fish, and if we are lucky enough to sell the price will be low. If we want to ensure a minimum financial certainty for ourselves we must present an option to government, they will not bring one to us.
- No one knows how long these conditions will last. Yes, the market may recover some as the summer goes on. Or it may not. Asia has been fighting against this virus for almost 6 months and they are just beginning to open some businesses again. And no one knows what will happen when the fall flu season starts again.
- This package is being presented in an effort to avoid a worst case scenario. Worst case being that we go out, set our gear, and cannot sell our fish. That we sell a minimum amount of fish, if any, at a low price and cannot make enough money to keep our boats running. Then not only would fishers not make any money during their season, but they would not make enough to have EI to get through to next year. Worse case being that crew members get sick, or Captains get sick, then that boat can’t fish for a minimum 14 days. That someone in a fish plant gets sick. Then that plant shuts its doors for 14 days. This is what the market and the current health conditions tell us.
Please read the attached proposal carefully. It is the result of weeks of discussions, deliberations, and conference calls. It is not made lightly. It takes into account yourselves, your crew, and all seasonal workers. We are not guaranteed that the government will accept this proposal even if fishers support it. They may reject it and tell us the fishery will open regardless. However, if fishers support it, it will be presented to Ottawa. It contains options that give all fishers the best chance to maintain some financial stability until next season when we all hope the world will have returned to normal.
The link below takes you directly to the survey. ALL SURVEYS MUST BE COMPLETED BY SUNDAY AT NOON. We will be working with representatives from each wharf. They will be contacting each fisher at their wharf to ensure everyone has access to this proposal and votes. If you or someone you know does not have access to the internet they can call Crystal and she will vote for them (902) 945-2459. What is most important is that all fishers in our area get to vote on this proposal.
Lobster COVID-19 Table Record of Discussion - On April 2nd a conference call was held to discuss the upcoming lobster season and market outlooks. The record of this discussion is available to read below:
Conservation Harvesting Plan - Herring/mackerel bait fishery: New measures will be implemented this year as indicated in the bait licence conditions now available in the National Online Licensing System (NOLS).
Just for information, some interesting talks regarding the COVID crisis with Bill Gates from the TED talks series:
Fisheries Loan Board COVID assistance: Below are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about what the Loan Board is doing to help:
Other LFAs Also Considering Requesting Aid Packages and Closing Their Seasons: A petition is circulating online for the fishers of LFA 32. Click below to read it:
Article from SeafoodNews.com:
Lobster Fishery Delayed in Two New Brunswick Areas, Other Fisheries Waiting on DecisionsMarch 30, 2020
According to the CBC, Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans accepted a request to delay the start of the lobster season in areas 36 and 37 of southern New Brunswick due to concerns surrounding COVID-19.
The request was sent by the Fundy North Fishermen’s Association, the delay will push the start of the fishery from March 31 to April 30.
"In light of the current circumstances, and with input and support from groups involved, DFO has accepted this request and will be delaying the start of the fishing season by 30 days," wrote Jane Deeks, press secretary to the Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan in an email to the CBC.
The announcement follows last week's calls for a delay to lobster fishing in Canada. The coronavirus has led to significantly less demand for lobster as foodservice has been hit hard as consumers are eating out less due to mandated restaurant closures across North America.
The move opens the door for other potential fishery delays as well. As the entire seafood industry awaits decisions about delays or closures across Canada, this announcement could lead to similar announcements in the coming days and weeks.
Another concern will be how the closures will impact harvesters and other members of the supply chain. On Friday, fisheries minister Bernadette Jordan noted work to support Canada’s seafood sector.
“We continue to work together, across all levels of government, and in partnership with harvesters, processors, seafood farmers, and industry, to keep Canadians safe and communities supported,” Jordan said in a statement. “The seafood sector, and the hard-working women and men behind it, are essential to our collective food security and to Eastern Canada’s economies.”
Canada, New Brunswick, fishery delay, lobster
Story Posted: 3/30/2020 12:12:30 PM
National Vessel Monitoring System Registration Change: Please find below a Notice to Fish Harvesters concerning an important change about the National Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) Registration form.
Article in the Chronicle Herald with Pierre LeBlanc of Cheticamp:
For Clarification, March 29th, 2020: Due to some inquiries we've had regarding some of our recent posts, I wish to clarify that the vote on the contents of the package being assembled will be for OUR MEMBERS ONLY. Further details will be coming soon.
Update for March 29th -Message from Leonard LeBlanc - GNSFPB: (Inverness South continues to be a part of the Gulf NS Fleet Planning Board and our membership makes up part of the 3,000 fishermen mentioned in the letter below. In an effort to keep everyone informed, Leonard LeBlanc has written the following letter which explains further the efforts being made and the market conditions we are facing. Note: once a proposal is complete, we will be given a very short time to hold a vote. Details on how the vote will be held will be provided in the next few days.)
I am writing you to bring you up to date.
1-The health and safety of captain, crews and plant workers remains our number one concern. The COVID-19 virus cases are increasing and will be for the near future (sad to say).
2-Buyers are telling us that they are not buying or that they want to have the season delayed until mid May or the beginning to June before they decide if they will buy at all.
3-Plants in New Brunswick are telling us they can only process 30-50% of the projected landings if there a fishery at all.
4-The risk that the COVID-19 virus will appear in plants is high. Should this happen the plant will be closed for a minimum of 14 days.
5-Fishermen are not willing to haul their gear on the wharf to simply haul it back in their buildings.
6-Fishermen do not want to fish lobster at a lost.
All six multi-species from gulf Nova Scotia have met by phone and agreed that we cannot salvage this spring's fishery with all the unknown factors that we or others have no control over. These factors being the COVID-19 virus and the market.
We are now working closely with the PEI Fishermen’s Association and the Maritime Fishermen’s Union to draft a financial proposal which will be forwarded to Ottawa for their review. This totals the voice of over 3,000 fishermen.We have retained professional expertise in the fields of finance, social science and ex-DFO to help us write this proposal. We will all be working this weekend and into next week to complete this task. All harvesters must not expect to be profiting from this exercise. This if approved by Ottawa will simply be financial help.
We are in daily communication with our MP Mike Kelloway and we have his complete support. He has been very helpful to deliver our message to Ottawa. Senior Cabinet Ministers are awaiting our proposal.
Having been a fishermen, I can understand the nervousness and frustration you are all going through. Rest assured that I am fully engaged on this file and the lead for Gulf Nova Scotia.
Reminder from FHOSA: They are still accepting payments and forms during this time of social distancing. If you did not receive your personalized membership form a blank one is available on the Forms page.
Lobster Update for March 27th, 2020:
Based on the most recent conference calls and market information, it is becoming increasingly clear that a regular lobster season cannot happen. These are unprecedented times and together the Federal Government, DFO, Industry representatives and Associations are trying to figure out how best to move forward.
Our Federal Government, in conjunction with DFO and industry, is currently putting together an aid package for our fishery. We must stress that this is just the start of discussions and negotiations between our industry and Government. The intent is that if the package is good enough, we, as an industry will agree to put aside our lobster season for 2020 and not fish.
Once the final package is ready, all fishers will get to vote on whether or not they wish to accept the contents of the package and not fish this year. We are all working together to ensure that the best possible offer is presented. Once finalized, it will be presented to everyone for review and then voted on.
Vote results will be able to be submitted either electronically via email or facebook, or over the phone. Due to the continuing Coronavirus crisis, we are avoiding paper as much as possible.
These are difficult times and will require unique solutions to ensure that everyone gets through with the least hardship possible.
We will keep everyone updated as soon as new information is available.
Lobster Season Update for March 26th, 2020: As of now, DFO is advising that all fishers be prepared to begin our season on May 1st as planned. The situation is constantly changing and weekly conference calls are being held to determine what will be done. For now, fishers are advised to have their gear ready. We will update as soon as new information is available.
COVID-19 News Stories from www.seafoodnews.com for March 26, 2020:
COVID-19 has Nova Scotia Fishing Industry ReelingCopyright © 2020 CBC/Radio-Canada
By Paul Withers
March 24, 2020
Nova Scotia's provincial government has amended a sweeping emergency order to explicitly exempt fishing vessels from a ban on gatherings of five people or more.
The move addressed a seafood industry concern about the government's response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Nova Scotia declared a state of emergency on Sunday and issued orders meant to curb the outbreak.
