Tag Archives: Fisheries

This day. Two hurricanes, two responses

A fishing shed floats offshore Fisherman’s Reserve on the Eastern Shore after Hurricane Juan (Photo | Allan Jean Joyce)

(Part of a series) This Saturday, September 29, marks 15 years since Hurricane Juan ripped through Halifax in the middle of the night toppling trees, smashing boats and knocking out power for many days and even weeks in some neighbourhoods. Wind speeds of up to 178km an hour were recorded at McNabs Island in Halifax Harbour. Mark Rushton and Tony Seed compare the responses of Canada and Cuba to hurricanes. Continue reading

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Hurricane Juan and Depleted Uranium

Canadian navy and weapons of mass destruction

This Saturday, September 29, marks 15 years since Hurricane Juan ripped through Halifax in the middle of the night toppling trees, smashing boats and knocking out power for many days and even weeks in some neighbourhoods. Wind speeds of up to 178km an hour were recorded at McNabs Island in Halifax Harbour. Amunition shells from the 1940s and “other debris” were being washed ashore. | The late MITZI BOWMAN* with TONY SEED

BLUE ROCKS, NS (October 24, 2003) – THE Halifax Chronicle Herald reproduced on October 4, 2003 a capsule commentary from the Canadian Press that the Canadian Forces were cleaning up unexploded shells from the 1940s (WW2) “and other debris”.

Why isn’t the Chronicle Herald telling us what this “other debris” is or could be? Continue reading

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More rallies against anti-social changes to the EI program

Militant rally February 12 in front of the Guy-Favreau Complex in downtown Montreal which houses the Service Canada Centre and the Quebec regional Employment Insurance offices

Militant rally February 12 in front of the Guy-Favreau Complex in downtown Montreal which houses the Service Canada Centre and the Quebec regional Employment Insurance offices

RALLIES are continuing in Quebec and New Brunswick against the anti-social changes of the Harper government’s to Employment Insurance (EI).

Nearly 300 people held a militant rally February 12 in front of the Guy-Favreau Complex in downtown Montreal to denounce the Harper government’s recent changes to Employment Insurance (EI), which they say are destroying EI.

The rally demonstrates that, contrary to the media and government disinformation, the changes affect all workers, including those in large cities, not just seasonal workers in the resource sectors such as forestry and fisheries.

According to a report in TML Daily, most at the rally were workers, including striking workers from the MAPEI plant in Laval which produces chemical products for the construction industry and locked out workers from the Maritime Hotel in Montreal, members of the Confederation of National Trade Unions (CSN) and the Quebec Federation of Labour (QFL), lecturers from the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM) and several groups fighting for the rights of unemployed workers. Continue reading

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Off the Hook this fall

[From Dave Adler at EAC] OFF THE HOOK is back for the fall season. The season begins on September 22, with four weekly deliveries planned in the following communities: Halifax (Brewery Market and Ecology Action Centre), Wolfville, Truro, Bedford, Dartmouth, Tatamagouche, Tantallon, Lower Prospect, Musquodoboit Harbour, and the Islands (Digby Neck).  If you didn’t already know, Off the Hook is a Community Supported Fishery (CSF) that connects people who eat fish to the people who catch it. Subscribers get weekly shares of fresh, sustainably harvested fish, and the fishing families get a fair price for their catch. Fresh. Fair. Fish. Subscribe online at www.offthehookcsf.ca. Subscribe by Friday at noon to be included in Saturday’s delivery.

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Off the hook starts third season

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Off the hook starts third season

OFF THE HOOK, Nova Scotia’s Community Supported Fishery, has announced its third season. Subscription fish deliveries begin next week, but fisher Beau Gillis is heading out this week for halibut, and will be bringing the catch to the Brewery Market in Halifax this Saturday, June 30. Delivery options are available throughout mainland Nova Scotia, where fishing still remains the cornerstone of many of our communities, providing direct and indirect employment in the range of 30,000 people. Continue reading

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Fisheries workers denounce changes to EI

THE CHANGES in the EI system that the Harper government has announced are being denounced by workers and their organizations across the country. This includes fishery workers and the organizations of fishery and other seasonal workers on both coasts. These workers have taken a stand against the Harper government’s EI changes because they are both an attack on fishery and other seasonal workers and an attack on the regions where they live. Continue reading

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Omnibus Budget Bill C-38: Harper dictatorship introduces sweeping changes to Canadian regulations

ON APRIL 26, the Department of Justice of the Harper government tabled Bill C-38, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 29, 2012 and other measures. The bill contains serious changes to Canada’s regulatory system that will affect many fundamental aspects of life. Continue reading

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Harper agenda: Fisheries and Oceans – sweeping nation-wrecking transformation

IN OCTOBER 2011, the Harper government sent a memo to employees at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) outlining steps being taken to “transform” the management of Canadian fisheries. At the same time, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Keith Ashfield began holding consultations on “modernizing” the Canadian fisheries. Then in December, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Harper said, “In the months to come, our government will undertake major transformations to position Canada for growth over the next generation.” Handing over the fisheries to the monopolies is part of this “transformation.”

