Fishing, Hunting, and Wharves
The Fisheries of Grand Manan
• The fisheries of Grand Manan are and have always been the mainstay of our island economy. Visit one of the commercial wharves for a closer look at some of the vessels engaged in various fisheries
• LOBSTER: Year round. November through June – main season, July through October – Grey Zone season). Holding facilities (tank houses and tidal lobster pounds at Woodwards Cove and between Ross Island and the main island collectively represent one of the world’s largest lobster holding centres).
• HERRING: Our herring weir fishery is one of the largest in the Bay of Fundy, both for sardines and large herring. Smoked herring was one of the oldest traditions before refrigeration but is now just a memory. Cured, hard smoked herring (bloaters) and herring fillets provided a valuable food source that kept for months without refrigeration. The various smoke stand operations usually began in late July when the first herring were seined from the weirs and continued into the fall and winter months. Once a mainstay of our fishing economy this trade has disappeared with only a few buildings remaining.
• FISH & SCALLOPS: Seining, dragging (or trawling), handlining and gill netting of fish, and scallop dragging are also important sectors of our fishing industry.
• OTHER: Digging clams, picking periwinkles, and dragging for sea urchins and shrimp supplement fishing incomes.
Sealife – Fishing PDF
Sealife – Herring & Weirs PDF
Commercial Wharves and Haul-ups
• Berths are available at the four main commercial wharves. Mooring is also possible.
• Boat launches are also available. North Head, Ingalls Head, Seal Cove, White Head
• A service area is located in Ingalls Head where vessels can be lifted out of the water and put in a storage lot.
• Fundy Marine Service Centre (Ingalls Head)
• Salmon aquaculture dominates around Grand Manan, however, some farm sites are now integrating other species into their farms such as blue mussels.
• Salmon smolts are introduced to the cage sites in either spring or fall. The smolts are raised from eggs in freshwater hatcheries and shipped to Grand Manan.
• Salmon feed boats leave at least twice a day from North Head, Woodwards Cove, White Head and Seal Cove wharves taking food to the cage sites to feed the salmon. After approximately 18 months, the salmon are harvested.
Hunting & Fishing Seasons
• Grand Manan has a number of hunting seasons, including those for white-tailed deer, migratory and non-migratory bird species including waterfowl. Non-resident licences are available for purchase on the island. Note worthy for water fowl is a February season for seaducks in the Bay of Fundy when other areas are closed.
• Fishing for fresh-water fish such as trout and small-mouth bass is also possible with some ponds stocked. Licences are required depending on age, see below for links.
• Fishing for marine species is also possible, the easiest method is from one of the main wharves where you may find people fishing for mackerel, squid, etc. Daily limits are ten of either cod, pollock, hake, flounder or haddock but does not include halibut. There are no daily limits on mackerel, herring or squid. Deep-sea fishing tours are not available currently. Recreational permits to dive for 50 scallops/day, are available through Fisheries and Oceans Canada, however, recreational permits for lobster are not allowed. Collecting periwinkles, soft-shelled clams, etc. are possible but check with Fisheries and Oceans Canada for clam flats that can be harvested. There are daily limits on the number of clams that can be harvested (100 soft-shelled clams) but no daily limits for periwinkles. Flats may be closed when shellfish are contaminated with such contaminants as red tide.
• Valuable information about hunting and fishing can be found on the websites for New Brunswick Natural Resources (birds and mammals or fishing), the Canadian Wildlife Service (migratory birds). Grand Manan is in Southwest New Brunswick and Zone 1 for migratory birds.
The Dulse Capital of the World
• This edible seaweed, known locally as ‘Dark Harbour’ dulse, is hand picked at low tide on the western side of the island, primarily landed at Dark Harbour, sun died and packaged for export as a condiment and seasoning. Some dulse is also picked on the eastern side of the island and is commonly called 'passage' dulse. Visitors can see the drying operations at various locations around the island. Try it the way most islanders prefer it, as a snack food, fresh dried and eaten with the fingers. Nori, a thin seaweed used for sushi and sashimi, is now also harvested at low water and exported to Japan and other locations.
Sealife – Seaweeds PDF