Fish plants were among essential services exempted, but the order was silent on fishing vessels where social distancing is not possible.
The ambiguity was a source of confusion for companies with larger vessels at sea or tied up at the wharf ready to sail.
"We are trying our best to comply with the public health directives, the only one we're clearly unable to meet and are awaiting additional guidance on is the social distancing aboard fishing vessels," Alain d'Entremont, CEO of Scotia Harvest, told CBC News in an email before the order was amended.
"I've been in repeated contact with the labour board, MLAs and the provincial department of fisheries for additional guidance."
Clarity for essential services
Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil promised clarity for essential service businesses.
"We will have a comprehensive tool posted very soon for companies to look at, just be patient," McNeil said.
Seafood companies like Scotia Harvest, a groundfish harvesting and processor based in Digby, have responded with numerous policies to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Scotia Harvest closed all its facilities to the public, required workers, boat crews and contractors to sign a declaration they do not need to self-isolate, expanded handwashing and hired a full-time employee to clean and sanitize surfaces.
d'Entremont later responded to the amended emergency order.
"Fishermen and plant workers are vitally important to the food security of this province and country and I believe that where possible they will step up and continue to support this province and communities as they always have."
Working to stay in operation
Christine Penney, Clearwater Seafoods vice-president of sustainability, said the company is working hard to stay in operation while protecting its employees.
"Over the last three weeks, we have proactively adopted increasing health and safety measures in our offices, plants, and vessel operations utilizing the best information available from our public health authorities," Penney said in an email to CBC.
While the industry responds to the public health challenges caused by the coronavirus, the business is coping with a major downturn in the world seafood market.
'Impacting us very, very hard'
Louisbourg Seafoods in Cape Breton catches and sells many species, but the company tied up its fleet last week.
"It's impacting us very, very hard right at the moment," said manager Jan Voutier.
"The loss of markets has taken us to the point where we have no product to produce because we can't sell it. We've done everything we can to look after our staff to this point … and now it's more of an issue of a market not being there than actually the virus in our communities in Cape Breton," he told CBC News.
Scotia Harvest has been able to achieve social distancing because fewer people are available to work.
"We're down over 50 per cent in terms of our production staff," said d'Entremont.
"This is due to people that are ineligible to come to work due to the COVID-19 policy, are uncomfortable with working during this time, or they are the primary caregiver for children or others in their family."
Nova Scotia, Canada, coronavirus, groundfish
Story Posted: 3/25/2020 11:06:26 AM
Coronavirus: Global Lockdown to Hit China's Supplies of Steak, Lobster and Fine WinesCopyright © 2020 South China Morning Post Publishers
By Su-Lin Tan
March 25, 2020
Just over a month ago, supply chains in China were thrown into chaos as trucks and planes delivering goods to the world came to a standstill.
Now, China's economy is moving back towards capacity, while the supply shock from the coronavirus pandemic is beginning to affect many Western countries, as they look to contain the virus' spread.
But this second round of supply shock enveloping countries around the world may mean China's growing middle classes find themselves strapped for premium overseas food such as meat and dairy products, which are often viewed as being better quality than local options.
Over the past week, countries like Spain and Italy have overtaken China to become the new epicentres of the virus, with infections rising exponentially.
In Australia and New Zealand, draconian measures such as the closure of borders and public venues have been implemented with people told to work from home or losing their jobs .
The pattern is being replicated around the world, with severe economic downturn expected to grip many developed economies.
These same countries are key suppliers of high-end pork and lamb, beef, cheese, seafood and milk to affluent Chinese dinner tables and restaurants, and with some airlines cutting flights completely, there could be shortages of such premium food imports ahead, importers and exporters said.
Most of the world's high-end food is transported in the bellies of passenger aircraft, meaning general travel restrictions will have a serious impact on the trade.If things do not get better in supplier countries by May, then we will start seeing supply issues for ChinaWilliam Kerins
"Yes, we have already seen Argentinian and Brazilian slaughterhouses forced to close,” said William Kerins, founder of Beijing-based premium meat sourcing and distribution company USource. "Australia has yet to do this, but it is already cancelling bookings, so we are likely to start a reduced schedule next week.”
"Furthermore, some Chinese ports have started restricting cargoes from certain countries,” Kerins added. "My guess is by next week, half the world's slaughterhouses will be closed and the other half will be working on reduced shifts to supply local markets.”
USource, which supplies meat to restaurants, has several months of inventory, after they front-loaded their imports in January to take advantage of China's reset in annual meat quotas. But after that supply has been soaked up, a shortage will not be far off.
"If things do not get better in supplier countries by May, then we will start seeing supply issues for China,” Kerins said.
A cross-border Australian exporter of food products, who did not want to be named, said aside from a curb in production as factories and processing plants shut to ensure social distancing, products were also disappearing off Chinese shelves as people hoard dried foods such as cereals, one of his main export items.
"At the moment there isn't a huge issue, however we foresee supply chain issues soon,” he said. "And it will be a global problem.”
IS Seafood, a Chinese importer of premium Icelandic goods, is seeing processing plants in Europe closing.
"Europe is changing rules constantly. The issue that some of our suppliers are facing is for example, there can only be a maximum 20 people in the same space together,” said CEO Biggi Stefansson.
Australian company James Tyler ships everything from New Zealand oysters and lobster to Tasmanian cherries and organic yogurt to China. The prices of sea and airfreight have skyrocketed due to a shortage of transport such as planes, said co-founder James Hutchinson.
"A lot of cargo gets flown in passenger planes. They have obviously reduced dramatically,” Hutchinson said.
The disruption to the flow of luxury food items is happening at a time when many Chinese consumers are experiencing a shift in their spending habits, due largely to the shock of the coronavirus pandemic, which is likely to lead to the first quarterly contraction in the Chinese economy since 1976.
Those in the premium industry in big Chinese cities said many consumers have replaced eating out and spending big with buying more basic ingredients and eating in.
This softening demand could temper the shortage of imported products, even as a series of scandals cast unflattering light on China's domestic food supply, including the suspected links between Covid-19 and a wet food market in Wuhan, and the ongoing African swine fever crisis which has killed upwards of 100 million pigs and sent pork prices skyrocketing.
The swine fever crisis sent China's pork imports in the first two months of 2020 surging 158 per cent from a year earlier. With routes to market cut off due to virus-related shutdowns, an inability to source alternative supplies may further hamper China's supply of pork, by far the most popular meat.
"To me, for meat, I can find alternatives, but I am a bit concerned about fruit,” said Jade Zheng, a high-net worth consumer in the affluent Chinese city of Shenzhen. "It's hard to find good fresh fruit in local supermarkets, there are no alternatives.”I honestly do not see a demand for anything premium coming back up right awaySpanish wine seller in Shanghai
"I don't buy a lot of imported products, but I do buy some meat such as Australian beef,” added Wendy Liu, another well-off shopper in Guangzhou. "At the moment, these foods are still available locally, so I am not particularly worried. If I cannot get these products, I am OK with it. Sure I prefer these premium foods, but I am flexible.”
A seller of Spanish wines in Shanghai, who did not wish to be named, said the city was struggling while the streets of Beijing were "practically dead”.
"I honestly do not see a demand for anything premium coming back up right away,” she said. "There's a lot of uncertainty and people are just trying to get by.”
Chinese corporations have reported that many functions and client entertainment events had been cut, as have purchases of fine wines and novel gifts. This is another choke point in the market for imported luxury food.
"I believe people still want their quality foods from overseas but they are happy to cut back if supply is short,” said a wealthy executive at one of the big four global accountancy firms, living in Shenzhen.
Richard Yuan, the chairman of the high-end Australia-China Entrepreneurs Club, said the appetite for luxury goods was also flat among his member base, as more people start to worry about the global economy.
"The high net worth [individuals] are still into seafood, but home cooked seafood. We are also cutting down on drinking,” Yuan said. "Mostly down to a bottle of wine a day.”
coronavirus, imports, exports, Chins, trade, lobster
Story Posted: 3/25/2020 10:45:01 AM
2020 Tags NOTICE TO FISHERS:
CHETICAMP MONITORING ASSOCIATION
2020 GEAR FISHING TAGS
Due to the ongoing health concerns brought on by the COVID-19 outbreak, Cheticamp Monitoring Association will delay delivery and open pick up of 2020 Gear Fishing Tags until at least Monday, April 6th, 2020.
