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ARCHIVED - Northern Shrimp Northeast Newfoundland, Labrador Coast and Davis Strait - Effective 2003

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INTRODUCTION

This Integrated Fisheries Management Plan will be in effect from 2003 onward. Annual reviews of the available scientific information may lead to changes in the Total Allowable Catches (TAC) in some or all of the fishing areas over time. In addition, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans may change any provision of this plan, as the need arises, consistent with all applicable legislation.

Management measures under this Plan will apply to Land Claim Areas (i.e. Nunavut Settlement Area, Nunavik Inuit Marine Region) when they are approved by the body responsible for the management of those areas (i.e. Nunavut Wildlife Management Board (NWMB), Nunavik Marine Region Council).


TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. OVERVIEW OF THE FISHERY
  2. STOCK STATUS
  3. LONG-TERM OBJECTIVES FOR THE FISHERY
  4. GENERAL MANAGEMENT OBJECTIVES
  5. CURRENT MANAGEMENT ISSUES
  6. MANAGEMENT MEASURES FOR 2003
  7. ENFORCEMENT ISSUES AND STRATEGIES
  8. FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES
  9. ANNEX A - TAC SHARING PRINCIPLES AND ARRANGEMENTS
  10. ANNEX B - NORTHERN SHRIMP ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP AND TERMS OF REFERENCE
  11. ANNEX C - ENTERPRISE ALLOCATION PROGRAM
  12. ANNEX D - 2003 MANAGEMENT MEASURES FOR INSHORE NORTHERN SHRIMP FISHERY IN SFAs 4, 5 AND 6
  13. ANNEX E - COMPLIANCE PROTOCOL FOR NORTHERN SHRIMP
  14. ANNEX F - NORTHERN SHRIMP 2002 FISHERY
  15. ANNEX G - 2003 NEWS RELEASE - NORTHERN SHRIMP

1. OVERVIEW OF THE FISHERY

The fishery is based primarily on a single species, Pandalus borealis (northern or pink shrimp), one of several cold water species of shrimp found north of latitude 40° N in the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic oceans. A second species, Pandalus montagui (striped shrimp), is commercially less important, but is fished exclusively in shrimp fishing areas (SFAs) 2, 3 and 4 (as defined in the fishing licence) and occurs as by-catch elsewhere in the P. borealis fishery. Increased commercial interest in the P. montagui species began in 2002 with a 2,500t exploratory quota being allocated to the NWMB across SFAs 2 and 3 inside the Nunavut Settlement Area (NSA).

Following a short period of exploratory fishing, a commercial fishery for northern shrimp began in 1978. Early results were encouraging, but generally weak markets during the mid-1980s caused landings to decline. Annual catches had increased to about 9,000t in 1981 but then declined to only 3,000t in 1984. By 1986, market conditions had improved and the industry responded with substantially increased fishing effort and catches. Annual catches steadily increased from 1984-2000 with the 2000 catch of approximately 100,500t being the highest recorded. In 2001, catches decreased for the first time (95,457t), in part due to a suspension of effort by the inshore fleet during the summer months due to low prices in the market. Market problems for the inshore product continued to beleaguer this fleet resulting in further diminished activity in 2002.

In an attempt to encourage development in the early years, the federal government allowed licence holders to charter foreign vessels to harvest their allocations. This practice was phased out over the ensuing years and today, most vessels in the fishery are Canadian and carry Canadian crews. The exception to this rule is the use of foreign vessels as short term charter replacements to cover exceptional cases such as vessel loss.

Twelve to thirteen offshore trawlers currently fish the seventeen offshore northern shrimp licences, the last licence being issued in 1991, using small meshed otter trawls which are fitted with sorting grates (see figure 2) to avoid by-catch of finfish. All of the catch from these vessels is processed and frozen on board as either cooked or raw product. The offshore industry funds 100% observer coverage to monitor activity and conduct scientific sampling of the catches.

In 1997, substantial increases in the TACs in SFAs 2, 5 and 6 were announced. Allocations of 1,530t in SFA 5 (Hopedale and Cartwright Channels) and 12,050t in SFA 6 (Hawke Channel plus Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) Division 3K) were given to new, temporary entrants adjacent to the resource. All existing traditional offshore licence holders shared the additional allocation in SFA 2 (Davis Strait) of 1,750t and 6.5 of the seventeen existing licence holders shared an additional allocation in SFA 5 through a 6,120t allocation to the Northern Coalition (NC).

In 1998 there were again increases in the TACs for SFAs 4 and 6. In SFA 4 (Division 2G), the TAC increase of 3,120t was shared between traditional offshore licence holders (90%) and adjacent inshore temporary entrants (10%). In SFA 6 the quota increase of 23,100t was shared between offshore licence holders (10%) and adjacent inshore temporary entrants (90%).

In 1999, an exploratory quota of 3,500t was created in SFA 2, where 50% was allocated to Nunavut (1,750t) and 50% (1,750t) to offshore licence holders. This allocation was initially fished north of 63°00'N but is now fished east of 63°00'W. In SFA 6 an increase of 12,432t was shared between traditional offshore licence holders (10%) and adjacent inshore temporary entrants (90%).

In 2000, a TAC increase in SFA 6 of 3,000t was divided equally between the adjacent Innu Nation and adjacent inshore temporary entrants. As well, NAFO established a new 6,000t quota for the NAFO Division 3L portion of SFA 7. Canada was allocated 5,000t of this quota, which was divided between adjacent inshore temporary entrants (50%), traditional offshore licence holders (20%) and a P.E.I. Consortium of fishers (30%).

In 2001, an increase in P. borealis in SFA 1 of 2,690t was allocated in light of NAFO TAC increases in 0A & 1 that occurred in 2001. It was unclear whether this TAC increase had occurred in 2001, so confirmation was sent out in 2002 along with the 2001 TAC increases.

In 2002, a 2,000t SFA 2 and 500t SFA 3 quota increase for exploratory P. montagui inside the NSA was allocated to the NWMB.

In 2003, another SFA 1 TAC increase of 2,127t was allocated pursuant to the NAFO Scientific Council recommendation to increase the overall 0A + 1 quota from 85,000t to 100,000t. As well, SFA 7 saw an increase of 5,833t based on NAFO Scientific Council advice bringing Canada's portion of the 3L quota to 10,833t.

(See Annex A for details on the sharing principles and sharing arrangements from 1997-2003).

Due to the lack of research activities and scientific data in the north, industry participants made a recommendation in 2002 and 2003 to have a portion of any offshore TAC increases in SFAs 4 and 5 allocated to a "research quota". This would be used to fund a multi-year research proposal in the northern areas at a cost of approximately $2 million annually. Due to the lack of TAC increases in 2002, this research quota was not allocated. In 2003, it was recommended that a joint DFO/industry working group investigate the feasibility of this approach to science, and a quota was allocated for this purpose.

1.1 Participants

Industry structure

The seventeen traditional offshore licences are currently held by fourteen corporate entities: Three companies hold two licences each, eleven others each hold a single licence and two of these are joint owners of a company holding one licence. The initial and current offshore licence holdings by company are outlined in Table 1.

Year Issued # of Licences Issued to Now Held By Quota Fished by (vessel) Vessel Owner
1978 2 Labrador Fishermen's Union Shrimp Co. Ltd., St. John's, NL Labrador Fishermen's Union Shrimp Co. Ltd. Northern Eagle/Northern Osprey M.V. Osprey Ltd., Moncton, N.B.
1978 2 Fishery Products Limited, St. John's, NL Fishery Products International Ltd., St. John's, NL Newfoundland Otter Fishery Products International Ltd., St. John's, NL
1978 1 Bickerton Industries (Mersey), Liverpool, NS Mersey Seafoods Ltd., Liverpool, NS Mersey Venture/Mersey Viking/Mersey Phoenix Mersey Seafoods Ltd., Liverpool, NS
1978 1 Atmar Marine (UMF) Mersey Seafoods Ltd., Liverpool, NS
(since 1982)
Mersey Venture/Mersey Viking/Mersey Phoenix Mersey Seafoods Ltd., Liverpool, NS
1978 1 Pandalus Nordique Lameque Offshore Limited (New Brunswick) but leased to M.V. Osprey Ltd., Mulgrave, NS
(since 1985)
Northern Osprey/
Northern Eagle
M.V. Osprey Ltd., Moncton, N.B.
1978 1 Pêcheurs Unis du Québec, Québec Crevettes Nordiques, Bedford, NS Atlantic Enterprise Clearwater Seafoods Limited Partnership., Bedford, NS
1978 1 Eastern Quebec Seafood, Quebec Atlantic Shrimp Co. Ltd., Lunenburg, NS Atlantic Enterprise Clearwater Ocean Prawns Joint Venture, Lunenburg, NS
1978 1 Torngat Fish Producers Coop Society Ltd., Labrador Torngat Fish Producers Coop Society Ltd., Labrador Mersey Viking Mersey Seafoods Ltd., Liverpool, NS
1978 1 Carapec, New Brunswick Caramer Ltd., Caraquet, NB Acadienne Gale Davis Strait Mgt. Ltd., Halifax, NS
1979 1 Imaqpik, Quebec Makivik Corp, Lachine, Quebec Aqvik Farocan Inc.
1987 1 Pikalujak Fisheries Ltd., Labrador Pikalujak Fisheries Ltd., Labrador Ocean Prawns Ocean Prawns Canada Ltd.
1987 1 Baffin Region Inuit Assoc., Baffin Island, NU Qikiqtaaluk Corporation, Baffin Island, NU Acadienne Gale Davis Strait Mgt. Ltd., Halifax, NS
1987 1 Harbour Grace Shrimp Co., Harbour Grace, NL Harbour Grace Shrimp Co., Harbour Grace, NL Ocean Prawns Ocean Prawns Canada Ltd.
1987 1 155877 Inc. Unaaq Fisheries Inc., Kuujjuaq, Quebec Arctic Endurance Clearwater Seafoods Limited Partnership,
Bedford, NS
1991 1 Newfound Resources Ltd., St. John's, NL Newfound Resources Ltd. St. John's, NF Ocean Pride Newfound Resources Ltd., St. John's, NL

Charter arrangements have been common since the inception of the offshore fishery because access to capital and expertise was an effective barrier for many licence holders. The main difference between the current and earlier charter arrangements is that the current ones are with established integrated companies, who also hold shrimp licences.

The traditional offshore northern shrimp licence holders (17) are represented by four organizations. The Canadian Association of Prawn Producers (CAPP) represent 9 licence holders and the Northern Coalition represent 6 licence holders and the Labrador Inuit Development Corporation. The remaining 2 licence holders (Harbour Grace Shrimp Company Ltd. and Pikalujak Fisheries Ltd.) are not members of either of these organizations. The Executive Directors of CAPP and the Northern Coalition deal with DFO on day-to-day issues.

The offshore industry is self-managed to a large degree with CAPP administering the Enterprise Allocation (EA) program and Flemish Cap days on ground.

CAPP licences include:

  1. Fishery Products International Ltd. - 2 licences
  2. Mersey Seafoods Ltd. - 2 licences
  3. M.V. Osprey Ltd. - 1 licence
  4. Crevettes Nordiques - 1 licence
  5. Atlantic Shrimp Co. Ltd. - 1 licence
  6. Caramer Ltd. - 1 licence
  7. Newfound Resources Ltd. - 1 licence

The Northern Coalition, an organization which includes Aboriginal/regional and cooperative based groups, includes the following licence holders:

  1. Labrador Fishermen's Union Shrimp Company Ltd. - 2 licences
  2. Torngat Fish Producers Coop Society Ltd. - 1 licence
  3. Labrador Inuit Development Corporation (LIDC)- no licence
  4. Qikiqtaaluk Corporation - 1 licence
  5. Unaaq Fisheries - 1 licence
  6. Makivik Corporation - 1 licence

The Northern Coalition also has as a member the St. Anthony Basin Resource Inc. (SABRI) who holds a 3,000t allocation of northern shrimp in SFA 6.

In 1997, quota increases in SFA 5 and 6 were shared with additional fishermen (Northern Coalition, SABRI, Innu, LIA and Cartwright) on a temporary basis.

