Northern Shrimp (SFAs) 0-7 and the Flemish Cap

Resource Management Operations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

TABLE OF CONTENTS

REFERENCE

1. INTRODUCTION

Pandalus borealis (Kroyer, 1838)

This document presents the multi-year Integrated Fisheries Management Plan (IFMP) for the period commencing 2007 for the northern shrimp fishery.

This is a ‘rolling’ or ‘evergreen’ plan subject to amendment at the discretion of the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans while respecting the applicable legislation, policies and regulations.

1.1 FISHERY OBJECTIVES

Fisheries and Oceans Canada strives to manage the Pandalus borealis and Pandalus Montagui fisheries based on the following three principles: Conservation and Sustainable Harvest; Benefits to Stakeholders; and, the Co-management of the Shrimp Resource. Using these objectives as guideposts, various strategies and management measures are put into practice, or are in the process of being developed, to maximize the benefit of these resources for all Canadians.

At annual advisory meetings, a review of the Pandalus borealis and Pandalus Montagui fisheries takes place which includes an assessment of whether these objectives are being met and key management issues are being addressed. As part of this process, the information gathered through other evaluation processes like the Department's Fishery Checklist is used to help identify areas for improvement in the management of these fisheries and through consultation with stakeholders, potential improvements are explored and priorities established.

Conservation and Sustainable Harvest
  • To promote the sustainable utilization of northern shrimp stocks.
  • To promote cost-effective harvesting strategies that ensures compliance with objective-oriented management and conservation measures and promotes a responsible image for all fleet sectors.
  • To mitigate the impacts on other species, habitat, and the ecosystem where shrimp fishing occurs, protecting biodiversity and ecosystem structure and function.
  • Within specified resource management constraints, to promote a harvest level that stabilizes industry infrastructure and meets marketing requirements, in the pursuit of economic viability objectives for the shrimp sector.
  • To promote fishing practices that avoid or mitigate impact on sensitive habitat and species.
  • To explicitly recognize the ecosystem role of shrimp in TAC-setting decisions, particularly as a forage species.
Strategies

Precautionary Approach

  • Utilize a precautionary approach framework when setting exploitation rates for the directed fishery
  • Given that shrimp have a significant role as a forage species, the base target exploitation rate has been set lower than what might otherwise be the case. (Annex I) - objectives
  • Manage activity in ecologically sensitive areas
  • Promote the development of sustainable fishing practices.
  • Manage by-catch or mortality for all non-targeted species
  • Employ effective monitoring and surveillance tools and mechanisms that ensure compliance with conservation measures
Management Measures

Precautionary Approach (Annex )

  • Provide biomass and abundance estimates through timely science surveys
  • Utilize indicators of stock and fishery change
  • Control fishing mortality by setting annual TAC, taking into account the role of shrimp in the ecosystem.
  • Utilize appropriate exploitation rates and reference points, which take into account the role of shrimp in the ecosystem. (see Annex I).
  • Close Hawke Channel to conserve cod concentrations
  • Prohibit bottom contact fishing in established coral conservation areas
  • Enforce regulations against discarding and highgrading
  • Require a maximum of 22 (SFA 6,7) or 28 mm (SFA1,2,3,4,5) separator grates as condition of licence
  • Require live release of species listed under SARA as endangered or threatened
  • Observer coverage is targeted at 100% for offshore vessels and 10% for inshore boats
  • Use of Vessel Monitoring Systems for all shrimp boats
  • Employ Dockside Monitoring Programs for 100% of inshore landings
  • Employ aerial and dockside surveillance in addition to period audits of landings and catch information outside regular operations

Benefits to Stakeholders
  • To promote the continued development of a commercially viable and self-sustaining fishery with particular emphasis on the needs of the traditional licence holders.
  • To provide fair access to and equitable sharing of the northern shrimp resource.
Strategy
  • No new access to this fishery
  • Use key departmental criteria of adjacency, historical dependence and economic dependency when providing new allocations
  • Use of Last in First Out principle as the primary policy guiding allocations when dealing with TAC declines, subject only to land claims obligations
  • Balance fleet capacity with resource availability
  • Fulfill obligations with respect to fishery resources as defined in the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement, the Nunatsiavut Claims Agreement and the Nunavik Inuit Land Claims Agreement.
Management Measures
  • Continue Enterprise Allocation structure for offshore sector
  • Limit entry to the fishery through licensing
  • Consult with Aboriginal management boards on TAC levels in or adjacent to their territorial waters

Co-management of Resource
  • To promote, at NAFO, a Total Allowable Catch (TAC) and quotas management scheme for the Flemish Cap shrimp fishery, or otherwise controlling fishing effort to achieve a sustainable fishery.
  • To continue to promote, with Greenland, an agreed TAC, quota and management scheme for NAFO Division 0A and Subarea 1 shrimp.
  • To promote a co-management approach, providing licence holders with an effective sharing of responsibility, accountability and decision making, within the constraints of the Fisheries Act, the precautionary approach and harvest control rules.
Strategy
  • Establish an effective consultative process for resource users to participate in the decision-making process
  • Establish Multi-stakeholder Working Groups (WG) designed to examine domestic and international issues, e.g. Conservation and Compliance WG, Closed Areas WG, Marine Stewardship Council Certification WG
  • Contribute and participate in NAFO meetings
  • Providing experts to NAFO Scientific Council
  • Conduct bi-lateral negotiations between Canada and Greenland, with input and participation from industry
  • Manage Joint Project Agreement between DFO and the Northern Shrimp Research Foundation to pursue mutually beneficial scientific activities
Management Measures
  • Organize annual Northern Shrimp Advisory Committee (NSAC) meetings
  • Convene Working Groups as appropriate
  • Convene Shrimp Working Group under NAFO consultative process as appropriate
  • Convene domestic consultations and bi-lateral discussions with Greenland as appropriate
  • Collaboratively define science priorities and design appropriate research activities

2. THE FISHERY

The northern shrimp fishery commenced in the early 1970s when an exploratory fishing program confirmed the presence of shrimp stocks in the waters stretching southward from Baffin Island to the northeast coast of Newfoundland. Between 1978 and 1991, 17 offshore licences were introduced and quotas established using an Enterprise Allocation regime. In the 1990s, as the shrimp stocks grew in abundance and the cod moratorium came into effect, temporary inshore licences were introduced throughout Atlantic Canada giving priority access to the under 65 feet fleet and to aboriginals. A three-year plan was announced in 1997 with significant quota increases for both the offshore and temporary inshore licences. The Total Allowable Catch (TAC) has doubled since the late 1990s, rising from 85,000t in 1998 to over 160,000t in 2007. In 2006, DFO announced that additional access to the shrimp fishery would be frozen to encourage stability in the short term. Additionally, in 2007, temporary licences were converted to regular licences in an effort to further promote stability in the inshore fleet.

For further historical details on the northern shrimp fishery, please consult Annex A.

2.1 SPECIES

The fishery is based primarily on the species, Pandalus borealis (northern or pink shrimp; Figure 1), one of several cold water species of shrimp found north of latitude 40°N in the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic Oceans (Figure 2).


Figure 1 - Pandalus borealis (northern or pink shrimp)

Pandalus borealis (northern or pink shrimp)

Figure 2 – Distribution of Pandalus borealis (northern or pink shrimp)
 (from Bergstrom, 2000)

Geographic distribution of P.borealis/P.eous

Geographic distribution of P.borealis/P.eous

P. borealis represents the primary cold-water shrimp resource in the North Atlantic. These shrimp are protandric hermaphrodites. They first mature as males, mate as males for one to several years and then change sex to spend the rest of their lives as mature females. Some northern populations exhibit relatively slow rates of growth and maturation but greater longevity (>8 years), resulting in larger maximum size. Figure 3 depicts the life cycle of this species.


Figure 3

Life cycle of Pandalus borealis

A second species, Pandalus montagui (striped shrimp; Figure 4), is commercially less important and is fished primarily in Shrimp Fishing Areas (SFAs) 2, 3 and 4 (see Figure 5) and occurs as by-catch elsewhere in the P. borealis fishery. P. montagui is also a protandric hermaphrodite and exhibits the same life cycle as P. borealis.

Figure 4 - Pandalus montagui (striped shrimp)

striped shrimp

2.2 LOCATION OF THE FISHERY

The fishery takes place off the coast of eastern Canada from 47°15’ N (Flemish Cap and the northern edge of the Grand Banks) to 75° 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 (SFAs; Figure 5). These units also provide the basis for management of the fishery as a whole.

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 and approximately 80% of the catch in recent years. The SFA 0 TAC is competitive, however, this area presents formidable ice and weather conditions and has never been fished beyond exploratory trials in the early years. SFA 1 is assessed within the Scientific Council of the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) but managed through bi-lateral negotiations between Canada and Greenland. This portion of the stock has lower yields with the average catch over the period 1994 to 2001 being approximately 46% of the TAC. Increased effort in SFA 1 occurred in 2002 resulting in increased catch rates of high quality shrimp.

The 3L portion of SFA 7 is a NAFO managed P. borealis stock. This fishery began in 2000 when NAFO announced a 6,000t TAC for the area. Five-thousand tonnes of this TAC were allocated to Canada. Canada’s quota has increased significantly in recent years. Fishing in this area is restricted to water depths greater than 200 metres.


Figure 5 - Shrimp Fishing Areas

Shrimp Fishing Area

2.3 FLEET STRUCTURE AND OPERATIONS

There are two fleets engaged in this fishery, the offshore fleet (LOA >100’; >500t) and the inshore fleet (LOA <=100’; <=500t). The offshore fleet operates under an Enterprise Allocation (EA) system based on equal shares in each SFA. The inshore fleet is conducted on a competitive basis with trip limits and harvesting caps determined and regulated by the industry.

2.3.1 The Offshore Fleet

The offshore fleet is comprised of twelve to thirteen factory freezer trawlers ranging in length from 49m to 75m (Figure 6). The offshore vessels operate out of ports in Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, with occasional landings in Greenland when fishing in far northern waters (SFAs 0 and 1).


Figure 6 - Typical offshore shrimp fishing vessel (LOA> 100’; >500t)

Typical offshore shrimp fishing vessel

Fishing trips last from 20 to 75 days. Vessels generally make about 12 trips per year, averaging 300-320 sea days annually. The offshore fleet double-crews their vessels (24 to 28 crew depending on the size of the vessel) employing approximately 625-650 crew for the entire fleet. Related on-shore operations represent investments of over $100 million, employing over 2,000 people with total annual payroll in the range of $60 million.

There are 17 offshore licences currently held by 14 corporate entities: 3 companies hold 2 licences each, 11 others each hold a single licence and 2 of these are joint owners of a company holding 1 licence. There has been no increase in the number of offshore Northern shrimp licences issued since 1991. The current offshore licence holdings by company are listed in Table 1.

Table 1 - Northern Shrimp Fishery – Offshore Shrimp Licences and Vessel Operators
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/
Labrador Storm
M.V. Osprey Ltd., North Sydney N.S.
1978 1 Fishery Products Limited, St. John's, NL Ocean Choice International Inc.,
St. John’s, NL
Newfoundland Lynx Ocean Choice International Inc., St. John’s, NL
1978 1 Fishery Products Limited,
St. John's, NL
Ocean Choice International Inc.,
St. John’s, NL
Katsheshuk II Ocean Choice Seafood Inc., St. John’s, NL
1978 1 Bickerton Industries (Mersey) Liverpool, N.S. Mersey Seafoods Ltd.,
Liverpool, NS
Mersey Venture/
Mersey Phoenix
Mersey Seafoods Ltd., Liverpool, NS
1978 1 Atmar Marine (UMF) Mersey Seafoods Ltd.,
Liverpool, NS (since 1982)
Mersey Venture/
Mersey Phoenix
Mersey Seafoods Ltd., Liverpool, NS
1978 1 Pandalus Nordique Lameque Offshore Limited (New Brunswick) but leased to M.V. Osprey Ltd (since 1985) Northern Eagle M.V. Osprey Ltd., North Sydney N.S.
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/ Arctic Endurance Clearwater Ocean Prawns Joint Venture, Lunenburg, NS
1978 1 Torngat Fish Producers Coop Society Ltd., Labrador Torngat Fish Producers Coop Society Ltd., Labrador Mersey Phoenix
Mersey Venture
Mersey Seafoods Ltd., Liverpool, NS
1978 1 Carapec, New Brunswick Caramer Ltd.,
Caraquet, NB
Acadienne Gale II Davis Strait Mgt. Ltd., Halifax, NS
1979 1 Imaqpik, Quebec
 
Makivik Corp,
Lachine, Quebec
Newfound Pioneer Newfoundland Resources
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,
Iqaluit, NU
Saputi Qikiqtaaluk Corporation
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, NL
Newfound Pioneer Newfound Resources Ltd.,
St. John’s, NL

There is a high level of participation in the offshore fishery by aboriginal communities. In some cases they are licence holders gaining economic benefits through joint venture harvesting operations, while in others they are more fully integrated as vessel owners, crew and marketers.

The quota for the offshore fleet is built up from TACs for each of eight defined Shrimp Fishing Areas (0 to 7). Each TAC is divided into 17 equal shares expressed in tonnes (t). These shares take the form of Enterprise Allocations (EA) and are the basis of access to the resource for each of the licence-holders. The EAs may be transferred on a temporary basis. Permanent transfers are not permitted, although the sale of companies holding the EA is allowed. See Annex E for details on the EA and on the sharing principles and arrangements from 1997 to 2006.

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 that also hold shrimp licences.

The offshore northern shrimp licence holders are represented by three organizations. The Canadian Association of Prawn Producers (CAPP) represent eight licence holders (ten licences) and the Northern Coalition represent five licence holders (six licences) and the Nunatsiavut Government. (Table 2). Pikalujak Fisheries Ltd. is not a member of either of these organizations.

DFO administers the Enterprise Allocation (EA) Program for the offshore fleet while CAPP administers the Flemish Cap days on ground (the number of 24-hour periods in which the vessel was on the fishing ground, including fishing and searching in addition to all the other days while the vessel was on the ground).

The Executive Directors of CAPP and the Northern Coalition, as well as the independent licence holder, work with DFO on day-to-day issues of importance to their fleets.

