Brazil Rock

UFCA Crate Challenge

The suggested financial contribution for lobster licence holders is $1000.00 with deckhands and/or others
donating an amount that is feasible. Payment options are provided below. As an alternative, the UFCA has
recently launched a Lobster Crate Challenge to assist with the legal costs for this initiative. If you’d prefer to
‘donate’ the cost of a crate of lobster, please discuss with your buyer today. Consider what the industry is
worth to you, your family, our coastal communities. Now is the time to make a meaningful difference for the
future of the fishery. Consider your financial contribution as ‘insurance’ on your license.
Cheques can be made out to: E-Transfer Payments can be sent to:
Unified Fisheries Conservation Alliance
3-4083 Hwy #308, Tusket, NS, B0W 3MO
UFCA.fund@gmail.com
Payment by VISA / MC
 

DFO Conservation & Protection Bulletin

UFCA responds to government’s announced deal with First Nations in southwest Nova Scotia

October 13, 2021
UFCA responds to government’s announced deal with First Nations in southwest Nova Scotia

HALIFAX, NS - The Unified Fisheries Conservation Alliance (UFCA) – an association of commercial fishery
stakeholders – is supportive of the announcement made earlier today of an agreement between
Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) and four First Nations communities in southwest Nova Scotia on the
establishment of moderate livelihood fisheries in lobster fishing area (LFAs) 33, 34 and 35.
The agreement appears to be a cooperative approach toward commercial harvesting that aligns with
one management regime for the fishery; specifically, that moderate livelihood fisheries fall under DFO’s
regulatory authority and science-based rules, follow existing seasons, and do not increase fishing
pressure in a given LFA.
“We believe this is an important step in the right direction and are cautiously optimistic this model will
have broader application, but there is still more work to be done,” says Colin Sproul, President of the
UFCA. “We are happy that this agreement will allow us to move forward, side by side, with the
Kespukwitk indigenous fishers on the water of LFAs 33, 34 and 35 this fall.”
Sproul adds: “The UFCA has always acknowledged the importance of cooperation with Indigenous
communities, and that Indigenous fishermen have a right to fish for commercial, food, social and
ceremonial purposes, but we will continue to vigorously defend that science-based rules must ultimately
and clearly form part of an integrated set of regulations that effectively conserve fishery resources for
generations to come and ensure a fair and respectful fishery for all.”
For more information or to show your support of the UFCA, visit www.ufca.ca
About the United Fisheries Conservation Alliance
Unified Fisheries Conservation Alliance (UFCA) represents thousands of multi-species commercial
fishermen and women, fishery associations and associated businesses from across Atlantic Canada. The
UFCA was formed to bring together many participants in the Atlantic fishery to speak with one balanced,
coordinated and moderate voice.
-30-
Media Contact:
Colin Sproul, President
Unified Fisheries Conservation Alliance
ufcacontact@gmail.com

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. 

UNIFIED FISHERIES CONSERVATION ALLIANCE

Dear Fellow Fishermen,
Atlantic Canada’s commercial fishery is vital to our region.  For thousands of Atlantic Canadians who work on the boats, wharves, processing plants, throughout the supply chain, the commercial fishery is our livelihood. For rural communities and governments, the fisheries represent jobs, a tax base, and economic impact that helps to provide vital services for all residents.
Unfortunately, regulatory uncertainty is causing anxiety and concern among fishermen and others over the long-term sustainability and prosperity of the industry. Clear rules, regulations, compliance, and enforcement are needed. To achieve this, we need to work together and speak with one voice.
The Unified Fisheries Conservation Alliance (UFCA), established in 2020, is working hard to be that voice on this common concern.
The UFCA represents thousands of multi-species commercial fishermen, fishery associations, and associated businesses, large and small, from across Atlantic Canada. As people recognise the value of working together, the Alliance has grown and new members are joining every week.
Our goal is to work with the Government of Canada and First Nations to establish clear, lasting, responsible, regulatory oversight for all fisheries – commercial, and food, social, and ceremonial. It is essential that every community, association and fisherman in the Atlantic fishery have certainty as to the rules that all fishermen abide by.
Just as commercial fisheries operate today, there is room for diversity. There can be differences within allocation structures, administration, and process. However, rules must ultimately and clearly form part
of an integrated set of regulations with two overarching objectives:
1. To conserve fishery resources for generations to come; and,
2. To ensure a fair and respectful fishery for all.
The UFCA believes that Indigenous and non-Indigenous fishermen can work side by side like they do today in the commercial fishery. We recognize and acknowledge the importance of cooperation with Indigenous communities, and that Indigenous fishermen have a right to a fish for commercial, food, social, and ceremonial. Our members reject all forms of racism, intolerance, and violence, and believe there is a path to move beyond the controversies and heated rhetoric of recent months, to a positive outcome for all.