In 2000, a quota increase in SFA 6 was distributed between the Innu, Fogo Island Co-operative Society and the inshore fleet on a temporary basis. This same year a 5,000t allocation set by NAFO for Division 3L (SFA 7) was distributed between the offshore and inshore fleets as well as the P.E.I. Consortium. This arrangement continued through 2001 and 2002 but no additions were made to these allocations.

One of the principles underlying this sharing arrangement is that those adjacent to the resource should benefit. Therefore, new entrants have mainly been individual core fishers with vessels less than 65 feet in length based in SFA 5 or 6. Allocations were also set aside for fishers residing adjacent to NAFO Division 3L and in the northern parts of Divisions 4R and 4S, who have traditionally fished groundfish in SFAs 5 or 6.

In 2003, following the Independent Panel on Access Criteria (IPAC) recommendations, there was an effort to increase Aboriginal involvement in this fishery. Allocations were made to the Innu, the Labrador Metis Nation, the Labrador Inuit Association, and the Conne River Micmac.

Adjacent displaced cod fishers in Newfoundland and Labrador and the Lower North Shore of Quebec were also seen as priorities for 2003 and allocations in SFA 5 and 6 were made to alleviate some of the strain being faced by these fishers due to 2003 groundfish closures.

Fleet Structure and Operations

The current offshore fleet is comprised of twelve to thirteen factory freezer trawlers. All are purpose-built for shrimp trawling and processing; though some are also able to process and freeze groundfish. They range in length from 49m to 75m, with hold capacities ranging from 400 to 1,960m3. These vessels operate out of ports in Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, with occasional landings in Greenland when fishing in far northern waters (SFA 1). Fishing trips generally last until the hold is full, a period ranging from 20 to 75 days, depending on catch rates and hold capacity. The larger, more modern vessels may make more than six to eight fishing trips per year, averaging 270-320 days annually. The smaller offshore vessels fish for 200-250 days, making eight to ten trips per year.

The inshore fleet is mainly composed of vessels less that 65 ft. operated by either adjacent fishers or core fishers who geared up to fish in SFA 6. Vessels fish using otter trawls, with a few using beam trawls. Some experimental work is ongoing with shrimp pots in Nunavut. The inshore fishery is conducted on a competitive basis with trip limits and harvesting caps determined and enforced by the industry itself.

Employment

The offshore fleet double-crews their vessels with average crews of seventeen to twenty-eight (depending on the size of the vessel) for a total of approximately 600 crew for the entire fleet. The inshore fleet is comprised of approximately 360 multi-species enterprises employing about 2,000 fishers. Twelve inshore shrimp plants employ a core workforce of approximately 1,350 plant workers.

Contribution to Northern Development

The shrimp fishery makes an important contribution to northern development through employment and training of northern residents, including a substantial number of Inuit and Innu residing in northern Newfoundland and Labrador, northern Quebec and Baffin Island, Nunavut. Royalty fees earned by northern companies from shrimp allocations are an important source of funds for northern development. Since 1997, 38 Labrador enterprises in the <65 ft. vessel sector have been issued shrimp permits. A shrimp peeling plant has been established in Charlottetown, Labrador.

Indirect Effects

The offshore industry spends some $50-60 million annually on goods and services needed to support vessel operations and land-based activities. Most of this is spent in Atlantic Canada creating jobs and generating income in service industries. Among the activities contributing are: vessel and gear repair, maintenance, stevedoring, provisioning (food and fuel), observer coverage, and travel and transportation.

1.2 Location of the Fishery

The fishery takes place off the coast of eastern Canada from 49° 15' N to 75°00' N (Baffin Bay). Although separate stocks of shrimp have not been clearly defined, scientists have observed differences in rates of growth and maturation, which are attributable to different habitat conditions across the geographic range of the species. These differences provide the present basis for delineating assessment and management units, referred to as Shrimp Fishing Areas as defined in the fishing licences. These units also provide the basis for management of the fishery as a whole. (See Figure1).

The individual fishing areas vary considerably in their contribution to the commercial fishery. In brief, SFAs 2, 4, 5 and 6 are the principal fishing grounds, accounting for over 75% of the total TAC in 2001 and approximately 80% of the catch in recent years. The SFA 0 TAC is a preemptory one only, as this area presents formidable ice and weather conditions and has never been fished beyond exploratory trials in the early years. SFA 1 has not performed well in recent years with the average catch over the period 1994 to 2001 being approximately 38% of the TAC. Increased effort occurred in 2002 resulting in increased catch rates of high quality shrimp. The SFA 2 exploratory TAC established in 1999, is developing slowly, mainly because shrimp concentrations tend to be elusive.

Prior to 1995, the fishery in SFA 3, directed exclusively toward P. montagui, was dependent upon the existence of favourable markets for the species, the maintenance of high catch rates and the relative performance of the fishery for P. borealis in other areas. These factors, coupled with some past concerns for environmental sensitivity (the importance of shrimp as prey for marine fish and mammals), resulted in sporadic 1979-1994 fisheries.

A shift in P. montagui distribution was observed in 1995 and, since then, catches have improved to 3,000-3,700t annually in the area west of 63°00' W in SFAs 2, 3 & 4.

SFA 7 (3L) is a NAFO managed P. borealis stock. In 2000, NAFO announced a 6,000t TAC for the NAFO Division 3L portion of SFA 7. Five-thousand tonnes of this TAC was allocated to Canada and was further sub-allocated to the traditional offshore licence holders (1,000t), adjacent inshore temporary permit holders (2,500t) and the PEI consortium (1,500t). This regime remained in place from 2000-2002.

1.3 Time Frame of Fishery

The offshore fishery is a year-round one which begins in SFAs 5 and 6 in January and moves north as the ice permits throughout the year. During mid-summer, the offshore fleet concentrates its fishing in the northern areas (SFAs 1 and 2) and finishes the year in SFA 4. This year-round fishing pattern was essential in order to maintain a financially viable operation and to provide a continuous supply of shrimp to the fiercely competitive international market.

Northern Shrimp Fishing Zones

In 2003, the Northern Shrimp Advisory Committee recommended a change in seasons that would run from April 1 to March 31st. Providing that Science would remain on a calendar year schedule, this would allow for more timely announcements of management measures and TAC increases in each year.

This proposal was accepted by the Minister and 15-month roll-over season was proposed for 2003.

Generally, the inshore shrimp-fishing season runs from April to October with the exception of 2001 and 2002, where industry-imposed closures took place in July and August. Prior to 2001, the bulk of the inshore fishing effort took place in July and August. In 1999 and 2000, over 50% of the landings from the inshore fleet occurred during this period.

Vessel size and environmental conditions such as ice and weather, restrict operations for the inshore fleet in the spring and fall, however the quality of shrimp is reported to be significantly better in the spring and fall as compared to the summer.

1.4 Landings, Value and Markets

Quantity and Value of Catch

Landings for all SFAs from 1991 to 2002 are given in Table 2. The catch increased close to forty-fold between 1978 and 2000, rising from 2,600t to a high of 100,591t in 2000 before a drop to 95,457t occurred in 2001. Landings rose again in 2002 to approximately 102,000t

Prices received by Canadian producers are influenced by the interaction of global supply and demand of shrimp (cold-water and warm-water shrimp) and shrimp substitutes. Factors include resource availability, a volatile international market and most significantly, exchange rates. Currently, prices for northern shrimp are much lower than levels achieved in the late 1990's. For the offshore, prices have dropped approximately one-third.

The combined product value for the northern shrimp fishery in 2002 is estimated to be in the vicinity of $250 million. This is up somewhat from the estimated $230 million value for 2001 and is mainly due to increased landings from the inshore, but down from the historical highs of $280 million in 1999 and 2000.

TABLE 2 Catches and Landed Values 1991-2002

Year Catch Product Value
1991 19,172 $75.70
1992 24,189 $85.90
1993 25,797 $85.10
1994 28,985 $123.20
1995 30,050 $138.20
1996 31,340 $134.80
1997 48,310 $160.00
1998 78,867 $250.00
1999 85,331 $280.00
2000 100,591 $280.00
2001 95,457 $230.00
2002 102,054 $250.00

Northern Shrimp Catch vs. Product Value

Products and markets

Offshore Fleet

The traditional offshore fleet focuses on the frozen at sea, shell-on product, which was historically marketed in Japan and Western Europe. The largest and intermediate-sized shrimp were packed raw-frozen for the Japanese sushi, sashimi and consumer markets, or were cooked and frozen for the European/Russian markets.

A major shift in the size composition of shrimp has had a direct affect on markets over the last couple of years. The repositioning of shrimp in the marketplace from a luxury item to a premium product and in recent years, to a lower priced commodity product for lesser developed countries, has moved the market more to Russia and China, where significant quantities of cooked at sea small shrimp are purchased for a low price. The tariff of 12% on whole cooked shrimp into the European Union (EU) has had a dampening effect on that market.

Inshore Fleet

The inshore fleet focuses on the shell-off cold water product, which is primarily processed on land. The market for this product is predominately in the U.S. and Europe.

Prohibitive tariffs have a substantial effect on the sale of Canadian shrimp products to Europe. Exports of shrimp to the EU are subject to a 12% tariff on whole, cooked shrimp and 20% on cooked and peeled product, thus a high percentage of EU imports are raw material for reprocessing. Canada does benefit from an Autonomous Tariff Rate Quota (ATRQ) of 5,000t at a 6% tariff rate, but Canada does not have guaranteed access under this ATRQ and it does have an end-use restriction that requires further processing in the EU.

The smallest shrimp (industrial shrimp) are mostly frozen and exported to peeling plants, traditionally mainly in Scandinavia, although more product is now going to peeling plants in Canada. The addition of modern plants in Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia to the existing plants in Quebec and New Brunswick has increased the Canadian demand for industrial shrimp for processing.

The release of the "Final Report by the Newfoundland Inshore Shrimp Panel" in 2002, highlighted some concerns that exist in the inshore fleet. Included in this report were issues such as seasonality, overcapacity, the number and optimum size of enterprises, as well as the EU tariff. DFO continues to work closely with the Provinces and industry in responding to the issues raised in this report.

1.5 Consultative Process

The Northern Shrimp Advisory Committee (NSAC) is composed of representatives of the northern shrimp industry (offshore licence holders and inshore temporary new entrants), the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board, and provincial and territorial governments. NSAC membership and terms of reference are located in Annex B.

NSAC meetings are held as required or whenever deemed required after the following occurs:

  1. new proposals emerge as a result of updated scientific advice or NAFO assessments of the Davis Strait or NAFO Divisions 3L and 3M shrimp stocks;
     
  2. significant new management regulations are proposed by government or industry;
     
  3. industry conditions warrant a meeting to provide advice to the Minister.

A second consultative board, the Newfoundland Inshore Shrimp Advisory Committee (NISAC) is responsible for the management of the inshore shrimp fishery. This includes the allocation of the inshore quota between Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador and the implementation of harvesting caps and trip limits. (See Annex D for full details on the inshore shrimp fishing industry governance).

Please note that excerpts presented here do not represent the full agreements, and reference to the actual agreements is advised prior to any interpretation being made. If there are any inconsistencies between presentations in this plan and the actual agreements, the actual agreements shall prevail.

Labrador Inuit Association (LIA) Agreement in Principle (AIP)

The Interim Measures Agreement for the LIA was signed on November 16, 2001. Although provisions in the AIP are not legally binding on the governments at this time, governments have a moral obligation not to act contrary to the AIP. This AIP outlines the following additional provisions pertaining to northern shrimp:

13.11.5 Subject to section 13.11.9, where after the Effective Date, the Minister decides to issue Commercial Fishing Licences to fish in the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area for a species or stock of Fish listed in schedule 13-C (shrimp being one of them), which is not subject to commercial licensing on the Effective Date, the Minister shall offer to issue 60% of the licences to the Inuit Central Government.
13.11.7 Where in any calendar year after the Effective Date the Minister decides to issue more Commercial Fishing Licences to fish for shrimp in Waters Adjacent to the Zone than the number available for issuance in the year of the Agreement, the Minister shall offer access to the Inuit Central Government through an additional Commercial Fishing Licence issued to the Inuit Central Government or by some other means to 11% of the quantity available to be Harvested under those licences.
13.11.9 If the system for authorizing commercial fishing opportunities changes from the system in existence on the Effective Date, the Minister shall offer to the Inuit Central Government participation under the new system which is at least as favorable as that set out under sections 13.11.2 through 13.11.8.