Table 2 - A listing of northern shrimp licence holders and their representative organizations
Offshore Licence Holder Number of Licences
Canadian Association of Prawn Producers (CAPP)
• Ocean Choice International Inc. 2 licences
• Mersey Seafoods Ltd.   2 licences
• M.V. Osprey Ltd.   1 licence
• Crevettes Nordiques   1 licence
• Atlantic Shrimp Co. Ltd.   1 licence
• Caramer Ltd.   1 licence
• Newfound Resources Ltd.   1 licence
• Harbour Grace Shrimp Co.    1 licence
TOTAL licence holders represented by CAPP   10 licences
Northern Coalition  
• Labrador Fishermen’s Union Shrimp Company Ltd   2 licences
• Torngat Fish Producers Coop Society Ltd    1 licence
• Nunatsiavut Government    no licence
• Qikiqtaaluk Corporation    1 licence
• Unaaq Fisheries    1 licence
• Makivik Corporation    1 licence
TOTAL licence holders represented by the Northern Coalition    6 Licences
• Pikalujak Fisheries Ltd.  1 licence
TOTAL OFFSHORE LICENCES    17 licences

2.3.2 The Inshore Fleet

The inshore fleet is composed of vessels less than 100ft (30.48m) in length with the majority being in the range of 50-65ft (Figure 7). Their operations are based out of ports in NAFO divisions 2J3KL and are established based on area of residence, by NAFO division in the following manner; 2J, 3K north (north of 50°30’N), 3K south (south of 50°30’N), 3L, 4R and 4S. The majority fish in SFA 6 and 7 with some effort in SFA 4 and 5. Most of these vessels use otter trawls, with a few using beam trawls. The inshore fishery is conducted on a competitive basis with trip limits and harvesting caps determined and regulated by the industry.

The inshore fleet commenced in 1997 under temporary status. In 2007, these licences became regular and are subject to various policies governing the northern shrimp fishery such as “last in first out”. 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. The inshore fleet is represented by the Fish Food and Allied Workers (FFAW) and through fleet committees elected by the licence holders.


Figure 7 - Typical small shrimp fishing vessel (LOA <=100’; <=500t)

Typical small shrimp fishing vessel (LOA <=100'; <=500t)

2.4 TIME FRAME OF FISHERY

The offshore fishery is year-round which begins in SFAs 5, 6 and 7 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 is essential in order to maintain a financially viable operation and to provide a continuous supply of shrimp to the fiercely competitive international market.

In 2003, based on a recommendation by the Northern Shrimp Advisory Committee, the fishing season for SFAs 2 to 6 changed from a calendar year (January 1 to December 31) to a fiscal year (April 1 to March 31). SFA 1 is jointly managed through bilateral arrangements between Canada and Greenland while SFA 7 (3L) is managed under NAFO advice. Both SFAs 1 and 7 remain on a January 1 to December 31 cycle.

Generally, the inshore shrimp-fishing season runs from April to October with the bulk of landings occurring during July and August. Vessel size and environmental conditions such as ice and weather restrict operations for the inshore fleet in the spring and fall.

The fishing season for the northern shrimp fishery is established by SFA as follows:

SFA From To
0 January 1 December 31
1 January 1 December 31
2 April 1 March 31
3 April 1 March 31
4 April 1 March 31
5 April 1 March 31
6 April 1 March 31
7 January 1 December 31

2.4.1 Season Bridging for the Offshore Fleet

Season bridging has been in place for the offshore fleet since 2007.  Bridging allows licence holders to harvest a predetermined amount of quota from the following season’s quota, to be fished in the period of March 1-31st.  Furthermore, unused quota can be bridged into the next season and be fished in the first 90 days (i.e. April 1-June 30).  Licence fees are to be paid following approval of a season bridging request and quota is adjusted through the regular EA transfer system.

2.5 OVERVIEW OF QUOTAS

Northern shrimp quotas have increased from 37,600t in 1996 to 164,243t in 2007 (Table 3). These increases have allowed for additional allocations for aboriginal groups or existing licence and allocation holders.

In 1997, following the establishment for criteria for sharing of quota increase, a threshold of 37,600t was established to ensure the continued viability of the 17 offshore licence holders. Any TAC increases beyond this threshold would be given, on a temporary basis, to new fishers. In addition, each SFA has a threshold also based on 1996 quota numbers.

Table 3 - Total Allowable Catch history for northern shrimp (Pandalus borealis) fished within Davis Strait, along the eastern coasts of Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as within the NAFO Division 3L Canadian Exclusive Economic Zone 1978 – 2006
YEAR DIVOA-II DIVOA DIVOB HS/UB* DIV2G HOPE CART HAWKE DIV3K DIV3L TOTAL
  SFA0 SFA1 SFA2 SFA3 SFA4 SFA5 SFA6 SFA7  
1978 - 1,000   100 500 4,500 800 800 500   8,200
1979 - 2,000   100 500 3,200 800 1,750 500   8,850
1980 - 2,500   200 500 4,000 800 850 500   9,350
1981 - 5,000   200 500 4,000 800 850 500   11,850
1982 - 5,000   200 500 4,000 800 850 500   11,850
1983 - 5,000   850 500 4,000 800 850 500   12,500
1984   5,000   850 500 3,500 700 850 500   11,900
1985   6,120   850 500 2,800 770 850 500   12,390
1986   6,120   850 500 3,400 1,000 850 1,200   13,920
1987   6,120   1,200 500 4,000 800 1,500 1,500   15,620
1988   6,120   1,200 500 4,000 800 1,500 1,500   15,620
1989   7,520 3,500 1,200 2,580 4,400 1,600 2,000 3,600   26,400
1990   7,520 3,500 1,200 2,580 4,400 1,600 2,000 3,600   26,400
1991   8,500 3,485 1,190 2,635 4,760 1,615 2,210 2,091   26,486
1992   8,500 3,485 1,190 2,635 4,760 1,615 3,910 3,655   29,750
1993 300 8,500 3,485 1,190 2,735 4,760 1,615 3,846 5,334   31,765
1994 500 8,500 3,500 1,200 4.000 7,650 11,050   36,400
1995 500 8,500 3,500 1,200 5,200 7,650 11,050   37,600
1996 500 8,500 3,500 3,800 5,200 7,650 11,050   40,200
1997 500 8,500 5,250 3,800 5,200 15,300 23,100   61,650
1998 500 7,650 5,250 3,800 8,320 15,300 46,200   87,020
1999 500 9,350 8,750 3,800 8,320 15,300 58,632   104,652
2000 500 9,350 5,250 3,800 8,320 15,300 61,632 500 109,152
2001 500 12,040 8,750 3,800 8,320 15,300 61,632 500 115,342
2002 500 12,040 8,750 6,300 8,320 15,300 61,632 500 117,842
2003 500 14,167 8,750 6,300 13,122** 33,084** 85,585** 10,833 172,341
2004 500 14,167 8,750 6,300 10,320 23,300 77,932 10,833 152,102
2005 500 18,417 8,750 6,300 10,320 23,300 78,044 10,833 156,464
2006 500 18,417 8,726 6,300*** 10,238 23,300 77,417 18,333 163,231
*   HS/UB = P. montagui
Between 1996 and 2001 there has been a 1200 t quota but a 3800 t catch limit for P. montagui in SFA 3. During 2002 the SFA 3 P. montagui catch limit was increased to 6300 t.
** The offshore licence holders requested that their quotas starting in 2003 run from April 1 - March 31 rather than January 1 - December 31, therefore the increased quotas for 2003 reflect the amount of shrimp that would have been caught under the Dec. - Jan. schedule. Please note that the change in timetable only affects SFAs 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6. SFAs 1 and 7 are still on the Jan. 1 - Dec. 31 timetable.
***In 2006 a 400 t P. borealis bycatch limit was set within the SFA 3 P. montagui fishery.

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 accordance with the principles developed in consultation with industry, all allocations since 1997 have been provided on a temporary basis, based on the "last in, first out" (LIFO) principle. In other words, should there be a decline in the abundance of the resource in the future; quota allocations will be removed from the fishery in reverse order of their application.

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 Métis Nation, Nunatsiavut Government, 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 faced by these fishers due to 2003 groundfish closures.

The northern shrimp fishery uses Total Allowable Catch (TAC) in an effort to control the exploitation rate index (catch (t) / fishable biomass from the previous year) which is a proxy for fishing mortality. It is important not to allow exploitation to exceed a level that jeopardizes the reproductive potential of the population. The fact that shrimp change sex during their lifetime (from male to female) and that the fishery primarily targets large shrimp (females) are special considerations which are reviewed in determining TACs. Quotas 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.

Observers are required on all trips by the offshore fleet and a target of 10% coverage has been established for the inshore fleet. Dockside monitoring of all landings is also a requirement for all vessels <100’.

2.5.1 Harvesting of Northern Shrimp Allocations

As explained above, when significant quota increases occurred in the Northern shrimp fishery, special allocations were created to benefit various groups (inshore affected fishers, aboriginal groups, etc.). Over the years, specific harvesting requirements were introduced that stated who could harvest these allocations and in some cases, landing requirements.

Table 4 - Harvesting Of Northern Shrimp Allocations
SFA Fleet/Interest FISHED ONLY BY
0 Offshore Licence Holders Any offshore northern shrimp licence holder
1 Offshore Licence Holders Any offshore northern shrimp licence holder
  Nunavut Any Canadian trawler, offshore northern shrimp licence holder or vessel acquired by Nunavut interests.
  Makivik Any offshore northern shrimp licence holder
2 Offshore Licence Holders Any offshore northern shrimp licence holder
  Offshore Licence Holders (Expl. Pandalus borealis E of 63°W) Any offshore northern shrimp licence holder
  Nunavut (N of 63N and E of 63W) Any Canadian trawler, offshore northern shrimp licence holder or vessel acquired by Nunavut interests.
  Nunavut (Exploratory Pandalus montagui inside NSA) Any Canadian trawler, offshore northern shrimp licence holder or vessel acquired by Nunavut interests.
3 Offshore Licence Holders (Pandalus montagui in SFAs 2/3/4 West of 63W) Any offshore northern shrimp licence holder
  Nunavut (Exploratory Pandalus montagui inside the NSA) Any Canadian trawler, offshore northern shrimp licence holder or vessel acquired by Nunavut interests.
  Pandalus Borealis (bycatch)**  
4 Offshore Licence Holders Any offshore northern shrimp licence holder
  Inshore <65' inshore vessel or offshore northern shrimp licence holder
  Innu Any offshore northern shrimp licence holder
  Offshore Competitive Any offshore northern shrimp licence holder
5 Offshore Licence Holders Any offshore northern shrimp licence holder
  Northern Coalition Any offshore northern shrimp licence holder
  Innu <65' inshore vessel or offshore northern shrimp licence holder
  LIA <65' inshore vessel or offshore northern shrimp licence holder
  Cartwright <65' inshore vessel or offshore northern shrimp licence holder
  LMN <65' inshore vessel or offshore northern shrimp licence holder
  Inshore Aff. Cod/Crab Fishers (Cartwright to L'anse au Claire) Any Canadian wetfish trawler >65' or offshore northern shrimp licence holder. 25% must be landed for processing
  Inshore Aff. Cod/Crab Fishers (Northern Peninsula) Any Canadian wetfish trawler >65' or offshore northern shrimp licence holder. 25% must be landed for processing
  Offshore Competitive Any offshore northern shrimp licence holder
6 Offshore Licence Holders Any offshore northern shrimp licence holder
  SABRI Any offshore northern shrimp licence holder
  Innu Any offshore northern shrimp licence holder
  Fogo Island Co-op Any offshore northern shrimp licence holder
  Inshore <65' inshore vessel
  Inshore aff. Cod fishers (N peninsula North 50-30) Any Canadian wetfish trawler >65' or offshore northern shrimp licence holder. 25% must be landed for processing
  Inshore affected Cod fishers (LNS North 50-30) Any Canadian wetfish trawler or offshore northern shrimp licence holder.Because of lack of processing capacity landing for processing not a requirement
7 NAFO Regulatory Area1 Any offshore northern shrimp licence holder
  Offshore Licence Holders Any offshore northern shrimp licence holder
  PEI Consortium Any offshore northern shrimp licence holder
  Inshore <65' inshore vessel
  Conne River Any offshore northern shrimp licence holder
3M Offshore Licence Holders Any offshore northern shrimp licence holder

2.6 PRODUCTS AND MARKETS

2.6.1 Offshore Fleet

Canada is one of the world’s leading producers of coldwater shrimp. Traditionally, the offshore fleet focused on frozen at sea, shell-on product, which was 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/Asian markets.

Beginning in the late 1990’s, a major shift in the size composition of shrimp had a direct affect on markets. 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, has shifted the market more to Russia and China, where significant quantities of cooked at sea small shrimp are purchased for a low price.

Steadily declining prices form the major challenge facing the global shrimp industry. Prices for coldwater shrimp have dropped by 40-50% over the past decade as growth in supply has outstripped the increase in consumption. These trends are expected to continue as the coldwater product faces intense competition from the warm-water varieties, particularly farmed production.

2.6.2 Inshore Fleet

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

For over 30 years, the European Union (EU) has imposed a 20 percent import tariff for northern cooked and peeled shrimp. At the same time, the EU provides preferential access to a number of Canada's competitors such as Iceland, Norway, and Greenland. This preference is fully consistent with the EU's World Trade Organization (WTO) obligations and is not open to challenge.

In the interim, the EU has utilized the Autonomous Tariff Rate Quota (ATRQ) mechanism to supply its processing industry with a limited quantity of imported raw material at a reduced tariff rate of 6 percent. The annual 7,000t ATRQ allocated to Canadian stakeholders has been filled by the end of January in recent years. This affects the viability of the Canadian shrimp fishery.

A working group was created in 2005 with the objective of identifying and pursuing options for increased access to the EU market and recommending options to the challenges posed by high EU tariffs. The group includes representatives of federal and provincial governments, the Fisheries Council of Canada, the Canadian Association of Prawn Producers, the Association of Seafood Producers, and the Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union.

In 2006-2007, through the efforts of the Working Group on Shrimp, and in conjunction with the Department of International Trade, the provinces and Canadian industry, the EU proposed doubling the amount of shrimp exempt from the 20 percent tariff from 10,000t set in 2006 to 20,000t. This would represent a significant increase in access to the EU market at a lower tariff and generate greater profitability for Canadian enterprises.

2.6.3 Quantity and Value of Catch

Landings for all SFA’s from 1977 to 2005 are given in Table 4. The catch increased close to fifty-fold, 2,700t in 1978 to a high of 137,500t in 2005.

