New DFO Arctic Region

  Minister Wilkinson announced the creation of a stand-along Arctic Region. A new DFO Regional Director General, Gabriel Nirlungayuk has been appointed for the area.

"The new Region exemplifies DFO’s and the Canadian Coast Guard’s commitment to advancing reconciliation and pursuing a renewed relationship with Indigenous peoples, which is based on recognition of rights, respect, co-operation, and partnership. It will enable DFO and the Coast Guard to work more closely with Inuit and all Indigenous Leaders, Indigenous organizations, stakeholders and all residents of the Arctic on innovative approaches to program and service delivery.”

Find the full announcement here:

StarKist admits fixing tuna prices, faces $100 million fine

  • StarKist has agreed to plead guilty to price fixing.

  • Federal prosecutors announced the plea agreement Thursday and said the company faces a fine up to $100 million.

Published 19 Hours Ago  Updated 11 Hours AgoThe Associated Press

Link to article:

Danny Johnston | AP

Starkist Tuna products sit on a shelf in a Little Rock, Ark., food warehouse.

Authorities say StarKist has agreed to plead guilty to price fixing as part of a broad collusion investigation of the canned tuna industry.

Federal prosecutors announced the plea agreement Thursday and said the company faces a fine up to $100 million. Bumble Bee Foods last year pleaded guilty to the same charge and paid a $25 million fine.

Chicken of the Sea has not been charged because prosecutors say the company exposed the scheme and co-operated with the investigation.

Two former Bumble Bee executives and a former StarKist executive also each pleaded guilty to price-fixing charges.

Former Bumble Bee chief executive Christopher Lischewski has pleaded not guilty to a price fixing charge.

The three companies are accused of conspiring to keep canned tuna prices artificially high between 2010 and 2013.

'Son of the blob': Unseasonably warm weather creating new anomaly off B.C. coast

'It just begs the question of how much of this is linked to climate change'

Liam Britten · CBC News · Posted: Oct 18, 2018 4:00 AM PT | Last Updated: October 18

link to article:

The blob is back.

A meteorologist says unseasonable conditions in B.C. are likely once again causing a large area of the Pacific Ocean to heat up, emulating a phenomenon from past years called the "blob."

That mass of warm water was blamed for warmer weather on land, poor feeding conditions for salmon and even dead whales.

Now, Armel Castellan with Environment and Climate Change Canada says it appears a warm-water patch dubbed the "son of the blob" is establishing itself off B.C.'s coast.

"To see a blob sort of establish itself at this time of year is sort of surprising," Castellan said. "It's a symptom of the enduring or stagnant weather we've been having over the last four years."

Unusual, summer-like conditions in northern and central B.C. is being blamed for "concerning" droughts in vast swaths of the province. Castellan said this newest emergence of a blob in the Pacific Ocean is likely connected to the patterns causing these droughts.

Climate change connection

Castellan says that the conditions to form a blob occur when weather systems are largely stable and unchanging. A lack of wind and precipitation over the ocean means water does not mix very well, so water near the surface warms up, stays put and stays warm because it can't mix with deeper, cooler water.

The effects of the blob or the "son of the blob" aren't fully understood, he said, but other scientists have blamed it for numerous environmental irregularities.

There might be some relief on the horizon, however. Castellan said storms should begin as early as Tuesday of next week and cause the water to start mixing.

It's not clear, however, how long the storms will last or how great an impact they will make.

Castellan added that the warm patches of water are becoming "routine or fairly common."

"It's definitely something we're starting to see with these resilient ridges," he said. 

"It just begs the question of how much of this is linked to climate change."

Eating Fish is Linked to Better Sleep and a Higher I.Q. for Kids

Kids who eat fish at least once a week sleep better and have IQ scores that are 4 points higher, on average, than those who eat fish less frequently or not at all, a new study shows.”

“Previous studies showed a relationship between omega-3s, the fatty acids in many types of fish, and improved intelligence, as well as omega-3s and better sleep. But researchers hadn’t connected all three before. The findings reveal sleep as a possible mediating pathway, the potential missing link between fish and intelligence. “This area of research is not welldeveloped. It’s emerging,” says Jianghong Liu, associate professor of nursing and public health at the University of Pennsylvania and lead author of the study.

“Here we look at omega-3s coming from our food instead of from supplements.” For the work, a cohort of 541 9- to 11-year-olds in China, 54 percent boys and 46 percent girls, completed a questionnaire about how often they ate fish in the past month, with options ranging from “never” to “at least once per week.” Children also took the Chinese version of an IQ test called the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Revised, which examines verbal and non-verbal skills such as vocabulary and coding.

Their parents then answered questions about sleep quality using the standardised Children Sleep Habits Questionnaire, which included topics such as sleep duration and frequency of night waking or daytime sleepiness. Finally, the researchers controlled for demographic information, including parental education, occupation, and marital status, as well as the number of children in the home. The findings show that children who reported eating fish weekly scored 4.8 points higher on the IQ exams than those who said they “seldom” or “never” consumed fish.