Nunavut Land Claims Agreement

Although Nunavut was officially declared as a territory in 1999, the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement (NLCA) was ratified and given full effect by the coming into force of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement Act on July 9, 1993. In accordance with the NLCA, the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board (NWMB), a public board, was established to be the main instrument of wildlife management and the main regulator of access to wildlife, in the Nunavut Settlement Area (NSA). The NSA includes extensive marine areas, which are fully described in Article 3 of the NLCA.

For the purposes of this management plan, the NWMB has, but is not limited to, the following powers, duties and functions within the NSA:

5.2.33 Recognizing that Government retains ultimate responsibility for wildlife management, the NWMB shall be the main instrument of wildlife management in the Nunavut Settlement Area and the main regulator of access to wildlife and have the primary responsibility in relation thereto in the manner described in the Agreement.
5.2.34 In addition to its primary functions outlined in Section 5.2.33, the NWMB shall in its discretion perform the following functions related to management and protection of wildlife and wildlife habitat;

(d)(i) approve plans for management, classification, protection, restocking or propagation, cultivation or husbandry of particular wildlife, including endangered species,

5.6.16 Subject to the terms of this article, the NWMB shall have sole authority to establish, modify or remove, from time to time and as circumstances require, levels of total allowable harvest or harvesting in the Nunavut Settlement Area.
5.6.48 Subject to the terms of this Article, the NWMB shall have sole authority to establish, modify or remove, from time to time and as circumstances require, non-quota limitations on harvesting in the Nunavut Settlement Area.

There are provisions in the NLCA covering the wildlife management and harvesting beyond the marine areas of the NSA. They include the following:

15.3.4 Government shall seek the advice of the NWMB with respect to any wildlife management decisions in Zones I and II which would affect the substance and value of Inuit harvesting rights and opportunities within the marine areas of the NSA. The NWMB shall provide relevant information to Government that would assist in wildlife management beyond the marine areas of the NSA.
15.3.7 Government recognizes the importance of the principles of adjacency and economic dependence of communities in the Nunavut Settlement Area on marine resources, and shall give special consideration to these factors when allocating commercial fishing licences within Zones I and II. Adjacency means adjacent to or within a reasonable geographic distance of the zone in question. The principles will be applied in such a way as to promote a fair distribution of licences between the residents of the Nunavut Settlement Area and the other residents of Canada and in a manner consistent with Canada's inter-jurisdictional obligations.
15.4.1 The NIRB, the NWB, the NPC, and the NWMB may jointly, as a Nunavut Marine Council, or severally advise and make recommendations to other government agencies regarding the marine areas, and Government shall consider such advice and recommendations in making decisions which affect marine areas.

(NIRB-Nunavut Impact Review Board; NWB-Nunavut Water Board; NPC-Nunavut Planning Commission)

NOTE: There are some statements in the Plan, which are inconsistent with provisions in the Nunavut Land Claim Agreement. The NLCA, as a constitutional document, overrides the plan in the event of any inconsistency.

Nunavik Inuit Marine Region AIP

Initialed on March 26, 2002, the Nunavik Marine Region Agreement-in-Principle contains other provisions. Although provisions in the AIP are not legally binding on the governments at this time, governments have a moral obligation not to act contrary to the AIP. This AIP outlines the following additional provisions pertaining to northern shrimp:

Commercial Harvesting: Southern Davis Strait Zone

5.4.12 For the purposes of section 5.4.12, "Increase" means, for any calendar year after the calendar year in which the Final Agreement takes effect, the amount by which the total allowable catch for shrimp established by the Minister in that calendar year for a specific area exceeds the total allowable catch for shrimp established by the Minister for that same area in the calendar year in which the Final Agreement takes effect.
5.4.13 In any calendar year after the calendar year in which the Final Agreement takes effect, 7% of any increase in the total allowable catch for shrimp established by the Minister for NAFO Division 0B will be allocated to one or more Makivik Designated Organization(s) (MDO)(s) to harvest in the Southern Davis Strait Zone. This amount will include any part of the increase that is provided to, or to be provided to, Makivik Corporation or any of its subsidiaries.
5.4.14 For the purpose of section 5.4.12, where a shrimp allocation has been provided to, or is to be provided to. Makivik Corporation or any of its subsidiaries in the calendar year in which the Final Agreement takes effect, Makivik Corporation and any such subsidiaries will be deemed to be a MDO as of the effective date of the Final Agreement.
5.4.15 The Minister will provide access to the portion of the total allowable catch of shrimp referred to in section 5.4.12 through a fishing license issued to one or more MDO(s) or by some other means.

Commercial Harvesting: Northern Davis Strait Zone

5.4.16 For the purpose of section 5.4.16, "Increase" means, for any calendar year after the calendar year in which the Final Agreement takes effect, the amount by which the total allowable catch for shrimp established by the Minister in that calendar year for a specific area exceeds the TAC for shrimp established by the Minister for that same area in the calendar year in which the Final Agreement takes effect.
5.4.17 In any calendar year after the calendar year in which the Final Agreement takes effect, 8.8% of any Increase in the total allowable catch for shrimp established by the Minister for NAFO Division 0A will be allocated to one or more Makivik Designated Organization (MDO)(s) to harvest in the Northern Davis Strait Zone. This amount will include any part of the increase in provided to, or to be provided to, Makivik Corporation or any of its subsidiaries.
5.4.18 For the purpose of section 5.4.16, where a shrimp allocation has been provided to, or is to be provided to, Makivik Corporation or any of its subsidiaries in the calendar year in which the Final Agreement takes effect, Makivik Corporation and any such subsidiaries will be deemed to be a MDO as of the effective date of the Final Agreement.
5.4.19 The Minister will provide access to the portion of the total allowable catch of shrimp referred to in section 5.4.16 through a fishing license issued to one or more MDO(s) or by some other means.

Commercial Harvesting: Hudson Bay Zone 

5.4.20 Government recognizes the importance of the principles of adjacency and economic dependence of communities in Nunavik on marine resources, and shall give special consideration to these factors when allocating commercial fishing licences within the Hudson Bay Zone. Adjacency means adjacent to or within a reasonable geographic distance of the Hudson Bay Zone. The principles will be applied in such a way as to promote a fair distribution of licences between residents of Nunavik and the other residents of Canada and in a manner consistent with Canada's inter-jurisdictional obligations.

Marine Management

5.4.21 The Nunavik Marine Region Planning Commission (NMRPC), the Nunavik Marine Region Impact Review Board (NMRIRB) and the Nunavik Marine Region Wildlife Board (NMRWB) may jointly, as a Nunavik Marine Region Council, or serverally individually advise and make recommendations to other government agencies regarding marine areas outside of the NMR and Government shall consider such advice and recommendations in making decisions which affect marine areas outside of the NMR.

1.6 Management Style

The northern shrimp fishery is managed by means of a TAC for individual SFAs 0-7. In an effort to prevent over-exploitation of the shrimp resources, TACs are adjusted based on observed changes in the status of the resource. The fact that shrimp change sex during their lifetime, and that exploitation primarily targets large, female shrimp are special considerations which are reviewed in determining TACs. TACs are set conservatively and are closely monitored using commercial landings data. Detailed vessel log records and observer data provide a database to track distribution of fishing effort, catch per unit of effort (CPUE) and the proportions of males and females in the catch.

The offshore fleet operates under an Enterprise Allocation (EA) system (see Annex C), based on equal shares in each SFA. The exception to this regime is the temporary allocation (6,120t) to the Northern Coalition (1997) where the seven licence holders associated with this organization receive an additional allocation based on their share of this allocation.

In NAFO Division 3M, NAFO has not set a TAC. Instead, effort controls are in place (limits on number of vessels and days on ground for each member country). Canada's limits were 16 vessels and 492 days in 1996. For 1997, NAFO decided on a reduction of 10% in the number of days for each country, giving Canada an allocation of 443 fishing days and sixteen vessels in 1997. In 1999 the days on ground were increased to 456 while vessels remained at 16. This remained until 2001 when a 15% reduction from 1996 levels was implemented. For 2002, the 10% reduction was restored and rolled over for 2003.

Canada has utilized as high as 261 days on grounds in Division 3M with total catches of 618t (2000 data).

2. STOCK STATUS

2.1 Biology, Environment and Habitat

Northern shrimp are found in the Northwest Atlantic from Davis Strait, south to the Gulf of Maine. They live in areas where the ocean floor is soft and muddy and where bottom temperatures range from about 2 to 6°C. These conditions occur throughout the region within a depth range of approximately 200-600m providing a vast area of suitable habitat. This species is the primary cold water shrimp resource in the north Atlantic.

Northern shrimp are protandric hermaphrodites, that is, they first mature as males, function as males from one to several years and then change sex to spend the rest of their lives as females. They are known to live for more than eight years in some areas. Populations in the northern part of the range exhibit slower rates of growth and maturation, but increased longevity results in larger maximum size.

During the day, the shrimp spend much of the time resting and feeding on, or near the ocean floor. At night, a substantial proportion migrates vertically in the water column, feeding on a variety of zooplankton.

2.2 Species Interactions

Northern shrimp are prey for many species including Atlantic cod, Greenland and Atlantic halibut, skate, wolffish and even harp seals.

The distribution of northern shrimp overlaps with groundfish and other shellfish populations. Resulting from concerns about the level of by-catch of groundfish species by the small-meshed shrimp trawls and the effect on their populations, an exclusion device known as the Nordmore grate was introduced in the Canadian shrimp fishery in 1993. This device sorts out the larger fish, allowing them to escape through an opening in the top of the net, while allowing the smaller shrimp to pass through and be retained in the cod-end of the net (see Figure 2). With extensive use of the grate in recent years, groundfish mortality in Canadian shrimp fisheries has been reduced markedly, and virtually eliminated in the sensitive groundfish areas of 2J and 3KL, although further improvements remain an objective and experimental work continues.

The Canadian Association of Prawn Producers received an award in 1997 under the 1996 Nova Scotia Environmental Awards Program, in the sustainable development category, for the conservation performance of the offshore fleet, particularly for the significant reductions in by-catches of groundfish achieved in recent years.

Although grates were not mandatory in the most northern areas prior to 1997, the offshore fleet had been using them voluntarily in all areas for some time. The grate was made mandatory in 1997 in all areas. The Nordmore grate is now required in shrimp trawls in all SFAs at all times.

Figure 2 - The Nordmore Grate

Species at Risk Act (SARA)

With the advent of Species at Risk Act, which received Royal Assent on December 12, 2002, the coming into force of this Act will result in immediate prohibitions against killing, harming, harassing, capturing, taking or possessing any species listed on Schedule 1 of the Act as an extirpated species, an endangered species, or a threatened species, and against damaging or destroying the residence of individuals of a species listed as endangered or threatened. These proclamations prohibitions will apply unless a person is authorized, by a permit, licence or other similar document issued in accordance with this Act, to engage in an activity affecting the listed species or the residences of its individuals.

Current management measures in the northern shrimp fishery will be examined to determine if a permit, licence or other similar document can be issued, authorizing fishers to engage in the northern shrimp fishery while affecting a listed wildlife species or the residences of its individuals on the basis that:

  • affecting a species at risk is incidental to the shrimp fishery and that
  • all reasonable alternatives to the shrimp fishery that would reduce the impact on a species at risk have been considered and the best solution has been adopted
  • all feasible measures will be taken to minimize the impact of the shrimp fishery on a species at risk or the residences of its individuals
  • the shrimp fishery will not jeopardize the survival or recovery of the species at risk.

If a permit is issued, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans must include in the public registry, an explanation of why it was issued, taking into account the matters referred to above.

If the species is found in an area in respect of which a wildlife management board is authorized by a land claims agreement to perform functions in respect of wildlife species, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans must consult the wildlife management board before issuing a permit concerning that species in that area.

If the species is found in a reserve or in other lands that are set apart for the use and benefit of a band, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans must consult the band before issuing a permit concerning that species in that reserve or those other lands.

