Posted in Commercial Fishing

Owning the Owner Operator Policy

I read a blog post this week and the first paragraph rang so true to me: how most media stories would lead you to believe that the fishery is on its last legs and a dying industry when the opposite is in fact the case.  What really caught my interest though was that there is a movement in the United States that if new fishing licences are issued, that they be to owner operators. At a time when Canada’s commitment to owner operator fisheries seems to be seriously in question, it’s interesting to see other countries advocating and moving in that direction.


Owner operator fisheries means simply that the person who owns the boat and license is the one on the water fishing. While the official policy jargon in Canada will tell you that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans supports owner operator fisheries, the reality of policy decisions over the past two decades that I’ve been in the fishery have resulted in quite the opposite: management has moved towards individual transferable quotas (ITQ’s) which ultimately result in consolidation of access to the resource for a few (mainly) corporate interests who then hire people to fish.


So what’s the problem, right? People still have jobs fishing. Well, I guess it depends on how you look at it.

Continue reading “Owning the Owner Operator Policy”

Posted in Current Events, Entertainment, Music, Television

Confession Time

If you’ve been in Canada the past few weeks or months, you know* that this summer is the last tour for the  Tragically Hip under tragic circumstances. Lead singer Gord Downie announced this spring that he has terminal brain cancer.  Tickets for the most sought after concert series in years sold out in minutes.


These performances have become a national cultural event. The final concert is tonight in the band’s hometown of Kingston, Onatrio. CBC will air it live on TV, radio, and online. Considering they have the Canadian broadcast rights to the Olympics and are instead choosing to air the Hip concert gives you some idea what a touchstone this is.


Through it all, friends have talked and posted excitedly the band; what they’ve meant to them, the sadness that it’s coming to an end; struggles and triumphs when they got tickets; frustration when they couldn’t; and where they’ll be watching.  I’ve smiled and exclaimed excitedly or dismay; I’ve liked the heck out their posts; but it’s been a cover for a dark secret:

Continue reading “Confession Time”

Posted in Pets and Other Animals

A year with Charlie

A year ago I brought home a little black fuzz ball. Almost immediately I realized he was going to be different than my last lazy-since-he-was-a-puppy dog.


There were destroyed shoes:


Continue reading “A year with Charlie”

Posted in Commercial Fishing

What happened to “service”?

I’ve discovered as I’ve aged that my tolerance for some things becomes less and less. I have this crazy, idealogical concept that government and the public service is actually about, well, serving the public, so it’s no surprise that the National Online Licensing System can generally make me rant like an angry monkey. Let’s just say the DFO’s explanation of their service standards yesterday was one of those things:



We often hear from clients who are wondering how long it takes for licensing to process a request, from the time we receive it to completion. The following information will provide you with DFO Licensing service delivery standards. Below are most of the services that licensing provides online with an approximate time for that service to be completed. This should provide guidance for your clients so they can plan ahead. Please feel free to post it in your office for fishers to read.

2 Business Days:

– Request licence conditions – 2 business days (if conditions are ready when requested)
– E-mail/voicemail inquiries – 2 business days (advice, licensing policy information)

*(Licensing does not accept requests for service by voicemail. Any voicemail requests for services that are available in NOLS receive a standard e-mailed response).

*(Licensing endeavours to respond within 2 business days; however, high volumes and staff shortages can contribute to a longer response time)

5 Business Days:

– Fisher Registration renewal
– Licence renewal
– Vessel Registration renewal
– Vessel Transfer
– Substitute operator (medical, vacation, etc.) 5 business days (30 days for medical over 5 years)
– Vessel Transfer
– Request licence conditions

30 Business Days:

– New fisher registration
– New vessel registration
– Licence re-issuance (licence transfers, combining)
– Stacking/partnership arrangements – 30 business days
– Applying for new licences (recreational, marine plants)
– Other Licensing Services not listed (requests for information, etc.)

Continue reading “What happened to “service”?”