2015 Northern Shrimp Advisory Committee Minutes

March 4, 2015 - Montréal, Québec

A list of participants is at Annex 1.

Sylvie Lapointe, Chair of the Northern Shrimp Advisory Committee (NSAC), Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) Resource Management (RM), Ottawa welcomed the group and a roundtable of introductions occurred. She invited participants to add to the agenda (Annex 2).

Todd Russell, NunutuKavut Community Council (NCC) asked to discuss allocation principles, the Use of Fish policy and the science quota in Shrimp Fishing Area (SFA) 4.

The Chair commented that allocations will arise in other discussions. The Department’s Last In, First Out (LIFO) policy remains in place and NSAC has no mandate to change that. Use of Fish and the science quota will be raised during the SFA 4 discussion, as there is a proposal to continue with this allocation.

Update / Information Items

The Chair updated the Committee on several information items.

The Integrated Fisheries Management Plan (IFMP) is being revised using the new template. A draft version will be sent out shortly.

An audit has been undertaken by the Office of the Auditor General on the implementation of Sustainable Fisheries Framework polices into Eastern Arctic fisheries with a focus on Northern shrimp and Greenland halibut. A report is expected later in the year.

Update on negotiations with Greenland:

Jennifer Buie, RM, Ottawa updated NSAC on developments with respect to negotiations with Greenland including quota shares for each country, predictability of access, and cooperation on setting joint Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for shrimp in SFA1. Recently there were bilateral negotiations with Greenland, including Canadian and Greenlandic industry representatives, DFO management, Science and Conservation and Protection. No agreement was reached, and negotiations are expected to continue, tentatively in Nuuk, Greenland in early June, 2015. In the absence of an agreement, an overall TAC of 60,000t was recommended to and accepted by the Minister, consistent with Scientific Council advice, providing a Canadian TAC of 8,500t based on our 14.2% share of the overall TAC. Sector quotas within Canada remain unchanged, but are subject to closure of the fishery if the total Canadian catch reaches 8,500t. Greenland unilaterally sets their TAC. Canada accepts a TAC and claims a share of 14.2%, which is equivalent to 17% of 5/6ths, which is the offshore portion of the fishery. Greenland has set their 2015 TAC at 73,000t, of which they allocated 1,939t to Canada.

Minutes of the 2014 Meeting

Bruce Chapman, Canadian Association of Prawn Producers (CAPP) requested the minutes be deferred because he had not finished reviewing them. The Chair accepted this request.

Leigh Edgar, RM, Ottawa reviewed the Results of the 2014 Fishery for each SFA and Management Unit.

David Decker (FFAW) asked why the TAC is high but there are no catches in SFAs 0 and 1. DFO, RM Ottawa stated that this is an inhospitable area in the far north. CAPP added that SFA 0 is exploratory, and the majority of the resource in SFA 1 appears to have contracted into Greenlandic waters. In effect, Canadian quotas in SFAs 0 and 1 are paperfish. Brian McNamara, Newfound Resources Ltd (NRL) added that it takes a lot of effort to catch anything up north.

FFAW stated there is so much uncaught quota in the north, while fisheries contracting and shutting down in the south with significant consequences. Is this the same stock?

CAPP responded that the West Greenland shrimp (including SFA1) is a separate stock from SFAs 2-7; its biomass is declining and contracting but is still near MSY.

Results of the 2014 Fishery

DFO RM, Ottawa recapped the results of the 2014 fishery. She informed the Committee of a confidentiality issue that affects harvesters in Nunavut and Nunavik West Management Units, which states that DFO cannot release catch data if there are less than three entities that have access to that area, without their written consent.

CAPP commented that catches should be announced relative to that quota. The total of the three entities’ catches should be made public. He recommended that catches against quotas should be public for accountability and to maintain Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification.

DFA, NL supported CAPP’s point, as long as we’re not divulging individual enterprise’s catches.

Science Presentations and TAC Discussions

Science presentations can be accessed at:

SFA 4 P. Montagui: http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/csas-sccs/publications/sar-as/2014/2014_020-eng.html

SFA 4-6 P. Borealis: http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/csas-sccs/Publications/SAR-AS/2015/2015_018-eng.pdf
Eastern Assessment Zone (EAZ) and Western Assessment Zone (WAZ): http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/csas-sccs/publications/sar-as/2015/2015_017-eng.html

The Chair informed the Committee that recommendations are required from NSAC for TAC in SFA 0, 4-6 Borealis, SFA 4 Montagui (bycatch), and both species in Eastern Assessment Zone (EAZ). There is a separate process in place to consult with the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board (NWMB) and the Nunavik Marine Region Wildlife Board (NMRWB) on TACs in the EAZ and the WAZ, and a decision has already been made to set Canada’s TAC in SFA 1 at 8,500t.

SFA 6

Katherine Skanes, DFO Science, NL gave a presentation on the Science Assessment results for SFA 6.

The Chair opened the floor, noting the current TAC in SFA 6 is 48,196t.

Todd Broomfield, Nunatsiavut Government (NG) asked how long Science believes that a 20% exploitation rate (ER) can be sustained given the last three years the biomass is low in the Cautious Zone, and now the female spawning stock biomass is at its lowest point in the time series.

DFO Science NL stated that they don’t know.

FFAW asked what years were used to determine the Limit Reference Point (LRP) and related PA Zones.

DFO Science NL responded that the LRP is based on 30% of the spawning stock biomass index in the productive period of 1996 – 2003.