The permit must contain any terms and conditions governing the activity that the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans considers necessary for protecting the species, minimizing the impact of the shrimp fishery on the species or providing for its recovery.

Permits may be issued for a maximum period of three years.

Research in this area is ongoing and management measures may have to be changed based on the conditions noted above.

For more information please see the Environment Canada Web page.

2J No-trawl Zone

A proposal for a pilot project involving a "no-trawl" zone was received from the 2J crab fishers in July of 2001. The proposal was distributed to stakeholders, Science Branch and Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture (Newfoundland and Labrador) for discussion, but outside of the proponent group, it was felt there was insufficient justification to undertake such action.

In November of 2001, stakeholders were advised that an internal working group was reviewing any research done in 2001 and would conduct further analysis. This working group met in February 2002, reviewed a list of data and concluded that there was insufficient rationale to proceed with a closed area as proposed by the 2J-crab fleet. The proponent group has not accepted the conclusions of the working group and continued to reiterate their request that research be conducted in 2J with their involvement.

In response, DFO committed to conducting work in 2J similar to that conducted in Division 3K. In Division 3K there are areas where shrimp trawling does not take place and crab fishing does. In 2J however, the two fisheries overlap significantly so the only alternative was to create an un-trawled area. In September 2002, the Department implemented a 'no-trawl/no-gillnetting' study area in 2J to conduct work similar to that conducted in Division 3K.

The area, defined by the following coordinates:

  • 53°00'N, 54°00'W
  • 53°00'N, 54°30'W
  • 53°20'N, 54°30'W
  • 53°20'N, 54°00'W

was closed to trawling and gillnetting effective September 26, 2002 to facilitate localized research. This zone will remain closed until further notice.

In 2003, the Minister announced that DFO would continue to work closely with stakeholders to restrict dragging, as appropriate in affected areas to protect the snow crab and cod resources.

2.3 Assessment

The status of the resource in each SFA is determined by monitoring:

  • fishery performance within and between years,
  • distribution of the fishing effort,
  • the size/age/sex composition of the shrimp catches, and
  • where possible, data (biomass, abundance, distribution, progression of year classes through modal analysis, and environment e.g. water temperature, ice cover and abundance of predators) from annual research multi-species bottom trawl surveys.

This information enables inferences to be made on the state of the spawning biomass (i.e., female abundance) and the potential for future recruitment to the fishery (i.e., male abundance).

The annual Stock Status Reports for northern shrimp are available on the DFO website or by writing to:

Stock Assessment Regional Office
Newfoundland and Labrador Region
Department of Fisheries and Oceans
P.O. Box 5667
St. John's, NL
A1C 5X1

2.4 Research

The Canadian fishery for northern shrimp (P. borealis) from the southern Davis Strait (Division 0B) to the northeast Newfoundland Shelf (Division 3K) has been regulated within three-year, integrated management plans since 1991. Although no management plan document was developed for 2000-2002, there were two research surveys conducted, the first in 1999 for the 2000 Stock Status Report (SSR) and the second in 2001, for the 2002 SSR.

Generally, the research program focuses on four shrimp fishing areas:

  1. SFA 6-Hawke Channel plus NAFO Division 3K
  2. SFA 5-Hopedale and Cartwright Channels
  3. SFA 4-NAFO Division 2G
  4. SFA 2-NAFO Division 0B

No research was conducted in 2001 in SFAs 2 and 4.

P. borealis in NAFO Division 0A and Subarea 1 and NAFO Divisions 3L and 3M are assessed annually by the Scientific Council of NAFO. In 2001 the Scientific Council advised that the TAC level for NAFO Division 0A and Subarea 1 should be increased from 65,000t to 85,000t. Canada has historically taken a 17% share of the offshore portion (5/6) of this TAC. In 2002 recommendations for 2003 included an increase in Division 0A and Subarea 1 from 85,000t to 100,000t leaving Canada's portion at 14,167t.

NAFO Scientific Council also recommended an increase in 3L from 6,000t to 13,000t, resulting in Canada's portion being 10,833t.

During 2002, the status of the striped shrimp (P. montagui) stock in SFA 3 (NAFO divisions 0B2G and Hudson Strait- Ungava Bay west of 63000 W) was assessed. There is a commercial fishery in this area, but no fishery independent data. Status was inferred by examining trends in commercial catch, effort, catch-per-unit effort (CPUE), fishing pattern and size sex age composition of the catches. The status of striped shrimp along the coast of Labrador and of the East Coast of Newfoundland was also assessed. Annual autumn multi-species bottom trawl surveys take place south of 2G, but there is no commercial striped shrimp fishery in this area.

Prior to 1994, there was a sporadic fishery west of Resolution Island. Then during 1995, the fishery shifted well to the east, primarily into Division 0B (SFA 2), where catches were often mixed with pink shrimp (P. borealis). A review conducted in the spring of 1996, concluded that the 1995 fishery exploited the same P. montagui population previously fished within SFA 3, and that the resource might be best protected by applying the TAC for

P. montagui to SFAs 2, 3 and 4 west of 63° 00' W. Current stock status within SFA 3 is uncertain and there is concern for the future because there is no fishery independent data. The fishery takes place in a small area and catch rates have decreased such that the 2001 CPUE is significantly lower than it was in 1995. Additionally, the average female carapace length has decreased thus reducing the reproductive potential of individual shrimp. This in turn may have a negative impact upon future recruitment.

In the south, the highest quantities of P. montagui are found in water shallower than 400m, however, shrimp densities are <.17 ton/ sq. km. and are variable both within SFAs and between years. Aging was attempted but failed because length frequencies were often jagged and lacked inter annual consistencies. The current stock status is uncertain and there is concern for the future prospects because of the patchy nature of distributions and low shrimp densities.

Industry continues to be critical of the lack of science being conducted in this fishery, particularly in the north. As such, industry tabled three proposals (CAPP, Northern Coalition and Nunavut) in 2002 to create a research quota that would fund science through the purchase of quota by industry. These proposals were rejected based on the status quo TAC announcement made in 2002.

2.5 Prospects for 2003

In 2001 the Stock Status Report provided advice on P. borealis in SFAs 2, 4, 5 and 6. Although no research surveys were conducted in SFAs 2 and 4 in 2001, advice was provided based on commercial catch rates in these areas. Preliminary reviews of 2002 data revealed no significant change from the 2002 status. In 2003 the following scientific information was provided:

SFA 6 (Hawke Channel plus Division 3K)

Shrimp biomass and abundance from research vessel surveys remained high in 2002. Large vessel catch rates were below 2000 and 2001 values but remained near average. The mean size of female shrimp has been declining since 1992. Exploitation rates have remained at a stable low level over the past six years and the fishery continues to cover a broad area. Recent catches have had no observable impact on shrimp abundance and biomass and the current status remains positive.

SFA 5 (Hopedale and Cartwright Channels)

The 2001 survey biomass and abundance indices for Hopedale Channel were substantially higher than those observed over the 1997-1999 period. The 2002 survey covered only the Cartwright Channel where biomass and abundance indices have remained similar since 1996. The resource continues to cover a broad area and commercial catch rates have stabilized since 1999 at a long-term high level.

The mean size of female shrimp in the fishery has declined since 1993 but has remained stable since 2000. The 2002 exploitation rate index was much lower than 1997-1999 and recent catches have had no observable impact on shrimp abundance and biomass. Current status remains positive.

During the 1996-2001 period, ice cover was below normal. This is of concern because a

positive correlation between ice cover and commercial catch rates has been observed in the past. The reduced ice cover could result in gradual declines or at best stability within catch rates over the next several years.

SFA 4 (Division 2G)

No research surveys have been conducted in this area since 1999. Fishery catch rates have fluctuated around the long term mean over the past 10 years. The mean size of female shrimp in the fishery declined since 1993, but has stabilized at a smaller size since 1998. No estimates of recruitment were available and the level of exploitation is unknown. Current status appears positive from the fishery data, but the lack of a research survey creates uncertainty.

SFA 2 (Division 0B)

There has never been a research survey in this area. The fishery catch rates have been stable since 1998, however this may not be reflective of stock status due to fishing constraints associated with the overlapping distributions of P. borealis and P. montagui. The mean size of female shrimp has declined since 1993, and no estimates of recruitment are available. The level of exploitation is unknown and the current status remains uncertain.

3. LONG-TERM OBJECTIVES FOR THE FISHERY

  • To maintain effective resource conservation, while providing for orderly long-term development of the fishery.
  • To provide fair access to and equitable sharing of the northern shrimp resource with particular emphasis on the needs of the people and communities most adjacent to the resource, without any permanent increase in harvesting capacity.
  • To ensure that the fishery provides the maximum benefits for Canadians.
  • To promote the continued development of a commercially viable and self-sustaining fishery.
  • To continue to promote, at NAFO, a management scheme for the Flemish Cap shrimp fishery which is effective at controlling fishing effort and which would result in a sustainable fishery for the future.
  • To continue to promote, with Greenland, a management scheme for NAFO Division 0A and Subarea 1 shrimp.

4. GENERAL MANAGEMENT OBJECTIVES

4.1 Conservation / Sustainability Objectives

  • To promote and ensure the conservation and protection of northern shrimp stocks.
  • To gather timely and accurate data essential to assess the status of the stocks.
  • To optimize the use of the resource while achieving profitability and sustainability.
  • To promote the further development and use of good sustainable fishing practices.

4.2 International Considerations

SFA 1 (Davis Strait) is a joint Canada-Greenland stock, the management of which is the subject of annual bilateral meetings between the two countries. The Scientific Council of NAFO completes annual assessments of this shrimp stock. The long-term sharing formula for this stock between Canada and Greenland is 17% and 83% (of the offshore portion 5/6), respectively.

In SFA 7 (NAFO Division 3L) TAC increases are recommended by NAFO. A TAC of 6,000t was set in 2000 of which 5,000t was allocated to Canada inside the 200-mile limit. This TAC regime remained in effect through 2002. In 2003, the NAFO Scientific Council recommended a 13,000t TAC of which Canada was allocated 5/6 or 10,833t.

3M is managed by NAFO. Effort controls have been the primary management mechanism for this fishery (including number of vessels and days on ground).

The failure of some NAFO members, namely the Faroese and Estonian flagged vessels, to abide by the conservation measures for shrimp, resulted in Canada closing its ports to these vessels in 2002.

4.3 Domestic Considerations

a) Aboriginal Fishery

There is no Aboriginal fishery for food, social or ceremonial purposes within the northern shrimp fishery.

Aboriginal interests adjacent to the resource hold four of the seventeen commercial offshore licences. These include Torngat Fish Producers Co-operative Society Ltd., Makivik Corp, Qikiqtaaluk Corp., and Unaaq Fisheries Inc. The Pikalujak Fisheries Ltd. licence contains an aboriginal component through the LIDC interest in this licence. Temporary allocations are also in existence for the Innu and the Labrador Inuit Association. Increased access to the resource for Aboriginal people was a priority in 2003, resulting in temporary allocations to the Innu, the Labrador Inuit Association, the Labrador Metis Nation and the Conne River Micmac.

The Inuit of Northern Quebec (Makivik), the Labrador Inuit and the Labrador Innu are currently negotiating resolution of their respective land claims. Negotiations include components that will address the fisheries interests (subsistence and commercial) of these Aboriginal groups. This management plan is consistent with Canada's obligations and policy on land claim negotiations.

b) Recreational Fishery

There is no recreational fishery within the northern shrimp fishery.

c) Commercial Fishery

The introduction of temporary new entrants to the northern shrimp fishery in 1997 required the development of some different management measures for this mainly inshore component. Management boards were set up to oversee the orderly development of this fishery. As the inshore fishery is a wetfish fishery, i.e., no processing at sea, the processing and marketing considerations are different, and concerns about the quality of landed product need to be addressed. Also, the Northern Shrimp Advisory Committee was expanded to include representatives of the temporary allocation holders.

