UFCA RESPONDS TO INACCURATE SENATE REPORT ON FISHERIES
The Unified Fisheries Conservation Alliance (UFCA) is voicing its grave dissatisfaction and
frustration over a study released by the Standing Senate Committee on Fisheries and Oceans earlier this
week on Indigenous rights-based fisheries, specifically those affirmed in the 1999 Marshall decisions. The
report dismisses over twenty-two years of work by the federal government to implement Mi’kmaq,
Wolastoqiyik and Peskotomuhkati rights-based fisheries and its approach to negotiations and the methods
used to gain more access for First Nations.
“The findings are incredibly biased and do not adequately represent the legal realities of the Marshall
decisions,” says Colin Sproul, President of the UFCA. “It appears to have been written without substantial
engagement from those closest to the fishing industry and without legal context to the fishery,” says Sproul,
adding that broader consultation with industry and legal experts is required to ensure it reflects the current
realities of the commercial fishery.
While the Marshall decisions (I & II) affirm the Indigenous Right to participate in the largely regulated fishery,
the UFCA argues the study fails to recognize the substantial commercial access that has been granted to, and
held by Indigenous communities since this affirmation. The value that the federal government has invested
for First Nations impacted by the Marshall decision is nearly $1-billion and per capita, First Nations have
more commercial fishery access than non-Indigenous. Furthermore, hundreds of Commercial Communal
licences, provided for the pursuit of a moderate livelihood, are controlled and leased by Chief and Council to
non-Indigenous commercial fishers for a royalty.
“We support Indigenous fishing access utilized by community members for employment, opposed to a
royalty benefit controlled by First Nations government,” says Sproul.
The report also inaccurately refers to the moderate livelihood fishery as a priority access fishery. The
Supreme Court of Canada has confirmed, rather, that the treaty right is a right to “equitable access”; a right
to participate in the modern, regulated commercial fishery. “If the Senate Committee is serious about
understanding this issue, we strongly encourage them to attempt sober second thought; that is to say,
unbiased thought that seeks to understand the Right, the participation level, mechanisms of participation
and the value of a single fisheries management authority for sustainability and conservation. Our goal is to
have Indigenous and non-indigenous fishing side by side again however, advocating expropriation and
chaotic change is not a path to “peace on the water”. The report takes into account the input and
perspectives of approximately 18 groups representing Indigenous communities across the Maritimes but just
two commercial fisheries associations. The absence of non-indigenous experts who live and work in these
communities is evident because it’s clear this Senate Committee does not have the appropriate information
to have made practical balanced recommendations on this issue.”
Lobster Quality Improvement Project 2020-2023
The Brazil Rock 33 / 34 Lobster Association can now take applications, review and make recommendations for the Brazil Rock 33 / 34 Lobster Association Lobster Quality Improvement Project 2020-2023.
The Project was developed to assist members with purchasing equipment & technology to improve the holding practices for live lobsters on fishing vessels; preserving the quality, vitality and value of their catches.
This initiative aims to provide association members a streamlined process and quicker access to meet their needs.
Who is eligible to participate? Members of the Brazil Rock 33 / 34 Lobster Association.
Brazil Rock 334 Lobster Association Members Who Have Donated To The UFCA Legal Fund In Year 2.
Lobster Quality Survey Report
Brazil Rock 3334 Lobster Association's Bursary Program
Acadia University & Brazil Rock Lobster Tagging Project
Brazil Rock 33/34 Lobster Association and Acadia University have commenced a lobster migration study in LFA's 33 & 34.
When tags are reported we can map lobster movements and aid in scientific research and planning.
Email all discovered tags including number, date and location of recovery.
Captains who report tags will have their names submitted for a draw of a free Brazil Rock 33/34 Lobster Association membership.
One free membership per year in both LFA # 33 and LFA # 34.
GHOST GEAR RECOVERY IN LFA # 33 JULY 2020 to MARCH 2022
“Ghost Gear” makes up a large portion of all marine debris. It causes significant negative environmental, economic, and social impacts including habitat degradation, indiscriminate fishing and entanglements, decreased catches, at-sea safety hazards, and vessel damage.
This project will work collaboratively with industry, academia, and government to prevent, reduce, and assess impacts of ALDFG on the South Shore of Nova Scotia in Lobster Fishing Area 33 from July 2020 to March 2022. This will be accomplished through implementing waste management systems for responsible disposal of end-of-life gear and retrieving Ghost Gear from targeted areas.
OBJECTIVES & METHODS:
Engage approximately 40 partners and apply new technologies to help manage Ghost Gear.
Equip 10 harbours in Southwest Nova Scotia with rope disposal bins.
Fishers will complete at-sea retrieval days in Lobster Fishing Area 33 using grapnels.
Divert approximately 2,000 lobster traps and 22 tonnes of rope from high-impact disposal methods.
Sustane Technologies Inc., located in the Chester area, will be recycling collected rope into diesel fuel and innovative mapping technologies will be used in partnership with Dalhousie’s Oceanography Department and the Ocean Tracking Network to improve the retrieval process by using side-scan sonar technology to clearly identify where lost gear resides on the seafloor.
DFO Conservation & Protection Bulletin
Rope Recycling & End-of-Life Gear Management
A Pilot Program from the Collaborative Remediation of Abandoned, Lost, and Discarded Fishing Gear (ALDFG) in Southwest Nova Scotia
Canadians want action from the Government of Canada to keep the fisheries healthy
Canadians give a very high level of importance to respecting and enforcing fishing regulations and
having direct negotiations between the Government, Indigenous leaders and fishing organizations to
support healthy and sustainable fisheries and aquatic ecosystems in Canada. A majority of Canadians
feel approaches to supporting healthy and sustainable fisheries and aquatic ecosystems in Canada
should be applied to everyone without exception, and are divided over whether respecting the
inherent rights of Indigenous People to fish and the desire for reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples
are valid reasons to have different sets of regulations for Canadians and Indigenous Peoples.
