The Cape Breton Fish Harvesters Association (previously the LFA27 Management Board) was established in 2010 when the government announced plans to assist Canada’s lobster fishery ensure its long-term sustainability and economic prosperity. In this area, lobster license holders voiced the need for more science and governance to ensure those goals. Since 2010, the Association has broadened its focus to the multiple species harvested in the area and has thus changed its name to the Cape Breton Fish Harvesters Association in to reflect this.
In 5 years, the Board has increased its activities and increased the number of fish harvesters involved. Since 2014, 3 university students are hired for almost 4 months to collect all the data for the Board, for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and for collaborators at the University of New Brunswick. The data is analyzed and reviewed by students and the project manager and presented to fishermen, and feeds into management. The Board is governed by 10 directors and has two full time staff, manager and assistant manager.
This website was produced based on recommendations made by Dalhousie School of Management students in their study: Marketing Lobster: Strategies for the Lobster Industry in Cape Breton. (Link to report).
- At-sea sampling of lobster catch and incidental catch
- Tagging of lobster to assess growth rates and movement
- Blood protein analysis and molt staging (both during and after the fishing season)
- Study on the effectiveness of trap escape mechanisms
- Collaboration with the Lobster node of the Canadian Fisheries Research Network (funded by NSERC) on a variety of projects:
- Abundance, size and quality of egg-bearing females to assess larval production
- Research on genetic markers to understand lobster population genetics
- Research on female egg production to understand the increase in poor egg coverage
- Research on egg-bearing females to predict hatching period.
- Larval drift models
- Lobster larval tows to monitor larval period and density
- Collaboration with the Fishermen and Scientists Research Society (FSRS) on coastal water temperature monitoring and juvenile recruitment
- Data contributions for the Stock Assessments performed by DFO Science.
- Collaboration with the Coastal Zone Research Institute on a study of lipid analysis of larvae.
- Collaboration with the DFO on the proposed St. Ann’s Bank Marine Protected Area
- Implementation of vote on a size increase as recommended by the Maritime Lobster Panel: from Canadian market size (81mm) to the American market size (82.5mm)
- Sponsoring workshops on Lobster Quality and Handling
- Monitoring of the lobster fishery in an area potentially affected by the Maritime Link project (Power Cable from Newfoundland to NS).
- Member of the Client Group seeking Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification of the inshore lobster fishery in NS and NB (Nova Scotia/New Brunswick Lobster Eco-certification Society).
- Dissemination of information on the struggle to maintain the Owner-Operator and Fleet Separation Policies of DFO.
- Commissioned a study on the Financial Viability of the Lobster Fishery
- Served as information hub for the price protest in the Spring of 2013
- Presentation to the Maritime Lobster Panel inquiring on protest issues
- Serving as a venue for lobster representatives to discuss issues and priorities outside of the formal committee set up by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans
- Assisting the NS Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture (NSDFA) to disseminate information on Fish Harvesters Organizations Support Act (FHOSA).
- Member of the Lobster Council of Canada
- Assisting the Lobster Council of Canada to disseminate their proposal for a 1-cent levy collection for Canadian lobster marketing and branding.
- Advisory committee for the Cape Breton Local Food Hub — a collaborative effort of the 4 Cape Breton counties to increase local food consumption and distribution.
- Collaborated with Dalhousie on a study for local marketing of lobster
In my opinion, three major accomplishments of the Cape Breton Fish Harvesters Association are:
- Bringing together a large group of harvesters who are looking to take this industry to the next level on the harvesters end;
- Reaching out to a great number of fish harvesters with trusted and up to date information on our industry from all aspects (wharf to plate); and
- Getting our harvesters recognized across the industry as a group who are willing to work with all sides to achieve a common goal to better this industry in all aspects for our region.
Ray Sherwood, Gabarus
If you would like to reach us, you can contact us here.