In 2001 a market glut in the inshore fishery resulted in a suspension of effort from July-September. This resulted in the formation of the Structural Study of the Inshore Shrimp Fishery, more commonly referred to as the Review of the Cooked and Peeled Shrimp Industry (Vardy Report). This report was commissioned by the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador in 2001. The panel released its report in April of 2002 highlighting problems with seasonality, overcapacity, the number and optimum size of enterprises involved in the fishery and the current EU tariff on cooked and peeled shrimp.

Market conditions continued to beleaguer the inshore fishery in 2002 with another suspension of effort occurring from August 3 - August 31.

The P. montagui fishery, which until recently was contained within SFA 3 (Hudson Strait/Ungava Bay), is changing. A quota of 1,200 tonnes was set for SFA 3 in 1992. In 1995, the fishery shifted well to the east, primarily into Division 0B (SFA 2), where catches were often mixed with pink shrimp (P. borealis). A review conducted in the spring of 1996 concluded that the 1995 fishery exploited the same P. montagui population previously fished within SFA 3 and that the resource might best be protected by applying the TAC for

P. montagui to SFAs 2, 3 and 4 west of 63°00'W. During 1996, a 3,800t catch limit was established for the larger management area. In 1997, 500t of the 3,800t catch limit was allocated to Nunavut, which can be fished inside the NSA by one or more of the 17 traditional offshore licence holders with the permission of the NWMB. Between 1997 and 2001, catches were maintained at a high level ranging from 2,800t to 3,700t. During 2002, an additional 2,000t in SFA 2 and 500t in SFA 3 were allocated to the NWMB to be fished completely inside the NSA.

d) Exploratory / Experimental Fishery

SFA 0 is an exploratory area. The precautionary TAC had been set at 500t. In 1996, the fishery in this area became competitive with a continued 500t TAC. No catches have been recorded against this quota since the onset of the northern shrimp fishery.

Part of SFA 2 is also considered exploratory. Ice conditions and shifts in water masses make this area difficult to fish. An exploratory TAC of 3,500t was established in 1989, which was reached for the first time in 1995. The TAC for this SFA was increased to 5,250t in 1997 where it remained until 1999. In 1999 further exploratory allocations were made to the offshore licence holders (1,750t) and the NWMB (1,750t). At this time the 5,250t TAC was no longer deemed exploratory but was to be fished in SFA 2 and those portions of SFAs 3 & 4 north of 60˚30'N and west of 63°00'W. The exploratory quota of 3,500t may be fished in SFA 2, east of 63°00'W (where previously it had been fished north of 63°00N). These quotas remained in place through 2001-2003.

Exploratory TACs of 2,000t and 500t inside the NSA for P. montagui are being used to further develop this fishery in SFAs 2 and 3.

An experimental fishery using shrimp pots was initiated in 1997 in near-shore waters of Newfoundland and Labrador. Earlier trials during the past 20 years with shrimp pots in these waters were not very successful. In the early 1990's, the provincial government undertook several initiatives to develop a pot fishery using improved gear. Data from this experimental fishery showed that this was not a viable method of pursuing this fishery and efforts in this regard have ceased.

An experimental shrimp pot fishery was conducted in Cumberland Sound, Nunavut in 2002 and is scheduled to continue into 2003.

5. CURRENT MANAGEMENT ISSUES

  • Refinement of management schemes for the P. montagui fishery in Hudson Strait area, given the recent change in distribution and the need for a more comprehensive stock assessment. During 2002, Science initiated research into this fishery.
  • By-catch of small redfish as well as other Species at Risk Act protected species (wolffish, cod) continues to be a concern. These very small fish tend to pass through the openings in the Nordmore grates presently being used. Use of grates with smaller openings may help resolve this situation. With the advent of SARA in 2003, it will be imperative that the by-catch of any regulated species be analyzed to determine how much can be removed without causing harm.
  • Other by-catch and high-grading in the shrimp fishery.
  • Development of improved hail/log system (electronic logbook).
  • Lack of resource surveys in remote areas.
  • Current management cycle (calendar year versus some other more appropriate method).

6. Management Measures for 2003 Onward

See Annexes D and F for management measures that apply specifically to inshore vessels fishing the temporary allocations.

6.1 Fishing Season

The seventeen offshore licences are issued for the calendar year and the fishery is a continuous one from January to December. Different SFAs are fished at different times of the year, depending on fishing conditions and market considerations. Once an EA is caught by an enterprise for a particular SFA, that enterprise must cease fishing in that SFA for the remainder of the season.

This EA arrangement will continue through the proposed season change for 2003/04. Effective April 2004, the offshore season will run from April to March.

The temporary inshore fishery started in the late summer of 1997, and generally runs from April to October. With the exception of 2001 and 2002 (where suspension of effort occurred during the summer months), the bulk of shrimp fishing has taken place during July and August. In 1999 and 2000, over 50% of shrimp landings occurred in this period. The reasoning behind this is that environmental conditions such as ice and weather restrict operations in the spring and fall.

6.2 Control and Monitoring of Fishing Activities

  1. Access to northern shrimp stocks is regulated through fishing licences, individual allocations, season, quotas, and gear specifications.
     
  2. Observers are carried at all times on offshore vessels. Industry pays the cost of observers.

    Observer coverage on inshore vessels involved in the temporary fishery, is at a level of approximately 10% for 2003, at industry's expense.
  3. Random dockside monitoring of landings from offshore vessels in Canada is performed to compare catch reports with actual landings. Dockside monitoring of all shrimp landed from vessels fishing under the temporary sharing arrangement is required, at industry's expense.
     
  4. All vessels fishing northern shrimp must report to DFO their position and catch on a daily basis in the prescribed format.
     
  5. Completion and submission of accurate fishing and production log books and fish purchase slips is required.
     
  6. While fishing outside of Canadian fisheries waters, vessels greater than 30.48m LOA must be equipped with an operating satellite transponder approved by DFO.
     
  7. If a fish product is processed on board a fishing vessel, the provisions of the Fish Inspection Act and Fish Inspection Regulations apply.
     
  8. Vessels greater 19.8m in length are required to restrict their fishing operations to waters that are at least twelve miles distant from the nearest shore on the Atlantic sea-coast of Canada and outside the Nunavut Settlement Area (NSA).
     
  9. NWMB permission is required to fish inside the NSA, and separate management and control measures may apply.
     
  10. Large vessels (=>500 GRT) must use an otter trawl fitted with a separator grate with a maximum spacing of 22mm while fishing SFA 7 and 28mm while fishing all other areas.
     
  11. Small vessels (<500 GRT; <19.8m LOA) fishing in SFAs 6 and 7 must use a trawl equipped with a Nordmore grate with a maximum bar spacing of 22mm.

Quota Monitoring and By-catch

Official catch levels are supplied by the captain. Observers calculate catches based on total packed-up product weight. A conversion factor (0.95) is used to estimate the live weight of shrimp from the processed, packaged weight for Japanese product only. Otherwise the conversion factor is 1.0.

The landing of all shrimp is mandatory, with the exception of small quantities of unmarketable shrimp (shrimp which is broken or crushed or falls on the floor during processing). Discards of such shrimp are counted in estimating catch levels.

Minimizing the by-catch of groundfish in all Atlantic fisheries is extremely important given the conservation concerns for the groundfish stocks and the management measures in place for their protection. All shrimp vessels fishing in Canadian waters use sorting grates to separate and release groundfish (and other finfish) species. Further efforts to minimize by-catch may be required with the introduction of the SARA in 2003.

The procedures for determining the amount of catch (both P. borealis and P. montagui), by-catch and discards in the offshore northern shrimp fishery are described in full in Annex E.

Reporting Procedures and Enforcement

The northern shrimp fishery is one of Canada's most closely monitored fisheries. Offshore vessels are required to hail their positions and catches on a daily basis, thereby allowing real-time monitoring. Observer coverage is required on all offshore vessels and dockside monitoring for all inshore vessels is mandatory to ensure catches remain within TAC levels and to ensure gear restrictions are respected.

6.3 Quota Allocations

Setting the Total Allowable Catch

Scientific advice and assessments are the basis for the determination of TACs in the northern shrimp fishing areas. The TACs established for the period 2001-2003 are outlined in Table 3. The resource in each fishing area is monitored and assessed on an annual basis and new advice is provided if a significant change is detected. The TACs in Table 3 may be modified as required during the term of this management plan.

The Scientific Council of the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) provides annual advice for the P. borealis fisheries within NAFO Division 0A and Subarea 1 along NAFO Divisions 3L and 3M. Annual adjustments may result from these assessments.

TABLE 3 :TOTAL ALLOWABLE CATCH (TAC) FOR NORTHERN SHRIMP STOCKS
2001-2003

Shrimp Fishing Area Description of Area TAC (t)
1996 TAC Threshold 2001 2002 2003
0 Davis Strait (NAFO Division  0A-west of 60° 30'W) exploratory 500 500 500 500
1 Davis Strait (NAFO Division 0A-east of 60° 30'W) 8,500 12,040 12,0401 14,167
2 Davis Strait (NAFO Division 0B)
(P. borealis) fished in SFA 2 and those portions of SFAs 3 & 4 north of 60°30N and west of 63°00W
3,500 5,250 5,2502 5,2502
2 Davis Strait (NAFO Division 0B) exploratory P. borealis fished east of 63°00W   3,500 3,5002 3,5002
2 Davis Strait (NAFO Division 0B) (P. montagui exploratory) fished inside the NSA     2,000 2,000
3 Eastern Hudson Strait and Ungava Bay (P. montagui) fished west of 63°00W 1,200 3,800 3,8003 3,8003
3 Eastern Hudson Strait and Ungava Bay (P. montagui exploratory) fished inside the NSA     500 500
4 NAFO Division 2G (1,853t of the offshore quota and 206t of the inshore quota is fished south of 60°00N) 5,200 8,320 8,3204 10,320
5 Hopedale plus Cartwright Channels 7,650 15,300 15,300 23,300
6 Hawke Channel plus NAFO Division 3K 11,050 61,632 61,632 77,932
7 NAFO Division 3L inside the 200 mile limit   5,000 5,000 10,833
TOTAL   37,600 115,342 117,842 152,102
  1. Technically, the quota increase to 12,040t was implemented in 2001. In 2001, the NAFO Scientific Council indicated that the 2001 NAFO Division 0A and Subarea 1 quota should be 85,000t (up from 65,000t in 2000). Canada historically takes 17% of the offshore portion (5/6) of this quota. In 2002, as fishing picked up in this SFA, a request was made to clarify the increase in this quota for 2001 in line with the 17% share for Canada. This clarification was supplied in September of 2002, which accounts for the increase in quota for this year to 12,040t.
     
  2. Prior to 2000, there had been a radius around Resolution Island (including portions of SFAs 2, 3 and 4) in which exploratory catches of P. borealis were to be counted against the SFA 2 quota. This circle was found to be difficult to work with and the formation of a working group resulted in recommendations that P. borealis caught in SFA 2 and those portions of SFAs 3 and 4 north of 60°30N and west of 63°00'W would be recorded against the SFA 2 commercial quota of 5,250t. P. borealis caught east of 63°00W is recorded against the exploratory 3,500t quota in SFA 2.
     
  3. Although previously recorded as a 1,200t quota, the actual catch limit for SFA 3 for  P. montagui is 3,800 (500t of which may be fished inside the NSA by one or more of the seventeen traditional offshore licence holders with the permission of the NWMB). Although recorded as SFA 3 this shrimp is actually fished in SFAs 2, 3 & 4 west of 63°00W.
     
  4. a portion of the SFA 4 offshore quota (1,853t) is to be taken South of 60°00N. 66% of the inshore quota (260t) is also to be taken from the same area.

Quota Sharing Arrangements 1997-2002

On April 23, 1997, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans announced increases in the TACs for Shrimp Fishing Areas 2, 5 and 6, and sharing of these increases with new, temporary entrants. Public consultation with interested parties had taken place to obtain views on sharing principles. The majority of responses indicated that the quota increases should be used to provide new access to fishers adjacent to the resource. Priority was given to individual fishers in adjacent areas of Newfoundland and Labrador, Nunavut and Quebec.