Table 5 - Nominal catches (t) of northern shrimp (Pandalus borealis) over the period 1977– 2005
YEAR DIVOA DIVOB HS/UB* DIV2G HOPE CART HAWKE DIV3K DIV3M DIV3L TOTAL
  SFA1 SFA2 SFA3 SFA4 SFA5 SFA6 SFA7 SFA7  
1977 - - - - 1,272 1,414<1 <1 - -   2,888
1978 - - - - 2,109 1,521 - - -   3,630
1979 1,732 - 92 3 2,693 1,034 5       5,559
1980 2,726 - 236<1   3,938 170 -       7,070
1981 5,284 - 13 2 3,382 67 135       8,883
1982 2,064 - - 5 1,829 154<1         4,052
1983 5,413 - - 30 997 3         6,443
1984 2,142 - - - 712 290         3,144
1985 3,069 - - - 1,687 2         4,758
1986 2,995 - 476 2 3,498 1,328         8,299
1987 6,095 - 1,069 7 4,538 1,418 1,678 167     14,972
1988 5,881 2,826 1,125 1,083 6,584 1,254 3,747 4,102     26,602
1989 7,235 3,039 1,269 3,482 4,329 1,656 1,855 4,807     28,032
1990 6,177 1,609 164 2,945 3,769 1,591 1,929 3,669     21,853
1991 6,788 1,107 605 2,561 4,501 1,617 1,976 3,524     22,679
1992 7,493 1,291 - 2,706 4,680 1,635 3,015 3,594     24,414
1993 5,491 106 - 2,723 4,273 1,446 3,672 4,363 3,724   25,798
1994 4,766 476 244 3,982   7,499   10,978 1,041   28,986
1995 2,361 3,564 245 5,104   7,616   10,914 970   30,774
1996 2,632 3,220 - 5,160   7,383   10,923 906   30,224
1997 517 55,235 - 5,217   15,103   21,246 785   48,103
1998 933 5,163 2,703 8,051   15,170   46,337 484 82 78,923
1999 2,046 5,132 3,714 7,884   15,109   51,502 477 78 85,642
2000 1,588 4,261 2,941 8,049   14,645   63,175 540 4,229 99,427
2001 3,625 6,023 3,751 7,991   15,036   52,554 295 4,876 94,151
2002 6,247 5,597 3,369 8,516   15,180   60,198 8 5,316 104,431
2003 6,654 4,584 754 10,021   16,53   60,150 0 10,612 109,309
2004 6,721 4,538 2,819 11,489   26,863   72,605 0 10,613 135,649
2005 8,013 6,651 2,615 8,063   23,417   77,583 0 11,194 137,528
* HS/UB = P. montagui
**In 2003, the offshore licence holders were allowed to change their quota period from January 1 -
December 31 to April 1-March 31.
Catches since 2003 have been converted to calendar year catches for consistency.

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.

The combined product value for the northern shrimp fishery in 2005 was estimated to be in the vicinity of $350 million. This is up from the estimated $230 million value for 1997 and is mainly due to increased landings from the inshore fleet. The offshore fleet has experienced significant drop in prices (from in excess of $4,200/t in the late 1990s to about $2,200/t in 2005). Since 1996, the inshore price paid in Newfoundland and Labrador has dropped from about $1,433/t ($.65/lb) to an average of less than $1,000/t ($0.42/lb) in 2005[1].

[1] Gardner/Pinfold draft report Profile of the Atlantic Shrimp Industry (2006)

TABLE 6 - Shrimp Product Value 1995-2005
Shrimp Product Value 1995-2005

2.6.4 Ocean to Plate Initiative

DFO’s vision of the Ocean to Plate approach is a seafood sector in which all stakeholders, including government agencies and those involved in all levels of the seafood value chain, are working towards a common goal of a sustainable, economically viable, and internationally competitive industry that can:

  • Adapt to changing resource and market conditions;
  • Extract optimal value from world markets;
  • Provide attractive incomes to industry participants;
  • Provide an economic driver for communities in coastal regions; and
  • Attract and retain skilled workers.

Under the Ocean to Plate approach, DFO will develop a better understanding of the effect of fisheries management policies and programs on all stages of the value chain. Fishery policies and regulations that better align with the value chain will allow harvesters and processors to meet the demands of consumers and opportunities of international markets, while maintaining stable and sustainable fish resources for future production. In addition, regulatory tools will be developed to allow the industry to "self-rationalize" – to adjust its size to market and resource realities – in a fair and efficient manner.

For the northern shrimp fishery, DFO’s goal is that all participants along the seafood value chain work jointly to improve sustainable resource use, competitiveness and long-term economic viability of this important fishery.

2.7 CONTRIBUTION TO NORTHERN ECONOMICS AND 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 Labrador, Nunavik (Northern Quebec) and Nunavut. Formation of harvesting partnerships, including arrangements by offshore licences who harvest special allocations held by non-licence holders, has been an important source of funds for northern development. Since 1997, 21 Labrador enterprises in the <65ft. vessel sector have been issued shrimp licences. A shrimp peeling plant has been established in Charlottetown, Labrador which provides important local employment.

In addition, goods and services needed to support vessel operations and land-based processing activities are important contributors to the local economy 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, travel and transportation.

2.8 CONSULTATIVE PROCESS

The management of the northern shrimp fishery is done in consultation with stakeholders through the Northern Shrimp Advisory Committee (NSAC), which is composed of representatives of the northern shrimp industry (offshore licence holders, inshore licences holders, and special allocation holders), Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board, as well as 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:

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

The inshore fishery is managed taking into account the advice of a second consultative board, the Newfoundland and Labrador Inshore Shrimp Advisory Committee (NISAC). 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 C for full details on the inshore shrimp fishing industry governance).

3. STOCK STATUS

3.1 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 with bottom temperatures ranging from about -1.5 to 6°C. These conditions occur throughout the region within a depth range of approximately 150-600m 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 believed 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, 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.

3.2 ECOSYSTEM CONSIDERATIONS

3.2.1 By-Catch

Mitigating unintended by-catch in all Atlantic fisheries is extremely important given the conservation concerns for the groundfish stocks and the management measures in place for their conservation. All shrimp vessels fishing in Canadian waters use sorting grates to separate and release groundfish (and other finfish) species. Further efforts to reduce by-catch may be required with the introduction of additional protected species under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) in 2003. Closed areas are an additional measure to mitigate by-catches and negative interaction with groundfish and other species. In absolute and relative terms, and especially compared to shrimp fisheries in many other parts of the world, by-catches in the northern shrimp fishery are very low – averaging less than [2%] of the directed shrimp catch.

3.2.2 Nordmore Grate

As a result of 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 (Figure 8). With extensive use of the grate in recent years, groundfish mortality in Canadian shrimp fisheries has been reduced markedly, although further improvements remain an objective and experimental work continues.

Figure 8 - The Nordmore grate

the nordmore grate

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. In 1997, the grate was made mandatory in all areas and is now required in all shrimp trawls, in all SFAs, at all times. The maximum grate spacing for all fleets in SFA 6 and 7, and for the <100 ft vessels in all areas, is 22mm. The offshore fleet uses a 28mm grate in all other areas.

3.2.3 Species at Risk Act (SARA)

The Species at Risk Act (SARA), the federal law that protects and promotes the recovery of endangered species, was assented in December 2002 and took full effect June 1, 2004.

The coming into force of this Act resulted in immediate prohibitions against killing, harming, harassing, capturing, taking or possessing any species listed on Schedule 1 of the Act listed as an extirpated, endangered, or a threatened species, and against damaging or destroying the residence of individuals of a species listed as endangered or threatened. These prohibitions 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.

Two species of wolffish, Anarhichus denticulatus (northern) and Anarhichus minor (spotted), are a by-catch in the northern shrimp fishery and listed as threatened under SARA. A threatened classification indicates a decline in abundance and biomass significant enough to warrant the protections offered under this SARA designation. Data indicate that over the past three generations of wolffish, the abundance of these two species has declined by over 90% and the extent of distribution had decreased. To address the condition of these stocks, DFO, in conjunction with industry, fishers and other governmental departments, has developed a Wolffish Recovery Strategy that will identify actions to protect and recover these species.

Currently, to mitigate any stress on these groundfish, northern shrimp licence conditions prohibit the retention of any wolffish and clearly state that fish must be returned to the place from which it was taken, and if alive, in a manner that causes it the least harm. Further conservation measures may be introduced in the future in accordance with recovery objectives set out in the Wolffish Recovery Strategy.

Further details on this Strategy. Additional information on SARA.

3.2.4 Benthic Issues

In 2001, due to concerns about the impact of bottom trawling for shrimp on crab fishing grounds, a proposal for a pilot project involving a “no-trawl” zone was received from the 2J crab fishers. After consultation with stakeholders and a review of available information, in September 2002, DFO implemented a 400 square nautical mile ‘no-trawl/no-gillnetting’ study area in 2J to conduct work similar to that conducted in Division 3K (Figure 9).

The area closed to trawling was 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

The ‘no-trawl/no-gillnetting’ study area was expanded to cover 2,500 square nautical miles in July 2003. This area was defined by the following coordinates:

53°20'N/54°45'W
53°20'N/53°20'W
52°30'N/53°20'W
52°30'N/54°45'W

The ‘Funk Island Deep closed area’ was originally closed during 2002 to gillnetting. Beginning in 2005, with their concurrence the closure was extended to include inshore shrimp trawlers. The coordinates for the ‘Funk Island Deep closed area’ were set as follows:

49°40’N/53°20’W
50°50’N/53°20’W
50°50’N/52°40’W
50°30’N/52°40’W
50°30’N/52°30’W
49°40’N/52°30’W

To date, the Funk Island Deep box is closed to small vessel bottom trawl, all gillnetting and is voluntary closed to the large vessel shrimp fishing fleet.

DFO continues to monitor these areas and consults with stakeholders if changes are made that may impact the opening/closure of the area. In addition, the Northern Shrimp Advisory Committee (NSAC) formed a Working Group on Closed Areas to address benthic issues and provide advice to NSAC on ecologically sensitive areas.

In 2007, the offshore shrimp and groundfish sectors introduced a 12,500 square kilometre Coral Protection Zone in the northern Labrador Sea to protect coral concentrations in that area (see Fig. 10). This is part of an industry-led initiative, sponsored by the Canadian Association of Prawn Producers (CAPP), the Groundfish Enterprise Allocation Council (GEAC), and the Northern Coalition (NC), which also includes other conservation measures designed to promote marine stewardship and the preservation of sensitive marine ecological features. For example, fishing captains will collect data on other cold-water coral they encounter and communicate this information to the fleets so that gear can be removed and/or fishing activity halted in those regions. Information gathered will also be used by industry in their research surveys.

Figure 9 - SFA 6 Closures

The black box within Hawke Channel defines the 2002 closed area to all bottom trawling and gillnetting while the red boxes define the present Hawke and Funk Island Deep boxes.

SFA 6 Closures

Figure 10 - Industry-initiated Coral Protection Zone 2007
(Map courtesy of Makivik Corp.)

Figure 10 - Industry-initiated Coral Protection Zone 2007

3.3 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 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 at two years of age). Annual Stock Status Reports for northern shrimp

A meeting of the Newfoundland and Labrador Regional Advisory Process on Shellfish was held May 28-30, 2007. Its purpose was to review the assessment framework for Northern Shrimp (Pandalus borealis) off Labrador and the northeastern coast of Newfoundland. The meeting produced a substantially revised performance report spreadsheet to be used in the shrimp assessments.  Documentation on this process.

3.4 RESEARCH

The northern shrimp resources are monitored through research surveys and sampling of the commercial catch. Catch rates of shrimp and fish species are recorded, and detailed observations are made on shrimp size distribution, sex, maturity and egg production. These data provide useful information on the distribution and abundance of the resource, the effects of fishing, changes in the environment, and potential for the fishery in the near future.

Present research is directed towards age determination, estimation of mortality rates, effects of environmental parameters (e.g., temperature, currents) and relationships with major predators, especially Greenland halibut and cod.

Based on information from research and observation of the fisheries, estimates of yield (which can hopefully be maintained for some years) have been obtained and Total Allowable Catches have been revised accordingly for most areas off Labrador and in the Davis Strait.

For detailed information on northern shrimp research, please see Annex D.

3.4.1 Northern Shrimp Research Foundation Survey

Due to the lack of research activities and scientific data in the north, the offshore licence holders formed the Northern Shrimp Research Foundation (NSRF) to conduct scientific research surveys in the north. DFO provides the scientific advice on sample design and analysis of the data collected. The first of an on-going annual survey was conducted in the summer of 2005. Currently three study areas are being surveyed including Resolution Island (RISA; Figure 11) (from 63°W to 66°W and 60°30’N to 63°N), SFA 2 Exploratory (area of NAFO 0B northeast of RISA Figure 12) and SFA 4 (area of NAFO 2G southeast of RISA) (Figure 13).

Figure 11 - The 2007 set allocation scheme for the Resolution Island study area

2007 set allocation scheme for Resolution Island area

Figure 12 - The set allocation scheme for the SFA 2 Exploratory study area

Figure 12 - The sect allocation scheme for the SFA2 exploratory study area

Figure 13 - The set allocation scheme for SFA 4 (portion of NAFO 2G) area

Figure 13 - The set allocation scheme for SFA 4 (portion of NAFO 2G) area

This survey makes use of a Campelen 1800 research shrimp trawl with a cod-end mesh size of 40mm and a 12.7mm liner. Sensors are employed to monitor net geometry. Once there is a time series of data, it will be possible to include the analysis of the data in the stock assessment.

4. INTERNATIONAL CONSIDERATIONS

SFA 1 (NAFO Division 0A) is a joint Canada-Greenland stock, the management of which is the subject of bilateral meetings between the two countries. The NAFO Scientific Council 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. Since 1981, the West Greenland fishery was limited to Greenlandic vessels in NAFO Sub-area 1 and to Canadian vessels in NAFO Division 0A. The TAC within the 2005 fishery was 152,417t of which Canada’s portion was 18,417t. Canada continues to set the TAC at 18,417t.

In SFA 7 (NAFO Division 3L) TACs 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. In 2005, the NAFO Scientific Council recommended that the TAC increase to 22,000t, of which Canada was allocated 18,325t. Canada’s TAC for 3L continues to be set at 83.3% of the SC's recommended TAC.

In NAFO Division 3M the shrimp stock is regulated by NAFO with no TAC established. Instead, effort controls are in place (limits on number of vessels and days on ground for each member country). Canada is allotted 456 fishing days and 16 vessels.