If a Fisher needs their tags before April 6th and would prefer to pick them up at our office, they will be required to call our office at 902-224-1100 to arrange a pickup time. Once they arrive at the office for their scheduled pick up, they will call our office again and an employee will deliver the tags to their vehicle. We encourage one person to pick up tags for multiple Fishers to minimize traffic.
For Fishers who prefer not to pick up their tags but would like them before April 6th, we can ship your tags via Canada Post (expected delivery time 1-2 business days) at an extra cost of $25 per tag set added to your tag invoice. Please call our office at 902-224-1100 to request to have your tags shipped.
We will re-evaluate things at the beginning of April and decide how to proceed depending on conditions at that time. We all have loved ones who could be vulnerable and prefer to err on the side of caution. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and thank you for your patience and understanding in this matter. Stay healthy, Stay safe.
While our office is currently not open to the public, there is always someone available to answer your questions at 902-224-1100
Industry-related COVID-19 items: The pandemic crisis has created unprecedented conditions for everyone. Industry is trying to figure how best to handle the upcoming seasons. Click the links below to read some of the correspondence that has been sent with regard to our fisheries and fisheries in the US:
Snow Crab 2020 Information:
From DFO regarding COVID-19:Nova Scotia Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture Clients:
To help discourage the spread of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia, provincial staff have been directed to minimize their face-to-face contact with clients and to work from home as much as possible during the coming weeks. Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture staff will be working from home where possible, will be ready and available by phone, email, or text, to provide support and assistance. Their contact numbers and emails are in the attached document, landlines have been forwarded to cell phones. Information on how the various groups with-in the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture are maintaining service to clients is located below this message.
We understand these are challenging times for everyone and we apologize for this inconvenience.
Nova Scotia Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture
GSPAC meetings cancelled: From DFO on March 13th, 2020, Please be advise that meetings on Gulf Small Pelagic scheduled for March 18 and 19 have been cancelled due to recent developments related to the Coronavirus epidemic. We will be sending call-in information to stakeholders in the upcoming days in order to provide the latest results from the recent science evaluation on the Southern Gulf herring stocks. If hotel rooms were reserved, please call hotel directly to cancel.
We regret the inconvenience.
Fisheries and Aquaculture Clean Technology Adoption Program (FACTAP): Baron Delaney, Program Director, wishes to inform everyone of this program and the funding available.Click the links below to read more:
2020 Crab Tender Meeting: We will hold our 2020 Crab Tender meeting on Wednesday, March 11th at 7pm at the Mabou Parish Hall. All those interested in submitting a tender for either the Area 12 or the Area 12F crab are asked to attend.
We will be asking for tenders based on an estimated quota:
Quota is down 2% from 2019.
Approximate quota: 58.20t (128,309.04lbs)
Quota will be divided between 2 boats, each bidding on approximately 29.1t (64,154.52lbs) of crab.
Quota is up 20% from 2019.
Approximate quota: 21.4728t (47,339.4207lbs)
Quota will be given to a single boat.
Tender forms and qualifications to apply are available below:
2020 AGM: Our AGM for 2020 will be held Sunday, March 8th, 2020 at 2pm at the Mabou Parish Hall. All are encouraged to attend.
THE ATLANTIC FISHERIES LABOUR FORCE RENEWAL
POLICY CONFERENCE: This conference will be held in Halifax and is hosted by The Canadian Council of Professional Fish Harvesters.
Snow Crab Science Advisory Report: Please find below the link to the Science Advisory Report 2020/014: Assessment of snow crab (Chionoecetes opilio) in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence (Areas 12, 19, 12E and 12F) to 2019 and advice for the 2020 fishery.
Snow Crab Areas 12, 12E, 12 F, New Season Opening Protocol: DFO announces a change in the season opening protocol that will take place in the SGSL Snow Crab Fishery in Areas 12, 12E, and 12F for the 2020 season. Click the link below to read the Notice to Fishers:
General Meeting Re: Gear Marking: Enforcement Officers will be at the Mabou Parish Hall on Monday, February 10th at 2pm to demonstrate how to properly mark your gear following the new criteria and to answer any questions. Enterprise Shippigan will also attend to demonstrate their SeaPlast tubs that we included in our AFF proposal. All are encouraged to attend.
Gear Marking Update for January 31, 2020: DFO has released an update of the marking requirements with clarifications based on many questions they've been receiving. No word yet on a response to our delay request.
They have also included a table of conversions from metres to fathoms:
Click the links below to read the newest information:
Gear Marking Requirement Update for Jan. 23rd: We have submitted a request to delay the gear marking requirement until July 2020. We will post the response we receive from DFO asap.
Reminder: Earlybird registration for the 2020 Minister's Conference ends January 15th. After that date, Conference fees increase from $100.00 to $150.00 per participant. Reception cost of $50.00 will remain the same.
This year’s Conference will include Level 2 and 3 Lobster Handling Course, two seafood receptions and various session topics including:
Full Utilization and EU Market Secrets
New Loan Board programs and more discussion on Labour issues facing the industry.
There is a special hotel rate at the Cambridge Suites for $109 and Prince George Hotel $119, which is very close to the Halifax Convention Centre. They are giving Conference attendees a reduced parking charge as well. There is indoor parking there and at the Nova Centre if you are driving a bigger truck.
Nova Scotia Dorian Disaster Financial Assistance Process Opened: the Province of Nova Scotia has opened an application process for a Disaster Financial Assistance program from Hurricane Dorian.
The program is available to individuals, small businesses and not-for-profit organizations and is being administered by the Nova Scotia Emergency Management Office.
Applications and details for this program are online at
People can also dial 211 (Monday-Friday, 9am – 6pm) with questions about the application process and help identify what information and supporting documents are needed. The deadline to apply is March 31, 2020.
Recreational Bag limit for American Eel: Please see the attached notice and variation order reducing the recreational bag limit for eels.
Mandatory Gear Marking for All Fixed Gear Fisheries in 2020: DFO has released the specifications for marking all fixed gear in 2020. Click the link to read details and specifics for our fisheries:
INCREASE IN ESCAPE MECHANISM SIZE IN LOBSTER FISHING AREA (LFA) 26B SOUTH
Antigonish (Nova Scotia) – Fisheries and Oceans Canada announces an increase in the lobster trap escape mechanism size in LFA 26 B South (approximate location between Auld’s Cove and Inverness, NS).
In 2020, the regulated escape mechanism size will increase from a minimum of 44 mm in height by 127 mm in length to a minimum of 47 mm in height by 127 mm in length.
This change will be implemented by Conditions of Licence for the 2020 fishing season..
For more information contact:
Area Manager, Resource Management
Gulf Nova Scotia Area, Gulf Region
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Marine Training Courses - January 13 - 31 - Women Wanted
NSCC is delivering a course bundle that would be of particular interest to our female fishers. Bursaries are available to female participants and will offset the cost of tuition by 90%.
Course value is $1778 and bursaries are $1600 – these bursaries are only open to women.
The courses included are:
Marine Basic First Aid
Small Vessel Operator Proficiency
MED- Domestic Vessel Safety
Contact NSCC if interested.
REVISED ToR of the Committee for Setting the Opening Date for the Fishery – Area 12 Snow Crab - As a follow-up to the meetings which took place on August 28 and November 27, 2019 to discuss the season opening protocol in Areas 12, 12E and 12F to allow for an earlier start of the fishing season in 2020, please find attached the revised Terms of Reference (ToR) of the Committee for Setting the Opening Date for the Fishery – Area 12 Snow Crab. The revised document aims at taking into considerations the comments provided to Fisheries and Oceans Canada.
2019 Lobster Science Reports - Data is now available on the GNSFPB website. Read the Blood protein and Moult cycle report below or click the link to go directly to their website and view all available data from this and previous years.
2019 COMMERCIAL BLUEFIN TUNA FISHING GULF NOVA SCOTIA – SEASON EXTENSION-4WD
Antigonish (Nova Scotia) – Fisheries and Oceans Canada wishes to advise Gulf Nova Scotia (GNS) tuna licence holders that the fishing season in fishing area 4WD has been extended until 18:00 hours Sunday, December 15, 2019.
The 2019 fishery will be closed at 18:00 hours on December 15 or when the quota is captured, whichever comes first.
Upon review of the landings, 224 tuna have been landed up to November 24, 2019. This has resulted in approximately 56 t or 92% of the 2019 GNS Fleet’s quota being captured.