To ensure that the viability of the traditional, offshore fleet was not jeopardized, the 1996 quota levels in each SFA were set as thresholds. Sharing will only take place in a particular SFA, if the quota rises above the 1996 threshold in that SFA. If quotas decline in future years back down to the thresholds, the sharing will end and the new, temporary entrants will leave the fishery. The overall 1996 quota for all SFAs combined (36,700t) is also used as a threshold to determine sharing. Thus, a major decline in one or more SFAs could preclude further sharing in any SFA. Should there be a decline in the abundance of the resource in the future, temporary participants will be removed from the fishery in reverse order of gaining access-last in, first out (LIFO).

Temporary licences and temporary or special allocations will only continue as long as the overall threshold level or individual SFA threshold levels are maintained when quotas are set.

6.4 Other Relevant Elements

a) Licensing

The northern shrimp fishery is a limited entry fishery. The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans has absolute discretion under the Fisheries Act for the issuance of fishing licences. Licences may be reissued to a new licence holder upon the request of the current licence holder. In the case of corporations, only those that have a majority of Canadian ownership are eligible to obtain licences.

Licensing policies governing the issuance of these licences are contained in the Commercial Fisheries Licensing Policy for Eastern Canada document, available from DFO offices or on the DFO website.

b) Key Legislation

The Fisheries Act, the Fishery (General) Regulations and the Atlantic Fishery Regulations, 1985, made pursuant to the Act are applicable to the harvesting operations. This legislation gives the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans the authority to alter this management plan at any time. The Nunavut Land Claims Agreement applies to harvesting in the Nunavut Settlement Area as well as Zones I and II adjacent to Nunavut waters.

The Fish Inspection Act and Fish Inspection Regulations govern processing operations aboard the vessels.

7. ENFORCEMENT ISSUES AND STRATEGIES

7.1 Overview

The deployment of Conservation and Protection resources in the northern shrimp fishery is conducted in conjunction with the management plan objectives as well as in response to emerging issues. The mix of enforcement options available and overriding conservation objectives determine the level and type of enforcement activity. The enforcement work-planning process is designed to establish priorities based on management objectives and conservation concerns. The monitoring and evaluation elements of enforcement work-plans facilitates in-season adjustments should conservation concerns and/or significant non-compliance emerge.

7.2 Main Program Activities

Observer Coverage (100%) and air surveillance, are key program activities in the offshore fishery. Observer coverage (10%), dockside monitoring and patrol platforms combined are the main enforcement elements for the less than 65ft. fleet.

7.3 Fishery Patrol Vessels

Patrol vessels are deployed to northern areas as per operational requirements. Any dedicated patrols in northern areas are multi-tasked.

7.4 Air Surveillance

Dedicated air surveillance patrols are conducted in northern areas as part of a co-operative arrangement with the Department of National Defense. In addition, DFO fixed wing surveillance aircraft are also deployed (multi-tasked and dedicated) to the fleets operating in more southern areas (2J and 3K).

7.5 Enforcement Issues and Strategies

Enforcement issues in the shrimp fishery include:

  • fishing gear requirements;
  • quota monitoring;
  • by-catch;
  • highgrading;
  • licence conditions;
  • dockside monitoring requirements; and
  • area/time closures.

Enforcement strategies include:

  • Scheduled dedicated and multi-tasked air surveillance;
  • sea surveillance as per operational requirements;
  • deployment of observers (100% for offshore vessels and random coverage on vessels <65');
  • 100% dockside monitoring for inshore vessels and random dockside monitoring for offshore vessels;
  • dockside checks; and
  • auditing of quota monitoring and enforcement support programs.

8. FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES

Harvesters are required to pay the full cost of observer coverage and dockside monitoring.

9. ANNEX A - TAC SHARING PRINCIPLES AND ARRANGEMENTS

Sharing Principles

To determine how an increased total allowable catch (TAC) in the northern shrimp fishery should be allocated fairly, in November 1996, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans issued a call for industry views and proposals on developing an appropriate sharing formula.

Almost 160 submissions were received from individuals, groups, provinces and municipalities across Atlantic Canada. The proposals were reviewed at a public meeting in St. John's in February 1997.

Based on this input, sharing arrangements were developed using the following principles:

  • Conservation of the resource is paramount.
  • Viability of existing enterprises will not be jeopardized.
  • A threshold of 37,600 tonnes is established as the level of quota to ensure the continued viability of the 17 offshore licence holders. If the TAC exceeds 37,600 tonnes, temporary access will be given to new fishers.
  • Adjacency will be respected, which means that those who live near the resource will have priority in fishing it.
  • Priority will be given to increasing participation of Aboriginal people in the established commercial fishery.
  • Priority access will be given to inshore vessels less than 65 feet in length. Access by midshore and offshore fleets will be considered for the more northerly fishing areas.
  • Existing licence holders will receive some of the increase in TACs.
  • Employment will be maximized in both the harvesting and processing sectors where possible.

These sharing arrangements remained in place from 1997-2002. Effective 2003, the Independent Panel on Access Criteria (IPAC) recommendations for access were adopted as outlined in the next section.

New Access Framework

This New Access Framework will guide all decisions on new or additional access to Atlantic commercial fisheries which have undergone substantial increases in resource abundance or landed value. The New Access Framework will be applied in the following manner:

The Principles

The access issue in question will first be considered against each of three principles, listed in order of priority:

Conservation Sustainable use that safeguards ecological processes and genetic diversity for the present and future generations. If the principle of conservation will be compromised, access will not be granted.
Recognition of Aboriginal and Treaty Rights Access to the resource will be managed in a manner consistent with the Constitutional protection provided to Aboriginal and treaty rights.
Equity Equity has both a procedural and a substantive component:
  • Procedural Component: Access criteria must be applied in a fair and consistent manner through a decision-making process that is open, transparent and accountable and that ensures fair treatment for all.
  • Substantive Component: The fishery is a common, public resource that should be managed in a way that does not create or exacerbate excessive interpersonal or inter-regional disparities.

The Criteria

The primary criterion, the conservation criterion, is to be considered first and independently of the other access criteria:

The conservation criterion requires that decisions regarding access promote conservation, not only of discrete stocks, but of fish habitat and the ecosystem as a whole. The application of the criterion requires that priority be given to environmentally responsible fishers engaging in sustainable fishery practices, subject to verifiable assessment based on past practice, susceptibility to effective monitoring, direct and indirect contribution to the enhancement of knowledge and other factors related to conservation. In view of its pre-eminence as a principle underlying Canadian fisheries management, the conservation criterion should be applied to all access decisions, independently of any other criteria which might also be appropriate.

Following the analysis of the access issue against these principles, the access issue will be further considered against the three traditional criteria. The order of priority of these criteria will depend on the specific characteristics of the fishery in question, as outlined below:

Criteria Definition Application
Adjacency Priority of access should be granted to those who are closest to the fishery resource in question. The adjacency criterion is based on the explicit premise that those coastal fishing communities and fishers in closest proximity to a given fishery should gain the greatest benefit from it, and on the implicit assumption that access based on adjacency will promote values of local stewardship and local economic development. In the case of near-shore and inshore fisheries, and sedentary species, the application of adjacency as the sole criterion is most compelling. However, as the fishery moves to the mid-shore and offshore, and as the species fished become more highly migratory and mobile, adjacency as the only criterion for decisions regarding access becomes harder to justify. In such cases, adjacency cannot serve as the exclusive criterion for granting access, but must be weighed along with other criteria, including historic dependence, in particular.
Historic Dependence Priority of access should be granted to fishers who have historically participated in and relied upon a particular fishery, including those who developed the fishery. Depending on the nature and history of the fishery, the requisite period of dependence can vary from a few years to many decades. The historic dependence criterion is based on the premise that fishers who have historically fished a particular stock should enjoy privileged access to that resource, to ensure their continued economic stability and viability, as well as that of the coastal communities from which they come. The historic dependence criterion is most compelling when applied to a particular species that has been fished over a significant period. When the reliance on a stock is relatively recent, or generally rather than to a particular species, other criteria such as adjacency may be more applicable.
Economic Viability Decisions regarding access promote, rather than compromise, the economic viability of existing participants in a particular fishery, as well as that of potential new entrants to that fishery. The economic viability criterion is based on the premise that decisions regarding access should contribute to the economic resiliency and stability of individual fishers and of the fishing industry as a whole. At the level of the fishing enterprise, economic viability focuses on factors such as capacity to fish, ability to comply with last-in-first-out rules and sound business planning. At a broader level, economic viability looks to factors such as relative economic return and value-added to the fishery, as well as at stability of employment in the processing sector and economic benefits to dependent coastal communities. Properly applied, economic viability should complement other access criteria in ensuring an economically and environmentally sustainable fishery.

Nunavut Share

The Nunavut share of the northern shrimp quota in its adjacent waters (each of SFAs 0-3) for 2002 was 25%, which does not represent a major share. Therefore, no additional access will be granted to non-Nunavut interests in waters adjacent to Nunavut until the territory has achieved access to a major share of these resources subject to Aboriginal and treaty rights. Other issues related to Nunavut's share or allocation of fisheries resources adjacent to the Territory will be addressed through other processes. Fulfillment of this recommendation will not impinge on land claims, nor will it affect the current status of other participants in the northern shrimp fishery.

Sharing Arrangements of Quota Increases

SFA 1

Quota Recipients 2001 Quota
Increase (t)
2003 Quota
Increase (t)
Existing Licence Holders (all) 2,690 940
Nunavut   1,000
Nunavik   187
Total 2,690 2,127

SFA 2

Quota Recipients 1999 Quota
Increase (t)
2002 Quota
Increase (t)
Existing Licence Holders (all) 1,750  
Nunavut 1,750 2,000 (P. montagui) inside the NSA
Total 3,500 2,000

SFA 3

Quota Recipients 2002 Quota Increase (t)
Nunavut 500 (P. montagui) inside the NSA
Total 500

Note: all quota in SFA 3 is P. montagui. The 3,800t catch limit for P. montagui was increased to 4,300 in 2002 based on the 500t increase in SFA 3 for Nunavut.

SFA 4

Quota Recipients 1998 Quota
Increase (t)
2003 Quota
Increase (t)
Existing Licence Holders (all) 2,808  
Inshore adjacent temporary access 312 125
Innu   750
Scientific Quota   1,125
Total 3,120 2,000

Sharing Arrangements of Quota Increases-SFA5

Quota Recipients 1997 Quota
Increase (t)
2003 Quota
Increase (t)
Special allocation to 6 of the 17 existing licence holders (Northern Coalition) 6,120  
Inshore adjacent temporary access (< 65') 1,530  
Cartwright   200
Inshore affected cod and crab fishers (Cartwright to L'anse au Claire)   3,400
Inshore affected cod and crab fishers (Northern Peninsula)   400
LIA   750
LMN   750
Scientific Quota   2,500
Total 7,650 8,000

SFA6

Quota Recipients 1997 Quota Increase (t) 1998 Quota Increase (t) 1999 Quota Increase (t) 2000 Quota Increase (t) 2003 Quota Increase (t)
Existing Licence Holders (all)   2,310 1,243 1,230
Special Allocation - Northern Peninsula, Nfld. (SABRI) 3,000        
Special Allocation to the Innu       1,500  
Special Allocation to Fogo Island Co-operative Society       1,000  
Inshore adjacent temporary access 4R/4S fishers (north of 50° 30' N) 2,000 4,595 2,4731 1111 4,722
Inshore adjacent temporary access 3L fishers 2,000 4,595 2,4731 1111 2,191
Inshore adjacent temporary access resident SFA 6 fishers (< 65') South of 50º 30' N 3,000 6,881 3,7031 1641 2,677
Inshore adjacent temporary access resident SFA 6 fishers (< 65') 3K North of 50º 30' N 2,050 4,719 2,5401 1141 235
2J (<65' and co-op permits)         1,245
Inshore affected cod fishers (Northern Peninsula north of 50 30N)         3,000
Inshore affected cod fishers (Quebec Lower North Shore north of 50 30N)         1,000
Total 12,050 23,100 12,432 3,000 16,300
  1. Although existing sharing arrangements were used in 1999-2000 for the allocation of the inshore quota increases, this fleet managed themselves and used sharing arrangements that did not match up to what was agreed upon. Thus actual shares for this fleet may differ in these years.