Canada has utilized as many as 261 days on grounds in Division 3M with total catches up to 3,724t (NAFO Statlant 21 A).

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

5. DOMESTIC CONSIDERATIONS

5.1 ABORIGINAL FISHERY

Land Claim agreements set forth frameworks under which various aboriginal groups may access adjacent fisheries resources. Elements of the agreement must be taken into consideration when developing management measures for the fishery as they provide a framework for aboriginal participation.

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 Nunatsiavut Government interest in this licence. Temporary allocations also exist for the Innu and the Nunatsiavut Government. Increased access to the resource for Aboriginal people was a priority in 2003, resulting in temporary allocations to the Innu, the Nunatsiavut Government, the Labrador Métis Nation and the Conne River First Nation. There are also special allocations to Makivik Corporation and for Nunavut interests, taking into account decisions of the NWMB with respect to allocations within the Nunavut Settlement Area and considering recommendations of the NWMB with respect to allocations in Zones I and II as defined in the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement.

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

5.2 COMMERCIAL FISHERY

The offshore fishery operates under an Enterprise Allocation (EA) system which was instituted in 1989, whereby each licence receives an equal EA in each shrimp fishing area. See Annex E for further information on the EA system.

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. Also, the Northern Shrimp Advisory Committee was expanded to include representatives of the temporary allocation holders.

To address the structural problems in the harvesting sector, fleet rationalization was implemented as part of the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Fishing Industry Renewal Initiative. This provided vessel owners with sufficient quota to extend their fishing season. To support the fleet rationalization initiative, DFO converted the temporary shrimp permits to regular licences. Converting permits to licences increases the economic security, thereby giving stability to enterprises and allowing the industry to be more attractive to financing arrangements. This initiative does not affect current allocation principles that have been in place since 1997. These principles include a “last-in, first-out” (LIFO) provision that ensures the current offshore shrimp licence holders will be protected at the 1996 quota levels for six Shrimp Fishing Areas should the quotas fall in the future.

See Annex H for a Profile of Access to the Northern Shrimp Fishery from 1996-2007.

5.3 RECREATIONAL FISHERY

There is no recreational fishing within the northern shrimp fishery.

5.4 EXPLORATORY / EXPERIMENTAL FISHERY

SFA 0 is an exploratory area with a precautionary TAC 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°W. The exploratory quota of 3,500t may be fished in SFA 2, east of 63°W (where previously it had been fished north of 63°N).

Exploratory TACs of 2,000t and 1000t inside the Nunavut Settlement Area 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 shrimp pot trials over the past 20 years were not very successful within these waters. 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 2003.

For 2006, in the absence of a specific quota for P. borealis caught in SFA 3 as part of a fishery directed at P. montagui, a pre-emptive by-catch quota of 400t for P. borealis was established. This by-catch quota can only be fished in SFA 3 (inside or outside the NSA) and those portions of SFA 2 within the NSA as per consultations with the NWMB in 2007. The by-catch rate of P. borealis was set at up to 50% per week and subject to review.

6. FISHERY MANAGEMENT

There are two fundamental approaches that guide the management of the Northern shrimp fishery: the Precautionary Approach and Ecosystem-Based Management.

The Precautionary Approach is a general philosophy to managing threats of serious or irreversible harm where there is scientific uncertainty and is applicable to all fisheries management strategies. The PA requires the development of a harvest strategy that aims to keep the removal rate moderate when the stock status is healthy, promote rebuilding when stock status is low and ensure a low risk of serious or irreversible harm. Harvest strategies are typically implemented by regulating the removal rate either by controlling total catch or by controlling fishing effort.


Ecosystem-Based Management is the management of human activity so that marine ecosystems, their structure (e.g. biological diversity),  function (e.g. productivity) and overall environmental quality (e.g. water and habitat quality), are not compromised and are maintained at appropriate temporal and spatial scales.

By using these principles in developing management plans, a suite of tools is established that focus on achieving conservation objectives that are compatible with sustainable use of the resource.

For the northern shrimp stock, conservation is ensured by setting a Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for each SFA. In an effort to prevent over-exploitation of the shrimp resources, TACs are adjusted based on observed changes in the status of the resource (see Annex I).

6.1 ACCESS AND ALLOCATION

In addition to measures based on precautionary and ecosystem-based management, DFO applies principles of access and allocation to the administration of the northern shrimp fishery.

Access is described as “the opportunity to harvest or use fisheries resources, generally permitted by licences or leases issued by Fisheries and Oceans Canada under the authority of the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. The department must take Aboriginal and treaty rights to fish into account when providing these opportunities.”

Allocation indicates “the amount or share of the fisheries resource and/or effort that is distributed or assigned by the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans to those permitted to harvest the resource.”

In 2006, as part of the announcement on maintaining existing sharing arrangements in allocating the TAC increase in SFA 7, the Minister also announced that access in the other SFAs (0 to 6) was being stabilized, subject to land claims, for the next four years (until 2010). This was a follow-up to a previous decision to maintain sharing arrangements in 88 of 98 Atlantic fisheries for five years beginning in 2005 (see Backgrounder).

As described, primary consideration must be given to Land Claims such as of those of Nunavut, the Labrador and the Nunavik Inuit. For example, the stated objective of the Minister and the Department is to provide Nunavut interests with the major share of adjacent fisheries resources over time. This is consistent with Article 15.3.7 of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement (NLCA), which requires Government to give special consideration to the principles of adjacency and economic dependence of communities in Nunavut on marine resources when issuing commercial fishing licences and allocations in adjacent waters. This Article however, also provides for a balancing of interests as the principles are to be applied in such a way as to promote a fair distribution of licences and allocations between the residents of the Nunavut Settlement Area and other residents of Canada.

In March 2002, the Independent Panel on Access Criteria (IPAC) released its Report on the Atlantic Coast Commercial Fishery. Recommendation #6 in the Report relates to Nunavut. The Minister’s Response provided, among other things, that “no additional access will be granted to non-Nunavut interests in waters adjacent to Nunavut until the territory has achieved access to the major share of these resources, subject to Aboriginal and treaty rights”. In both the Report and the Response, “access” refers to the issuing of new licences as opposed to allocations. Consistent with the Response, there has been no increase in the number of northern shrimp fishing licences issued to non-Nunavut interests in SFAs 0, 1, 2 or 3.

6.2 CURRENT MANAGEMENT ISSUES

There are a number of current management issues that remain outstanding:

  • 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.
  • Development of improved hail/log system (electronic logbook).
  • Review of SFA boundaries with potential changes to better reflect stock definition (i.e. Resolution Island).

7. QUOTA ALLOCATIONS

7.1 SETTING THE TOTAL ALLOWABLE CATCH (TAC)

Scientific advice and assessments are the basis for the determination of TACs. The TACs established for the period 2004-2007 are outlined in Table 7. The resource within SFAs 2-6 is monitored and assessed on a bi-annual basis and new advice is provided if a significant change is detected. The TACs in Table 7 may be modified as required during the term of this management plan. See the DFO Fisheries Management Decisions website for updated information.

See Annex C and F for TAC sharing principles and arrangements for the inshore and offshore fleets respectively.

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

In SFA 7, prior to 2004, TACs were set as 15% of the average lower confidence interval of the survey biomass indices for the most recent four consecutive surveys. However, during 2004, Scientific Council (SC) felt it was necessary to base advice upon a new methodology due to the highly variable nature of the spring surveys. The TAC within an adjacent Canadian stock had been 12% of the fishable biomass since 1997. Applying this percentage to the inverse variance weighted average fishable biomass from the autumn 2002 – spring 2004 surveys resulted in a TAC of 22,000t. Had this new method been used in 2003, it is likely that the advised TAC for 2005 would have been around 22,000 t instead of the 13,000t actually advised. Scientific Council noted that the TAC recommendation for this stock has always included advice that “the development of any fishery in the Div. 3L area take place in a gradual manner with conservative catch limits imposed and maintained for a number of years in order to monitor stock response.” The initial TAC of 6 000 t was in place for 3 years (1999 – 2001), however the TAC of 13,000t had been in place since the beginning of 2003. A two year period was insufficient to determine the impact of a 13,000t catch level upon the stock; therefore SC recommended that the 13,000t TAC be maintained through 2005. Scientific Council recommended that the TAC for shrimp in Divs. 3LNO in 2006 should not exceed 22,000t. At that time, SC reiterated its recommendation that the fishery be restricted to Div. 3L and that the use of a sorting grate with a maximum bar spacing of 22 mm be mandatory for all vessels in the fishery. During the November 2005 shrimp assessment, SC decided that this advice should extend through 2007, and that the advice would be reviewed in September 2006 (NAFO, 2005).

TABLE 7 - Total Allowable Catch for Northern Shrimp Stocks 2004-2007
SFA Area TAC (t)
1996 TAC Threshold 2004/2005 2005/2006 2006/2007
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 14,1671 18,4171 18,4171
2 Davis Strait (NAFO Division 0B) (P. borealis) 3,500 5,2502 5,2502 5,2502
2 Davis Strait (NAFO Division 0B) exploratory P. borealis fished east of 63°W   3,500 3,500 3,500
2 Davis Strait (NAFO Division 0B) (P. montagui exploratory) fished inside the NSA   2,000 2,000 2,000
3 Eastern Hudson Strait and Ungava Bay (P. montagui) fished west of 63°W in SFA 2, 3 and 4 1,200 3,3003 3,3003 3,3003
3 Eastern Hudson Strait and Ungava Bay (P. montagui exploratory) fished inside the NSA   1,0004 1,0004 1,0004
3 P. borealis by-catch       4004
4 NAFO Division 2G (1,853t of the offshore quota and 206t of the inshore quota is fished south of 60°N) 5,200 10,320 10,320 10,3206
5 Hopedale plus Cartwright Channels 7,650 23,300 23,300 23,299
6 Hawke Channel plus NAFO Division 3K 11,050 77,932 78,044 78,044
7 NAFO Division 3L inside the 200 mile limit   10,8331 10,8331 18,3151
TOTAL 37,600 152,102 156,464 164,3457
  1. These are NAFO regulated stocks that are managed under a calendar year rather than a fiscal year. In NAFO Division 3L, Canada receives 5/6 of the total allocation while in Davis Strait, West Greenland receives 5/6 of the offshore component of the total allocation for that area.
  2. P. borealis caught in SFA 2 west of 63°W, the portion of SFA 4 north of 60°30’N and west of 63°W and the portion of SFA 3 north of 60°30’N and east of 64°30W outside the NSA are recorded against the SFA 2 commercial quota of 5,250t. P. borealis caught east of 63°W are recorded against the exploratory 3,500t quota in SFA 2. Any catches of Pandalus montagui east of 63°W must be reported but will not be counted against the SFA 2/3/4 quota.
  3. Although previously recorded as a 1,200t quota, the actual catch limit for SFA 3 for P. montagui is 3,300t (500t of which may be fished inside the NSA (SFA 2 and 3) by one or more of the seventeen offshore licence holders with the permission of the NWMB). Although recorded as SFA 3 this shrimp is fished in SFAs 2, 3 & 4 West of 63°W.
  4. P. borealis caught while directed fishing for P. montagui in SFA 2 and SFA 3 inside the NSA and SFA 3 outside the NSA is recorded against the pre-emptive by-catch quota of 400t.
  5. 500t can be fished in SFAs 2 and 3 inside the NSA.
  6. A portion of the SFA 4 offshore quota (1,853t) is to be taken south of 60°N.
  7. Even though there were no changes to the SFAs 2 – 6 TACs, actual 2006/2007 allocations are below the 2004/2005 and 2005/2006 TAC levels due to quota reconciliation from the previous year.

7.2 QUOTA SHARING ARRANGEMENTS

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 took place to obtain views on sharing principles and 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 would only take place in a particular SFA, if the quota rose above the 1996 threshold in that SFA. If future quotas declined back down to the thresholds, then the sharing would end and the temporary entrants would leave the fishery.

The overall 1996 quota for all SFAs combined (37,600t) is 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, new participants / allocations will be removed from the fishery in reverse order of gaining access–last in, first out (LIFO).

7.3 QUOTA RECONCILIATION

Quota reconciliation is the process of automatically deducting inadvertent quota overruns on a one-for-one basis from one year to the next, with the enterprise(s) paying for the full allocation, and fishing only that portion remaining following adjustments for previous year’s overruns. This administrative function supports other northern shrimp initiatives such as stabilization of access and allocations, Ocean to Plate, economic viability and shared stewardship, and removes the need for enforcement actions when overruns occur. This procedure will be applied to all sectors participating in this fishery.

7.4 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.

7.5 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 Fish Inspection Act and Fish Inspection Regulations govern processing operations aboard the vessels.
Key legislation also brought into effect land claims agreements including the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement Act and Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement Act and the Nunavik Inuit Land Claims Agreement Act. These Agreements are important elements of access and allocation and affect management decisions in the northern shrimp fishery.

8. CONTROL AND MONITORING OF FISHING ACTIVITIES

Access to northern shrimp stocks is regulated through fishing licences, shrimp fishing area, season, quotas and enterprise allocations, and gear specifications.

The fishery is monitored by extensive at-sea-observer coverage paid for by licence holders. The offshore fleet carry 100% observer coverage resulting in approximately 2000 observer days annually. Observer coverage on the inshore fleet is based on 10% coverage resulting in approximately 600 days of coverage annually.

At-sea observers monitor for compliance with management measures including by-catches, discarding and highgrading, gear restrictions, area and closed time provisions. Observers also collect valuable scientific information including size composition, catch, effort, by-catch composition etc. Dockside monitoring by a certified Dockside Monitoring company is conducted on all landings from the inshore fleet. Dockside monitoring of shrimp landed from the offshore fleet is not required. Completion and submission of accurate fishing and production log books, as well as, fish purchase slips is required.

All vessels fishing shrimp must be equipped with a DFO approved electronic vessel monitoring system (VMS). Offshore vessels fishing northern shrimp must report to DFO their position and catch on a daily basis in the prescribed format.

Fishery Officers conduct surveillance of fishing activities through periodic aerial and dockside surveillance and by conducting at sea boarding of fishing vessels. Vessels may be from time to time subject to audit of reported landings and catch information.

Vessels >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).

Nunavut Wildlife Management Board and the Nunavik Marine Region Wildlife Board permission is required to fish inside the Nunavut Settlement Area and the Nunavik Marine Region. Separate management and control measures may apply.

