Terms of Reference
Assessment of the Stimpson’s surfclam fishery in the Quebec’s inshore waters
Regional Peer Review - Quebec Region
February 9, 2012
Chairperson: Louise Gendron
Stimpson's surfclam (Mactromeris polynyma) fishing is a recent activity in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Landings in recent years have been about 900 t and came mostly from the North Shore. The exploitation of beds is conducted using a hydraulic dredge, on sandy substrates located 10 to 25 m deep.
Quebec waters are divided into ten fishing areas to which access is limited to a restricted number of fishermen. The effort is also controlled by a fishing season and catches are limited by quota. Until now, the adjustment of the quotas was done with caution due to the slow growth and the sedentariness of this mollusc.
At the request of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Management Branch, resource assessment is done every three years. The last Stimpson’s surfclam stock review was done in 2009. The objective of the review is to determine whether changes that have occurred in the stock status necessitate adjustments to management plans based on the conservation approach taken.
Provide scientific advice on the management of Stimpson’s surfclam stocks in Quebec’s inshore waters (management units 1 to 5) for fishing seasons 2012 to 2014. This advice shall include:
- Description of the biology of Stimpson’s surfclam and its distribution in Quebec’s coastal waters;
- Description of the fishery including landings, fishing effort and management measures specific to the fishing areas;
- Description of the conservation approach used for this species;
- Analysis of catch per unit effort from the fishery;
- Analysis of data from the commercial sampling program;
- Analysis of bycatch from Stimpson’s surfclam fishery on the North Shore;
- Analysis of productivity of Portneuf-sur-Mer, Long Point and Natashquan beds;
- The calculation of an indicator of the exploitation rate;
- A proposal for quotas adjustment rules;
- Whenever possible, identify the best time of the year to fish in order to minimize impacts.
- Evaluation of the possibility of setting up a system of carry forward of catches;
- Identification and prioritization of research projects to be considered for the future.
- Perspectives and/or recommendations on management measures for the 2012-2014 fishing seasons in management units 1 to 5 (North Shore and Îles-de-la-Madeleine).
- CSAS Science Advisory Report on Stimpson’s surfclam in the Quebec inshore waters.
- CSAS Research document
- CSAS Proceedings summarizing discussions.
- DFO Science and Fisheries Management
- Fishing industry
- Provincial representatives
- Aboriginal Communities / Organizations
Participation to CSAS peer review meetings is by invitation only.