The following groups indicated support for a rollover in SFA 6 of 48,196t:

  • NG, considering the TAC is expected to be taken, plus Science that is neither positive nor negative.
  • DFA, NL, considering the science indices are stable after a significant cut last year. Fishery performance was good last year. Allocations are a separate discussion.
  • CAPP, fishable biomass decline did not continue this year, and observations from the fishery are consistent with stable biomass.
  • Phil Quinlan, Labrador Fishermen’s Union Shrimp Co (LFUSC).
  • Gabriel Albert, Government of New Brunswick (GNB).
  • Denis Desrosiers, Ministère de l’Agriculture des Pêcheries et l’Alimentation, Gouvernement du Québec (MAPAQ).
  • Vincent Dupuis, Association des Capitaines Propriétaires Gaspésie (ACPG).
  • FFAW stated that TAC is related more broadly to how we manage shrimp and the principles we use. He deferred comment until he gets an indication on how other SFAs are managed. (Note: following discussions on other SFAs, FFAW recommended a rollover but required management changes to achieve a fair balance for the inshore fleet.)

DFO Science NL indicated that until 2010, there were plenty of shrimp for the ecosystem. Over the past few years they have observed increased predation.

SFA 5

DFO Science, NL gave a presentation on SFA 5.

NG asked if predation of shrimp by groundfish in SFA 5 is similar to SFA 6.

DFO Science, NL responded that there has not been a lot of change in groundfish in the 2H portion of SFA 5, but there has been an increase in groundfish by two or three times since 1995 in 2J3KL, which is still much lower than prior to the collapse. We can’t assume that the same levels of predation are occurring further north.

The following groups recommended a reinstatement of the 2013/14 TAC of 23,300t and associated allocations:

  • NCC, noting there was no precipitous decline last year which resulted in a 10% reduction in TAC, rather it was a year effect.
  • CAPP
  • NG, recognizing that last year’s survey data may not have been accurate.
  • LFUSC, noting that many adjacent Labrador harvesters were affected by the cuts last year.
  • DFA NL, noting he was not commenting on allocations.
  • Neil Grieg, Makivik and the Northern Coalition (NC).
  • Government of New Brunswick

Phil Barnes, Fogo Island Coop, stated that if we are proposing an increase in SFA 5, we need to look at allocations in SFA 6. Based on adjacency, Fogo Island Co-op requests a reinstatement of their 1,000t SFA 6 quota in SFA 5.

LFUSC stated that entities that were reduced under LIFO in the past were reinstated under LIFO when quotas returned. We are considering a reinstatement of the quotas in SFA 5 according to the rules, not according to adjacency. Established principles exist at this table, we have followed LIFO in the past and this should continue. However, in SFA 4, the > 100’ sector receives 90% of any increase while adjacent Labrador inshore harvesters do not benefit from the inshore 10% share of the increase and this needs to be corrected.

SFA 4

DFO Science, NL gave a presentation on SFA 4 Borealis.

The following groups recommended a 15% increase in SFA 4 Borealis:

  • CAPP, noting that the exploitation rate (ER) is currently less than 12%. An increase should be shared traditionally between >100’ sector and the inshore sector (midshore) at 90% and 10% respectively.
  • NC, as described by CAPP.
  • NG, but opposes traditional sharing in SFA 4. NG has a Land Claim since 2005 and the Crown has an obligation to offer new fishing opportunities to Labrador Inuit in adjacent waters which is not being honored.
  • NCC supports a rollover but not historical sharing, preferring an approach based on adjacency, historical dependence and economic need. SFAs 4, 5 and the northern half 6 are adjacent to Labrador. TACs allocated to Labrador interests in these areas amount to roughly 20-25%, yet the NCC only has 1% of the TAC of the shrimp fishery. Continuing with historical shares perpetuates policies that are wrong and potentially discriminatory. There are laws in Canada that state that aboriginal participation and access is required, and this needs to be considered in this fishery. The same arguments were made by Nunavut in the North. This is relevant to SFA 4 decisions.
  • Wade Dyson, Cartwright Fishers, supported a 15% increase in SFA 4 and requested additional quota in SFA 5.
  • Government of New Brunswick, and supported traditional sharing.

Makivik indicated they will request a readjustment in sharing in SFA 4 based on Land Claims.

Jamie Snook, Torngat Joint Fisheries Board (TJFB) commented that they recommended last year that aboriginals, particularly those with Land Claims should be exempt from the LIFO policy in SFA 5. The mandate of NSAC is to make recommendations on TACs. The Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement applies to SFA 4 and states the TJFB is the primary body that makes recommendations to the Minister on fisheries within the settlement area. SFA 4 is both within and adjacent to the settlement area. Since 2008 there have been a number of TAC increases. The Board’s recommendations have been consistent with conservation, traditional rights, procedural and substantive equity, economic viability and adjacency. Despite this the NG still only holds roughly 2% of the TACs, when the Zone as per the Land Claims Agreement accounts for 23%. It’s as though TJFB has a competing mandate with NSAC. If the Department is to be seen as upholding the intent and spirit of the agreement, there would be more recommendations from the TJFB accepted. He asked that the Land Claims Agreement be respected and the voice of the TJFB be given the weight it deserves. The Board opposes traditional shares in SFA 4, and is of the view that there were six years of missed opportunities to increase aboriginal participation in the fishery at times of increase. The NG should not have been reduced as per LIFO in SFA 5 last year.

FFAW stated they fully support adjacency and it needs to be given more weight than it has in the past. Adjacency in Newfoundland equates to community dependence and historical ties. Communities were established because of many fisheries. Northern shrimp in SFA 6 only started once cod collapsed. It took a long time to get access to shrimp to begin to stabilize these communities and the industry. In 1985 there was no shrimp harvested in SFA 6.

CAPP stated that ‘adjacency’ was defined by the Department in 1997 and includes concepts of residence and historical fishing.

