Atlantic halibut 4RST (2017-2018)

Species and Area

Atlantic halibut in the Gulf of St. Lawrence Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) divisions 4RST.

Dates of season (subject to change)

The management cycle for Gulf Atlantic halibut is from May 15 until May 14 of the following year. Specific dates for openings and closings will be determined in consultation with the various fleets through the normal Conservation Harvesting Plan (CHP) process.

Total Allowable Catch (TAC) and Sharing Arrangements (if applicable)

A Total Allowable Catch (TAC) of 1,297 t for Atlantic halibut 4RST will be established for a one year period from the May 15, 2017 until May 14, 2018.  A quota of 50 t has been identified under Section 10 of the Fisheries Act to pay the costs associated with an annual scientific longline survey and tagging program.  This allocation will be taken off the top of the 2017/2018 TAC.

The remaining quota (1,247 t) will be distributed based on the sharing formula announced in 2016 following the review of the inshore fixed gear shares.  A quota of 310 t, representing 92.5 % of the mobile gear fleets share, will be distributed equally between eight fixed gear inshore fleets currently involved in the directed Atlantic halibut fishery in 4RST.

As a result, the 2017-2018 initial allocations per fleet (calculated before quota reconciliation or carry-forward of previously uncaught quota when applicable) are as follows:

2017-2018 initial allocations per fleet
Fleets Allocation (t)
     Eastern New Brunswick 83.67
     Gulf Nova Scotia 56.20
     Gulf Prince Edward Island 51.42
     Western Newfoundland 317.17
     Quebec North Shore 110.36
     Gaspe 421.49
     Magdalen Islands 86.02
     Scotia Fundy 52.89
Mobile Gear ˂ 19.81 m 10.96
Fixed Gear 19.81 m – 30.48 m 42.75
Mobile Gear 19.81 m – 30.48 m 3.21
Vessels ˃ 30.48 m 10.96
Scientific survey 50
Total  1,297

Management Measures

Fisheries and Oceans Canada met with representatives from various fleet sectors in the commercial fishery, fish processing industry, the provincial government and affected aboriginal groups through a meeting of the Gulf Groundfish Advisory Committee in March of 2017. Stakeholders provided input on management measures, including TACs, for the 2017-2018 fishing season.

Conservation Harvesting Plans for individual fleets will be finalized through the normal consultation process between regional staff and industry officials.