Category Archives: fishing

The Herring Fleet is back

The Herring fleet has been back to calling in Halifax. Lady Melissa and and Morning Star both have put into port to offload at pier 9. Unlike previous years, where the ships hung out on the waterfront, they proceeded directly back to sea.

Low fish stocks have led to reductions in quota the past few years – the fleet was last here in 2019, though this year only the 2 vessels have called so far this year

Fundy Monarch

The third fishing vessel, Fundy Monarch, on the water front earlier this week. The vessels fish at night, and offload their catch at Pier 9. The fish are pumped into tank trucks, to be driven to the processors.

In the photo above, you can see the unloading rig in front of the fishing boat, and an empty trailer waiting to receive catch.

The Fishing Fleet Returns

The Fleet of Herring Seiners is back this year, after a 2 year absence. The Fishing fleet traditionally put in in May and June, but this year is later and consists of only 3 vessels – Morning Star, Lady Melissa, and Fundy Monarch.

On June 21, the Minister of DFO announced a reduction of the catch of 33%. in May it was reported the reduction could be as high as 63%, due to risk to the species. Given the number of people employed by the fishery, there is considerable pressure to keep the quota up. The Quota was 42,500tons in 2018, 35,000tons 2019-2021, and was set to 23,450tons.

See coverage in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018, and 2019

Shelburne Ship Repair Sold

Shelburne Ship repair has been sold by Irving Shipbuilding to Mersey Seafoods. Since 2014, Shelburne Ship repair has been the center of commercial ship repair work for Irving, with none happening in Halifax. Halifax shipyard has been focused on Building the AOPS, and frigate maintenance work.

Shelburne Ship Repair in 2011

All 67 employees at the yard will be retained by Mersey Seafoods. Shelburne Ship repair underwent significant upgrades in 2011, including a new marine railway. The total bill for the upgrades was 16milliion dollars. Shelburne Ship Repair can work on vessels up to 229 metres long, and the marine railway is capable of lifting two vessels weighing up to 4,200 tonnes each.

Since the Upgrade, the yard has conducted work on dozens of vessels including the refit on the CCGS Kolpit Hopson 1752, which was brought to Dartmouth for completion, Presumably to allow the sale to close with no work left in the yard.

Mersey Seafoods operates a number of Fishing Vessels, and is based in Liverpool Nova Scotia. Their trawler Mersey Phoenix is currently undergoing a work period in Spain.

Mersey Phoenix at Pier 9

The sale could signal that Irving is looking to focus solely on Government work under the NSPS, or they could be looking to do more repair work in Halifax. Halifax Shipyard is set to conduct its first  commercial ship repair work in a number of years.  

The yard is scheduled to conduct maintenance and Inspections on four Atlantic Towing platform supply vessels supporting the Hibernia and Hebron projects off Newfoundland. The Atlantic Shrike, Atlantic Griffon, Atlantic Heron, and Paul A Sacuta were constructed in 2016 and entered service in 2017.  The 4 ships are built to Daemen’s PSV 5000 Design, and are virtually identical, though the Paul A Sacuta features an 100ton capacity offshore crane.  

The coasting trade application indicates that each ship will be lifted out of the water for 7 days, and the 4 ships will be done sequentially, between February 15th at the earliest and concluding by May 31. The ships are due for their 5 year class surveys.

F/V Atlantic Destiny Catches fire and Sinks.

On March 2, The F/V Atlantic Destiny Caught fire, with 31 persons onboard. Facebook posts seemed to indicate that the engine blew up, which was the cause of the fire. The fire was extinguished by the crew, but the vessel was then found to be taking on water, and a Mayday issued at 20:10.

Mayday Relay from Halifax Coast Guard Radio via Colchester Fire and Emergency Calls FB Page.

The RCAF deployed a Hercules aircraft, which parachuted a SarTech to the stricken vessel, and a CH-149 Cormorant Helicopter, Both based at 14 Wing Greenwood.

The Halifax Joint Rescue Co-ordination centre notified watchstanders at the USCG 1st District Command centre of the incident at 20:05. USCG Sector North East deployed a HC-144 Ocean Sentry Aircraft and two MH-60 JayHawk Helicopters to the scene from the USCG Air Station Cape Cod.

Winds were reported to be 55Knots, and 30′ seas at the time. The CCGS Cape Roger also responded, as did Clearwater fishing vessels Maude Adams and Cape LeHave.

Helicopters began removing crew around 11:30pm. 21 were removed by the two USCG Jayhawks, and 6 were removed by the CH149 Cormorant, which reported suffered a winch malfunction. The ships crew were flown to Yarmouth.

The CH149 also delivered a second SARTech, who along with 4 remaining crew worked to dewater the vessel. as of 00:30 the ships generator was operating, and the pumps running. By 8am, the decision was made to cease de-watering efforts, and the remaining 4 crew and 2 sar Techs were transferred to the CCGS Cape Roger. The F/V Atlantic Destiny sank at 10:36am.

The F/V Atlantic Destiny was built in Denmark in 2002, and is a scallop factory freezer vessel, owned by Ocean Choice International of Newfoundland. It sails out of Riverport N.S, and is staffed by two 30 person crews who rotate 3 week stints.

There will be much speculation into what happened. The Vessel was the subject of a TSB investigation after a March 2017 incident that led to main engine failure. The report indicates that the ship had a history of engine shutdowns.

This post is an updated version of the live twitter thread i have been maintaining about the incident.

Fishing Vessel Missing in Bay of Fundy.

JRCC Photo. via Twitter.

JRCC has confirmed that the fishing vessel CHIEF WILLIAM SAULIS owned by YARMOUTH SEA PRODUCTS LIMITED. is the missing vessel. it’s a 2004 built 50′ fiberglass boat. There were 6 persons on board. The boat fishes scallops.

An Epirb was detected this morning at 0551 AST. RCAF C-130 and CH149 Cormerant were dispatched from Greenwood, as well as CCGS Courtney Bay & CCGS M. Perley tasked to search. Debris was spotted at 0822AST, including two liferafts on the beach. both were empty. GSAR and RCAF crews are continuing to search.

Weather observed at the West Bay of Fundy ODAS Buoy at the time of the EPIRB activation shows 1.7m waves, with winds from the North West 26knots (50km/h), gusting to 33knots.

The Fishing Vessel Guess 2 also ended up on the beach at the Yarmouth Bar. the crew escaped unharmed.

UPDATE: Sir William Alexander has been tasked to the Search. hearing second hand reports that witnesses may have seen an explosion.

UPDATE: a CP140 Aurora has joined the search earlier this evening.

UPDATE:23:00 JRCC is reporting that 1 body has been recovered, and next of kin notified.

Herring Fleet is Back

Sea Life II and Morning Star at Bishop’s Landing. Lady Melissa is not pictured at the museum wharves.

This past week brought the return of the Herring fleet to Halifax. So far, only 3 vessels have tied up, but more may follow.

Fishing Fleet is Back

the annual return of of the fishing fleet is in full swing, with various vessels tying up throughout the harbour. The signers fish herring, and follow the schools of fish, operating out of Halifax for May and June.

See coverage in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016

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