Annual lobster commercial catches are highly variable within the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence. Depending on the lobster fishing area, yields on fishing grounds were ranging from 0.8 to 2.3 t/km2 in 2000. However, the overall lobster catches in the southern Gulf have been slowly declining since the 1990 record landing of 22,063 t, to 17,564t in 2001.
In 2001, the management objective was to have management measures in place to allow for the doubling of the egg per recruit (E/R) from the 1998 values. Although this initial objective was not achieved, there were important progresses made in increasing the overall relative egg production in five fishing areas.
In general, the results presented indicate that the exploitation rate on the resource is still high and the fishery relies heavily on the success and strength of annual recruitment. Overall fishing effort level has shown little changes over the last 15 years.
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