8.1 QUOTA MONITORING AND BY-CATCH

Catch estimates including by-catch levels are supplied by the licence holder on a daily basis. This is supplied though the completion and submission of a fishing logbook. For vessels >100 ft, a daily hail on catch is also required.

Future considerations may include the introduction of electronic logbooks, which would allow data on catches and the fishing effort to be retrieved at any time.

Observers estimate catch and by-catch based on observations of catches within the codend and by estimating the total packout product weight. All vessels <100ft are subject to 100% dockside monitoring but at this time vessels >100ft are not subject to Dockside Monitoring Program (DMP) provisions.

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 required to be 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 additional protected species under the SARA introduced in 2003. Closed areas are an additional measure to minimize by-catches and negative interaction with groundfish and other species.

For additional information on compliance protocol for northern shrimp, please see Annex G.

8.2 SAFETY AT SEA CONSIDERATIONS

This Plan endeavors to ensure that its implementation will not result in unsafe situations for fishers at sea. As of this writing, there are no known aspects of the Plan, which would make it inconsistent with relevant federal and provincial acts and regulations pertaining to health and safety at sea.

9. CONSERVATION AND PROTECTION

The deployment of Conservation and Protection (C&P) resources in the northern shrimp fishery will occur as required for compliance with conservation and management strategies as outlined in the Management Plan, licence conditions, as well as the Fisheries Act and any pertinent Regulations. The mix of conservation and protection strategies employed, available resources and overriding conservation objectives determine the level and type of compliance activity. The C&P planning process is designed to establish priorities based on management objectives and conservation and compliance concerns.

9.1 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 100ft. fleet.

Fishery Patrol Vessels: Patrol vessels are deployed to the northern shrimp fishery areas as per operational requirements.

Air Surveillance: Dedicated air surveillance patrols are conducted in the northern shrimp fishery areas utilizing DFO contracted air surveillance aircraft and as part of a co-operative arrangement with the Department of National Defence.

Satellite Tracking: All vessels engaged in the northern shrimp fishery are required to carry a DFO approved satellite tracking device (VMS). The VMS will be used to monitor fleet activity, closed areas, and deploy surveillance resources including aircraft and patrol vessels.

Dockside Monitoring: The Dockside Monitoring Program (DMP) provides for independent third-party verification of landed catch by a DFO certified Dockside Observer. DMP is required in the northern shrimp fishery for all landings from <100ft vessels, but is not currently required on shrimp landed from >100ft vessels.

9.2 FISHERY OFFICER MONITORING AND SURVEILLANCE

Fishery Officers conduct monitoring and surveillance of the northern shrimp fishery by air, at sea and dockside patrols and inspections. Fishery Officers also monitor shrimp fishing activities through VMS and review reports and information provided by at-sea and dockside observers. Analysis of data from all sources including patrols, observers, DMP, VMS, hails, logs, and purchase slips is also conducted.

9.3 CONSERVATION AND PROTECTION ISSUES AND COMPLIANCE STRATEGIES

Conservation and Protection issues in the northern shrimp fishery include: fishing gear requirements; quota monitoring; by-catch; highgrading; licence conditions; dockside monitoring requirements; and, area/time closures.

Compliance strategies include:

  • Compliance promotion activities with all stakeholders
  • Stewardship activities including the NSAC sub-committee on conservation and compliance
  • Report-a-Poacher program through crime stoppers
  • Scheduled dedicated and multi-tasked air surveillance, and other sea surveillance as per operational requirements
  • deployment of observers
  • 100% dockside monitoring for inshore vessels, and other dockside checks
  • auditing of landings data
  • investigating non compliance
  • taking enforcement actions including warnings and prosecutions where non compliance is detected

10. FUTURE OF THE FISHERY

In 2006 the Stock Status Report provided advice on P. borealis in SFAs 2, 4, 5 and 6. Although a survey was conducted in SFAs 2 and 4 in 2005 and 2006, there is no time-series of data, therefore, advice was provided based on commercial catch rates in these areas.

For SFAs 6, 5, 4, and 2, stock status generally remains positive. In SFA 6, there is high biomass and abundance of both sexes. Recent catches have had no observable impact on shrimp abundance and biomass. The 2005 recruitment index (age 2 abundance) appears weaker than average; however, the strong residual female biomass is expected to maintain the fishery in the short-term. Medium-term recruitment appears positive from the presence of a stronger than average 2004 year class.

In SFA 5, CPUE has remained above the long-term average. Biomass and abundance indices from autumn multi-species surveys have increased since 1998. Recruitment in the short-term while uncertain appears average. Longer-term prospects are unknown. Female biomass is expected to be maintained over the short-term.

Overall, the resource continues to be distributed over a broad area and the exploitation rate index has remained low over the history of the autumn multi-species research survey.

10.1 SOURCES OF UNCERTAINTY

  • The implications of finishing the 2001-2005 autumn multi-species surveys later than usual are unknown.
  • A 400 square nautical miles area within Hawke Channel has been closed to gillnetting and trawling since September 2002. The closed area was increased to 2,500 square nautical miles in July 2003 (Figure 9). The larger area has traditionally been an important shrimp fishing area for the large vessels and therefore may have had an impact upon catch rates and size mix (production value). The closure has had little impact upon the small vessel catch as most of their catches are taken from other parts of the SFA 6 management area.
  • Lack of complete research surveys in SFA 5 introduces uncertainty into the assessment for this area.

ANNEX A - History of the Northern Shrimp Fishery

  • Commercial abundance of shrimp was first demonstrated off Newfoundland and Labrador in exploratory fisheries in the mid-1970s.
  • Eleven licences were issued in 1978 to develop the fishery (5 licences to Newfoundland interests; 2½ to Nova Scotia interests; 1½ to New Brunswick interests; and 2 to Quebec interests). These licences shared a quota of 8,100t.
  • In 1979, a twelfth licence was issued to Quebec interests (Makivik).
  • In 1987, four additional licences were issued to Northern interests (2 Labrador; ½ Quebec; 1½ Nunavut).
  • The last offshore licence was issued to Newfoundland in 1991; bringing the total offshore licences to 17. All harvest must be taken by Canadian flagged vessels.
  • As the fishery developed, it expanded to include harvesting over a very broad geographic range, from Shrimp Fishing Area 0 off Baffin Island, to Area 6 off Newfoundland.
  • The quota also increased significantly, from 8,100t in 1978 to over 37,000t by 1997.
  • Enterprise Allocations (EA) were instituted in 1989, with each offshore licence receiving an equal EA in each shrimp fishing area. Each offshore licence holder pays an access fee of $66.50/t and is required to pay for 100% observer coverage.

During the 1990s, shrimp stocks grew in abundance and the fishery became increasingly lucrative while groundfish fisheries were closed. In 1996, growing pressure from harvesters and processors to allow additional entrants resulted in 160 requests for access from throughout Atlantic Canada. As well, the expansion of harvest stimulated substantial new investments in harvesting gear and on-shore processing.

Principles were adopted to allocate quota increases:

  • conservation
  • no permanent increase; temporary access only
  • threshold adopted for allowing new entrants (37,600t)
  • adjacent fishers have priority
  • priority to the inshore fleets, and to Aboriginals
  • maximize employment in harvesting and processing

In 1997 a three-year plan was announced, with new entrants to share a quota increase of 21,450t.

Quota increases were allocated to the Northern Coalition, Nunavut interests, SABRI, and adjacent inshore fleet; offshore fleet gained additional quota in more northern areas.

The increases in SFAs 2, 5 and 6 were allocated as follows:

Total Allowable Catch (TAC)
Shrimp Fishing
Area (SFA)
1996 1997 Increase
in TAC
Sharing of Increase tonnes
SFA 0 500 500 0    
SFA 1 8,500 8,500 0    
SFA 2 3,500 5,250 1,750 Existing Licence Holders 1,750
SFA 3 1,200 1,200 0    
SFA 4 5,200 5,200 0    
SFA 5 7,650 15,300 7,650 Northern Coalition (Existing Licence Holders) 6,120
        Inshore vessels (<65’) 1,530
SFA 6 11,050 23,100 12,050 Special Allocation – N. Peninsula 3,000
        4R/4S fishers (north of 50°30’N) 2,000
        3L fishers 2,000
        Resident SFA 6 fishers (<65’) South of 50º30’ N 3,000
        Resident SFA 6 fishers (<65’) North of 50º30’N 2,050
Total 37,600 59,050 21,450    

The TAC increased to 84,000t in 1998, with increases assigned largely to temporary entrants as follows:

Total Allowable Catch (TAC)
Shrimp Fishing
Area (SFA)
1997 1998
Increase
1998 TAC Sharing of Increase tonnes
SFA 4 5,200 3,120 8,320 Offshore licences 2,808
        Inshore vessels (<65’) 312
SFA 6 23,100 23,100 46,200 4R/4S fishers (north of 50°30’N) 2,950
        3L fishers 2,950
        Resident SFA 6 fishers (<65’) South of 50°30’N 4,400
        Resident SFA 6 fishers (<65’) North of 50°30’N2 3,030
        Reserve 7,460
        Offshore licences 2,310
Total 28,300 26,220 54,520    

In 1999, the TAC increased to 102,052t with an increase in SFA 6 and the creation of a new exploratory fishery in SFA 2. The increases were allocated as follows:

Total Allowable Catch (TAC)
Shrimp Fishing
Area (SFA)
1998 TAC 1999
Increase
1999 TAC Sharing of Increase tonnes
SFA 2 (exploratory north of 63ºN) 5,250 3,500 8,750 Nunavut interests (Identified by the NWMB) 1,750
        Offshore licence holders 1,750
SFA 6 46,200 12,432 58,632 Offshore licences 1,243
        Inshore vessels 11,189

The exploratory quota of 3,500t was created in SFA 2, where 50% was allocated to Nunavut interests (1,750t) and 50% (1,750t) to offshore licence holders. This allocation was initially fished north of 63°N but is now fished east of 63°W. The increase of 12,432t in SFA 6 was shared between traditional offshore licence holders (10%) and adjacent inshore temporary entrants (90%).

Almost all of the harvest by offshore vessels is processed at sea (49,000t in 1999). The entire harvest by inshore vessels (33,700t in 1999) is processed on shore.

At this point, catches have generally been less than the allocated TACs:

1997 - 13,500t less

1998 - 8,100t less

1999 – 19,000t less

Based on 1999 allocations, Newfoundland’s share of the harvest is 70%. Quebec receives 12%, Nunavut 7%, New Brunswick 4% and Nova Scotia 7%.

In 2000, there was a 3,000t TAC increase in SFA 6. As well, NAFO established a new 6,000t quota for the NAFO Division 3L portion of SFA 7 and Canada was given 5,000t of this quota. The TAC increases were shared as follows:

Total Allowable Catch (TAC)
Shrimp Fishing
Area (SFA)
1999 TAC 2000
Increase
2000 TAC Sharing of Increase tonnes
SFA 6 58,632 3,000 61,632 Innu Nation 1,500
        Fogo Island Co-op 1,000
        Inshore 500
SFA 7 (3L) - 5,000 5,000 Offshore licences 1,000
        PEI Consortium 1,500
        Inshore 2,500

The TAC for 2001 remained unchanged at 110,052t. Canada was given an increase of 2,690t in P. borealis in SFA 1 in light of NAFO recommended TAC increases in 0A & 1. This increase was not taken in 2001; however, the TAC was maintained in 2002.

In 2002, a 2,000t SFA 2 and 500t SFA 3 quota increase for exploratory P. montagui inside the NSA was allocated to Nunavut interests taking into account the recommendations of 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. Increases by 34,260t in SFAs 4, 5, 6 and 3L brought the TAC to 152,102t. The increases were shared as follows:

Total Allowable Catch (TAC)
Shrimp Fishing
Area (SFA)
2002 TAC 2003
Increase
2003 TAC Sharing of Increase tonnes
SFA 1 12,040 2,127 14,167 Makivik 187
        Nunavut 1,000
        Offshore Licences 940
SFA 4 8,320 2,000 10,320 Northern shrimp science research quota 1,125
        Inshore 125
        Innu Nation 750
SFA 5 15,300 8,000 23,300 Labrador Inuit Association 750
        Labrador Métis Nation 750
        Cartwright fishers 200
        Small boat enterprises in southern Labrador (Cartwright to L’anse au Claire 3,400
        Small boat affected fishers on the Northern Peninsula 400
        Northern shrimp science research quota. 2,500
SFA 6 61,632 16,300 77,932 Offshore licence holders 1,230
        Inshore fleet 11,070
        Small boat enterprises north of 50°30’ N (Northern Peninsula) 3,000
        Lower North Shore of Quebec 1,000
NAFO Division 3L
(Canadian portion
5,000 5,833 10,833 Offshore licence holders 1,017
        Inshore fleet 4,066
        Conner River First Nation 750
TOTAL 117,842 34,260 152,102    

In 2003, TAC’s increased by 25,000t of which 3625t was used to fund northern shrimp research in SFA’s 2 and 4 (this was eliminated in 2007 due to the Larocque Decision). During that year, industry was granted a change in fishing season from a calendar (Jan 1-Dec. 31) year to a fiscal (Apr.1-Mar. 31) year. To facilitate this change, an additional 20,229t interim quota was allocated to the large vessel fleet and the 2003-04 fishing season became 15 months in length. The 2004-05 the fishing season was 12 months in duration and total allocations, within SFA’s 2, 4 and 6, equaled 120,302t.

For 2004, the Scientific Council recommended a 30,000t increase of 130,000t for Divisions 0A+1. Canada’s share of this increase was 18,417t; an increase of 4,250t. Nunavut interests received two-thirds of the increase; Makivik received 8.8%, while the remaining 14 offshore licences were allocated the remainder. The increase was allocated as follows:

Total Allowable Catch (TAC)
Shrimp Fishing
Area (SFA)
2003 TAC 2004
Increase
2005 TAC Sharing of Increase tonnes
SFA 1 14,167 4,250 18,417 Offshore licences 1,043
        Nunavut 2,833
        Makivik 374

There were no TAC increases in 2005.

In 2006, NAFO Scientific Council recommended that the TAC for SFA 7 (NAFO Area 3L) be increased to 22,000t for 2006. Canada’s share of the new quota was 18,333t, an increase of 7,492t. This increase was allocated based on the existing sharing arrangements between the inshore and offshore fleets. (5,731t and 1,761t respectively).