Fish harvesters who wish to continue their fishing activities in 4WD beyond December 1, 2019 will need to obtain new licence conditions. Amended conditions of licence have been released and are available through the National Online Licensing System (NOLS) for GNS licence holders.
Tuna tag transfers are available at the Gulf Nova Scotia Area Office in Antigonish on Tuesdays from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. and Thursdays from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. For further information contact Licensing at 1-855-634-2355 or by emailing GulfInfoGolfe@dfo-mpo.gc.ca.
For more information contact:
Alan Dwyer Area Manager, Resource Management Gulf Nova Scotia Area, Gulf Region Fisheries and Oceans Canada Antigonish, NS 902-735-7114
Invitation to Saeplast Bin Demonstration: The Atlantic Fisheries Fund Vessel Infrastructure was launched earlier this year. The purpose of this program is to assist fishers with on vessel catch holding equipment to preserve the quality, vitality and value of their catches.
The Saint John, NB based insulated container manufacturer Saeplast has partnered with Vernon D’Eon Fishing Supplied Ltd and Entreprises Shippagan Ltd in Nova Scotia to provide you with easy access to the Saeplast line of durable Polyurethane bins to maximize the quality of your catches.
Vernon D'Eon and Entreprise Shippagan Ltd. would like to invite you to participate in their session that is being organized on Tuesday November 26st and Wednesday November 27nd. This event will take place at Wagmatcook Culture & Heritage Center, located at 10765 Highway 105 Wagmatcook, NS, from 10am to 4pm.
Please review the attached flyer detailing the Saeplast’s offerings of:
- DX310 flat bottom container with lid – holds 2 pans
- DX332 container with lids – the lid comes in two offerings: 1) with hinged split lid or standard one-piece solid lid – hold 4 crates
- D345 container with hinged split lid – holds 6 crates or 9 pans
- D337 container with hinged split lid – holds 8 pans
Take note that these tubs will be on display during those two days.
You can contact Helene Roussel at 506-336-2213 or Warren MacMullin, Entreprises Shippagan Sydney office, at 902-578-0140 for more information and/or to indicate your presence.
Grant Thornton Tax and Succession Presentation:
Advance Notice of Fisheries Closures in the SGSL(Presence of NARW) for October 30, 2019:
FISH CANADA WORKBOAT CANADA FREE REGISTRATION: the show will be held in MONCTON NB on January 25 and 26, 2020. FREE registration is available by following the link below:
Upcoming Courses: NSCC is offering the following 2 courses. If there is anyone interested in either one, or both, they can contact Wilma Greencorn at 902-625-4228 to register.
MBFA taking place on October 30 and 31
ROC MC taking place on November 5, 6 and 7
22nd Annual Minister's Conference: This years conference will be held February 25 - 27th, 2020 in Halifax. Click the link below for information and to register:
Member Meeting: We will be holding a meeting for all members on Monday, October 28th at 2pm at the Mabou Parish Hall. One item for discussion is the future of our crab tender. All members are encouraged to attend.
Women in Fisheries Open House Event
NSCC Nautical Institute is inviting you to ALL ABOARD!
• Marine training and fisheries safety workshops
• Discussion on creating welcoming workspaces for all onboard
• New funding opportunities for women and indigenous peoples
Date: Thursday, October 17, 2019
Time: 2:30 PM – 7:00 PM
Location: Strait Area Campus, Port Hawkesbury
Buffet dinner provided*. No cost to attend. Limited seats available.
For the day’s schedule visit nscc.ca/careersatsea
*Seats are limited; Please RSVP by Tuesday, October 15 to email@example.com or 902-625-4334
ICCAT TAGS for Bluefin Tuna: I has been brought to our attention that some fishers are having problems sending the ICCAT tag information online. If anyone is experiencing problems with this, you can call Alex Dalton at 506-529-5721.
16 F Fall Herring Fishery Closure for September 27th, 2019:
Based on preliminary landing information from last evening / today, we estimate that there is not enough quota remaining for another evening of fishing so the 16 F Fall Herring fishery will be closed for the season today.
The Variation Order to close has been requested and expected to be issued later today.
Walk in Support of Pictou Landing First Nation - Oct. 4th:
Survey on Plastics Pollution in the Marine Environment:
The Canadian government is working with provinces and territories on a strategy to address plastic pollution challenges .They have opened an online survey to gather public input on how to deal with plastic waste on land and in oceans and inland waterways. There are a series of questions specific to reducing plastic waste from various ocean industries.
As industry representatives fully reliant on clean and health waters the NS Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture believes our members could provide valuable input on this initiative and would encourage everyone to participate in the survey.
The survey, which is open until October 10th, and further details are available at:
FREE MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID (MHFA) Course:
The following MHFA courses are available and are FREE of charge for those who are currently or recently employed (last 3 years) in the harvesting, seafood processing or aquaculture sector in Nova Scotia. Preregistration is required for this 2 day course.
WHAT IS MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID? Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is the help provided to a person developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. Just as physical first aid is administered to an injured person before medical treatment can be obtained, MHFA is given until appropriate treatment is found or until the crisis is resolved.
The MHFA Canada program aims to improve mental health literacy, and provide the skills and knowledge to help people better manage potential or developing mental health problems in themselves, a family member, a friend, or a colleague.
MHFA aims to:
Preserve life where a person may be a danger to themselves or others Provide help to prevent the mental health problem from developing into a more serious state
Promote the recovery of good mental health
Provide comfort to a person experiencing a mental health problem
Crisis first aid skills for the following situations are learned:
Acute stress reaction
To register for an upcoming course in your area please contact: Nova Scotia Fisheries Sector Council 902-742-6167 or email Sandra@nsfsc.ca
Date Location Time
Sep 19-20, 2019 Halifax – Halifax Girl Guides House 8:30 – 4:30
Sep 26-27, 2019 Port Hastings – Port Hastings Volunteer Fire Department 8:30 – 4:30
Oct 3-4, 2019 Yarmouth – NSCC Burridge Campus 8:30 – 4:30
Oct 19-20, 2019 Dartmouth – St John Ambulance 8:30 – 4:30
Nov 7-8, 2019 Yarmouth – NSCC Burridge Campus 8:30 – 4:30
Nov 25-26, 2019 Halifax – Coastal Inn 8:30 – 4:30
Nov 27-28, 2019 Sydney – St John Ambulance 8:30 – 4:30
Dec 14-15, 2019 Dartmouth – St John Ambulance 8:30 – 4:30
Provided by NS Fisheries Sector Council and St. John Ambulance.
Fall Herring Area 16: DFO has released the conservation and harvesting plan for the fall herring fishery in area 16. Click below to read:
Important For Members Regarding Upcoming Courses, Meetings, and Crab Share Cheques: The Minister of Fisheries is offering both lobster handling courses for free to our members and their helpers on Monday, September 16th at the Mabou Parish Hall. You must have taken the first course in order to take the second, however if you already have the first course, you can just attend the second course in the afternoon.
Course 1 - 10:30am - 12:30pm
Course 2 - 1:00pm - 3:00pm
Note: The lobster handling course is now a mandatory requirement for approval for New Entrants requesting funding from the Fisheries and Aquaculture Loan Board.
General Meeting: We will be holding a general meeting for members in October (date and location TBA). This meeting will be to discuss courses and the future of our crab tender.
Crab share cheques: will be distributed at the courses on Monday, September 16th. Anyone who does not attend, cheques will also be distributed at the meeting in October. Any remaining cheques after the October meeting will be sent in the mail.
A newsletter outlining all of this information was mailed out to everyone, however, the hurricane has seriously delayed its distribution so please spread the word to everyone you can. We were only made aware that helpers could also attend these courses after the newsletters were mailed out, so please spread that information as well.
Upcoming Courses at NSCC:
NSCC is currently offering the following courses at the Nautical Institute:
DVS – September 24 – 26
ROC – October 16 – 18
November 5 – 7
December 4 - 6
SVOP – November 12 – 15
MBFA – October 30 - 31
To register you may contact Wilma Greencorn at 902-625-4228 or www.nautical.nscc.ca
2019 GNS Summer Halibut Fishery: Having reviewed landings, preliminary numbers indicate that, following the Aug 27 -30 and Sept 3-4 openings, there is approximately .225 t remaining from the Summer fishery quota of 29.491 t.
There will be no further openings of the Summer fishery in 2019.