Ulf Snarby, MV Osprey indicated that they fished each year in SFA 6 in 1979 – 1985.

Fred Hall, Innu Nation, stated the Innu owns two inshore licences and they are adjacent to SFA 4.

Use of Fish

DFO RM, Ottawa gave an overview of Section 10 of the Fisheries Act (Use of Fish), whereby the Minister can allocate fish or fishing gear equipment for the purpose of financing a scientific or fisheries management activity described in a joint project agreement which sets out the terms and conditions of the activity. Projects must contribute to the proper management and control of the fishery, and the conservation and protection of fish. Proponents of the allocation need to demonstrate a strong majority support from those quota holders who would be affected.

DFO, RM Ottawa indicated that the 1,700t came off the top of a 15% increase in SFA 4 in 2013 as a special allocation. The remaining was split traditionally between the >100’ sector and the inshore fleet at 90% and 10%.

NG indicated that they object to the Use of Fish policy even though it’s not finalized. When DFO allocated the 1,700t for Science, it was described as ‘for one year only’ and now it is year three. What is DFO’s intent when they allocate new opportunities in the fishery for Science? Is this an indefinite allocation?

The Chair stated that the allocation is being used to fund the survey, which in itself is a long-term endeavour. It requires the support of quota holders in that fishery, which has been established.

The NSRF representative tabled the Northern Shrimp Research Foundation (NSRF) proposal to continue with the 1,700t Section 10 allocation, which is a continuation of the existing allocation key and not a new or incremental allocation, and would not be affected by the proposed TAC increase in SFA 4, one way or the other. The NSRF started survey work in 2005 because DFO was not surveying north of SFA 5. NSRF would have preferred that DFO undertake this survey. CAPP had requested that DFO extend its survey coverage further north, but there were no resources available to do this. Prior to this, stock assessments for area 4 were based on commercial catch rate indices, which even if standardized, are problematic and a poor indicator of abundance. Without the survey that has been in place since 2005, there would be no fishery-independent basis to determine TACs. Research costs are up to about $1.5 million per year, including vessel charter, fuel, contracting independent technicians, gear expenses, maintenance etc. They follow DFO Science protocol. Section 10 is available to help support the cost. 88% of quotas are held by the offshore sector in SFA 4 and 100% of these license holders are supportive of the 1,700t quota. The current proposal is for five years to ensure continuity.

DFO Science, C&A added that the survey used by NSRF is designed and conducted the same way as DFO surveys. They are operating quite well and the survey is producing the information that is needed by the Department. This survey would be difficult to replace and it is critically important to the assessment of shrimp in SFA 4 and northward.

Makivik wanted science assessments in northern areas for more than 20 years and NSRF was the only way to achieve this. Makivik supports this survey in principle as well as financially.

Jerry Ward, Qikiqtaaluk Corporation (QC) stated that the NSRF survey has been a great benefit to the north, particularly Nunavut.

TJFB objected to this allocation for Science last year because they understood it to be a one year arrangement, and at that time it was done prior to formal adoption of the policy. Majority support is guaranteed for the proponent given the allocations in SFA 4, however minority interests must be accounted for. Is there any evidence that last year there was majority support for the proposal? In what forum was this support generated? The current policy states that there are supposed to be efforts to include aboriginal organizations. He asked if there’s any evidence of any effort to include the NG in anyway on this proposal, which is for five years. These questions need to be answered if this process is going to move forward with any credibility.

Further, TJFB was concerned that DFO is not doing its own science. There are science cuts affecting char and salmon. Science advice is needed to make recommendations, and it is being cut. 1,700t is a missed opportunity to increase aboriginal participation.

The Chair responded that NSRF indicated that offshore licence holders represent the majority of quota holding in SFA 4 and all are supportive of the proposal. The Section 10 policy specifies that ‘majority’ is a minimum 2/3 of the quota holding stakeholders. It is the proponent’s responsibility to engage other stakeholders and consult on the project and therefore she is not aware of who had been consulted on the current proposal, but bringing this issue to the table at NSAC is a form of consultation. With regard to funding to Science, colleagues in Science are struggling with cuts and are trying to allocate resources in such a way that makes the most sense for fisheries across Canada.

The NSRF representative stated that at last year’s NSAC, he requested other affected stakeholders to contact him with regard to any of the specifics. No one contacted him. The benefit of raising this proposal at NSAC is that all stakeholders can be informed at the same time. Considering the lack of responses last year, he felt that engaging stakeholders at NSAC was an acceptable consultative process. The NSRF membership includes four Labrador licence holders and consequently they have effective input from Labrador interests, albeit not as representatives of Land Claims interests per se.

TJFB suggested that using NSAC forum to simply ask stakeholders to give you a call does not constitute an acceptable consultative process with an aboriginal government that has a treaty in place. The onus is on the proponent to have that conversation with the NG. There were discussions a few years ago on the adding time to NSAC to discuss Land Claims. The Chair responded that this is something we can look at for next NSAC.

NSRF responded that there is equal accountability and obligation of all NSAC members to respond an invitation that has been provided. It is not reasonable to repeat the offer through multiple channels, especially if the content of the proposal has not changed substantially.

NCC commented that the Use of Fish policy is something his organization can accept, but the Department is responsible to conduct science as a core mandate and the danger is it could be replaced with commercial species funding. He inquired if this quota is available to others to submit proposals to do Science? It seems already attached to the NSRF. They are doing good work but there are other options to share this Science quota. Additionally, he calculated that this 1,700t would cost roughly $1.2 million, which translates into roughly $6 million once caught. Where are the rest of the funds?

