HomeIndustryIndustry Briefs - October 2019

Industry Briefs – October 2019

Coldwater Lobster Association Receives Gulf of Maine Sustainable Industry Award

The Coldwater Lobster Association has been recognized with a Gulf of Maine Sustainable Industry Award “for outstanding innovation and leadership in achieving sustainable business practices and conserving natural resources within the Gulf of Maine.”

In total, 19 awards were given out by the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment to recognize and honour the work of individuals, teams, companies and organizations for their innovation, creativity and commitment to protecting the Gulf of Maine’s natural resources.

The Sustainable Industry Award recognizes individuals, companies or organizations within the Gulf of Maine region for demonstrating innovation and leadership in efforts to improve the well-being of the Gulf of Maine ecosystem and the communities that call it home.

The Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment was established in 1989 by the Governments of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts to foster cooperative actions within the Gulf watershed. The Council’s mission is to maintain and enhance environmental quality in the Gulf of Maine to allow for sustainable resource use by existing and future generations.

Wilkinson Meets with Tangier Fishermen

On August 15, Federal Fisheries Minister Jonathan Wilkinson was in Tangier, Nova Scotia to meet with fish harvesters and other invested Nova Scotians to discuss ideas regarding conservation of the unique ecosystem on the Eastern Shore.

Recent discussions relating to the potential establishment on a Marine Protected Area (MPA) in this region has generated questions and concerns on the part of many who live in the area.

During an initial visit to Tangier on May 8, 2019, Wilkinson indicated that no timeline existed for completing discussions and that options existed with regard to if and how best to move forward. The Minister also committed that he would return for additional discussions once the lobster season was completed and has now done so. 

During discussions, Wilkinson committed to a broad and inclusive process focused on conservation — one that would ensure that the voices of all impacted local parties are heard and are integrated into any decision-making process.

The Minister announced the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ (DFO) commitment to two important next steps:

DFO will be appointing a community facilitator. This person will be mandated to meet with, discuss and carefully consider the priorities of local community members and organizations. A key part of this facilitator’s mandate will be that they work to ensure that the conservation priorities of local community members are reflected in any eventual outcomes. This could include community involvement in the management of any conservation areas — if in fact one were to go forward.

There is no defined timeline for the completion of these conservation related conversations. The Minister indicated that, in his view, conservation measures can only likely be successful if substantial support exists from local communities. He further underlined his commitment to working with all key stakeholders to develop a common vision.

In addition to discussing next steps regarding conservation, the Minister also indicated that DFO has recently completed initial drafts of a number of ecological risk assessments for the Eastern Shore, including for aquaculture and marine transportation. The results of these assessments are relevant to future considerations regarding conservation priorities and will be the subject of discussion with local stakeholders before they are finalized.