Commercial landings for Atlantic Mackerel for September 9: DFO would like to inform you that based on preliminary data, Atlantic Mackerel commercial landings have reached the Total Allowable Catch of 8,000 tonnes. A final number for total commercial landings will be provided to you in about a week.
Atlantic Mackerel commercial fishery LANDINGS UPDATE FOR September 7th:
Based on preliminary data, commercial landings for Atlantic Mackerel are currently 7,590 tonnes.
Herring-Mackerel Bait Licenses - Notice to Fishers
AMENDMENTS OF HERRING-MACKEREL BAIT LICENCES
Moncton, NB – September 6, 2019 – Following the recent closure of the 2019 commercial Atlantic
Mackerel fishery, Fisheries and Oceans Canada will be issuing new Herring-Mackerel bait licences to
allow the use of handlines until November 30, and gillnets until December 31.
Starting September 8, 2019, licence holders will be authorized to use gillnets or a maximum of three
handlines where a handline is defined as a single line to which one or more hooks are attached and that
is held in the hand, or attached to a single rod or a hand powered reel that is held in the hand or closely
attended, but does not include a mechanical device. The maximum quantity of Herring or Mackerel or
the combination of both species authorized to be caught and retained per fishing trip is 454 kg (1,000
lbs) in total. Only one fishing trip is authorized per calendar day.
Please note that it is still mandatory to report all Herring and Mackerel catches as per the Herring-
Mackerel bait licence conditions.
Herring-Mackerel bait licence holders will be able to obtain their licence through the National Online
Licensing System (NOLS) starting Saturday, September 7, 2019. The Herring-Mackerel bait licence issued
previously in 2019 will no longer be valid.
For more information, please contact:
A/Regional Senior FAM officer
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Moncton, New Brunswick
Mackerel Fishery Closure - This is to inform you that the Mackerel commercial fishery will be closing today Saturday September 7 at 5:30 p.m. Atlantic Daylight Time to all fishing gear.
However, the Herring-Mackerel fishery bait fishery will continue until December 31, 2019 and handline will be added to the licence as a fishing gear. A Notice to Fish Harvesters will be issued shortly explaining all the details regarding the amended herring-mackerel bait licence.
Notice to Fish Harvesters – Grids Opening for September 5th: Please find below a Notice to Fish Harvesters regarding the opening of grids previously closed due to the presence of North Atlantic Right Whales (NARW).
Commercial landings for Atlantic Mackerel for September 5th: based on preliminary data, commercial landings for Atlantic Mackerel are 7,279 tonnes.
2019 GNS Summer Halibut Fishery: Please note that the GNS Summer Halibut fishery will close at 2:00 pm AST on Wednesday, September 4.
All fishing gear must be removed from the water by 2:00 pm AST Wednesday, September 4.
DFO are assessing landings, and, if additional openings are required, industry will be advised.
Commercial landings for Atlantic Mackerel for September 3rd: based on preliminary data, commercial landings for Atlantic Mackerel are 6,622 tonnes.
Pipeline Documentary: The Mill: Jobs vs the environment, a community in Nova Scotia struggles
DVS Course: NSCC presently has seats available in their DVS course that will be offered September 24 – September 27/19. Contact NSCC if you are interested.
2020 Snow Crab Season Opening Protocol: Please find attached the translation of the NB and QC proposal discussed at the Meeting to discuss the 2020 Season Opening Protocol (Snow Crab Areas 12, 12E and 12F) August 28, 2019 workshop.
Amended: 2019 NARW Advanced Notice of Fisheries Opening for August 28, 2019: Please find attached an AMENDED Notice to Fish Harvesters regarding fisheries closures in the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence due to the presence of North Atlantic Right Whales (NARW), as well as a document including the coordinates of all closed grids.
Commercial landings for Atlantic Mackerel for Aug. 29, 2019: based on preliminary data, commercial landings for Atlantic Mackerel are 5,635 tonnes. As we are now over 50% of this 8,000 tonne TAC, you will receive regular updates of commercial landings three times a week or more as needed.
The NS Fisheries And Aquaculture Loan Board Information Session:
Advance Notice of Fisheries Closures (Presence of NARW) for August 28, 2019:
Commercial Landings for Atlantic Mackerel for August 28, 2019: based on preliminary data, commercial landings for Atlantic Mackerel are 5,248 tonnes.
2019 Fall Herring: DFO has released the Notice to Fishers and the Conservation Harvesting Plan for the Fall Herring Fishery.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) wishes to advise 16 F herring licence holders that the 16 F fall quota is 3,418 t.
The fall fishery will open at 18:00 hours on Sunday, September 8 until 12:00 hours on October 4, 2019 or until the quota is harvested, whichever comes first.
In 2019, daily closures will again be implemented for the fall fishery from 12:00 hours to 18:00 hours in addition to weekend closures for all weekends while the fishery is open. Fall weekend closures: 1. 12:00 hours Friday, September 13 to 18:00 hours Sunday, September 15 2. 12:00 hours Friday, September 20 to 18:00 hours Sunday, September 22 3. 12:00 hours Friday, September 27 to 18:00 hours Sunday, September 29
The fishing depth restriction of 50 feet in a portion of 16F will again be implemented by Conditions of Licence in 2019.
New for 2019: A maximum of two (2) sets of nets is permitted to be used in the fishery.
NARW Advance Notice of Closures for August 23, 2019:
Commercial Landings For Atlantic Mackerel for August 23/19: Based on preliminary data, commercial landings for Atlantic Mackerel are 3,888 tonnes. As we are now close to 50% of this 8,000 tonne TAC, you will receive regular updates of commercial landings three times a week or more as needed.
Indigenous Bluefin Tuna Fishery Pilot Project: DFO has released the Conservation Harvesting Plan for the 2019 Gulf Nova Scotia Indigenous Bluefin Tuna Fishery Pilot Project.
Note to the 2019 GNS Summer Halibut Fishery: Please note that halibut licence conditions as originally issued did not include Area 4T2A.
Conditions have since been amended and amended conditions now reflect the addition of area 4T2A. Fishers should make sure that the conditions that they carry reflect this amendment.
NARW Closures for August 16th:
Atlantic Mackerel Advisory Committee: A meeting was held on March 28th, 2019. The Record of Discussion is available below:
NARW Openings for August 14th:
Reminder: The September 1st deadline is fast approaching to get membership fees into the Registry if you have not done so already. Blank forms are available to print under the forms tab if needed.
2019 GNS Summer Halibut Fishery: This fishery will take place from 06:00 hrs Tuesday, August 27 to 20:00 hrs Friday, August 30, 2019 and from 06:00 hrs Tuesday, September 3 to 20:00 hrs Friday, September 6, 2019. There will be no consideration of delaying the fishery due to inclement weather or other uncontrollable circumstances. Landings will be monitored and the fishery may be closed prior to the scheduled closing dates. If additional openings are required they will be announced at a later date.
2019 Herring Notice: Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) announced today the fall Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence herring (Herring Fishing Areas 16A to G and 17) Conservation and Harvesting Plan. Read the Notice to Fishers below.
Important to note the following correction to Table 1 (pp 6-7) in the attached:
Closures for the 16 F Summer fishery are 18:00 hrs Friday – 18:00 hrs Sunday for all weekends while the summer fishery is open.
The closures in the 16 F Fall fishery are TBD.
NOTICE OF FISHERIES CLOSURES AND OPENINGS: FISHERIES DYNAMIC MANAGEMENT PROTOCOL for August 6th:
Moncton, NB – August 6, 2019 – Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) – Gulf Region is providing a notice of a new temporary fisheries closures of a fishing area due to the presence of North Atlantic Right Whales (NARW).
As per the Dynamic fisheries management protocol, a portion of grid GV42 will be closing on August 8, 2019 at 5 pm Atlantic Daylight Time (ADT) and full grid GU39, HA37, HA38 and HA39 will be opening on August 6, 2019 at 5:00 pm ADT.
DFO is providing a 48 hours advanced notice of a fishery closure. All non-tended gear must be removed from the closed area before the time of closure.
Please note that the following grids remain closed until further notice: Full grids, GU37, GU38, GU40, GU41, GV37, GV38, GV39, GV40, GV41, GV42, GW38, GW39, GW40, GW41, GW42, GW44, GW46, GX38, GX39, GX40, GX41, GX42, GX44, GY38, GY39, GY40, GY41, GY42, GY44, GY45, GY46, GZ38, GZ39, HA40, HA42, HA43, HA44, HA45, HB43, HB44, HB45, HC43, HC44 and HC45; and Portions of grids GT37, GV43, GW43, GW45, and GX47.