The Chair commented that the Section 10 policy is open to all stakeholders in SFA 4, the EAZ and WAZ to submit proposals to the Department to use some part of their allocation for Science or management.

SFA 4 Montagui

DFO Science, NL gave a presentation on SFA 4 Montagui.

CAPP recommended a rollover.
The NG recommended a rollover, but questioned why there’s still a bycatch fishery when it was put in place because it was targeted species in the past.
NC supported a rollover.

TJFB asked if the Science was done by DFO or NSRF. DFO Science, NL responded that DFO analyzes data produced by independent technicians on board the vessel chartered to conduct the NSRF survey.

The Chair indicated there is a separate, concurrent process underway to consult with the Nunavut and Nunavik Boards on TACs in the WAZ, which is entirely within their respective settlement areas, and in the EAZ which is both within and adjacent to the settlement areas. She reminded the group that there is no revised PA for these areas. Prior to the availability of science results, the Department was asked to provide some options to the Boards for TAC setting in 2015 for each species in the EAZ. (The WAZ is managed at a lower ER). The Boards’ response has not been received but the options were:

  1. Continue to use a two year average of fishable biomass and an ER of 15% to determine the TAC for both species unless the fishable biomass falls into the Critical Zone at which point a maximum 10% ER will be used;
  2. Maintain the TAC at current levels not exceeding 20% ER in the Healthy Zone, 15% in the Cautious Zone and 10% in the Critical Zone.

The Chair invited representatives from both Boards to speak.

Mark O’Connor, NMRWB, indicated the Board would be making a decision next week.

CAPP asked what the role of NSAC is with respect to the roles of the two Boards in the EAZ. It’s clear in the WAZ that NSAC does not play a role.

DFO RM, Ottawa replied that for the EAZ, the role of NSAC is to provide advice and recommendations on TAC. The process in place with the Boards also gives them opportunity to provide advice and recommendations on TAC in the EAZ.

CAPP asked if NSAC has any role in providing TAC-advice for the WAZ. There is back and forth movement of the resource between the two zones and this is the rationale for others having a legitimate interest in providing input into the setting of TACs in the WAZ. He asked the Department consider tabling the options with NSAC, even inter-sessionally through an email and/or conference call process, prior to options being presented to the Boards, so that views of other stakeholders may provide insight/input.

DFO RM, Ottawa said that options were sent to the Boards in the void of both Science results and a way forward for the PA in an effort to avoid the delays to the opening of the fishery that occurred last year. The WAZ is entirely within the settlement areas and the Boards have a decision making role. The Minister can accept, reject or vary those decisions.

EAZ/WAZ

DFO Science, C&A gave a presentation on Borealis in the EAZ.

Science for the EAZ and WAZ can be accessed here:
http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/csas-sccs/publications/sar-as/2015/2015_017-eng.html

CAPP recommended a rollover of 8,250t, as there is some uncertainty associated with the biomass. The NC and NG concurred.

CAPP clarified that this is the first year that the NSRF has surveyed the WAZ, and is supported financially by those entities that have quota interests in this zone, not by Use of Fish.

DFO Science, C&A stated the surveys in the north are funded by northern interests and the Department.

DFO Science, C&A gave a presentation on Montagui in the EAZ.

CAPP supports a rollover of 840t. There were no other comments.

DFO Science, C&A gave a presentation on Borealis and Montagui in the WAZ for information purposes.

TJFB asked if DFO considers the NG’s Land Claim Agreement when consulting with the Boards on TACs in the EAZ. Some of the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area occurs within the EAZ.

DFO RM, Ottawa responded that the Nunavut and Nunavik Boards are consulted for the EAZ.

TJFB asked why the Department emphasizes consulting with the Boards in the EAZ, but not in SFA 4?

The Chair responded that she understands it to be a difference in language in the Land Claims.

DFO Science, C&A gave some facts on SFA 0. There was consensus to rollover the 500t TAC.

Conclusions

The Chair recapped she is hearing consensus for:

  • A rollover in SFA 6 of 48,196t, subject (at that time) to receiving the FFAW’s position.
  • A reinstatement of 2013/14 levels in SFA 5 of 23,300t, given the year effect in 2014 and the positive signals this year. All groups but Fogo agreed that associated allocations should also return to 2013/14 levels.
  • A 15% increase in SFA 4 Borealis given the healthy situation and relatively low ER, however there were differing views on sharing of the increase.
  • A rollover in SFA 4 of 4,033t Montagui bycatch;
  • Rollovers in the EAZ of 8,250t Borealis and 840t Montagui; and
  • A rollover in SFA 0 of 500t.

The Chair concluded that while there is majority support for the NSRF survey in SFA 4, there are groups that despite supporting the science work, are opposed to the way it’s being funded.

NCC noted that a reason/principle to reinstate the allocations in SFA 5 should also include increased aboriginal participation.

Presentations and Discussions

The following groups gave presentations (Annex 3, available in English only)

  • FFAW
  • CAPP
  • Nunatsiavut Government
  • Fogo Island Co-Op

FFAW gave a presentation on the socio-economic impacts of the shrimp fishery on communities. It included a focus on adjacency, proposals to remove the offshore fleet from SFA 6, and to allow the inshore fleet to harvest special allocations.

The group discussed the harvesting of special allocations, and the IFMP. The FFAW stated the inshore should have opportunities to negotiate to harvest St. Anthony Basin Resources Inc’s (SABRI) special allocation in SFA 6, acknowledging there are competitive forces at play which is a concern to many.

Sam Elliott, SABRI, indicated that in 2011 they had asked for flexibility to choose who can harvest their 3,000t allocation, which was denied. They are currently in a long term agreement with an offshore licence holder, but they are open to discussions with others once this partnership expires.