Now, in the Parliament and in a series of articles in the media, the extent of the damage being inflicted by the Harper government is being revealed. Continue reading

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Fisheries & Oceans: Pseudoscience in the service of imperialis

Beware the facile use of climate change explanations

By DOUGAL MACDONALD*

A FEBRUARY 20 REPORT in the Vancouver Sun, reprinted by other monopoly media, states that well-known British Columbia marine scientist, Villy Christensen, told the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, held this year in Vancouver February 16-20, that there is a need to do “more research on predicting the impact of climate change on oceans to better manage fisheries and stocks.” The impression left by the article is highly misleading; Christensen is actually engaged in a major research project, the Nereus Project, which is investigating the effect of three factors on ocean fish stocks: climate change, human activity, and food web dynamics (fish eating fish). Continue reading

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Muzzling of scientists: Open Letter to Prime Minister Harper

THE FOLLOWING LETTER was jointly issued by the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada and several associations of scientists, science writers and journalists to coincide with the panel entitled “Unmuzzling Government Scientists: How to Re-Open the Discourse” at the American Association of Advancement of Science’s 2012 meeting in Vancouver, BC.

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Muzzling of Canadian scientists opposed at international conference

CHARLIE VITA reports on the suppression of scientific research

ON FEBRUARY 17, a panel was organized by Canadian scientists entitled “Unmuzzling Government Scientists: How to Re-Open the Discourse” at the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s annual meeting, held this year in Vancouver. The panel brought together science writers and scientists who are opposed to the Harper government’s ongoing attempts to prevent government scientists from speaking to the media. Continue reading

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Lockout of Newfoundland trawlermen – mass police arrest of workers

FFAW members picket near the OCI headquarters in Paradise Thursday. In foreground is Greg Pretty, FFAW spokesman for the workers. — Photo by Gary Hebbard:The Telegram

The role played by the RCMP in Bay Roberts on the north east coast of Newfoundland on February 8, to protect the scabs recruited by Ocean Choice International (OCI) after it locked out its trawlermen on February 6, should be denounced by all. The RCMP were brought in to ensure that company scabs could board OCI’s groundfish trawler the Newfoundland Lynx. Though it is not at all unexpected to see police mobilized to defend private corporate interests against the workers and assaulting workers for defending their rights, it is outrageous nonetheless. The Newfoundland Lynx has since set sail. Continue reading

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REFLECTIONS ON THE PRESTIGE OIL DISASTER: (Part 3) ‘Don’t make me fish off Cape St. Mary’s’

The tourism ads hype Newfoundland as “the Far East of the Western world,” but its waters are the waste-oil dumps of the Northwest Atlantic

By TONY SEED and GARY ZATZMAN

Part Three of a four-part series. Part One is here, Part Two is here, and Part Four is yet to be published.

HALIFAX  (March 25, 2004) – THERE ARE 365 islands in Newfoundland’s Placentia Bay. Fog reduces visibility to less than a kilometre an average 187 days a year. Hundreds of oil tankers – almost 300 in the year 2000 alone – enter that body of water and its prime fishing grounds, along with dozens of small fishing boats manned by crews who come from families that have fished the bay for centuries. The amount of shipping will be intensified with construction of the new Inco hydrometallurgical demonstration plant in Argentia in Placentia Bay to process concentrate from Voisey’s Bay, Labrador. It is scheduled to open in 2006.

Right from the time that the Come-by-Chance refinery opened in 1970, fishermen’s livelihoods were severely impacted by federal shipping lanes, which were charted to bring the oil tankers from Cape St. Mary’s through Placentia Bay right through their fishing grounds to the refinery in the fastest amount of time. Fishermen are repeatedly told that they must subordinate their interests to assist economic development in the name of “jobs” and “peaceful coexistence” with oil.

For the tankers, three football fields long, the small fishing boats are mere blips on the screen of the radar. As one fisherman apocryphally said, “don’t make me fish off Cape St. Mary’s.” Continue reading

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REFLECTIONS ON THE PRESTIGE OIL DISASTER: (Part 2) The marine environment and sovereignty – lessons for Canada

By TONY SEED and GARY ZATZMAN

Part Two of a four-part series. Part One is here, Part Three is here, and Part Four is yet to be published.

HALIFAX (16 March 2004) – JACQUES COUSTEAU once observed that oil spills such as that of the Prestige off the coast of Spain are like smoking – the problem is the cumulative effect over time. Canada is already addicted. The cancer has been caused not by cigarettes but by American oil monopolies, their international shipping clients and a neo-colonial state. And it is metastatisizing.