The closures are in effect for the following fisheries where the fishing seasons are currently opened: Toad Crab, Rock Crab, Whelk, Greenland Halibut (fixed gear) and Winter Flounder (fixed gear). Closures will also be in effect for Atlantic Halibut (fixed gear), Mackerel (gillnet) and Herring (gillnet) when gear is left unattended.
Extended: Halibut Long line Survey Participation: Any interested participants are asked to submit their name prior to August 16th, 2019.
2019 COMMERCIAL BLUEFIN TUNA FISHING GULF NOVA SCOTIA
Antigonish (Nova Scotia) – Fisheries and Oceans Canada wishes to advise Gulf Nova Scotia (GNS) tuna licence holders that the commercial tuna fishing season will open on August 7, 2019 at 6:00 a.m. (ADT). The fishery will remain open until the quota is harvested or until December 1, 2019, whichever comes first.
2019 GULF NOVA SCOTIA CATCH & RELEASE BLUEFIN TUNA FISHING
Antigonish (Nova Scotia)
Fisheries and Oceans Canada wishes to advise Gulf Nova Scotia (GNS)
tuna licence holders that The Catch & Release Bluefin Tuna fish
ing season for areas 4T & 4Wd will be
from August 7 until October 31, 2019.
2019 CONSERVATION AND HARVESTING PLAN FOR THE ROCK CRAB FISHERY IN LOBSTER FISHING AREA 26A:
Moncton, New Brunswick (NB) – August 1st, 2019 – The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), Gulf Region, is announcing the management measures for the Rock Crab fishery in the Lobster Fishing Area (LFA) 26A that will be in effect for the 2019 fishing season. Unless indicated otherwise, existing management measures remain in place. Please refer to your Rock Crab licence conditions for further details.
The opening date will be 6:00 a.m., Monday August 5, 2019. The last day of fishing will be Saturday, November 30, 2019 (inclusively).
DFO wishes to remind fish harvesters to take extra care when navigating on the opening day of the Rock Crab fishery as vessels are loaded with gear and traps. Harvesters are encouraged to act diligently in setting their traps and should ensure that vessels are loaded safely by reducing the quantity of gear if necessary.
Read the Notice To Fishers below:
2019 Halibut Longline Survey: The GNSFPB is beginning preparations for the upcoming 2019 Halibut Longline Survey. They are seeking the names of 1-2 interested participants from each member association. They will be selecting participants within the next 3 weeks, based on groundfish longline experience and adjacency to DFO assigned sites. Please review the following points with interested participants. Submission instructions below.
We ask that interested members contact Inverness South by Friday August 2nd. Please send your name, location and 2 reliable contact methods (phone and email address).
Further measures to protect NARW - As per the Government of Canada’s News Release, please find the revised Notice to Fish Harvesters on Further Management Measures to Protect North Atlantic Right Whales.
For additional information:
Government of Canada introduces new, additional measures to protect the North Atlantic right whale
Gulf NS Halibut Fishery: Fisheries and Oceans Canada announces that the Atlantic halibut
fishery will open for Gulf Nova Scotia fixed-gear licence holders, using vessel
class A69, in the
portions of NAFO Division 4T known as 4T9a and 4T9b.
The fishery will be opening from 5:00 am to 1:00 pm on Thursday, June 27.
This period may be modified due to inclement weather or other circumstances.
Should the fishery not open June 27, alternate opening dates will be on
Friday, June 28 or Saturday, June 29.
If conditions do not allow for an opening any of these days,
industry will be consulted before a new date is announced.
Should portions or all of 4T9a and 4T9b close due to the North Atlantic right whales dynamic closure protocol, Atlantic halibut fishing for the vessel class A69 will be permitted but it will be mandatory to closely attend fishing gear
as identified in the conditions of licence. There is approximately 8.764 t
of quota remaining for the 2019 GNS Atlantic halibut spring fishery.
Bursary Program for Women and Indigenous People: To meet demand and diversify the workforce, the federal government is providing more than $2 million in bursaries for women and indigenous people. Amazing opportunity to have 90% of marine training costs covered or receive a $5,000 bursary towards marine programs at NSCC:
Area 12 Snow Crab Fishery: DFO has released the Notice to Fish Harvesters announcing that the Snow Crab fishery in Area 12 will close as scheduled on July 1, 2019 at 00:00 hrs Atlantic daylight time (ADT).
2019 Spring Halibut Fishery: Upon review of the weather forecast for the Wednesday opening, DFO has issued a request for the Variation Order to open Wednesday, June 19 at 5:00 am.
GULF NOVA SCOTIA
ATLANTIC HALIBUT (4T)
FIXED GEAR FLEET, VESSEL CLASS A69
June 14, 2019
Fisheries and Oceans Canada announces that the Atlantic halibut
fishery will open for Gulf Nova Scotia fixed-gear licence holders, using
vessel class A69, in the portions of NAFO Division 4T known as
4T9a and 4T9b.
The fishery will be opening at 5:00 am on Wednesday, June 19 and closing on Thursday, June 20, 2019 at 5:00 pm.
This period may be modified due to inclement weather or other circumstances.
Should the fishery not open June 19, alternate opening dates
will be on Thursday, June 20 or
Friday, June 21. If conditions do not allow for an opening any of these days, industry will be
consulted before a new date is announced.
Should portions or all of 4T9a and 4T9b close due to the North Atlantic right whales dynamic closure protocol, Atlantic halibut fishing for the vessel class A69 will be permitted but it will be
mandatory to closely attend fishing gear as identified in the conditions of licence.
The allocation for the 2019 Atlantic halibut spring fishery is 45.8t
Groundfish/Halibut TAC Notice to Fishers: DFO has released the 2019 TAC for Groundfish and halibut, click the link below to read:
Fisheries Closures for May 30th: Please find attached a Notice to Fish Harvesters regarding fisheries closures in the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence due to the presence of North Atlantic Right Whales (NARW).
Fisheries Openings for May 28th: Please find attached a Notice to Fish Harvesters regarding the opening of grids previously closed due to the presence of North Atlantic Right Whales (NARW), as well as a document including the coordinates of all remaining closed grids.
MANAGEMENT PLAN 2018
The Minister has set the Total Allowable
Catch (TAC) for the Atlantic Mackerel
fishery for 2019.
The 2019 TAC for the commercial catch is
set at 8,000 tonnes under a one-year
Please be advised that the department will
implement new gear restrictions and
reporting requirements to improve
monitoring of landings in the commercial
and bait mackerel fisheries for some fleets
in Atlantic Canada and Quebec.
The minimum fish size for commercial
mackerel retention will increase from 263
to 268mm as determined by the new stock
The temporary freeze on the issuance of
new commercial mackerel licences for
fixed and mobile gear effective July 27,
2017 will continue. This includes the
addition of new gear types to existing
NOTICE OF FISHERIES CLOSURES: PRESENCE OF NORTH ATLANTIC RIGHT WHALES
Moncton (New Brunswick) – May 14, 2019 – Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) – Gulf Region is providing a notice of temporary fisheries closures of a fishing area due to the confirmed presence of North Atlantic Right Whales (NARW). Due to the confirmed presence of more than three NARW outside the dynamic management area, the following grids will be closed on May 17, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. Atlantic Daylight Time (ADT): GU42, GU43, GU44, GV42, GV43, GV44, GV45, GW42, GW43, GW44, GW45, GX43, GX44, GX45.
DFO is providing a 72 hours advanced notice of a fishery closure. All gear must be removed from the closed area before the time of closure. The closure will be in effect for the following fisheries where the fishing seasons are currently opened: Snow Crab, Toad crab, Rock Crab, Lobster, Whelk, Greenland Halibut (fixed gear) and Winter Flounder (fixed gear). The closure will also be in effect for Atlantic Halibut (fixed gear), Mackerel (gillnet) and Herring (gillnet) when gear is left unattended. DFO asks licence holders to be vigilant during fishing activities concerning the presence of North Atlantic Right Whales. Furthermore, please be reminded that it is the responsibility of the licence holder to take into account the marine safety notices issued, amongst others, by Environment and Climate Change Canada and Transport Canada, as well as the standards and best practices in marine safety, and to take all measures to ensure safe fishing operations.