Edgar Coffey (Quin Sea Fisheries) stated that SABRI does not have a licence. It’s not right that Quin Sea processing facilities should compete with other plants that have special interests and allocations that can attract business to their plant. They are prepared to oppose this as they did in 2011; it’s a rule in the IFMP. When the request to use inshore boats occurred in 2011, it was under the disguise of a broken down boat in attempt to get leverage for shrimp in one area of NL.

CAPP commented that when temporary new entrants came into the fishery in 1997, the > 100’ sector was assured that if they were to receive only 10% of any increase in SFA 6, then they would have exclusive rights to catch special allocations.

FFAW stated that choosing a community should win over a policy. The principle of adjacency has been ignored and the communities of Newfoundland and Labrador have historically fished these adjacent waters.

CAPP responded that there is no one claim to adjacency. The crew for the >100’ sector vessels come from 116 communities in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Guy Bridger (3Ks Chair) stated that when the inshore came into the fishery in 1997, they harvested SABRI’s allocations. The inshore fleet has been cut in SFA 6 while there have been increases in other areas. They want what’s fair for the people and communities of NL.

The Chair noted that consensus on this issue will not be reached, but the views expressed will be presented to the Minister.

Derek Butler, Association of Seafood Producers (ASP) stated it is unfortunate this issue is being raised again. The allocations and access are already managed under the IFMP which states SABRI’s allocation must be fished by an offshore licence holder. A better way to allow flexibility is to bring an end to the restrictions around fleet separation, which also makes better economic sense.

FFAW commented that SABRI’s allocation was given to the fish harvesters and the plant workers from Big Brook to Goose Cove, and they had the right to determine who would catch it.

Denis Coates (Clearwater Seafoods) commented that there is too much harvester and processing capacity in the inshore sector.

CAPP gave a presentation on the Northern shrimp fishery on behalf of the traditional, year round shrimp harvesters.

Nelson Bussey, 3L Chair, recommended that the SFA 6 fishery close during the winter spawning period, i.e. between January and April. The inshore fleet doesn’t fish here until May through a gentlemen’s agreement. He questioned CAPP’s numbers and stated there are more than 34 fishing days per year in SFA 6 for the inshore fleet. Until the >100’ sector is removed from SFA 6 there will be fishing occurring during the spawning season which will ultimately lead to the demise of this fishery.

CAPP stated that he understands that spawning occurs in May, June and July – not the winter months – so a spawning closure would impact primarily on the inshore fleet.

DFO Science, NL stated that shrimp carry their eggs for about eight or nine months, and the eggs hatch in the spring.

FFAW stated he takes exception to minimizing the importance of the inshore fleet’s seasonal fishery. They are trying to build multi-species fleets; diversity is the only way to have community stability in a changing ecosystem. They are among many seasonal industries in Canada. He disputed some of CAPP’s numbers, reminding the group that this fishery was built off the collapsed cod fishery. He stated the management of the fishery from 2009 to 2014 was not fairly balanced. From 2013 to 2015 including the recommendations on the table today, there would be a 31% reduction of quotas for the inshore fleet and an increase for the >100’ fleet, which is unfair and results in devastations for communities. His recommendation for SFA 6 is a rollover, but they require changes to make things fair.

NCC noted that both inshore and >100’ fleets claim adjacency using selectively chosen evidence. SFA 4 and 5, and the northern half of SFA 6 are adjacent to Labrador. FFAW and CAPP’s arguments support the NCC’s claim of adjacency, including historical attachment and dependency. Regardless of fleet, Labrador interests only account for about 25% of all of the resource caught in these areas (2JGH). They have one shrimp plant even though 80% of the (offshore) resource is caught in here. Shrimp is a plentiful resource off of Labrador but without benefit to the people, because others are fishing it. Labrador people and Labrador based interests (aboriginal and non-aboriginal) must be considered paramount in discussions on allocation principles.

DFA NL commented that their opposition to the current allocation policy is well known and has been included in many submissions and communications to the Department, most recently by the All-Party Committee of NL. The current policy downplays adjacency and fails to recognize the history of the inshore fleet in SFA 6. They recommended a process be implemented to discuss alternatives. 

The Chair noted the divergent views around the table on allocations, adjacency and other related principles.

DFO Science, NL gave a presentation on changing environmental conditions, noting that temperatures have increased, and predation is more significant. This means that removals from the fishery also become more significant.

The Chair noted the DFO presentation on changing environmental conditions was intended to inform the agenda item on fisheries management in changing environmental condition, as requested by the FFAW.

FFAW stated that the inshore fleet’s focus on multi-species enterprises is required for community stability in a changing environment. The reference points for Northern cod were based on 1980s biomass, and any rebuilding of the stocks attempts to get back to this high abundance. He is concerned that Northern shrimp reference points were formulated using biomass data from the late 1990s, which is a different environment from that of the 1980s. Shrimp became more abundant because of the collapse of cod. Shrimp biomass would have been much lower in the 1980s. This situation will result in the inshore fleet’s removal from the fishery in SFA 6 for no reason, just like in SFA 7. There was no expectation from Science that closing the fishery in SFA 7 would have a positive impact on the stock and help rebuild it because we are in a different environment. The inshore fleet was successfully and profitably operating in SFA 7. Their economic opportunity has been eliminated. It seems impossible to rebuild cod back to its former biomass while keeping shrimp in the Healthy Zone with the reference points as they currently are defined. We should be using consistent time periods in the formulation of reference points so that the environment is also consistent. How we manage the stocks in this transition period is vital for industry to survive. If SFA 6 closes, their communities won’t be able to transition to the new reality. Unlike the transition from cod to shrimp and crab, there won’t be billions of dollars to help this effort. Stocks can’t be managed in isolation and without considering the changing environment and the impact on communities.