In summary, annual catches steadily increased from 1984-2000 with the 2000 catch of approximately 99,000t. In 2001, catches decreased for the first time (94,000t), this was due in part to the small vessel fleet (<65’), which did not take its entire quota because shrimp were relatively small, and there was an international glut in the market for peeled, frozen shrimp. This led to a short closure, supported by industry, over the period July-August, 2001.

The closure was also induced by seasonal variances in shrimp yield. On average, yield drops by 5% over the summer period causing the plants and fishermen to re-negotiate the price structure to account for the seasonal loss in yield. Therefore, plants and fishers supported a small vessel closure, which began on July 1, 2001. Negotiations were completed by September 24 and the fishery reopened with an agreement to harvest no more than 25 million pounds during the fall, 2001. The 2001 closure was not complete as the Charlottetown plant continued to purchase shrimp from 2J fishers because the season is shorter in the north. While market problems for the inshore product continue to beleaguer this fleet, catches have increased to between 40,000 and 53,000t over the period 2002 – 2005.

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.


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

CHAIR

Director General, Resource Management Operations, DFO - Ottawa

MEMBERS

Atlantic Shrimp Company Ltd.
Baffin Fisheries Coalition
Canadian Association of Prawn Producers (CAPP)
Caramer Limited
Crevettes Nordiques Ltée.
Ocean Choice International
- Harbour Grace Shrimp Company Ltd.
Labrador Fishermen's Union Shrimp Company
Labrador Inuit Association (Nunatsiavut Government)
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 and Labrador Region
DFO - Quebec Region
DFO - Maritimes Region
DFO – Gulf Region
DFO - Central and Arctic Region
DFO – Ottawa NHQ

Association of Seafood Producers (ASP)
Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union (FFAW)
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
Nunavik Marine Region Wildlife Board
Qikiqtaani Inuit Association
Regroupement des Associations de Pêcheurs de la Basse Côte Nord
St. Anthony Basin Resources Inc. (SABRI)
One representative from each inshore fleet

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 providing advice and recommendations to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.

SCOPE

NSAC will provide input on Integrated Fisheries 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;
  • conservation and compliance issues; and
  • licensing policy.
CHAIR

The NSAC is chaired by:

  • a representative of Fisheries and Oceans Canada.
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 or holding inshore fishery licences.
  • 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 Fisheries and Oceans Canada.
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. They may not sit at the table but can participate in discussions following input from members.

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.


ANNEX C - MANAGEMENT MEASURES FOR INSHORE FLEETS - SFAs 4, 5 & 6

INSHORE INDUSTRY GOVERNANCE

During the early years of the inshore fleet 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 Newfoundland and Labrador Inshore Shrimp Advisory Committee (NISAC) which is comprised of the inshore shrimp harvester committees, the FFAW, ASP, the Provincial Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture and DFO. The role of the Newfoundland and Labrador 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 2007 ONWARD

Shrimp Fishing Area 4

In 1998 a total of 312t was 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° 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

The following table includes the inshore quota sharing in SFA 6 for 2002, 2003 and 2007:

Quota Recipient 2002
Quota (t)
2003
Quota (t)
2007
Quota (t)
Special Allocation – Northern Peninsula (SABRI)   3,000 3,000 3,000
Special Allocation – Innu 1,500 1,500 1,500
Special Allocation – Fogo Island Co-op 1,000 1,000 1,000
Special allocation inshore cod fishers northern peninsula   3,000 3,000
Special allocation to inshore cod fishers Quebec lower north shore   1,000 1,000
4R/4S fishers (north of 50°30’N) 9,178(1) 13,900 13,900
3L fishers 9,178 11,369 11,369
Resident SFA 6 fishers (<65’) South of 50?30’N 13,745 16,420 16,420
Resident SFA 6 fishers (<65’) North of 50?30’N 9,428(2) 10,910(3) 10,910
Total 47,029 62,099 62,099
(1) Prior to 2003, NL 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.
(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 and Labrador 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 configurations may be approved on an experimental basis. Fishers are licensed 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. 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 which are determined and regulated by the industry.

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. Logbooks must be completed accurately and submitted on a timely basis 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 dockside observers who oversee the offloading of catches are certified by DFO.

Observers

The inshore fishing industry will be responsible for a target of 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.


ANNEX D - NORTHERN SHRIMP RESEARCH

Research programs supporting management planning are conducted in the following Shrimp Fishing Areas:

  • SFA 7 NAFO Division 3L (surveyed annually during the spring (from 1998) and autumn (from 1995) by DFO)
  • SFA 6 Hawke Channel plus NAFO Division 3K (surveyed annually by DFO since 1995)
  • SFA 5 Hopedale and Cartwright Channels (surveyed to the top of NAFO Division 2J each autumn since 1995. The survey extended to the top of NAFO Division 2H each autumn from 1996 – 1999 and since then this portion of SFA 5 was to be surveyed every second autumn.
  • SFA 4 Part of NAFO Division 2G (surveyed annually by NSRF-DFO from 2005)
  • SFA 2 Exploratory Study Area (portion of NAFO 0B) (surveyed annually by NSRF-DFO from 2005)
  • Resolution Island Study Area (parts of NAFO 0B, 2G and SFA 3) (surveyed annually by NSRF-DFO from 2005)
  • SFA 0 (part of NAFO 0A) first surveyed by DFO in 2006.
  • SFA 1 (part of NAFO 0A) small portion of the SFA is surveyed annually by the Greenland Institute. The remaining portion of SFA 1 surveyed by DFO in 2006.
  • SFA3 (portion outside Resolution Island study area) by DFO scheduled for 2007

The stock biomass within SFA1 and the portion subarea 1 has increased substantially since the late 1990s to historically high levels. Biomass at the end of 2006 is estimated to be well above Bmsy and mortality by fishery and cod predation well below Zmsy. The abundance of recruited males (between 17 and 22mm CL) in 2006 was estimated to be moderately high and should sustain moderate catch rates of larger shrimp in 2007. However, both model simulations of stock development and indices of future recruitment indicate that fishable biomass can be expected to follow a decreasing trend.

Status of the resource within NAFO Divisions 3LNO was inferred by examining trends in commercial catch, catch per unit effort, fishing pattern and size, sex and age compositions of catches, as well as, Canadian multi-species survey bottom trawl indices. Preliminary data indicate that 14,137t of shrimp were taken against a 13,000t TAC in 2005 while 23,886 tonnes were taken against a 22,000t TAC in 2006.

The autumn 2005 biomass index was estimated to be 264,000t (95% C.I. = ±65,000t), the highest on record. The spring 2006 biomass index could not be estimated for the entire of NAFO Div. 3LNO because shallow water strata 373 and 383 and most deepwater strata within Div. 3NO (depths greater than 93m) were not surveyed. However, the offshore strata within Div. 3L (depths to 754m) were completely surveyed during the spring of 2006. Historically greater than 97% of the Div. 3LNO shrimp biomass had been attributed to these strata within NAFO Div. 3L. The spring 2006 3L biomass index was 185,000t (95% C.I. = ±67 000t), the second highest in the spring time series. Indices derived from spring surveys are thought to be less precise because the confidence intervals are sometimes broad with negative lower confidence limits.

Biomass and abundance of shrimp increased significantly since 1999 and remained broadly distributed over the study area. Consequently standardized catch rates for large Canadian vessels have been fluctuating around the long term mean since 2000 with the 2006 catch rate above average but similar to the 2002 – 2004 catch rates. The Canadian small vessel standardized CPUE increased 112% between 2002-2005 and remained near that level during 2006.

The shrimp resource within 3LNO is currently healthy with high abundances of males and females that should support the fishery over the next few years.

Updates of northern shrimp (Pandalus borealis) assessments were last performed for NAFO Div. 0B and 2G, Hopedale + Cartwright Channels as well as Hawke Channel + Div. 3K, which correspond to shrimp fishing areas (SFA) 2, 4, 5 and 6, respectively during spring of 2006. Status of the resource in each area was inferred, in part, by examining trends in commercial catch, effort, catch-per-unit effort, fishing pattern and size/sex/age composition of the catches. An autumn multispecies research trawl survey series (1995-2005) provided information on distribution, abundance, biomass, size/ sex composition and age structure of shrimp in SFA. 5 and 6. Please note that the discussion will be limited to the data available prior to the 2006 RAP. Analyses of research and commercial data are reviewed on a bi-annual basis and the last assessment was completed during spring of 2006.

Catches increased from 29,000t in 1994 to over 114,000t by 2004 due mainly to increases in Total Allowable Catch (TAC). The TAC for the 2005-06 management year was set at 120,414t; it was anticipated that the quota would be taken in most SFA’s.

Annual catches within SFA 6 increased from 11,000t during 1994-96 to 72,600t during the 2004 calendar year. The TAC for the 2005-06 management year was set at 77,932t. It was anticipated that the quota would be taken.

Spatial distribution of the SFA 6 fishery expanded between the mid 90’s and 2000 remaining stable thereafter. The 2005 large (>500t) vessel Catch Per Unit Effort (CPUE) remained at a high level, while the small vessel (<65’) CPUE increased significantly during 2004 and remained at a high level during 2005. Biomass and abundance indices from autumn multi-species surveys increased over the 1997-2001 period. Both indices decreased slightly during 2002 but since then abundance remained high while biomass increased to the highest recorded level. The 2003 year class appeared weaker than average; however, the strong residual female biomass is expected to maintain the fishery over the short-term. Medium-term recruitment appears positive due to the presence of a stronger than average 2004 year class. Female spawning stock indices increased from 182,000t (22 billion animals) in 1997 to 404,000t (55 billion animals) in 2005. The resource continues to be distributed over a broad area and exploitation rates have remained low with recent catches having no observable impact upon shrimp abundance and biomass.

Catches within SFA 5 (Hopedale + Cartwright Channels) increased from 7500 t in 1994-96 to 26,900 t by 2004. The TAC for the 2005-06 management year was set at 23,300t and it was anticipated that the quota would be taken. Since 1996, CPUE has remained above the long-term average. Biomass and abundance indices have increased since 1998. Short term recruitment remains uncertain, because the autumn 2005 survey did not extend north of 2J. However, recruitment within Cartwright Channel appears average. Longer term prospects are unknown. The resource continues to be distributed over a broad area and the exploitation rate index remains low. Recent catches have had no observable impact on shrimp abundance and biomass.

The Northern Shrimp Research Foundation, in partnership with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, conducted a shrimp based research survey into Div. 2G (SFA 4) and 0B (SFA 2 exploratory) each summer over the period 2005-2007. During 2006, this survey was extended to occupy the Resolution Island. Once there is a time series of at least five consecutive years, it will be possible to incorporate the results as a portion of the northern and striped shrimp assessments.

Catches within SFA 4 increased from 4,000t in 1994 to 11,500t by 2004. The TAC in the 2005-06 management year was set at 10,320t and it was anticipated that the quota would be taken. Fishery catch rates declined since 2001 to the long-term average in 2004 and 2005.

Catches within SFA 2 (NAFO Div. 0B) increased from 100t in 1993 to 6,700t in 2005. The TAC for the 2005-06 management year was set at 8,750t; however, it was doubtful that the quota would be taken. CPUE has been relatively stable at a high level since 1998. Catch rates in this area may be confounded because of the data reporting problems (both in terms of reporting catches against SFA quota and the mixture of P. borealis with P. montagui) and the frequent changes in quota. As well, anecdotal information indicates that the large vessel fleet may be seeking areas in which the shrimp mixture is greater than 90% northern shrimp. The product has to be sold as striped shrimp if the mixture contains a high percentage of striped shrimp. Since northern shrimp are worth more than striped shrimp the large vessels may be fishing in areas where the catch rates are relatively low but the mixture of shrimp is more acceptable.

The index of area fished may also be confounded by the elusive nature of the stocks. Patches of shrimp may be present; however, the fishing crews may not always find them. If a crew can fill their quota in a patch, there may not be an incentive to search for other patches. While the current status appears positive from fishery data, future prospects are unknown.

During 2002, the status of the striped shrimp (P. montagui) stock in SFA 3 (NAFO divisions 0B2G and Hudson Strait-Ungava Bay west of 63oW) 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.

Figure 11-distribution of large vessel

Figure 11 The distribution of large vessel (>500t) fishery for striped shrimp (Pandalus montagui) over the 1994 – 2002 period.  (For a larger view)

Resolution Island

Prior to 1994, there was a sporadic fishery west of Resolution Island. Then during 1995, the fishery shifted well to the east, primarily into SFA 2, where catches were often mixed with northern 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°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 was 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 <.17t/sq. km. and are variable both within SFA’s 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.


ANNEX E - NORTHERN SHRIMP ENTERPRISE ALLOCATION PROGRAM

Establishment and Utilization of Enterprise Allocations

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.

EAs shall be based on the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) established for the respective northern Shrimp Fishing Areas.

EAs to individual licence holders will be in the form of “licence quotas” which are equal allocations of shrimp expressed in absolute amounts or tonnages.

Licence holders will have equal access to all northern shrimp stocks and fishing areas. The EA for each licence, for each SFA, is determined by dividing the TAC set for the SFA by seventeen, the number of offshore licences in the fishery.

Based upon the TACs for 2006-2007 (Table 7), northern shrimp offshore licence holders will be assigned EAs as specified in the table attached to this Annex. The EAs as stated in the table to this Annex are subject to any reductions under the penalty clause provision and 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:

    • the transfer applies only to the current season;
    • notification of the transfer is given to the Associated Director General – Operations, (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 inadvertent overruns of their EAs.

In 2007, a season bridging pilot project was approved for two years (until March 31, 2009). Under this project, EA holders may elect to fish up to 250t of their total combined 2007-08 EAs in the period March 1-30, or elect to fish up to 250t of their 2006-07 EAs in the period April 1-30. Licence fees are to be paid following established procedures and the quota will be added through the regular EA transfer system.

Enterprise Allocations (EA) For the Northern Shrimp Fishery - (EA per licence)

SHRIMP
FISHING AREA
DESCRIPTION OF AREA 2001/2002 EA (t) 2007 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) 708 838
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 59 222
TOTAL   2,959 3,324

Given the difficult fishing conditions in SFA 1, the TAC is allocated in 50t increments at the request of each individual EA holder.

The offshore portion of SFA 5 is 7,650t which means each of the 17 licence holders has an EA of 450t. [The NC quota should be characterized as a royalty quota and not as an EA.]


ANNEX F - TAC SHARING PRINCIPLES AND ARRANGEMENTS

Sharing Principles

In 1996, to determine how an increased total allowable catch (TAC) in the northern shrimp fishery should be allocated fairly, 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 during 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 37,600t is established as the level of quota to ensure the continued viability of the 17 offshore licence holders. If the TAC exceeds 37,600t, 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 implemented as outlined in the next section.