Regular updates and maps indicating sightings will be posted at the following address: http://dfo-mpo.gc.ca/species-especes/mammals-mammiferes/narightwhale-baleinenoirean/alert-alerte/index-eng.html
2019-20 INTERIM TAC FOR ATLANTIC HALIBUT AND GREENLAND HALIBUT IN THE GULF OF ST. LAWRENCE (4RST)
Moncton, Québec, Dartmouth, St. John’s –The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) announces today an interim Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for the Atlantic halibut and Greenland halibut fishery in the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) Divisions 4RST.
An interim TAC of 1,500 t for Greenland halibut will be authorized for the inshore fixed gear fleet and allocated according to current shares. Once a decision on the 2019 TAC is confirmed for this fishery, final allocations will be provided.
An interim TAC of 650 t for Atlantic halibut will be authorized and allocated to only the inshore and mid-shore fixed gear fleets according to their current shares. Once a decision on the 2019 TAC is confirmed for this fishery, final allocations will be provided.
Lobster Season Closing Dates: Moncton, NB – May 3 2019
– Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) is announcing
that the Lobster fishery in Lobster Fishing Area
LFA 26A-2, and
LFA 26B South will open at 06:00 a.m. on Friday May 3rd, 2019 and will remain open until Wednesday July 3rd, 2019.
LFA 26A-1 & A-3 will open at 06:00 a.m. on Friday May 3
rd, 2019 and will remain open until Saturday June 29, 2019. The Department will evaluate requests for a season extension later in the season.
LFA 26A-1 from Point Prim to Victoria, Prince Edward Island (PEI)
and LFA 26B North are projected to be open from 6:00 a.m. on Monday May 6, 2019 until Saturday July 6, 2019,
subject to weather conditions
in each area. Another Notice to Fish Harvesters will be sent out if
weather conditions do not permit an opening.
DFO wishes to remind fish harvesters to take extra care when navigating on the opening day of
the lobster fishery as vessels are loaded with gear and traps. Harvesters are encouraged to act
diligently in setting their traps and should ensure that vessels are loaded safely by reducing the
quantity of gear if necessary.
Fish harvesters must also exercise caution when navigating in location
s where dredging
operations are on-
EPIRB Registration - Reminder, You can register your emergency beacon information:
-by faxing or emailing a completed registration form (see attachment) (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Your beacon should have been delivered with a Registration Form included in the box with some of the fields already filled out. Some models have the details of the beacon on a sticker which is not placed on the beacon and it is critical to do so. The HEX code is the unique identifier of the beacon and is what the Coast Guard uses when investigating a beacon (15 digits starting with either 278,279,A78 or A79)
When a beacon is properly registered, we immediately get any information in the registration which includes vessel details and emergency contacts. This is a vital part of a quick response for distress and reduces effort exhausted for false alarms. If we cannot identify the source in a timely manner, assets are tasked to investigate and could be delayed for an actual distress. There is also the possibility that a beacon is transmitting but a position cannot be determined, the registration info is all we have to investigate.
A blank registration form is available below.
Lobster Opening Update for May 1st from DFO - LOBSTER FISHING AREAS (LFA) 24, 26A AND 26B SOUTH OPENING
Moncton, NB – May 1, 2019 – Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) is announcing that the Lobster fishery in Lobster Fishing Area LFA 24, LFA 26A and LFA 26B South will open at 06:00 a.m. on Friday May 3nd, 2019. LFA 26A-1 from Point Prim to Victoria, Prince Edward Island (PEI) will open at 6:00 a.m. on Monday May 6, 2019, subject to weather conditions.
DFO wishes to remind fish harvesters to take extra care when navigating on the opening day of the lobster fishery as vessels are loaded with gear and traps. Harvesters are encouraged to act diligently in setting their traps and should ensure that vessels are loaded safely by reducing the quantity of gear if necessary.
Fish harvesters must also exercise caution when navigating in locations where dredging operations are on-going.
Lobster Opening Update for May 1st - Season Opening at 6am on FRIDAY, MAY 3RD. No more calls will take place regarding the season opening. I will post the official Notice to Fishers from DFO when I receive it. Inverness South is submitting a request for a day for day extension. We will post the response from DFO when we receive it.
Snow Crab Fishery Update for April 29th - SNOW CRAB FISHERY OPENING DATE:
CRAB FISHING AREAS 12 (12, 18, 25 AND 26) and 12E
Moncton and Quebec – April 29, 2019
Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) announces the opening date of the snow crab fishery in Crab Fishing Areas 12 (12, 18, 25 and 26) and 12E.
The fishery will open at 00:01 Atlantic Daylight Time (ADT) on May 2, 2019.
The fishery will close on July 1, 2019 at 00:00 hrs ADT. All gear must be removed from the water before the end of the day June 30, 2019.
All licence conditions will be valid for the entire fishing season.
All aid to navigation buoys may not all have been placed. Licence holders are advised to exercise extreme caution.
Furthermore, it is reminded that, during the period where fishing is authorized, it is the responsibility of the licence holder to take into account the marine safety notices issued, among others, by Environment and Climate Change Canada and Transport Canada, as well as the standards and best practices in marine safety, and to take all measures to ensure a safe fishery.
Lobster Season Update for April 29th - DFO announces the delay of lobster fisheries in LFA 24, LFA 26A and LFA 26B South. The lobster fishery in these areas will not open on Tuesday April 30th, 2019.
Another call is to take place on TUESDAY April 30th, 2019 at 3h30 pm for LFA 26A and LFA 26B South.
A separate call will take place for LFA 24 at 8h00 am tomorrow, a separate email with dial-in numbers will be sent out by the PEI area office.
Area 12 Snow Crab Season Update for April 27th: The Committee held its 6th call this morning. The weather predictions are not looking favorable for an opening tomorrow to allow enough time for fish harvesters to safely go out to set their traps.
As such, the next call will take place on Monday at 10:30 (Atlantic Time) to discuss a potential opening on Tuesday or Wednesday.
2nd Lobster Update for April 27th: due to high winds, the lobster fishery in LFA 24, 26A and 26 B South will not open on Monday April 29, 2019 as targeted.
For the safety of all involved, the season opening will be delayed until the weather improves.
Another call is to take place on MONDAY April 29th, 2019 at 10h00 am. Note the change in time to allow Environment Canada to do our call and the snow crab ice committee call at 10h30.
Lobster Update for April 27th: Season has been delayed. Another conference call will take place Monday, April 29th at 10:15am.
Crab Tender Draw Results: Our quota was awarded to 3 fishers:
and Dennis Cameron
will be fishing our quota for $1.00 per pound
Snow Crab Update for April 25th: DFO held the 5th conference call to discuss the opening of the snow crab fishery in Area 12 and 12E.
Ice conditions are still an issue in northern NB.
The next call will take place Saturday afternoon at 3:30 Atlantic Time to discuss a potential opening on Sunday.
DFO will let us know if anything changes.
Lobster Season Update for April 25th: DFO will have their annual weather conference-call for the opening of the spring lobster fishery, LFA 24, LFA 26A and LFA 26B South Saturday, April 27th at 11:00 AM to go over the weather forecast for the scheduled opening of Monday April 29, 2019
Snow Crab Update for April 24th: DFO had provided an update on the status of the Snow Crab fishing season in Areas 12 and 12E.
· The Snow Crab Area 12 Committee for the opening date held a 4th conference call this afternoon to discuss the status of the opening of the Snow Crab fishery.
· The hovercraft continues to do its work in northern New Brunswick. The ice is all broken up, however, the winds have pushed the ice all back against the Shippagan and Caraquet wharves and boats are unable to move. We are hoping that the ice will shift out of the wharves by tomorrow.
· The Committee will hold a 5th call tomorrow, April 25th at 10:30 (Atlantic time) to discuss a potential opening on either tomorrow evening at 18h00, or Friday am at 06h00 (Atlantic Time), if the ice can move away from the NB wharves.
· DFO will provide another update to industry following that call.
Crab Tender Meeting: We will hold our 2019 crab tender meeting on Thursday, April 25th at 7pm at the Mabou Fire Hall. Quota this year is 59.391t.
Snow Crab Fishery Update for April 22nd: DFO has sent an update on the status of the Snow Crab fishing season in Areas 12 and 12E.
· The Snow Crab Area 12 Committee for the opening date held a third conference call this afternoon to discuss the status of the opening of the Snow Crab fishery.
