HomeIndustryIndustry Briefs - March 2020

Industry Briefs – March 2020

Gear Marking Rules for Fixed Gear Fisheries Rolled Out

As announced in February 2019, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) will be implementing mandatory gear marking to all non-tended fixed gear fisheries starting in 2020 in Eastern Canada. 

DFO in the Gulf, Maritimes, Newfoundland and Labrador and Quebec Regions has been notifying fish harvesters in Eastern Canada of the gear marking requirements that will apply. 

The new requirements are part of the Government of Canada’s continuing efforts to improve tracking of gear, address ghost gear and further identify management measure threats to marine mammals, in particular North Atlantic right whales.  

“They will enable officials to make corrective changes in the most efficient manner going forward. They are implemented to recognize gear origin, specifically country, region, species, as well as lobster and snow crab fishing areas. They were developed as a continuum of what has already been introduced in certain Gulf of St. Lawrence snow crab fisheries since 2018.”

The gear marking requirements will consist of interlacing different strands of coloured twine within existing rope:

1. Colour combination using two different strands of twine interlaced on the same segment:

A. One colour to identify specific Region — to be interlaced on the same segment of rope as the second colour.

B. A second colour to identify target Species — to be interlaced on the same segment of rope as the first colour. Each species will be attributed the same colour across all Regions in Eastern Canada (i.e. yellow for lobster).

2. For lobster and snow crab fisheries only, a third colour will be used to mark different fishing areas. The third colour will be added to a subsequent segment of rope immediately after the segment of rope with the first two colours (it will be not interlaced with the first and second colour).

3. Gear marking will be mandatory for ropes attaching the fishing gear to the primary buoy (vertical line). It could also be included on other rope segments when applicable, at the discretion of fish harvesters, such as on the rope from the primary buoy to the secondary buoy, and on the rope from trap to trap set on a same line (ground lines).

4. At a minimum, gear marking will be required at the top, middle and bottom of the vertical line (aligned with minimum requirements in the U.S.) or every 27.4 metres throughout the length of the rope (aligned with existing practice in Gulf and Quebec Regions).

5. Use of a tracer as an alternative to colour coding requirements will be permitted. It could be phased-in as ropes are replaced. The tracer, a silver transparent tape inside the full length of the rope, must have a visible inscription identifying country, region, species and fishing area.

Alternative Lobster Bait Challenge Winner Announced

Vince Stuart of Clare Machine Works was recently named the winner of the Alternative Lobster Bait Challenge.

With the title comes a cheque for $30,000 for the Meteghan Centre-based company and an opportunity to collaborate with an industry partner to bring the product to market.

Last year, Ignite Labs and Perennia launched the innovation challenge for the seafood industry. The challenge was to develop a lobster bait that used biproducts from the groundfish processing industry, but in a more sustainable way.

Currently, the seafood processing in Nova Scotia produces millions of pounds of biproduct per year. Some of this biproduct is sold to the lobster industry as bait, however, it is estimated that, in order to harvest one pound of lobster, one pound of bait is needed. Increased demand for lobster bait due to decreased quotas for mackerel and herring (traditional sources of bait) offers opportunity to create an alternative bait to meet market demand.

In addition, the biproduct from fish could potentially be used for other high value products including products for the pharmaceutical industry and functional food industry.

Therefore, the challenge was to develop an alternative lobster bait that would use smaller proportions of fish biproduct combined with other agents that would produce the same amount of bait needed by the industry and most importantly, be as effective.