Atlantic Lobster Sustainability Measures

The Atlantic Lobster Sustainability Measures (ALSM) program will help Canada’s lobster fishery ensure its long-term sustainability and economic prosperity. The program supports industry efforts to maintain healthy lobster stocks in all Lobster Fishing Areas, and improve lobster abundance in areas where stocks have declined. It also supports economic prosperity by helping to set the conditions for commercial success.

For the Canadian lobster fishery to respond to new global market preferences, industry restructuring is required, along with strong conservation measures to maintain and enhance lobster stocks, address ecosystem impacts and to improve catch monitoring and fishing effort reporting.

The Government of Canada has committed $50 million under the Atlantic Lobster Sustainability Measures program for Lobster Fishing Areas (LFAs) to develop and implement Sustainability Plans.

Ecosystem and fishery characteristics vary across the 41 LFAs in Atlantic Canada and Quebec. As a result, there is no one single plan that is right for every LFA. A flexible approach is required to design conservation and restructuring measures that respond to the unique ecosystem and fishery circumstances within each LFA.

The Atlantic Lobster Sustainability Measures (ALSM) program includes a two-stage process:

  1. LFAs submit to DFO a proposed LFA-wide Sustainability Plan that balances the need for improvement in conservation and sustainability of lobster fisheries with some flexibility to suit local conditions, including the biology of the stock and ecosystem factors.
    • DFO will assess the strength of the proposed plan, and advise if modifications are needed.
  2. Once the Sustainability Plan has been approved, commercial harvester organizations within the LFA may submit requests to DFO for partial funding of proposed projects under the ALSM which may include self-restructuring.

The amount of partial funding that is available for subsequent projects is determined by the strength of the conservation measures in the LFA-wide Sustainability Plan. DFO will provide partial funding of the eligible expenses for projects.  An External Application Review Board will provide advice to DFO on the merits of sustainability plans and funding proposals.