· The hovercraft was in Caraquet Thursday evening, but unfortunately had to return to the Matapedia area on Saturday to help with flooding issues.
· The hovercraft has returned to NB and is currently doing its work in Caraquet and will return to Shippagan afterwards to finish clearing ice in a few spots. The hovercraft will then clear the channels afterwards and do work on the other side of the bridge.
· Shippagan: 90% of the fleet is in the water, and the rest of the boats will go in the water tomorrow.
· Caraquet: the boats will start going in the water tomorrow and will take 2-3 days to have all boats in the water.
· High winds are predicted until Friday.
· The Committee will hold a 4th call on Wednesday, April 24th late in the afternoon to discuss a potential opening date.
· DFO will provide another update to industry following that call.
High Water Alarms: High water alarms are in. We need a volunteer from each wharf to distribute for us. If you are interested in helping please let us know asap. Mabou, the Coal Mines, and Inverness are already looked after.
Area 12 Snow Crab Fishery Update for April 19th: DFO has sent an email to provide an update on the status of the Snow Crab fishing season in Areas 12 and 12E.
· The Snow Crab Area 12 Committee for the opening date held two conference calls so far to discuss the status of the opening of the Snow Crab fishery.
· Ice is still an issue in the ports in northern New Brunswick (NB): Shippagan and Caraquet.
· Hovercraft services in Northern NB
o The CCG hovercraft attempted to make its way to Shippagan earlier this week but was forced to divert to alleviate flooding issues in Matapedia.
o The hovercraft broke down a few times and once it got repaired had to continue work to present flooding issues.
o The Canadian Coast guard just confirmed that the hovercraft is currently on its way to northern NB and was expected to be in Caraquet yesterday evening.
· The Committee will hold a 3rd call on Monday, April 22nd, in the afternoon to get an update on the situation.
· DFO will provide another update to industry following that call.
Lobster Harvesting Plan and New Management Measures Notice to Fishers: DFO has released the management plan for lobster for 2019. Click below to read the Notice to Fishers:
Spring Herring Fishery: DFO has released the Conservation and Harvesting Plans for the Spring Herring Fishery. Click below to read:
Inverness South Halibut Meeting: In preparation for the upcoming DFO halibut meeting, we will hold a meeting on Sunday, April 21st at 7pm at the Mabou fire hall. This meeting will be to discuss Halibut only.
DFO Halibut Meeting: there will be a meeting at the Port Hood Fire Hall on April 25, 2019 beginning 2:00pm to discuss the GNS halibut fishery.
The number of seats at the table will be limited to 2 per group.
Lobster Tag Question: Just for everyone's information, we have had several people ask us about this, the number 18 on our lobster tags is not an error, and does not represent the current year. That number is the DFO assigned tag supplier number. It tells DFO who supplied that particular tag.
E-Logs - find below a Notice to Fish Harvesters concerning the progressive implementation of the electronic logbook (ELOG) in the Snow Crab, Shrimp and Lobster fisheries in the Gulf Region.
North Atlantic Right Whale - Please see below the Notice to Fish Harvesters for stakeholders in the Gulf Region providing the details of the 2019 management measures to protect the North Atlantic Right Whale.
Dockside Monitoring Information: DFO has asked us to inform everyone that the dockside monitoring company, Seefish Dockside Monitors, is no longer designated in the Maritimes and Gulf Regions. Fish harvesters who previously had agreements with Seefish will now be required to enter into a contract with another dockside monitoring company.
Below is a list of dockside monitoring companies who are designated in the Gulf Region:
Important Upcoming Dates and Events:
Lobster Quality Improvement Project Meetings: Wed, Feb. 24th and Thurs, Feb. 25th from 1 - 3 pm, Mabou Parish Hall.
COVID-19 Relief/Information Links:
The Government of Canada as well as several businesses and municipalities are offering assistance to help individuals and businesses get through this crisis. Click the links below for help:
Can/Us Exchange Rate:
Weekly Price Report:
Weekly Fish Price Report
The fish price report is currently unavailable.
Shortcuts to Links and Information:
Safety Forms: It is strongly recommended that all Captains print and use the following forms regarding safety onboard their vessel. In case of an accident, having completed these forms and completed the checklists will simplify the investigation and show due diligence on your part:
Notice a defective or hazardous navigation aid in or near your harbour?
Call the Canadian Coast Guard at the number below:
A reminder to all fishers: all crew members are required to WEAR a certified PFD while working. If there is an accident on board your vessel, you can be held liable and be charged and fined if your helpers are not wearing them. Keep everyone safe - comfortable, small PFDs are available, easy to wear, and ensure your crew is safe.
SIN numbers Required for all fishers who receive crab share:
Due to issues that have arisen in recent years, the Canada Revenue Agency is requiring that we have each fishers SIN on their T4a. In the past, if a fishers SIN was unknown, we could leave it off their T4a. This is no longer the case.
We are asking for all fishers who receive crab share from Inverness South to please send us your SIN as soon as possible if you have not already done so. Thank you for your cooperation!
Snow Crab Tagging Study: DFO wishes to advise that a tagging study is currently being conducted by DFO Science in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence to better understand the movement of snow crab. The Notice to Fishers below contains all the information regarding what to do if you capture a tagged crab:
The Northern Pulp Pipeline: The article below is an excellent read, with lots of information about Northern Pulp and the current fight against their intention to pipe effluent into the Strait. It was written by Linda Pannozzo and published in the Halifax Examiner on November 22, 2017. Click the link below:
Eastern Shore Fishermen worried about proposed Marine Protected Area:The proposed marine protected area, taking in the Eastern Shore Islands, would be the first marine protected area along the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia.
Click the link below:
Snow Crab Fishery has MSC certification suspended: The death of several whales in 2017 have lead to the Snow Crab fishery in certain areas to have its MSC certification suspended. To read the article from www.seafoodsource.com, click the link below:
EPIRB Registration: The registration of 406MHz beacons is mandatory, and crucial, for Search and Rescue operations. Unfortunately, too many beacon owners are not registering them and it is resulting in many lost hours of Search and Rescue resource time during false alarms, which there have been too many of lately. During an actual emergency, a correctly registered beacon can provide critical information, such as contact information and communication details, that prevent delays in emergency response. Registration is free. In each EPIRB box, there is a registration form for the Canadian Beacon Registry that should be completed and returned via fax (1-877-406-3298) or email to email@example.com . Users can also register online at www.cbr-rcb.ca .
406MHz beacons must be self-tested as per the manufacturer’s instructions and the registration of these beacons must be kept up to date. Also, when a beacon is disposed of the Canadian Beacon Registry must be advised and the batteries must be removed to prevent activation from a disposal site. When a vessel is sold, or retired from service, the Canadian Beacon Registry must be advised of the fate of the EPIRB that is installed on board.
Do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions or concerns / N'Hésitez pas à communiquer avec moi si vous avez des questions,
Administrator / Administrateur
Canadian Beacon Registry / Registre canadien des balises
PO Box 1000 Stn Forces / CP 1000 Succ. Forces
Astra, ON, K0K 3W0
National Defence / Défense nationale
Government of Canada / Gouvernement du Canada
Reporting Lost Traps within 72 hours: If you lose traps and need replacement tags, you must report the lost traps to DFO within 72 hours of losing them. This requirement is on page 2 of our lobster conditions. It states:
2.8 REPORTING OF LOST GEAR
2.8.1 While fishing under this licence, the licence holder/operator shall report lost gear to
Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The following information shall be declared by email: DFO.GLF.Gear-
Engins.GLF.MPO@dfo-mpo.gc.ca within 72 hours of noticing that the gear has been lost:
a) sequence number of tag attached to the lobster trap that has been lost;
b) VRN or VIN
c) latitude and longitude of last known position of lost lobster trap; and
d) date the lobster trap was last fished.
ELOGS: DFO approved electronic logbook (ELOG) applications are now available and fish harvesters can register on the DFO web site to get their ELOG key to begin working with these new tools.
At this time the use of ELOGs in the Gulf Region is optional. There is a qualified client application for Gulf Snow crab – Area 12, traditional midshore fleet. More applications will follow as they are developed by the private sector.
Please check our site daily for the most recent updates regarding :
- DFO announcements
- Meeting updates
- Changes to licensing and conditions
- All other information affecting fishers in our area
If you wish to join:
Click on the link below, fill out the blank registry form, and mark Inverness South as your association of choice!