Our team is in the early stages of planning and developing communications material, meeting with federal government officials, and reviewing legal positions, as we determine next steps. We have engaged a team of leading advisors to inform and guide us on our approach. We need to prepare today—this will take significant time and financial resources. We need commitment from our communities and all commercial license holders and associated businesses, but we all know it will be worth the effort to conserve fishery resources for generations to come.
With that in mind, the suggested donation is $1000.00. Yes, that’s no small amount, but ask yourself this:
what is your livelihood worth to you, your family, our coastal communities? This is your way to make a meaningful difference. All collected donations will go towards the government relations, communications, legal activities, and
other associated costs as needed. Receipts will be issued to all who donate toward this initiative.

To receive a receipt, you must provide your name (company name if applicable) and full mailing address when making transfers.
Cheques can be made out to:
Unified Fisheries Conservation Alliance
3-4083 Hwy #308
Tusket, NS, B0W 3MO
E-Transfer Payments can be sent to: UFCA.fund@gmail.com
United Fisheries Conservation Alliance Members
The UFCA includes members from:
 Bay of Fundy Inshore Fishermen’s Association
 Brazil Rock 33/34 Lobster Association
 Coldwater Lobster Association
 Scotia Fundy Inshore fishermen’s Association
 Cape Breton Fish Harvester’s Association
 Eastern Shore Fishermen’s Protective Association
 Fundy North Fishermen’s Association
 Guysborough County Inshore Fishermen’s Association
 Richmond County Inshore Fishermen’s Association
 Associated businesses

UFCA Letter to DFO Minister Jordan of June 15, 2021

The Honourable Bernadette Jordan
Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
200 Kent St, Station 15N100
Ottawa ON K1A 0E6
June 15, 2021
Dear Minister Jordan:
We write further to our letter of March 15, 2021, wherein we expressed our cautious support of your announcement of a new path for fisheries policy, which included a single season for all fishers, and no
increase in fishery effort (following a one-in, one-out basis). The Unified Fisheries Conservation Alliance (UFCA) believed your “new path” could provide certainty and clarity for Indigenous and non-Indigenous
fishers to work side by side under a unified conservation and fishery management regulatory regime. However, the recent ‘understanding’ (the “Understanding”) between Fisheries and Oceans Canada
(DFO) and Potlotek for an interim fishery seriously undermines the integrated fisheries management principles we have been operating within for decades. UFCA’s members are very concerned about the
long-term consequences of the Understanding on fishery resources, and the possibility of similar arrangements in the future.
Most concerning, this Understanding was negotiated on an expedited timeline with no industry consultation whatsoever. As outlined in our previous letters, the UFCA represents thousands of multispecies
commercial fishermen and women, fishery associations, and associated businesses from across Atlantic Canada. The Alliance was formed following the events of this past fall to bring together many
participants in the Atlantic fishery to speak with one reasonable, coordinated, and moderate voice. It was formed to be able to provide dialogue on precisely this sort of issue, so as to avoid acrimony and
miscommunication. It is deeply regrettable that the Minister did not see fit to discuss a significant departure from decades of fishery policy with us. We recognize that the agreements of the type at issue
here are nation to nation, but to completely avoid dialogue with the people who currently make their livelihoods in this fishery is very disappointing and counterproductive. Ignoring the hard-working
fishermen and women who are trying to support their families and communities in these areas is not the way to achieve broad, regional stakeholder support.
We were encouraged when your March 3rd Statement of a “New path” and the FOPO report on the concept of a moderate livelihood fishery recognized that any agreements reached with First Nations
should not put additional pressure on the resources and not create “new access”. However, the Understanding is a complete contradiction to your statement of “no new access”. It was our
understanding that any future access was going to be achieved on an LFA-by-LFA basis. However, DFO has essentially incorporated five LFAs into this agreement with Potlotek because there were no ‘banked’
licenses in the LFA where Potlotek resides (LFA 29), or in the immediately adjacent LFAs 28 and 30. By allowing mobility between these five LFAs, you are allowing a substantial increase in effort beyond the
scientifically set levels in these LFAs, which will have impacts on lobster stocks. This seriously undermines the integrated fisheries management principles we have been operating under for decades
and we are deeply concerned about the long-term impacts on lobster stocks.
You have compromised the integrity of the conservation regime, without scientific investigation, so as to achieve a particular result. The redistribution of effort from LFAs where DFO has banked licenses to fully
subscribed areas where Potlotek wants to fish is contrary to the long established and successful conservation regime in the LFA system of management and fails to adhere to the precautionary
approach to fisheries management. The Undertaking represents a fundamental shift from what was in your March 3, 2021, statement, and what DFO has been stating for many months. Specifically, DFO has
said that, if there were no banked licenses in a particular region, then DFO would have to buy the access with a voluntary buy-back program (i.e., one in, one out) before any access would be granted. While 700
traps might not seem like much, it can have a considerable impact when concentrated on one area such as LFA 29. With approximately 17 banked lobster licenses currently available in the Maritimes Region
and many larger First Nation bands yet to reach agreements, we are concerned about the precedent that the Understanding sets.
To be clear, we recognize that we need to be flexible, and that compromise is critical to achieving a longterm solution. We are completely comfortable with banked licenses being issued to First Nations so that
they are used in the LFAs they are normally allocated within. We want to be reasonable, and we want to help to develop solutions that are palatable to all parties. Where we draw the line, however, is
departure from the scientifically based conservation regime by allowing unfettered LFA mobility. We are further not comfortable in the way the Understanding was implemented in an expedited manner,
without any industry consultation whatsoever; indeed, our first knowledge of the Understanding was vague, second-hand and we only learned its details by pursuing the matter with DFO officials. Before
further understandings or agreements are reached, we believe that open and transparent dialogue with the industry is essential to ensure we understand the plan, our concerns and ideas are heard and
considered and broad buy-in is achieved.
We want to work with DFO to better understand how these agreements fit into a transparent, comprehensive, and integrated regulatory system that will stabilize and conserve the fishery for future
generations and ensure fairness and certainty for all Canadians. We welcome the opportunity to discuss these issues as a willing and reasonable stakeholder and share our ideas on how we can work
constructively with the Government of Canada and First Nations to come up with solutions that conserve the resource for future generations.
Respectfully yours,
Colin E. Sproul
President
Unified Fisheries Conservation Alliance
 