CAPP responded that he agrees with many of the FFAW’s points. During the formulation of the PA, they were told data from more broad surveys wasn’t available prior to the 1990s. They used this time period because it was available and they needed something for MSC. How to reformulate reference points is the real issue, which is why they were requesting DFO to develop an assessment model and build in ecosystem considerations and ‘pre-bloom’ conditions.

DFO Science, NL noted they have attempted to get someone to do the modelling work in the past, and they hope to achieve this by the end of this fiscal year. There are other research topics they are interested in pursuing as they go through this changing environment. He stated that if we change the reference points based on the less productive time of the 1980s, the TACs will be relative (i.e. lower) to this time.

FFAW responded that there could be a small fishery in SFA 7. They could handle a small 2,000t fishery, which is important to multi-species industries during periods of transition.

DFO Science NL stated that there are countries watching how we manage fisheries. We had a biomass that was reduced to below 85% of the maximum value we have seen, which worldwide is accepted as a reasonable basis to establish a limit reference point (Blim), at least under normal productivity regimes. He doesn’t think the shrimp resource was overfished, rather the bottom up processes that produced a productive shrimp stock in SFA 7 are no longer present.

FFAW noted that if SFA 7 was surveyed earlier, it would have been a different reality, not necessarily an unhealthy one. If the biomass was such that a 1,000t fishery was economically viable, why not have one? The way things are now is devastating for the industry and the stock won’t be rebuilt in this environment.

CAPP stated the current IFMP envisages continued fishing possibilities below the lower limit reference point up to a 10% exploitation rate. It does not call for a moratorium but he suspects this is what the Department is thinking as a default, and a solution needs to be found. The biomass limit reference point (Blim) is defined based on the only data available, and fishing below this defined Blim would be problematic for retaining MSC certification. Data is limited, and a smaller fishery could be possible instead of a closure. He requested that the Department consider this, preferably before the Precautionary Approach Working Group reconvenes, if it does.

The Chair thanked CAPP and FFAW for their valid points, and stated that the Department has begun thinking about the changing environmental conditions. While the Department would like to engage with industry on this, advisory committee meetings focus on one species at a time. A challenge is to identify a forum where this bigger conversation could occur.

Fogo Island Co-op delivered their presentation, and emphasized that adjacency should supersede LIFO for determining all allocations (excluding aboriginal), and spoke of the importance of this fishery to their communities. He stated SFA 6 should be open exclusively to the inshore fleet.

Both Fogo Island Co-op and FFAW took exception to CAPP’s belittlement of the inshore fishery. Shrimp is part of their multi species fisheries, and collectively these fisheries provide a good standard of living to the people of Fogo, despite that it is a seasonal fishery.

CAPP commented that the intent was not to belittle the seasonal fishery. His point was there are both a year round fishery (with year-round good paying jobs) and a seasonal fishery. If the quotas go down it is hard to imagine a compelling case to replace year round jobs with seasonal jobs, especially when the GDP and labour contribution of the year round fishery is higher.

FFAW stated the choice is not between year round and seasonal jobs, rather it is about removing the offshore from area 6, or removing the community of Fogo.

Aubrey Russell, 2J Chair, stated that adjacency means closest to the resource. He’s been fishing these waters for 60 years but today adjacency means nothing. Adjacency has not done a lot for Labrador.

NG gave a presentation on their history, participation in the fishery and Land Claims Agreement.

TJFB supported the NG’s presentation, agreeing that the NG has received unfair treatment under their Land Claims and encouraged the Department to honour their request for increased quota.

The Chair thanked those who gave presentations and stated they will be appended to the minutes and provided to the Minister.

NCC asked the Chair for clarification on the TAC recommendation for SFA 6. The Chair replied the recommendation is for a rollover.

Fogo Island Co-op indicated that during his presentation he stated the TAC should be rolled over in SFA 6 and a working group to look at how to move forward with regard to LIFO should be considered. The Chair indicated she is not hearing consensus for a working group, however this information will be relayed to the Minister.

FFAW stated he is hearing repeatedly from around this table that adjacency needs to be considered throughout this fishery, which is consistent with Fogo’s request for a working group.

CAPP sought clarification as to how a seasonal harvester in 4R and 3L can be considered adjacent to SFA 6, and how such access should be preferential to the crews of year-round vessels who reside in 116 communities in NL. How does an enterprise working and residing in 4R fit with the definition of adjacency relative to SFA 6? He added a working group would require an agreed framework with consistency in thought, which will not be achieved considering the opposing views.

Chair 2J stated that 4R is 50 miles from the homeports.

FFAW stated that harvester access, including losing access to SFA 7, is discussed among the fleet. The recommendation is for adjacency to be the guiding allocation principle.

The Chair stated views have been expressed on principles and definitions of adjacency, and these should be true for all SFAs. The request for a working group will be conveyed to the Minister and reflected in the minutes, noting the absence of a recommendation on how to move forward. There are agreements in some areas with some groups, but not others.

TJFB noted that in terms of adjacency, there is a consensus on aboriginal rights and treaties – no groups have refuted this.

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Certification

DFO, RM Ottawa gave an update on MSC working group activities (Annex 4) and informed the group of two documents that need to be adopted by NSAC. The group briefly discussed the benefits of MSC certification and the reasons why Canadian industry pursued it.

DFO presented the draft research activities plan (Annex 4).

CAPP presented the draft document “Partial Habitat and Ecosystem Strategy for the Northern Shrimp Fishery”. It was noted that CAPP members will voluntarily implement area closures around two coral locations in SFA 4 pending further consideration.