SFA 7

Quota Recipients 2000 Quota
Increase (t)
2003 Quota
Increase (t)
Existing Licence Holders (all) 1,000 1,017
PEI Consortium 1,500 Nil
Inshore 2,500 4,066
Conne River Micmac   750
Total 5,000 5,833

10. ANNEX B - NORTHERN SHRIMP ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP AND TERMS OF REFERENCE

Chair

  • Director, Resource Management - Atlantic, DFO - Ottawa

Members

  • Atlantic Shrimp Company Ltd.
  • Baffin Fisheries Coalition
  • Canadian Association of Prawn Producers (CAPP)
  • Caramer Limited
  • Crevettes Nordiques Ltée.
  • Fishery Products International Ltd.
  • Harbour Grace Shrimp Company Ltd.
  • Labrador Fishermen's Union Shrimp Company
  • Labrador Inuit Association
  • Les Pêches Hauturières de Lamèque
  • Makivik Corporation
  • Mersey Seafoods Ltd.
  • M.V. Osprey Ltd.
  • Newfound Resources Ltd.
  • Northern Coalition
  • P.E.I Atlantic Shrimp Corp.
  • Pikalujak Fisheries Ltd.
  • Qikiqtaaluk Corporation
  • Torngat Fish Producers Cooperative Society Ltd.
  • Unaaq Fisheries Inc.
  • Department of Fisheries, Aquaculture, and Environment P.E.I.
  • Department of Sustainable Development, Government of Nunavut
  • DFO - Newfoundland Region
  • DFO - Quebec Region
  • DFO - Maritimes Region
  • DFO - Gulf Region
  • DFO - Central and Arctic Region
  • DFO - Ottawa NHQ
  • Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union (FFAW)
  • Fisheries Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (FANL)
  • Fogo Island Co-operative Society
  • Innu Nation - Labrador
  • Ministère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation du Québec
  • New Brunswick Department of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Aquaculture
  • Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture
  • Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
  • Nunavut Wildlife Management Board
  • Qikiqtaani Inuit Association
  • Regroupement des Associations de Pêcheurs de la Basse Côte Nord
  • St. Anthony Basin Resources Inc. (SABRI)

Purpose

The Northern Shrimp Advisory Committee (NSAC) serves as a forum for the discussion of issues on the management and development of the northern shrimp fishery and provides advice and recommendations to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.

Scope

NSAC will provide input on annual management plans respecting northern shrimp, including but not limited to advice on:

  • quota allocations and other regulatory measures (such as seasons, size limits and gear restrictions) and amendments thereto;
  • enforcement initiatives; and
  • licensing policy.

Chair

The NSAC is chaired by:

  • a representative of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

Membership

Membership on the NSAC shall be limited to:

  • one representative of each company that holds an offshore northern shrimp fishing licence;
     
  • representatives of areas and fishers receiving temporary allocations;
     
  • one provincial or territorial government representative from each of New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Nunavut Territory,and
     
  • representatives from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

Procedures

No formal voting procedures will be entrenched in the conduct of the NSAC; rather it will seek to operate on a consensus basis.

Meetings will be convened at dates and times agreed upon by the chair and there will be at least one meeting every year. The NSAC may determine that additional meetings are necessary and instruct the chair to make arrangements accordingly. The chair shall be responsible for notifying all members of any meeting.

The chair shall establish, in consultation with the NSAC members, agenda items for NSAC meetings. These items will be subject to the consensus of NSAC members at the commencement of each meeting.

Ad hoc working groups may be established by the NSAC to review specific issues and report their findings to NSAC as a whole.

If a member cannot attend an NSAC meeting, that member may nominate an alternate by notifying the chair as far in advance of the meeting as possible.

Non-members may attend NSAC meetings as observers, but may not sit at the table and cannot participate in discussions in the absence of the consensus of members to allow that participation.

Administration

Summary minutes of each meeting will be prepared in both official languages (French and English). The summary minutes will be distributed by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans after they are reviewed and accepted by the chair.

11. ANNEX C - ENTERPRISE ALLOCATION PROGRAM

ESTABLISHMENT AND UTILIZATION OF ENTERPRISE ALLOCATIONS

  1. The Enterprise Allocation (EA) method of fisheries management shall be followed with respect to access and quotas allocated to offshore licence holders, and those licence holders shall participate equally in such access and quotas, more particularly described in item 4 below.
     
  2. EAs shall be based on the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) established for the respective northern shrimp fishing areas.

the actual EA for a fishing season is that which is stipulated on the licence.

ADMINISTRATIVE GUIDELINES FOR ENTERPRISE ALLOCATIONS IN THE NORTHERN SHRIMP FISHERY

  1. No permanent transfers of EAs between enterprises are permitted.
  2. Inter-enterprise transfers of EAs are permitted on a temporary basis.

    Quota is freely transferable between and within enterprises provided that:
    1. the transfer applies only to the current season;
    2. notification of the transfer is given to the Director, Resource Management - Atlantic, DFO (or designate), on or before the date of the transfer.
  3. Licence holders will have until January 15 of the subsequent year to complete transfers in order to cover any overruns of their EAs.

ENTERPRISE ALLOCATIONS (EA) FOR THE NORTHERN SHRIMP FISHERY (EA per licence)

SHRIMP FISHING AREA DESCRIPTION OF AREA 2001/2002
EA (t)
2003 EA (t)
0 Davis Strait (NAFO Division 0A-west of 60° 30'W) exploratory Competitive Competitive
1 Davis Strait (NAFO Division 0A-east of 60° 30'W) 7081 763
2 Davis Strait (NAFO Division 0B) commercial 309 309
2 Davis Strait (NAFO Division 0B) offshore exploratory 103 103
3 Eastern Hudson Strait and Ungava Bay (P. montagui) exploratory Competitive Competitive
4 NAFO Division 2G 471 471
5 Hopedale and Cartwright Channels2 450 450
6 Hawke Channel plus NAFO Division 3K 859 931
7 NAFO Divisions 3L 59 119
TOTAL   2,959 3,146
  1. Given the difficult fishing conditions in SFA 1, only a portion of the overall TAC is allocated at the start of the season with the remainder issued in 50t increments at the request of each individual EA holder.
     
  2. The offshore portion of SFA 5 is 7,650t which means each of the 17 licence holders has an EA of 450t. The Northern Coalition (representing 6 of the offshore licence holders) has another 6,120t allocation (an additional 874t per licence). Thus if a licence holder is member of the NC their EA will be higher.

12. ANNEX D - 2003 MANAGEMENT MEASURES FOR INSHORE NORTHERN SHRIMP FISHERY IN SFAs 4, 5 AND 6

INSHORE INDUSTRY GOVERNANCE

During the early years of the inshore shrimp fishery, management boards were formed to facilitate consultation. These management boards represented each of the areas participating in the SFA 6 fishery and would contain representation from both the harvesting and processing sectors. Over the past couple of years however, these management boards have become representatives of the harvesters only.

Presently, consultation with the inshore northern shrimp industry is achieved primarily though the Northern Inshore Shrimp Advisory Committee (NISAC) which is comprised of the inshore shrimp harvester committees, the FFAW, FANL, the Provincial Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture and DFO. The role of the Northern Inshore Shrimp Advisory Committee (NISAC) is to:

  • provide advice on allocations
  • provide input and recommendations to NSAC on TAC and inshore issues
  • provide recommendations on sharing arrangements for the inshore fishery
  • provide advice on management measures for the inshore fishery
  • deal with operational issues associated with the inshore fishery

Many of the members of the NISAC also represent the interests of the inshore industry at NSAC.

MANAGEMENT MEASURES FOR 2003 ONWARD

Shrimp Fishing Area 4

In 1998 a total of 312t was temporarily allocated to the inshore fleet. This quota will continue providing the 1996 offshore thresholds are maintained. (66% or 206t of this quota must be fished south of 60°00 North latitude).

Shrimp Fishing Area 5

In 1997, a total of 1,530t was allocated for the benefit of adjacent inshore fishermen (vessels less than 65ft.). This was shared equally (510t each) among the Labrador Inuit, the Innu Nation, and fishermen of Cartwright, Labrador. These three groups are permitted to use royalty charters to have their allocations harvested. This regime will continue through future years providing offshore threshold levels are maintained.

Shrimp Fishing Area 6

2002-2003 Quotas

The following table includes the inshore quota sharing in SFA 6 for 2002 and 2003:

Quota Recipient 2002 Quota (t) 2003 Quota (t)
Special Allocation - Northern Peninsula (SABRI) 3,000 3,000
Special Allocation - Innu 1,500 1,500
Special Allocation - Fogo Island Co-op 1,000 1,000
Special allocation inshore cod fishers northern peninsula   3,000
Special allocation to inshore cod fishers Quebec lower north shore   1,000
4R/4S fishers (north of 50° 30' N) 9,178(1) 13,900
3L fishers 9,178 11,369
Resident SFA 6 fishers (<65')
South of 50° 30' N
13,745 16,420
Resident SFA 6 fishers (<65')
North of 50° 30' N
9,428(2) 10,910(3)
Total 47,029 62,099
  1. Prior to 2003, Newfoundland and Quebec fishers agreed to split this quota as follows: 88.89% for 4R based fishers and 11.11% for 4S based fishers. New sharing arrangements were implemented in 2003 (see Annex A).
  2. The 9,428 quota for resident SFA 6 fishers historically included an annual allocation of 1,000t (600t south and 400t north) for beam trawl and shrimp pot exploratory initiatives to be fished by <45' vessels inside 12 miles from land. This has not occurred in the past couple of years.
  3. This quota includes 4,650t for the 2J <65' fishers, 1,310t for the 2J co-op permits, and 4,950t for the 3K north of 50°30'N fishers.

Access

Any core fisher who geared up in either 1997 or 1998 was issued a temporary permit to harvest shrimp in SFA 6. If utilized, this permit is automatically renewed in subsequent years. All permits are issued on a "last-in, first-out" principle. Licensing policy in the Newfoundland Region presently prohibits the issuance of new commercial otter and beam trawl shrimp permits.

All vessels are required to fish outside 12 miles (territorial sea) in NAFO Division 3L, at water depths of greater than 200m. With the exception of these limitations, any fisher holding a permit for SFA 6 can fish anywhere in the area.

In SFA 6, 363 temporary inshore shrimp licences have been issued, and all are issued in Newfoundland and Labrador or Quebec.

Fishing Gear

The type of fishing gear permitted includes otter trawls and beam trawls. Some experimentation took place with shrimp pots in the early years of the fishery but with very little success. Other gear types and configuration may be approved on an experimental basis. Fishers are licenced to fish only one gear type.

The minimum mesh size for otter and beam trawls is 40mm throughout the trawl. To minimize the by-catch of groundfish and other shellfish, the use of the Nordmore Grate is mandatory for all otter and beam trawls. The opening of the Nordmore Grate must be as large as possible and completely unobstructed. The maximum bar spacing will be 22mm in the inshore fishery. Trawls must be configured with toggle and chain lengths to a minimum of 71.12cm.

Vessel Leasing

Vessel leasing in the inshore fishery will be permitted as prescribed in the Licensing Policy.

Individual Quotas (IQ) versus Competitive Quotas

The inshore shrimp fishery continues to be conducted on a competitive basis with trip limits and harvesting caps determined and enforced by the industry itself. The licence fee for this fishery is $100.

Season/Opening Dates

The inshore fishery generally opens in early April and ends when the quota has been taken (usually in late October).

Gear/Fishery Conflicts

The use of the Nordmore Grate system, if properly configured, will normally minimize the by-catch of non-targeted species such as groundfish and crab, however fishers are required to change fishing area by a minimum of 10 nautical miles if groundfish by-catch in any one haul exceeds 100kg.

The prohibition of trawling activity within 12 miles from shore and on certain other inshore areas may also be used to minimize conflict with other fisheries.

Resolution is still being sought for the 2J crab/shrimp trawl dispute.

Logbook Requirements

All fishers are required to complete and submit logbooks under section 61 of the Fisheries Act. Logbooks must be completed accurately in accordance with the instructions provided.

INDUSTRY RESPONSIBILITIES

Dockside Monitoring

All permit holders will be required to have all shrimp dockside monitored. This requirement will continue for the duration of the management period with all costs being the responsibility of industry. It is the responsibility of permit holders to ensure that monitors who oversee the offloading of catches are certified by DFO.

