Scientists see improving ocean conditions off West Coast, but ‘we are not quite out of the woods yet'

Research surveys in 2018 showed promising signs of rebounding sea life after The Blob, an unprecedented warming event that began in 2014 off the West Coast.

By Lynda V. Mapes Seattle Times environment reporter

Ocean conditions are improving for salmon entering the ocean this year, several years after The Blob, an unusually warm water event that began forming in 2014, scientists announced Friday.Research surveys in 2018 confirmed tiny animals that stoke the food chain were nice and fatty. Anchovies, an important forage fish, were increasing in number. Sea lion pups were numerous and growing well, and fish-eating sea birds going strong.

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Fishing Vessel Safety Regulations: Stability, major modifications and record of modifications

New form: Fishing Vessel Record of Modifications Affecting Stability

Transport Canada has released a new form to be used when recording vessel modifications:

Visit: for more information.

Transport Canada created the Fishing Vessel Record of Modifications Affecting Stability to:

  • give authorized representatives a way to record modifications over time and help them meet the requirements of the FVSR

  • help authorized representatives know when to ask for advice from a competent person and when to update their stability information

When they inspect or monitor a vessel, Transport Canada inspectors will ask to review this form. Inspectors may use this opportunity to discuss the extent and potential impacts of the modifications it lists. They will note any modifications on the vessel’s inspection record.

During an inspection or monitoring inspection, the inspector will also verify that, if required:

  • There is a signed copy of the stability booklet or record of stability onboard

  • The signed copy is up to date and accurately reflects the vessel’s configuration (length, breadth, draught, tonnage, equipment onboard, etc.) and fishing activities

  • A stability notice is posted onboard the vessel

When a vessel is inspected, if the inspector determines it was modified and its stability should have been reassessed or is inadequate, they may require a stability assessment.

When the vessel is modified, the authorized representative must complete this form, noting:

  • any additions or changes (other than routine maintenance) to lifting equipment and fishing gear

  • any changes in the fishing method, the type of fish caught or the way the catch is stowed

  • any modifications to the vessel’s structure, equipment or gear that add, remove or result in the relocation of weights more than 100 kg (220 pounds), along with smaller weights if they adversely affect vessel stability

  • that the vessel has an up-to-date stability assessment, which accurately reflects the vessel’s configuration and what it is used for

Lastly, add the date of the modification and initial the line. Include any photos or drawings of the modification, if possible. During the inspection, if there were no modifications, write “no modifications,” the date and your initials on the next available line.

For more detailed information on major modifications or a change in activity, read Transport Canada’s TP 15392 – Guidelines for Fishing Vessel Major Modifications or a Change in Activity.

You can get more information about major modifications by contacting your nearest Transport Canada regional office.

Vegan "Tuna" Alternative to Hit Shelves at Whole Foods and Thrive Market

Lab-grown meat is not a new industry but recently companies have turned their attention to formulating lab-grown seafood. Plant based “tuna” will be on shelves at Whole Foods and Thrive Market this week. Made from beans legumes and algae, food developers have attempted to capture tuna’s distinct flavour and texture in their newest product although they claim the product does not have the same aroma.

BC Albacore is a sustainable source for healthy marine protein both for the consumer and the ocean it is harvested from. By supporting sustainable fisheries we can ensure our oceans are productive and can employ future fishing generations to come.

Push back from East Coast fishermen on proposed MPA

An MPA proposed for an area off the Eastern Shore Islands is receiving push back from local lobster fishermen, despite DFO attempting to allay fears.

Canada has committed to protect 10 percent of coastal and ocean waters by 2020.

The proposed MPA would potentially allow lobster fishing as it does not affect the target protected species and habitat such as eel grass and cod habitat.

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Dear BCTFA members,

Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of the BC Tuna Fishermen’s Association is called for and will be held at the Beban Park Social Centre, Room 2 & 3 (2300 Bowen Rd, Nanaimo, BC V9T 3K7) on February 26th 2019 from 0900-1700 for the following purposes:

  1. Receive the reports and statements required by the Societies Act to be placed before the meeting.

  2. Elect directors if there is a vacancy.

  3. Transaction of such other business as may be properly brought before the meeting.

If you have a proposal to bring before the association please send a notice of the matter at least 14 days before the date of the AGM (Feb 26).

This notice will also be posted on the website. 

Please see the BCTFA constitution for details concerning voting, proxy voting, quorum requirements and other details. If you have any questions please contact Tiare,

Grim situation in coming year for northwest, B.C. fisheries (The Northern View)

“This year was tough for fishermen in northwest B.C., and while the stewards of the fishing industry hope that 2019 will bring improvements, they understand there are still many challenges to overcome.

“We’re hopeful that we won’t necessarily see the same kind of crisis-like conditions as this year, but we’re still looking at a grim situation for the coming year,” said Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) North Coast area director Colin Masson. “It might not be as bad as last year, but it’s still going to be difficult and these discussions are really important for moving forward.”

Cullen also said that the industry’s next generation of fishermen face more barriers than their predecessors. Citing owner-operator licences as an example, Cullen said changes could be made in policy that would help to level the playing field.

“If you own a fishing licence, you should fish the fishing licence. That’s the reality on the East Coast, but DFO doesn’t have that policy on the West Coast,” he said. “That’s the thing, returning the benefits back to the communities who are the stewards of this resource.”

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Pacific fisheries leaders highlight Tuna Commission action (The Fiji Times)

“Pacific Islands fisheries leaders expressed satisfaction with the actions taken last week by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) to support sustainability of the fishery, minimum labor standards for fishing crews, and expanded participation of Small Island Developing States in the work of the Commission.”

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Pacific Islands happy with outcomes at Tuna Commission meeting (Fiji Times)

“Pacific Islands fisheries leaders are satisfied with the outcomes of the just completed meeting of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, or Tuna Commission, in Hawaii.

There have been agreements to maintain the current limits on the tuna catch, minimum labour standards for fishing crews, and expanding the involvement of Small Island Developing States in the work of the Commission.”

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‘Tuna diplomacy’ is one of the game-changers for the Pacific.

“Tuna has shaped regional politics and influenced the relationship between Pacific Islands States and major trading partners including China, Japan, United States and Taiwan and South Korea.

Each year the Pacific comes together with these powerful fishing nations to set the fishing rules for more than half the world’s tuna, as well as other ocean-going species at risk of being caught by accident by the fishing industry.

Diplomacy and solidarity among Pacific countries is key to Pacific success.

Ahead of this year’s meeting of the rule-setting body – the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC), organisations representing Pacific nations are stressing their commitment to work together in solidarity.”

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