New Access Framework

This New Access Framework was designed to 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 is to be applied in the following manner:

The Principles

The access issue in question is first 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.

The New Access Framework in no way fetters the statutory authority of the Minister to determine access or allocations in any given fishery.

The threshold of 37,600t established as the level of quota to assist in the continued viability of the seventeen offshore licence holders in 1996, remains in affect.

Nunavut Share

The Nunavut share of the northern shrimp quota in its adjacent waters (each of SFAs 0-3) rose from 8.8% prior to 1996 to 31.5% in 2004 where it remains. This was achieved through TAC increases in the adjacent SFAs especially in waters within the Nunavut Settlement Area. In keeping with the Nunavut Land Claims agreement, the IPAC Report and the Minister’s 2007 announcement on stability of access, no additional licences have been issued nor will be issued to non-Nunavut interests in these waters.

Other issues related to Nunavut’s share or allocation of fisheries resources adjacent to the Territory will be addressed through other processes.

Sharing Arrangements of Quota Increases Indicating Nunavut Shares by SFA – 2001 to 2006

SFA 1
Quota Recipients 2001 Quota
Increase (t)
2003 Quota
Increase (t)
2004 Quota
Increase (t)
Existing Licence Holders (all) 2,690 940 1,043
Nunavut   1,000 2,833
Nunavik   187 374
Total 2,690 2,127 4,250
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 4,300t in 2002 based on the 500t increase in SFA 3 for Nunavut interests.

ANNEX G - COMPLIANCE PROTOCOL FOR NORTHERN SHRIMP

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 promote compliance with the Fisheries Act and the regulations made there under as well as the conservation and management measures contained in the Northern Shrimp Management Plan.

GUIDING PRINCIPLES

Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and Industry will work co-operatively to promote compliance.

Both 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 non-compliance problems arise, DFO reserves the right to withdraw from this protocol without notice.

AT-SEA MONITORING

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.

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


PROVISION OF REPORTS

Upon request, DFO will supply the licence holder with a copy of the observer's trip report upon completion of the trip.

DAILY REPORT
Vessel _______________________  
Date _______________________  
ITEM CAPTAIN'S WEIGHT (kg) OBSERVER'S WEIGHT (kg)
BY-CATCH _______________________ _______________________
A. _______________________ _______________________
B. _______________________ _______________________
C. _______________________ _______________________
D. _______________________ _______________________
DISCARDED
 SHRIMP
_______________________ _______________________
Signature    
  Captain Observer
  _______________________ _______________________

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 Davis 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 at sea observers presently estimate 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


ANNEX H - Profile of Access to Northern Shrimp - 1996-2007 (Tonnes) (Click here for a larger view)

SFA Fleet/Interest 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 20023 2003 20044 2005 20065 2007
0 Offshore Licence Holders 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500
1 Offshore Licence Holders 8,500 8,500 7,650 9,350 9,350 9,350 12,040 12,980 14,246 14,246 14,246 14,246
  Nunavut               1,000 3,722 3,722 3,722 3,722
  Makivik               187 449 449 449 449
Total   8,500 8,500 7,650 9,350 9,350 9,350 12,040 14,167 18,417 18,417 18,417 18,417
2 Offshore Licence Holders 3,500 5,250 5,250 5,250 5,250 5,250 5,250 5,250 5,250 5,250 5,250 5,250
  Offshore Licence Holders (Exploratory. P. borealis E of 63°W)       1,750 1,750 1,750 1,750 1,750 1,750 1,750 1,750 1,750
  Nunavut (N of 63°N and E of 63°W)       1,750 1,750 1,750 1,750 1,750 1,750 1,750 1,750 1,750
  Nunavut (Exploratory P. montagui inside NSA)             2,000 2,000 2,000 2,000 2,000 2,000
Total   3,500 5,250 5,250 8,750 8,750 8,750 10,750 10,750 10,750 10,750 10,750 10,750
3 Offshore Licence Holders (Pandalus montagui in SFAs 2/3/4 W of 63°W) 1,200 1,200 1,200 1,200 1,200 1,200 1,200 3,300 3,300 3,300 3,300 3,300
  Nunavut (Exploratory P. montagui inside the NSA)             1,000 1,000 1,000 1,000 1,000 1,000
  Pandalus Borealis (bycatch)6                     400 400
Total   1,200 1,200 1,200 1,200 1,200 1,200 2,200 4,300 4,300 4,300 4,700 4,700
4 Offshore Licence Holders 5,200 5,200 8,008 8,008 8,008 8,008 8,008 8,008 8,008 8,008 8,008 8,008
  Inshore     312 312 312 312 312 437 437 437 437 437
  Innu               750 750 750 750 750
  Offshore competitive7               1,125 1,125 1,125 1,125 1,125
Total   5,200 5,200 8,320 8,320 8,320 8,320 8,320 10,320 10,320 10,320 10,320 10,320
5 Offshore Licence Holders 7,650 7,650 7,650 7,650 7,650 7,650 7,650 7,650 7,650 7,650 7,650 7,650
  Northern Coalition   6,120 6,120 6,120 6,120 6,120 6,120 6,120 6,120 6,120 6,120 6,120
  Innu   510 510 510 510 510 510 510 510 510 510 510
  LIA   510 510 510 510 510 510 1,260 1,260 1,260 1,260 1,260
  Cartwright   510 510 510 510 510 510 710 710 710 710 710
  LMN               750 750 750 750 750
  Inshore Aff. Cod/Crab Fishers (Cartwright to L'anse au Claire)               3,400 3,400 3,400 3,400 3,400
  Inshore Aff. Cod/Crab Fishers (Northern Peninsula)               400 400 400 400 400
  Offshore competitive7               2,500 2,500 2,500 2,500 2,500
Total   7,650 15,300 15,300 15,300 15,300 15,300 15,300 23,300 23,300 23,300 23,300 23,300
6 Offshore Licence Holders 11,050 11,050 13,360 14,603 14,603 14,603 14,603 15,833 15,833 15,833 15,833 15,833
  SABRI   3,000 3,000 3,000 3,000 3,000 3,000 3,000 3,000 3,000 3,000 3,000
  Innu         1,500 1,500 1,500 1,500 1,500 1,500 1,500 1,500
  Fogo Island Co-op         1,000 1,000 1,000 1,000 1,000 1,000 1,000 1,000
  Inshore   9,050 29,840 41,029 41,529 41,529 41,529 52,599 52,599 52,599 52,599 52,599
  Inshore aff. Cod fishers (N peninsula North 50-30)               3,000 3,000 3,000 3,000 3,000
  Inshore affected Cod fishers (LNS North 50-30)               1,000 1,000 1,000 1,000 1,000
Total   11,050 23,100 46,200 58,632 61,632 61,632 61,632 77,932 77,932 77,932 77,932 77,932
7 NAFO Regulatory Area1         1,000 1,000 1,000 2,167 2,167 2,167 3,675 3,675
  Offshore Licence Holders         1,000 1,000 1,000 2,017 2,017 2,017 3,778 3,778
  PEI Consortium         1,500 1,500 1,500 1,500 1,500 1,500 1,500 1,500
  Inshore         1,500 1,500 2,500 6,566 6,566 6,566 12,297 12,297
  Conne River               750 750 750 750 750
Total           5,000 5,000 5,000 10,833 10,833 10,833 18,325 18,325
3M Offshore Licence Holders 4928 443 750 456 456 380 400 456 456 456 456 456
Overall             37,6002 59,050 84,420 102,052 110,052 110,052 115,742 152,102 156,352 156,352 164,244 164,244
1 - NRA allocation is not included in total TAC
2 - 1996 TACs represent "threshold levels" above which "temporary" access is provided
3 - 2002 increase because NAFO quota in 2001was not taken. NAFO quota was increased from 65,000 to 85,000 in 2001 and Canada takes 17% of the offshore portion (5/6).
4 - In SFA 3, a catch limit of 3,800t was in place from 2000 to 2002 pending further scientific assessment of the resource in this area. The official quota was set at 1,200t.
4 - For SFAs 2 to 6 the season is Apr.1/2004 to Mar.31/2005 - For SFAs 1 and 7 the season is Jan 1, 2004/ Dec. 31/2004
5 - Includes 7,492t increase in 3L.
6 - The quota of 400t is for bycatch only in the P. montagui fishery in SFA 3 (and within the NSA in SFA 2 as of 2007).
7 – Prior to 2007, was a Scientific quota
8 – Indicates number of fishing days per calendar year.

ANNEX I - Precautionary Approach Framework for Northern Shrimp

Introduction

The following provides a framework for setting TACs for p. borealis in SFAs 2, 4-7 and p. montagui in SFAs 2,3,4. For SFA 7, these guidelines are for DFO planning purposes only and are subject to NAFO decision making. It is proposed that this framework would remain in place until it is amended. Evaluation and amendment is likely to be a dynamic process, and in any event a full evaluation of the framework should take place no later than December 31, 2014.

A review of this framework would be enhanced by way of a Management Strategy Evaluation (MSE) process that would include testing and potential re-casting of harvest control rules into mathematical expression, as part of an iterative risk management process including fisheries managers, scientists and industry. Whether or not a full MSE process is engaged, DFO Science will be requested to attempt to calculate FMSY, and evaluate the robustness of the following potential values for SFA6 TAC-setting “rules” (below), the results of which would inform any process to refine the framework. These exploitation rate (catch/ fishable biomass (fishable biomass refers to the biomass of all males with carapace lengths > 17 mm + biomass of all females)) values are not intended for use as target reference points, but as upper limits for the respective SSB ranges.

  • TAC is set for 2-year periods
  • Maximum 15% change in the TAC unless the stock is declining precipitously
  • If SSB >= 212,300t, the maximum exploitation rate = FMSY
  • If SSB between 146-212,300t, the maximum exploitation rate = 2/3 FMSY
  • If SSB between 113-146,000t, the maximum exploitation rate = ½ FMSY
  • If SSB between 79,600-113,000t, the maximum exploitation rate = 15%
  • If SSB <79,600t, the maximum exploitation rate = 10%

Objectives

To promote the sustainable utilization of northern shrimp stocks, including application of an ecosystem based approach.

To promote cost-effective harvesting strategies ensuring compliance with objective-oriented management and conservation measures, and a responsible image for all fleet sectors.

To mitigate the impacts on other species and the ecosystem where shrimp fishing occurs.

Within specified resource management constraints, to promote a harvest level that stabilizes industry infrastructure and meets marketing requirements, in the pursuit of economic viability objectives for the shrimp sector.

Issues & Considerations

Unresolved Data Limitation: Data limitation is generally the norm in fisheries management. However, the biomass reference points and harvest control rules outlined below have been designed based on scientific survey data only available since the late 1990s for Shrimp Fishing Areas (SFA) 4-7. It is perceived that a low-to-moderate exploitation rate shrimp fishery did occur in SFAs 5 and 6 for a 20 year period prior to the late 1990s, during a time when the natural mortality rate of shrimp was likely to have been much higher as a result of more abundant groundfish populations. While there may be insufficient pre-1996 data to interconnect with a limit reference point (LRP) linked to the current survey biomass index, it does not seem reasonable to contemplate prohibiting all directed fishing if SSB declines below a survey-driven LRP that one may empirically observe to be higher than the likely exploitable biomass during the virgin period of the late 1970s. Further work should be conducted to link the provisional LRPs to pre-1996 indices, e.g. standardized catch rates, or to define an operational caveat to the LRP, linking harvest control rules to “pre-survey conditions”.

Population/Stock Definition: Stock structure over the designated management areas is largely unknown. Reliable data is limited to the recent period of high abundance of shrimp having a relatively continuous presence within suitable depths and habitat, extending along the northern Grand Banks and Labrador Shelf. However, it is not likely that population components mix thoroughly throughout the vast distances involved. There are different growth rates in different areas, most likely caused by environmental differences in SFAs 4-7. While there is likely north-to-south larval drift, there is no reliable data on discrete spawning components, seasonal or life cycle migration patterns. SFAs 4, 5 and 6 are domestic Canadian stocks while SFA7 is a straddling stock managed by NAFO. Considering all of the above, reference points and harvest control rules should be applied separately and independently for each SFA on a provisional basis. However, scientific evaluation should be structured to model results based on potential interrelationships between the stock management areas.

Risk: (A) Given that shrimp have a significant role as a forage species, the base target exploitation rate has been set lower than what might otherwise be the case. (B) Decision making should engender “low risk” (<25% probability) of decline when SSB is below the Limit Reference Point (LRP) and in the lower half of the Intermediate/Cautious Zone, and “moderate risk” (25-50% probability) of decline when SSB is in the upper half of the Intermediate/Cautious Zone. Simple probability (>50% probability) of projected impact on SSB will be the basis of decision making when SSB is above the Upper Reference Point (URP). While quantitative calculation of risk may not be achievable in the short term, these references will provide qualitative guidance in the interim.

Stability: (A) It is desirable from an industry perspective to establish TACs that are stable over at least a 2-year period. This approach would also mitigate year effects in scientific survey results. In this context, a harvest rate may be selected/ projected as an artifact over a given time frame rather than as a driver of the absolute TAC level. (B) This TAC-setting framework acknowledges that the natural environment plays an important role in determining the abundance of northern shrimp in its ecosystem, particularly during a highly productive period when the resource is at the highest level in recorded history. It also acknowledges the reality of existing industry infrastructure, i.e. harvesters’ presence in the ecosystem. After the recent period of significant growth that occurred as a result of shifts in its natural environment, the spawning stock biomass in most of the SFAs will likely be stable or in decline during the application of this framework. In this context, it is a reasonable strategy to maintain a TAC level while SSB is declining towards more “normal” levels within the healthy zone. This could result in an increase in the target harvest rate from recent levels, at least to the point where the SSB may decline below the Upper Stock Reference Point (URP) entering into the Intermediate/Cautious Zone, at which point reduced harvest rates will be employed to mitigate SSB decline and promote stock rebuilding.

Expectations: (A) Particularly at exploitation/harvest rates less than 20% of exploitable biomass, the impact of fishing on the biomass trajectory (positive or negative) may not be measurable or significant, especially given the predominate role played by the environment. (B) Reference points for SSB and relative exploitation rates may need to be adjusted for these areas over time as the analysis of additional scientific/survey results become available. If this is done, explicit rationale shall be provided.