Those whose meals sometimes included fish scored 3.3 points higher. Further, increased fish consumption was linked to fewer disturbances of sleep, which the researchers say indicates better overall sleep quality.”

Dear BCTFA members,

 Yesterday Canada signed onto the World Animal Protection’s Global Ghost Gear Initiative as the 13th nation to combat plastic marine debris.

Also, read prominent fisheries scientist Dr. Ray Hilborn’s article below which highlights the importance of transparency within the fishing industry to combat anti-fishing campaigns. 

Hilborn 2018 Nat Fisherman October 1.jpg
Hilborn 2018 Nat Fisherman October2.jpg
Hilborn 2018 Nat Fisherman October3.jpg

Scott Islands Marine National Wildlife Area Announcement

Minister Wilkinson announced the establishment of the Scott Island marine National Wildlife Area on behalf of Minister Mckenna this week.

There should be no changes to the tuna fishery in this area but BCTFA will continue to monitor this process and keep its members informed.

Please see the original message forwarded by acting tuna manager Meghan Chen:

As announced on Sept 13th by Minister Wilkinson on behalf of Minister McKenna, the Scott Islands marine National Wildlife Area (mNWA) has been established as the first marine area under the Canada Wildlife Act.  Off the northwestern tip of Vancouver Island, the Scott Islands mNWA has the conservation objective to conserve migratory seabirds, species at risk, and the habitats, ecosystem linkages and marine resources that support these species.   


Fisheries in the area will continue to be managed by DFO under the Fisheries Act.  To further support conservation objectives in the area, DFO intends to make regulations pursuant to the Fisheries Act for the management of fisheries within the mNWA, as notified in Canada Gazette, Part I on June 30, 2018.  The proposed regulation will prohibit fishing for Pacific sand lance, Pacific saury and North Pacific krill; prohibit groundfish bottom trawling within portions of the area consistent with the existing trawl footprint, and could restrict other fishing activities that would be deemed, based on best available science, to pose a risk to the Scott Islands conservation objectives.  DFO intends to prepublish the proposed regulations in Canada Gazette, Part I, within two calendar years for public comment.


We will be discussing next steps for the development of this new regulation and will be engaging Indigenous groups, the Scott Islands Advisory Group and DFO's fisheries advisory boards. 


If you have any immediate questions on this, please contact Amy Mar at 604 666 1090 or Aleria Ladwig at 604 363 1325.


Further information is available at the links below:


Scott Islands announcement:


Notice of intent with respect to fisheries management in the Scott Islands, page 2670:


Scott Islands Establishment Order - Http://


Scott Islands Regulations -


Arctic Surf Clam Breaking News

 Following the creation, allocation then reversal of a new licence to fish Arctic surf clams on the East Coast to the Five Nations group, new details have come to light. Please see the articles below for more information.

Link to global news article:

Dominic LeBlanc broke conflict of interest rules by approving lucrative surf clam license to wife’s cousin

By Amanda Connolly National Online Journalist  Global News


Dominic LeBlanc attends a press conference at the National Press Theatre in Ottawa on Wednesday, May 11, 2016. The Canadian Press/Sean Kilpatrick

Former fisheries minister Dominic LeBlanc broke conflict of interest rules earlier this year by awarding a lucrative license to fish for Arctic surf clams to a company that was set to be run by his wife’s cousin.

In a ruling issued Wednesday morning, Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion said the plan to award the contract violated the section of the Conflict of Interest Act that bars public office holders from making decisions that would place them in a conflict as well as the section requiring officials to recuse themselves from such matters.

READ MORE: New fisheries minister explains reversal on controversial surf clam licence

“A first cousin of Mr. LeBlanc’s spouse, Mr. Gilles Thériault, could have benefitted financially from an Arctic surf clam licence being awarded to the Five Nations Clam Company,” Dion said. “Mr. Thériault would have served as the company’s general manager if the process to grant it the licence had been completed.”

Dion said that the decision by LeBlanc to pursue issuing the license — which was announced in February 2018 — “provided an opportunity to further Mr. Thériault’s private interests.”

Link to globe article:


Proactive Vessel Management Initiative

Dear BCTFA members,

As part of the Oceans Protection Plan, Transport Canada is opening up the Proactive Vessel Management Initiative for comments from stakeholders. Please find the discussion paper attached and send in any comments you may have on the subject.


Discussion Paper:

It is important Transport Canada hears from fishermen/women on this matter, please take a moment to consider sending in your comments.

Kind regards,


This Is Your Brain on Fish Thicker, stronger, and more resilient. Once a week is all it takes, new research says.

Recent study finds eating fish—baked or broiled, never fried—is associated with larger gray matter volumes in brain areas responsible for memory and cognition in healthy elderly people.

Type of fish is not important but the frequency, once a week, is key for ‘brain thickening’ effects possibly reducing risk for alshimers’s.