After discussion, both documents were adopted subject to amendments that NSAC members may propose at some future point.

2014 NSAC Minutes

The Chair returned to the topic of the deferred Minutes. CAPP suggested a few changes. The Chair stated that the amended minutes will be recirculated to the Committee for review and comment.

Other

The Chair asked that if any NSAC members were planning on writing to the Minister regarding any of the NSAC topics that they do it as soon as possible as the fishery opens April 1. She stated that it’s likely that any views provided to the Minister via written submission will reflect the views already communicated today. There was discussion on the timelines, and some members expressed that when there are new issues put on the table at NSAC, members need to discuss them with their respective organizations following the meeting, which can delay any written submissions.

ASP stated that for a variety of reasons, the fishery in 2J3KL doesn’t start until after the crab season (i.e. in May), which should help to alleviate some of the urgency around receiving submissions within extremely short timelines.

TJFB asked when NSAC can expect a copy of the 2015 minutes. The Chair stated they should be ready to send out within a few months.

FFAW stated they have a concern regarding the 3L fleet in Newfoundland. The inshore fleet does a lot of work toward self-regulation, but currently there are problems with four vessels that have led to unnecessary quota overruns. The request is for the Department to subdivide the inshore and the midshore quotas.

Quin Sea Fisheries disagreed, stating the four vessels have always had competitive licences.

FFAW stated this is the impasse. The four problematic vessels are causing overruns, which impacts their ability to manage the quota system. The Department needs to act.

Quin Sea Fisheries stated the FFAW put in harvesting caps and wanted consent forms signed. Those four individual licences are competitive and are issued by DFO Ottawa, not DFO NL.

The Chair stated this issue has not been raised in Ottawa so staff is unable to speak to it. We will connect with regional colleagues and resolve this issue.

Quin Sea Fisheries stated FFAW wants DFO NL to solve a problem that the FFAW created. If there is any recommendation going forward on this issue, he requests to be informed immediately before any decision is made.

The Chair agreed that everyone will be kept informed. She asked if there were any other points. There were none. She thanked the committee for their input and patience.

ANNEX 1

Participants (DFO):

  • Sylvie Lapointe, Chair, Resource Management (RM), Ottawa
  • Leigh Edgar, RM, Ottawa
  • Jennifer Buie, RM, Ottawa
  • Patrick Vincent, RM, Quebec
  • Don Stansbury, Science, Newfoundland and Labrador (NL)
  • Lisa Setterington, Science, Ottawa
  • Tim Siferd, Science, Central and Arctic Region (C&A)
  • Annette Rumbolt, RM, NL
  • Katherine Skanes, Science, NL
  • Frank Corbett, Strategic Services, NL
  • Anne Marie Cabana, Aboriginal Programs, QC
  • Marc Clemens, Strategic Policy, Ottawa
  • Paul Glavine, Strategic Services, NL

Non DFO Participants:

  • Vincent Dupuis, Association des Capitaines Propriétaires Gaspésie (ACPG)
  • Denis Desrosier, Ministère de l’Agriculture des Pêcheries et l’Alimentation, Gouv Québec
  • Greg Simpson, Mersey Seafoods
  • Ulf Snarby, MV Osprey
  • Scott Nichols , MV Osprey
  • Serge Haché, MV Osprey
  • Brian McNamara, Newfound Resources Ltd (NRL)
  • Neil Greig, Makivik Corporation
  • Keith Watts, Torngat Fish Producers Cooperative (TJFC)
  • Jerry Ward, Qikiqtaaluk Corporation (QC)
  • Gilbert Linstead, Labrador Fishermen’s Union Shrimp Co (LFUSC)
  • Phil Quinlan, LFUSC
  • Ken Fowler, LFUSC
  • Craig Taylor, Torngat Joint Fisheries Board (TJFB)
  • Jamie Snook, TJFB
  • Loyola Sullivan, Ocean Choice International (OCI)
  • Derek Butler, Association Seafood Producers
  • Edgar Coffey, Quin Sea Fisheries Ltd
  • Todd Broomfield, Nunatsiavut Government
  • Mark O’Connor, Nunavik Marine Region Wildlife Board (NMRWB)
  • Sam Elliott, St. Anthony Basin Resources Inc. (SABRI)
  • Wayne Noel, Saint Anthony Basin Resources Inc (SABRI)
  • Dennis Coates, Clearwater Seafoods
  • Christine Penney, Clearwater Seafoods
  • Adamee Itorcheak, Baffin Fisheries Coalition (BFC)
  • Bruce Chapman, Canadian Association of Prawn Producers (CAPP)
  • Shawn Frank, Pikalujak Fisheries
  • Bev Sheppard, Harbour Grace Shrimp Co Ltd
  • Phil Barnes, Fogo Island Coop
  • Austin Cassell, Inshore 3K North Fisher
  • Aubrey Russell, Inshore 2J Shrimp Committee Chair
  • Guy Bridger, Inshore 3K South Shrimp Committee Chair
  • David Decker, Food, Fish and Allied Workers Union (FFAW)
  • Rendell Genge, Inshore 4R Shrimpe Committee Chair
  • Nelson Bussey, Inshore 3L Shrimp Committee Chair
  • Danica Crystal, Nunavut Wildlife Management Board (NWMB)
  • Gabriel Albert, Dept Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries of New Brunswick (NB)
  • Wade Dyson, Cartwright Fishers
  • Dwight Russell, Inshore 2J Fisher
  • Todd Russell, NunatuKavut Community Council (NCC)
  • Tom Dooley, Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture (DFA), Newfoundland and Labrador (NL)
  • Jonathan Lowe, Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture Nova Scotia (DFANS)
  • Brent McNamara, NRL
  • Fred Hall, Ueushuk Fisheries, Innu Nation
  • Victoria Elson, Ueushuk Fisheries
  • Jacopie Maniapik, BFC
  • Garth Reid, BFC
  • Patrick Martin, BFC
  • Dan Colton, ACPG
  • Glen Best, Inshore 3K south Fisher (observer)
  • Lyndon Small, Inshore 3K south Fisher (observer)
  • Lindsay Small, Inshore 3K south Fisher (observer)
  • Byron Oxford for Brad Watkins, Inshore 3K south Fisher (observer)