Reference Points

Spawning Stock Biomass (SSB):

Provisional Limit Reference Point:
30% of spawning stock biomass (SSB) defined as the mean of the moderately productive period of 1996-2003. This is a variation of the approach of NAFO’s Scientific Council that uses 15% of the maximum observed spawning biomass.

Provisional Upper Reference Point:
80% of spawning stock biomass (SSB) defined as the mean of the moderately productive period of 1996-2003. This approach applies the default option identified in DFO’s draft PA Framework.

Exploitation Rates:

In this context, exploitation rates are based upon FMSY. However, it has not yet been possible to calculate FMSY for Pandalus borealis, and consequently it is not possible to rationalize precise upper limits for target exploitation rates. Although not directly comparable due to different ecosystem interactions and different research vessel surveys, other Northern Shrimp fishing regions in the western Atlantic may provide some guidance in managing relative exploitation rates for SFAs 4-7. In West Greenland, the mean observed exploitation rate is 37% (range of 22-61%); this stock has been in decline since 2003 due to poor recruitment that has occurred despite SSB being above the long-term average during this period. The four Gulf of St. Lawrence stock components have remained relatively stable with exploitation rates within the range of 12-45%. The Gulf of Maine stock previously collapsed when the harvest rate exceeded 60%. These areas bracket SFAs 4-7, some of which are arguably at the extreme environmental range of this species.

TACs for SFAs 4-7 should continue to be set using a conservative approach to exploitation rates. The base target exploitation rate when SSB is above the Upper Reference Point (URP) is 15% of exploitable biomass. Increases beyond the base target rate of 15% may be considered, particularly as an artifact associated with a stable TAC strategy while the SSB is above the URP, but increases should be gradual to avoid inadvertently placing undue fishing pressure on the stock, and should be kept well below the rates observed in the non-Canadian fisheries referenced above.

As an example using SFA 6 data, while FMSY has not yet been calculated, the following values have been adopted as upper limits on a provisional basis, in part to complete the conceptual elements of this framework. They are not intended for use as target reference points.

  • If SSB >= 212,300t, the maximum exploitation rate = FMSY
  • If SSB between 146-212,300t, the maximum exploitation rate = 2/3 FMSY
  • If SSB between 113-146,000t, the maximum exploitation rate = ½ FMSY
  • If SSB between 79,600-113,000t, the maximum exploitation rate = 15%
  • If SSB <79,600t, the maximum exploitation rate = 10%

Harvest Control Rules (HCRs)

The following provisional rules are to be used when setting TACs. While exceptions to these rules may be considered, the rationale for any deviation must be clear and documented, and the effect of such deviations must not place the stock at risk of serious or irreversible harm. The HCRs for SFA 4-7 will follow.

When SSB is Above the Upper Reference Point (URP):

  • Measures should generally promote the SSB remaining above the URP.
  • The base target exploitation rate will be 15% of exploitable biomass. This rate can increase gradually, particularly as an artifact of a stable TAC strategy applied during a time of declining SSB while in this zone, subject to monitoring/signals that excessive fishing mortality is being exerted on the stock.
  • The exploitation rate should not exceed FMSY, a level that is yet to be calculated, but is thought to be well above the base target exploitation rate.
  • Changes in the TAC should generally not exceed 15% of the previous TAC, unless the stock is declining precipitously.
  • Government should not facilitate any increase in industry capacity/infrastructure during any period of stability or decline in SSB.
When SSB is between the Limit Reference Point (LRP) and the Upper Reference Point (URP) (i.e. in the Intermediate/Cautious Zone):
  • Measures should generally promote the SSB rebuilding towards the URP, subject to natural fluctuations that may be expected to occur in biomass and survey results.
  • The TAC should not be increased if the SSB is projected to decline.
  • Changes in the TAC should generally not exceed 15% of the previous TAC, unless the stock is declining precipitously.
    When SSB is Below the Limit Reference Point (LRP):
  • Measures must explicitly promote an increase in the biomass above the LRP within 6 years of falling below the LRP.
  • Any fishing mortality must be in the context of a rebuilding plan, and should not exceed 10%.

HARVEST CONTROL RULES SFA 4

div 2g precautionary approach using exploitation rate vs SSB
Critical Zone Limit
19,000t
Cautious Zone Upper
50,000t
Healthy Zone
Measures must explicitly promote an increase in the biomass above the LRP as soon as feasible within 6 years.

Any fishing mortality must be in the context of a rebuilding plan, and should not exceed 10%
    Changes in the TAC should generally not exceed 15% of the previous TAC, unless the stock is declining precipitously.
If SSB is between 34,000-50,000t, the exploitation rate should not exceed 2/3 FMSY, thought to be significantly above 15% of exploitable biomass.
If SSB is between 26,000-34,000t, the exploitation rate should not exceed ½ FMSY, thought to be above 15% of exploitable biomass.
If SSB is between 19,000-26,000t, the exploitation rate should not exceed 15% of exploitable biomass.
    Measures should generally promote the SSB remaining above the URP.
The base target exploitation rate will be 15% of exploitable biomass.  This rate can increase gradually, particularly as an artifact of a stable TAC strategy applied during a time of declining SSB while in this zone, subject to monitoring/signals that excessive fishing mortality is being exerted on the stock.
The exploitation rate should not exceed FMSY, a level that is yet to be calculated, but is thought to be well above the base target exploitation rate.
Changes in the TAC should generally not exceed 15% of the previous TAC, unless the stock is declining precipitously.

HARVEST CONTROL RULES SFA 5

SFA 5 - Exploitation rate index
Critical Zone Limit
14,000t
Cautious Zone Upper
38,000t
Healthy Zone
Measures must explicitly promote an increase in the biomass above the LRP as soon as feasible within 6 years.

Any fishing mortality must be in the context of a rebuilding plan, and should not exceed 10%
    Changes in the TAC should generally not exceed 15% of the previous TAC, unless the stock is declining precipitously.
If SSB is between 26,000-38,000t, the exploitation rate should not exceed 2/3 FMSY, thought to be significantly above 15% of exploitable biomass.
If SSB is between 20,000-26,000t, the exploitation rate should not exceed ½ FMSY, thought to be above 15% of exploitable biomass.

If SSB is between 14000-20,000t, the exploitation rate should not exceed 15% of exploitable biomass.
    Measures should generally promote the SSB remaining above the URP.
The base target exploitation rate will be 15% of exploitable biomass.  This rate can increase gradually, particularly as an artifact of a stable TAC strategy applied during a time of declining SSB while in this zone, subject to monitoring/signals that excessive fishing mortality is being exerted on the stock.
The exploitation rate should not exceed FMSY, a level that is yet to be calculated, but is thought to be well above the base target exploitation rate.
Changes in the TAC should generally not exceed 15% of the previous TAC, unless the stock is declining precipitously.

HARVEST CONTROL RULES SFA 6

SFA6 - Exploitation rate index
Critical Zone Limit
80,000t
Cautious Zone Upper
212,000t
Healthy Zone
Measures must explicitly promote an increase in the biomass above the LRP as soon as feasible within 6 years.

Any fishing mortality must be in the context of a rebuilding plan, and should not exceed 10%
    Changes in the TAC should generally not exceed 15% of the previous TAC, unless the stock is declining precipitously.
If SSB is between 146-212,000t, the exploitation rate should not exceed 2/3 FMSY, thought to be significantly above 15% of exploitable biomass.
If SSB is between 113-146,000t, the exploitation rate should not exceed ½ FMSY, thought to be above 15% of exploitable biomass.
If SSB is between 80,000-113,000t, the exploitation rate should not exceed 15% of exploitable biomass.
    Measures should generally promote the SSB remaining above the URP. 
The base target exploitation rate will be 15% of exploitable biomass.  This rate can increase gradually, particularly as an artifact of a stable TAC strategy applied during a time of declining SSB while in this zone, subject to monitoring/signals that excessive fishing mortality is being exerted on the stock.
The exploitation rate should not exceed FMSY, a level that is yet to be calculated, but is thought to be well above the base target exploitation rate.
Changes in the TAC should generally not exceed 15% of the previous TAC, unless the stock is declining precipitously.

HARVEST CONTROL RULES SFA 7

(for DFO planning, subject to NAFO decision making)

SFA7 - Exploitation rates index (catch)
Critical Zone Limit
9,000t
Cautious Zone Upper
23,000t
Healthy Zone
Measures must explicitly promote an increase in the biomass above the LRP as soon as feasible within 6 years.

Any fishing mortality must be in the context of a rebuilding plan, and should not exceed 10%; 
    Changes in the TAC should generally not exceed 15% of the previous TAC, unless the stock is declining precipitously.
If SSB is between 16,000-23,000t, the exploitation rate should not exceed 2/3 FMSY, thought to be significantly above 15% of exploitable biomass.
If SSB is between 12,000-16,000t, the exploitation rate should not exceed ½ FMSY, thought to be above 15% of exploitable biomass.
If SSB is between 9,000-12,000t, the exploitation rate should not exceed 15% of exploitable biomass.
    Measures should generally promote the SSB remaining above the URP.
The base target exploitation rate will be 15% of exploitable biomass.  This rate can increase gradually, particularly as an artifact of a stable TAC strategy applied during a time of declining SSB while in this zone, subject to monitoring/signals that excessive fishing mortality is being exerted on the stock.
The exploitation rate should not exceed FMSY, a level that is yet to be calculated, but is thought to be well above the base target exploitation rate.
Changes in the TAC should generally not exceed 15% of the previous TAC, unless the stock is declining precipitously.

The following are provisional reference points and harvest control rules, the framework of which was adopted by NSAC in 2009. Adjustments may occur in the future as further information becomes available and based on on-going review and consultations with co-management partners and other stakeholders.

HARVEST CONTROL RULES SFA 2

Pandalus borealis - SFA2 - Exploitation Rate Index
Critical Zone Limit
6,800t
Cautious Zone Upper
18,200t
Healthy Zone
Measures must explicitly promote an increase in the biomass above the LRP as soon as feasible within 6 years.

Any fishing mortality must be in the context of a rebuilding plan, and should not exceed 10%
    Changes in the TAC should generally not exceed 15% of the previous TAC, unless the stock is declining precipitously.
If SSB is between 12,400-18,200t, the exploitation rate should not exceed 2/3 FMSY, thought to be significantly above 15% of exploitable biomass.
If SSB is between 9,500-12,400t, the exploitation rate should not exceed ½ FMSY, thought to be above 15% of exploitable biomass.
If SSB is between 6,800-9,500t, the exploitation rate should not exceed 15% of exploitable biomass.
    Measures should generally promote the SSB remaining above the URP.
The base target exploitation rate will be 15% of exploitable biomass. This rate can increase gradually, particularly as an artifact of a stable TAC strategy applied during a time of declining SSB while in this zone, subject to monitoring/signals that excessive fishing mortality is being exerted on the stock.
The exploitation rate should not exceed FMSY, a level that is yet to be calculated, but is thought to be well above the base target exploitation rate.
Changes in the TAC should generally not exceed 15% of the previous TAC, unless the stock is declining precipitously.

HARVEST CONTROL RULES SFA 2, 3, 4

SFA2,3,4 - Pandalus montagui - Exploitation rate index
Critical Zone Limit
7,000t
Cautious Zone Upper
18,700t
Healthy Zone
Measures must explicitly promote an increase in the biomass above the LRP as soon as feasible within 6 years.

Any fishing mortality must be in the context of a rebuilding plan, and should not exceed 10%
    Changes in the TAC should generally not exceed 15% of the previous TAC, unless the stock is declining precipitously.
If SSB is between 12,700-18,700t, the exploitation rate should not exceed 2/3 FMSY, thought to be significantly above 15% of exploitable biomass.
If SSB is between 9,700-12,700t, the exploitation rate should not exceed ½ FMSY, thought to be above 15% of exploitable biomass.
If SSB is between 7,000-9,700t, the exploitation rate should not exceed 15% of exploitable biomass.
    Measures should generally promote the SSB remaining above the URP.
The base target exploitation rate will be 15% of exploitable biomass. This rate can increase gradually, particularly as an artifact of a stable TAC strategy applied during a time of declining SSB while in this zone, subject to monitoring/signals that excessive fishing mortality is being exerted on the stock.
The exploitation rate should not exceed FMSY, a level that is yet to be calculated, but is thought to be well above the base target exploitation rate.
Changes in the TAC should generally not exceed 15% of the previous TAC, unless the stock is declining precipitously.

Backgrounder

NORTHERN SHRIMP (SFA7)

MARCH 2006

What is the 2006 TAC?

Based on latest scientific advice, during the 2005 meeting of the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO), the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for shrimp fishing area (SFA) 7 was set at 22,000 (t). The Canadian share of the TAC is 83.3 per cent or 18,325 t. This is an increase for Canada of 7,492t from 2005.

How will it be shared?

There will be no special allocations of this increased TAC, rather it will be shared between existing inshore and offshore enterprises based on current sharing arrangements.

  2005 TAC % Increase 2006 TAC
Offshore License Holders 2,017 23.50% 1,761 3,778
Inshore 6,566 76.50% 5,731 12,297
TOTAL 8,583 100% 7,492 16,075
PEI Consortium 1,500     1,500
Conne River First Nation 750     750
GRAND TOTAL 10,833     18,325

The Department received 27 requests totalling over 52,000t for new access or increased allocations of this increase. Most requests were formally made to the Northern Shrimp Advisory Committee (NSAC) in December 2005. NSAC is the mechanism that the Department uses to discuss new proposals and update scientific advice or NAFO assessments.

What’s next?

The Minister also announced that access in the other Northern shrimp fishery (Shrimp Fishing Areas [SFAs] 0 to 6) is being stabilized, subject to land claims, for the next four years (until 2010).

With access now stable in the Northern shrimp fishery (SFAs 0-7), over the next two years a key objective for the department will be to work with all interests to map out a way for this fishery to respond to future changes in abundance.

Literature Cited

Bergström, B. I. 2000. The Biology of Pandalus. In Advances in Marine Biology (Vol.38). Edited by A. J. Southward, P.A. Tyler, C.M. Young and L. Fuiman. Academic Press. London. pp.55-244.

NAFO 2005. Scientific Council Reports. Redbook.

Orr, D.C., P.J. Veitch and D.J. Sullivan. 2006 Northern shrimp (Pandalus borealis) off Baffin Island, Labrador and northeastern Newfoundland. CSAS Res. Doc. 2006/006. 59 p.