The Bahamas-registered ‘Prestige’ oil tanker is seen broken in two before sinking into the Atlantic Ocean some 150 miles off Spain’s coast in the Atlantic Ocean Tuesday Nov. 19, 2002. The stricken tanker carrying 77,000 metric tons, 20.5 million gallons, was towed some 244 kilometres, 152 miles, off the coast when it sank creating an environmental disaster off the northwest coast of Spain and Portugal. (AP Photo/EFE/Spanish Navy)

Every oil spill, no matter where it occurs, says the Canadian Nature Federation, “should remind Canada of the need to improve its existing policies and practices regarding the shipment of oil by sea. The Prestige disaster is particularly relevant, as it clearly underlines the magnitude of the threat our oceans face.” It also clearly underlies the magnitude of the threat our nation faces.

Prevention is a responsibility of both ship owners (e.g., from hull structure to trained crew, tanker positioning and speed) and the government, through standards, regulation and enforcement.

However, the marine environment is not just a technical question of pollution abatement and prevention, as some environmental NGOs suggest, or an absence of “political will.” The political questions of sovereignty and its framework are fundamental. Continue reading

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REFLECTIONS ON ‘EL PRESTIGE’ OIL DISASTER: (Part 1) Two years on, the killer spill continues

News analysis by TONY SEED, Copy edited by GARY ZATZMAN

Part One of a four-part series. Part Two is here, Part Three is here, and Part Four is yet to be published.

Introduction

ON 14 MARCH 2004 the Spanish people voted to bury the Popular Party government of José María Aznar. This brought to an end eight years’ rule by a pro-Franco politician who dragged the Spanish people into the American occupation of Iraq and the massacre of the Iraqi people against their express will.

Aznar’s clique was especially detested in the northwestern Spanish province of Galicia, where the oil tanker Prestige sank in late 2002, spreading massive pollution of marine fauna and beaches, destroying tens of thousands’ of people’s livelihoods in the rich fishery of the region, and where Manuel Fraga Iribarne – the founder of Aznar’s party, Franco’s last police minister and a fascist-era relic – still retains a regional grip on power. Forests are being felled as we speak to provide the paper to print the oceans of commentary concerning the impact of Aznar’s defeat on the future of other European governments that signed on to the Bush administration’s so-called “coalition of the willing” – many of whom, like Aznar’s clique, have coveted access to Iraqi oil. Continue reading

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Maritimers rally against secret trials

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The Halifax rally on October 31 against secret trials was held at CSIS offices in the downtown at rush hour and viewed by thousands | Photos by Mark Rushton

The Halifax rally on October 31 against secret trials was held at CSIS offices in the downtown at rush hour and viewed by thousands | Photos by Mark Rushton

Shunpiking Magazine, HALIFAX (November 1, 2003) – Twenty five people vigorously picketed the CSIS office, Maritime Centre, Halifax, for one hour on the afternoon of October 31st as part of the National Day of Action to Stop Secret Trails in Canada.

The action was held during the height of rush hour in downtown Halifax and highly visible. There ws a lot of interest amongst people. Some passer-bys joined the picket and many people in cars also took leaflets. Continue reading

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The fishermen of Palestine: AI report indicts Israel

By TONY SEED

Part Two of a two-part series. For Part One please visit here.

03palchildthroughwallHALIFAX (10 October 2003) – ON 8 SEPTEMBER 2003 the Anglo-American human rights organization Amnesty International (AI), not known for its criticism of Israel over the past thirty years, issued a detailed report entitled “Israel and the Occupied Territories Surviving under siege: The impact of movement restrictions on the right to work.” The 69-page report provides extensive documentation of the deepening of the severe economic and social crisis affecting every sphere of life. Unemployment has soared to over 50 per cent. More than half of the Palestinian population is now living below the poverty line. (1) Continue reading

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Israel’s DFO and the fishermen of Palestine: confiscating the forbidden sea

Header1fishermen_gaza

• Fishermen fired at by Israeli Navy and detained

• Boats, nets and equipment vandalized or seized without cause

• False accusations of “fishing in a restricted area”

• Livelihoods of hundreds ruined

• Essential food denied to the people

• A unique but familiar story to the fishers of Canada and the Third World who live under siege

By TONY SEED

Introducing excerpts from an Amnesty International Report. Part One of a two-part series. For Part Two please visit here.

palflagpalfishermenHALIFAX (10 October 2003) – THIS IS A STORY about what is happening to the unseen Palestinian fishermen of the Gaza Strip on the Mediterranean Sea. Fishermen whose families have been fishing the azure waters of the Mediterranean for millenia – for sardines, tuna and Sultan Ibrahim fish. Fishermen who along with mastering the perils of the sea must now face cold-blooded, land-based monsters mutated by imperialism. Fishermen who face brutal restrictions, seizures and closures, strangling an already devastated sector of the traumatised economy of Occupied Palestine. Continue reading

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Clearing the Waters – A documentary about resistance in Nova Scotia’s inshore fishery

Long line fisherman Fred Sears, sits chained to a spreader on a mast on the Bluenose 2 in Halifax. The Shelburne, NS, fisherman and his colleagues are protesting the death of the small boat fishery, which they say is being destroyed by the corporate trawler fleet | Tim Krochak

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