A strong majority of Canadians give the importance of banning all fishing outside established
fishing seasons when it comes to supporting healthy and sustainable fisheries and aquatic
ecosystems in Canada a score of 7 or higher out of 10 Asked to rate the importance of banning
all fishing (i.e. herring , lobster, snow crab) outside government established fishing seasons when it
comes to supporting healthy and sustainable fisheries and aquatic ecosystems in Canada, where 0
means not at all important and 10 means very important, Canadians give this a mean score of 8.1
out of 10. Seventy one per cent rate this as important (score of 7 10), while more than one in ten
rate this as of average importance (score of 4 6)(14%), and five per cent rate this as not important
Close to eight in ten Canadians give the importance of having the Government, Indigenous
leaders and fishing organisations directly negotiate to manage fisheries when it comes to
supporting healthy and sustainable fisheries and aquatic ecosystems in Canada a score of 7 or
higher out of 10 Asked to rate the importance of having the Government, Indigenous leaders
and fishing organizations negotiate directly together to manage the fisheries when it comes to
supporting healthy and sustainable fisheries and aquatic ecosystems in Canada, where 0 means
not at all important and 10 means very important, Canadians give this a mean score of 8.2 out of
10. Seventy nine per cent rate this as important (score of 7 10), while just over one in ten rate
this as of average importance (score of 4 6)(11%), and five per cent rate this as not important
(score of 0 3). Four per cent are unsure. Women give this a higher mean score (mean score of 8.6
out of 10) than men (mean score of 7.8 out of 10).
Whale Rope Identification
This notice is to inform you of an update to the gear marking requirements for fixed gear fisheries in the Maritimes Region. In response to feedback from fish harvesters, DFO will be revising the marking requirements to allow for portions of vertical lines to be replaced with rope with integrated coloured yarns.
The initial gear marking conditions stated that if rope marked with integrated coloured yarns (i.e. pre-marked rope with the fishery/area colours running through its length) was used, it needed to be through the entire length of the vertical line. This amendment will allow for fishers to use sections of this marked rope (e.g. when replacing a worn-out portion of a line) without needing to then add additional redundant twine markings on the same sections of the line.
Fish Harvester Benefit and Grant Program Phone Inquiries-877-535-7307
Fish Harvester Benefit and Grant Program which will be open for applications on August 24, 2020, through to September 21, 2020, Brazil Rock 33 34 Lobster Association wants to share the following contact information for our members who may have questions on the program.
Harvest Strategy / Harvest Control Rules for LFAs 34 to 38
Harvest Rate Strategy and Harvest Control Rules: Inshore Lobster, LFAs 34-38
Introduction The harvest rate strategy and harvest control rules (HCRs) presented in this document have been developed according to Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s A Fishery Decision-Making Framework Incorporating the Precautionary Approach (PA Policy).
COLLABORATIVE REMEDIATION OF ABANDONED, LOST, AND DISCARDED FISHING GEAR (ALDFG) IN SOUTHWEST NOVA SCOTIA
WHAT IS ALDFG?
Abandoned, lost, and discarded fishing gear (ALDFG), commonly referred to as “ghost gear”, makes up a large portion of all marine debris. It causes significant negative environmental, economic, and social impacts including habitat degradation, indiscriminate fishing and entanglements, decreased catches, at-sea safety hazards, and vessel damage. ALDFG is generated by unfavourable environmental conditions (like storms and bottom type), gear conflicts among fishers and other industries, poor gear condition, and inappropriate disposal at-sea. Losses can be accidental, fishers are not always at fault, as the marine environment is shared with other industries.
ABOUT THE PROJECT
This project will work collaboratively with industry, academia, and government to prevent, reduce, and assess impacts of ALDFG on the South Shore of Nova Scotia (LFAs 33, 34, and 35 – Nova Scotia only) from July 2020 to March 2022. This will be accomplished through implementing waste management systems for responsible disposal of end-of-life gear, retrieving ALDFG from targeted areas, and conducting an impact assessment of ALDFG during retrieval, with ongoing communication campaigns throughout the project.
Owner / Operator
Maritimes Region Lobster Advisory Meeting (MARLAC)
Maritimes Region Lobster Advisory Meeting (MARLAC) UPDATE: President Kevin Ross made a recommendation to have a dedicated call to discuss Owner / Operator in an effort to move the matter to the front of the regulatory review line. Treasury Board Secretariat reviews all regulatory (law) amendments, presently only reviewing those involving Covid19 implications, Owner Operator is Covid19 implicated because corporations are actively seeking to buy licenses during the pandemic.
Friday, June 12, 2020 - 09:00
Re-Issuance Of Banked Licenses
The subject of DFO re-issuing "banked" lobster licenses is being researched in en effort to learn more about this subject. New information will be posted here as soon as it becomes available.
Incorporated in August of 2017, with the overall objectives to unite fisherman from Lobster Fishing Areas 33 & LFA 34; to be represented as one voice and to work together to achieve the long-term sustainability of the lobster fishery.
The traditional start of the lobster season along Nova Scotia’s southwestern shores, commonly known as Lobster Fishing Areas (LFA) 33 and 34, begins the last Monday of November of each year and continues to the last day of the following May. There are 714 licensed lobster vessels in LFA 33 and 979 in LFA 34.