Observers

The inshore fishing industry will be responsible for approximately 10% observer coverage for the management period with the cost spread over the entire shrimp fishing fleet. The level of coverage will be reassessed annually and will increase if necessary to address conservation issues that may arise. As a condition of licence, fishers will be required to carry observers when requested by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Shrimp permits are not valid until observer coverage has been confirmed in a "letter of arrangement" issued by the observer company.

See Annex F for details of the 2002 inshore fishery.

13. ANNEX E - COMPLIANCE PROTOCOL FOR NORTHERN SHRIMP

I. OBJECTIVES

This protocol establishes a set of standardized guidelines for use by at sea observers, licence holders and vessel captains when monitoring and controlling fishing and production activities in the northern shrimp fishery.

These guidelines are designed to ensure compliance with the Fisheries Act and the regulations made thereunder as well as the provisions contained in the Northern Shrimp Management Plan.

II. GUIDING PRINCIPLES

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and Industry will work co-operatively to ensure compliance.

Both DFO observers and licence holders will work co-operatively, in an open and transparent manner, to resolve problems as they occur aboard vessels.

DFO will continue to monitor the level of compliance. If compliance rates decline or other enforcement problems arise, DFO reserves the right to withdraw from this protocol without notice.

III. AT-SEA MONITORING

A. By-catch and Discards

The established observer procedures, as outlined in the observer manual, for estimating regular discard (broken shrimp) will be continued. However, these procedures will not be applied for instances of significant highgrading of shrimp.

  • The observer and the vessel captain will conduct independent determinations of by-catch and discards.
     
  • The observer will notify the captain immediately if by-catch/discards are of concern.
     
  • The observer and the captain will record the by-catch/discards on a daily basis. These will be recorded on the daily report form (copy attached).
     
  • In the event of a disagreement between the reports of the observer and the captain, both parties will document their findings on the daily report, which will become a part of the observer's trip report.
     
  • The observer and the captain will seek to reconcile the difference. However, this does not imply that the observer and the captain must agree.
     
  • All such differences will be included in the observer's trip report.

B. Determination of Quota Deduction

Step 1 Determination of "Overpack Factor"

When deemed necessary and appropriate, the observer will determine the overpack factor for each product form. The following procedures will be used:

  • The observer will take random samples of the product form being checked.
  • The observer will notify the Captain or the designated alternate that a sample will be taken to determine overpack. A member of the crew will accompany the observer.
  • The observer will weigh the samples and average the weights.
  • The average of the samples will be converted to the "Overpack Factor" for each product form.
  • This overpack factor will be used for the product form in question until the procedure is repeated.

Step 2 Determination of Gross Weight

  • The observer and the captain will independently tabulate the total stamped package weight (SPW) by product form. (number of boxes X SPW = Total Wt.)
  • In the event of a discrepancy in the package count between the observer and the captain each party will document their findings.
  • The observer and the captain will seek to reconcile the difference. However, this does not imply that the observer and the captain must agree.
  • All such differences will be referenced in the observer's trip report.
  • The total stamped package weight of each product form is multiplied by the overpack factor for each pack to determine the gross weight.

Step 3 Determination of "Quota Weight"

  • The gross weight by product form, as determined in step 2, is multiplied by the appropriate conversion factor for each product form to determine "quota weight". At this time, the conversion factor for product forms other than "Japanese product" is 1. The conversion factor for "Japanese product" is 0.95, effective since the 1998 fishing season.

Step 4 Determination of Quota Deduction

  • The quota deduction is the sum of the quota weight plus the discards.
  • The quota deduction is deducted from the Enterprise Allocation for that fishing area"

IV. PROVISION OF REPORTS

  • DFO will forward to the licence holder a weekly summary of catches, by-catches, discards, etc.
  • DFO will supply the licence holder with a copy of the observer's trip report upon completion of the trip.

FISHERIES OBSERVER PROGRAM NORTHERN SHRIMP FISHERY

Estimating Weight of Pandalid Species in Commercial Catches

P. borealis is the dominant species caught in the commercial fishery off Labrador and in David Strait. P. montagui also occurs in significant amounts, particularly in Hudson Strait and adjacent areas. In recent years, P. montagui appears to be expanding its distribution. Data from the fishery indicate that it is being caught in geographical areas where it was not previously found, and that its total catch weight has increased. Even though fisheries observers presently determine the amount of every species caught (by weight), the changes in proportion of the two species in some areas necessitate the collection of more detailed data. In 1995, there were indications that the P. montagui resource, previously found in Hudson Strait (SFA 3), had expanded and/or relocated to the adjacent SFAs 2 & 4.

Furthermore, quotas for the northern shrimp fishery are based on catches of P. borealis (except in SFA 3), while any P. montagui caught (i.e., a by-catch species) is not applied against the quota. To provide accurate distributional data and reliable catch weights for quota monitoring, the following standardized sampling methods will be applied under certain circumstances.

Shrimp Species Sampling Method

For each set, obtain a random sample consisting of three 1 gallon buckets of shrimp, collected at different times during the processing period: i.e., at the beginning, middle, and end. All 3 buckets of shrimp must be collected from the conveyor belt where the catch enters the factory area. Collection and analysis of species in each bucket during three different processing times will determine if the proportion of the two shrimp species remains the same over the period of processing. This method will also facilitate estimating catch weight of both Pandalid species.

Remove all fish in the bucket, then sort the shrimp into 3 categories: 1) P. borealis; 2) P. montagui and 3) other. Weigh each shrimp category (in kilograms, to 2 decimal places where possible), and record these weights on the datasheet Shrimp Species Record Sheet. For P. borealis and P. montagui, divide each species weight by the total weight of all shrimp in the bucket, then multiply by 100 to obtain percent per species. Repeat the above procedure for each bucket in the sample.

Calculate the weight of P. borealis and P. montagui in the catch as follows: Add the weights of each species in the three buckets to obtain sample weight per species. Then calculate the total weight of all shrimp species in the sample. Divide the sample weights of P. borealis and P. montagui separately by this total shrimp weight, and multiply both values by 100. Finally, multiply both percentages by the total catch weight of shrimp, in order to calculate the total weight of each species in that set. Record this information on the Shrimp Species Record Sheet, then transfer the final values to the Set & Catch sheet.

This procedure should be used when amount of P. montagui becomes a significant part of the catch, i.e., appears to exceed about 2-3% of the catch.

Shrimp Species Record Sheet: Fisheries Observer Program

Year: Trip #: Set #:   Observer:
Bucket collected when: Pandalus borealis Pandalus montagui "Other" shrimp species: Total weight of all shrimp species (kg):
start wt (kg)   wt(kg)   wt(kg)    
  %   %      
middle weight   weight   weight    
  %   %      
end weight   weight   weight    
  %   %      
sample weight per species (kg)        
%(a)        

Total weight (kg) of:

Pandalus borealis =               %(a) x              kg =          kg

Pandalus montagui=               %(a) x             kg =          kg

total catch weight of all shrimp species =

14. ANNEX F - NORTHERN SHRIMP 2002 FISHERY

The Northern Shrimp Advisory Committee (NSAC) met in St. John's on March 28, 2002, and recommended higher quotas in Shrimp Fishing Areas (SFAs) 2, 4, 5 and 6. On July 11, 2002, the Minister announced that TACs would remain at the current levels until such time as market conditions improve and TAC increases can be absorbed with little or no impact on the economic viability of the existing fleet. The status quo announcement did include small TAC increases in SFAs 2 and 3 for P. montagui to establish further exploratory fishing efforts inside the Nunavut Settlement Area. A total of 2,000t was allocated to the NWMB in SFA 2 and 500t to the same organization in SFA 3.

NSAC also supported, in principle, the creation of scientific research quotas in SFAs 4 and 5 as tabled at the 2002 meeting. The proposal, designed to raise funds to replace the discontinued DFO research vessel cruises in the northern areas, was not approved due to the decision to hold TACs at current levels.

In 2003 NSAC met again and recommended similar increases in SFAs 2, 4, 5 and 6, as well as support for the NAFO recommended quotas in SFAs 1 and 7. See attached news release (Annex G) for details on the 2003 announcement.

OFFSHORE FISHERY

The offshore fishery continues to be managed as described in section 6 of the Integrated Fisheries Management Plan.

INSHORE FISHERY

Prior to the NSAC meeting held on March 2002, the Newfoundland Inshore Shrimp Advisory Committee (NISAC) met on March 20, 2002. Most of the inshore fleet felt that a status quo decision would leave the Newfoundland industry vulnerable to market share loss if quotas were increased in other shrimp producing countries.

The objective of the NISAC was to prepare a management approach for 2002 that would cover all quota groups.

  • The 4R/4S allocation split between Quebec and Newfoundland would remain on the same basis as previous years, i.e., 88.89% allocated to Newfoundland based vessels and 11.11% allocated to Quebec based vessels. In 2003 this sharing arrangement was changed (see Annex A).
  • The fishery would be conducted on a competitive basis, however industry managed harvesting caps and trip limits would remain in place.
  • The purpose of this approach was to permit an orderly harvest in 2002 as well as ensuring that inshore vessels will catch the entire allocation.
  • 100% DMP (dockside monitoring) will apply.
  • Mandatory use of the Nordmore Grate will continue to apply, as was the case in previous years.

15. ANNEX G - 2003 NEWS RELEASE - NORTHERN SHRIMP

NR-HQ-03-38E

May 26, 2003

THIBAULT ANNOUNCES 34,260t INCREASE

IN NORTHERN SHRIMP QUOTAS

OTTAWA -- Harvesters in the northern shrimp fishery will enjoy a substantial 29 per cent increase in the total allowable catch (TAC) this year, the Honourable Robert G. Thibault, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, announced today.

"This is one of the best news stories in the Atlantic Canada fishery. Even with an increase in the quota by 34,260 tonnes to a TAC of 152,102t, the exploitation rates are low in this healthy and abundant resource," said Minister Thibault.

"I have approved an allocation of 7,800t to benefit small boat fishers in southern Labrador, the northern portion of the Northern Peninsula and the Lower North Shore of Quebec. These allocations will be managed by existing allocation/licence holders for the direct benefit of core small boat fishers affected by the recent declines in the cod and crab fisheries in these areas."

A significant portion of the increase will be allocated to inshore mobile gear fleets. Sharing arrangements for these fleets have been changed to provide a proportionately larger share of the resource to those enterprises with the greatest need.

One major new initiative in the 2003 management plan is the creation of a special three-year scientific research quota that will be used by industry to generate funds to carry out scientific research in northern shrimp fishing areas where currently little or no research is being carried out. While directed at a better understanding of shrimp, this research will be of benefit to other northern fisheries as the knowledge gained will not be exclusive to shrimp. The 2003 TAC for this research quota is 3,625t. A working group will be established to develop a protocol to manage this initiative.

"More scientific information in this fishing area will provide us with better information on which to base future catch levels. In the case of southern shrimp fishing areas east of Newfoundland and Labrador (SFA 5, 6 and 7), solid science research has paid dividends in the form of larger TACs by providing a better understanding of the strength of the resource," the Minister said.

Participation in this fishery is already high. Difficult decisions were required in dealing with the many requests for new or increased quotas. "We must maintain some stability in the fishery so that industry can adjust to changing circumstances," the Minister said.

Principles governing the provision of new access are outlined in the New Access Framework developed based on recommendations of the Independent Panel on Access Criteria. Increases in quota allocations this year are based on these principles, which include conservation and providing for increased Aboriginal participation, adjacency and equity. The application of these principles will assist groups such as the Innu Nation, the Labrador Inuit Association, the Labrador Metis Nation and the Miawpukek Band (Conne River).

Shrimp prices remain substantially below the average of $3,900 per tonne between 1988 and 1998, but they have risen slightly in the early months of 2003 to more than $2,600 per tonne. The northern shrimp fishery has expanded dramatically since the 37,600t TAC in 1996. Landings were valued at $245 million last year.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Sophie Galarneau
Manager, Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Ottawa
(613) 998-1530

Caroline Quinn
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Ottawa
(613) 992-3474