UFCA to Seek Intervenor Status in Court Cases

Fishing industry alliance to seek intervener status in court cases regarding Indigenous fishery challenges with Nova Scotia and Canada.
YARMOUTH, NS June 17, 2021 – The Unified Fisheries Conservation Alliance (UFCA), an alliance of commercial fishery stakeholders, intends to seek intervener status in Potlotek First Nation’s Nova Scotia
Supreme Court case challenging Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s (DFO) regulation and enforcement of Indigenous fishing activities as well as the Potlotek First Nation and Sipekne’katik First Nation court cases
challenging provincial regulations governing the sale of fish and fish products.
“It is important that the perspective of those who work within the multi-species fisheries every day are heard and considered as part of the court proceedings,” said Colin Sproul, President of the UFCA. “We
want to ensure the court and parties involved in the case understand the commercial fishing industry’s perspective and the importance of DFO enforcement and oversight for all fisheries and the importance of
the provincial regulatory regime.”
UFCA members will be directly affected if these court challenges are successful. Considering present day capacity to harvest, transport and ultimately consume fish far exceeds ocean productivity, without careful
management and oversight, all species of fish can be at risk. “It is essential that every community, Association, and fisher in the Atlantic fishery abide by the sciencebased rules and regulations that have been established to ensure the conservation and proper management of our fisheries for future generations,” said Sproul. The UFCA believes Indigenous and non-Indigenous fishers can work side by side in the commercial fishery,
under a unified conservation and fishery management regulatory regime. The UFCA recognizes and acknowledges that Indigenous fishers have a right to equitable access to the fishery, and the right to fish
for food, social, and ceremonial purposes. The UFCA is also advocating for the Government of Canada to provide clear, lasting and responsible regulatory oversight for all fisheries. “We want to work constructively with the Government of Canada, provincial governments, and First Nations to inform and understand viewpoints and ultimately establish regulatory certainty,” said Sproul.
The commercial fishery is vital to Canada, especially the thousands of Atlantic Canadians who work on the boats, wharves, processing plants, and throughout the supply chain. The commercial fishery is their
livelihood. For rural communities and governments, the fisheries represent jobs, a tax base, and economic viability that maintains critical services for all residents.
The UFCA includes members from:
Bay of Fundy Inshore Fishermen’s Association
Brazil Rock 33/34 Lobster Fishermen’s Association
Coldwater Lobster Association
Scotia Fundy Inshore Fishermen’s Association
Cape Breton Fish Harvester’s Association
Eastern Shore Fishermen’s Protective Association
Fundy North Fishermen’s Association
Guysborough County Inshore Fishermen’s Association
Richmond County Inshore Fishermen’s Association

Your Support Is Need Now!

Your fishery’s future is being threatened.

A court challenge is being filed that if successful would eliminate fishing seasons and DFO’s ability to enforce the law. 

You can’t depend upon the government to defend what you have built. We have a legal team ready to defend your future. This court case is complex and won’t be over in a day. 

There is no time to waste. Your future requires a financial contribution so your lawyers can fight for you and your family. Please contribute now.

E-transfer payments can be sent to: UFCA.fund@gmail.com

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.

Please visit.............

http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fisheries-peches/initiatives/fhgbp-ppsp/index-eng.html

 

 

 

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).

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.

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.

Date: 

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. 

About Us

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.

Our 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.