ANNEX 2

  AGENDA
NORTHERN SHRIMP ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEETING - March 4, 2015
Omni Hotel
1050 Sherbrooke St. West
Montreal, QC
9:00 am – 5:00 pm
ORDRE DU JOUR
RÉUNION DU COMITÉ CONSULTATIF DE LA CREVETTE NORDIQUE, le 4 mars 2015
L’hôtel Omni
1050 Sherbrooke St. Ouest
Montreal, QC
9:00h – 17:00h
9:00 – 9:20 OPENING REMARKS MOT D’OUVERTURE
 
  • Minutes of 2014 Meeting (DFO)
  • Results of 2014 Fishery / Confidentiality Issues (DFO)
  • Compte rendu de la réunion de 2014 (MPO)
  • Résultats des pêches de 2014/Enjeux de confidentialité (MPO)

9:20 – 10:30

  • Science Presentations (DFO)
  • Total Allowable Catches 2015/16
  • Présentations des Sciences (MPO)
  • Total Autorisé des Captures 2015/16
10:30 – 10:45 Health Break Pause santé

10:45 – 12:00

  • Science Presentations (cont’d)
  • TAC Discussions (cont’d)
  • Présentations des Sciences (suite)
  • Total Autorisé des Captures 2015/16 (suite)
12 :00 – 1:00 LUNCH LUNCH
1:00 – 2:45

STAKEHOLDER DISCUSSION ITEMS

  • Presentation: Socio-economic impacts of the shrimp fishery to communities –
    FFAW
  • Royalty Charter harvesting flexibility
  • Presentation - CAPP
  • Presentation: Changing Environmental Conditions (DFO)
  • Fisheries management in Changing Environmental Conditions
Other stakeholders

POINTS DE DISCUSSION DES INTERVENANTS

  • Présentation: Les impacts socio-économiques de la pêche à la crevette aux communautés – FFAW
  • Flexibilité de récolte des bateaux affrétés
  • Présentation - CAPP
  • Présentation – Évolution des conditions environnementales (MPO)
  • La gestion des pêches pendant l’évolution des conditions environnementales
Autres intervenants
2:45 – 3:05 Health Break Pause santé
3:05 – 4:00

MARINE STEWARDSHIP
CERTIFICATION

  • Marine Stewardship Certification WG update (DFO)
  • Update on Research Plan (DFO)
  • Industry Update on Marine Stewardship Certification: 1) Provisional Evaluation; 2) Voluntary Closure (CAPP)

GROUPE DE TRAVAIL DU MARINE STEWARDSHIP CERTIFICATION

  • Mise à jour du groupe de travail du Marine Stewardship Certification (MPO)
  • Mise à jour du plan de recherche (MPO)
  • Mise à jour de l’industrie sur le Marine Stewardship Certification : 1) Évaluation provisoire; 2) Fermeture volontaire (CAPP)
4:00 – 4:30

Other Business
WRAP-UP

Points d’information/divers 
SOMMAIRE

ANNEX 3

Stakeholder presentations

ANNEX 4

November 9, 2014

Draft Northern Shrimp Research Related Activities

At the May 2013 meeting of the NSAC MSC Working Group, participants from DFO Science undertook to review respective checklist data (gap analysis) and develop a list of on-going research. The following elements were reviewed at the October meeting of the MSC Working Group, and recommended for adoption at the 2015 meeting of NSAC.

  • Continue to conduct research surveys of the shrimp resources to enable updating of shrimp based indices (i.e., fishable biomass, SSB, recruitment indices, ageing etc.) that are used to
    determine relative exploitation rates, and in setting TACs.
    • In SFAs 5,6,7 (autumn DFO survey in 2HJ3KLNO; spring DFO survey in 3LNOPsn).
    • In SFA4 and the Eastern Assessment Zone (EAZ) (annual summer NSRF-DFO survey)
    • In the Western Assessment Zone (WAZ) (annual summer NSRF-DFO survey)
  • Continue to analyze recruitment indices and various environmental covariates with the intent of developing models that will predict fishable biomass.
  • Continue to conduct genetic analysis to delineate stock assessment area(s), especially for use in modeling.
  • Continue the shrimp ageing project for borealis and montagui.
  • Continue efforts to develop an assessment model, eventually to cover all SFAs.
  • Conditional on the development of an accepted assessment model, to begin a Management
  • Strategy Evaluation to develop modeled harvest control rules.Continue collaborative efforts with Dr. Patrick Ouellet (IML) on an International Governance Strategy project to determine the impacts of climate change upon shrimp population dynamics.
  • Continue to gather and analyze information related to corals, sponges and other vulnerable marine ecosystems.
  • Continue to analyze trends in the fish community (including shrimp).
  • Continue diet studies of major groundfish species (predators of shrimp), and to estimate food consumption by main predator and prey groups.
  • Continue to estimate overall food consumption by the fish community.
  • Continue to investigate trophic level for key species (including shrimp) using diet composition and stable isotopes.
  • Continue to investigate the development of fisheries production potential models.