2010 Northern Shrimp Advisory Committee Meeting
April 14, 2010
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador
List of attendees is attached at Annex 1.
INTRODUCTION AND ADOPTION OF AGENDA
The Chair welcomed everyone and a round of introductions was made.
The Agenda was adopted as presented.
2009 MEETING MINUTES
The minutes of the last Northern Shrimp Advisory Committee (NSAC) meeting were accepted with two changes: on page six a sentence referring to the offshore fleet's access in SFA 1 will be amended; and at the bottom of page 7, it was pointed out that there are 20 P.E.I. processors, not 2.
Once the minutes are finalized, they will be posted to the DFO website.
RESULTS OF THE 2009/10 FISHERY
A table of allocations and catches for the 2009/10 compared to the 2008/09 fishery was presented.
Overall, the catches were down approximately 25% from the 2008/09 season, with the largest change in Shrimp Fishing Area (SFA) 6.
DFO (Policy / Economic Analysis and Statistics) presented an economic overview of the northern shrimp industry. The key message was that the northern shrimp fishery experienced a difficult year in 2009 caused by continued global economic decline which drove down both prices and exports to major markets; as a result fishers did not catch their Total Allowable Catch (TAC). The financial crisis of 2008/2009 has caused consumption of seafood to fall as consumers have tightened their spending. However, there are signs that the Canadian economy is starting to grow once again as GDP has increased since the middle of 2009, consumer confidence is looking up, and the price of oil has rebounded which is driving up the Canadian dollar.
Some of the key points for the presentation included: preliminary data suggests that the prices for cooked and peeled shrimp has fallen even further from the 2008 level; landings from the inshore sector fell by 30% while landings from the offshore sector were relatively flat; in terms of exports, cooked and peeled shrimp fell significantly from the previous year; the Canadian dollar has been gaining value as compared to the U.S. dollar, the Euro, and the British Pound; and, there is a substantial increase in aquaculture shrimp in the marketplace.
Other information can be found in the documentation circulated.
PRECAUTIONARY APPROACH AND MSE 101
A brief overview was provided to update NSAC on the progression of the provisional precautionary approach framework for northern shrimp presented at the 2009 meeting. Since then, the methodology used to determine reference points and harvest control rules for SFAs 5-7 were used to develop provisional frameworks for SFAs 2 and 4, and for the montagui fishery in SFA 2/3/4. Work will now begin on determining the robustness of these models by commencing a Management Strategy Evaluation (MSE) process.
A presentation followed outlining MSE and the various elements that will be part of this process. The MSE will test alternative harvest control rules by applying them to a simulation model of the fishery and looking at the resulting performance. The evaluation should ensure that the harvest control rule that is selected is robust to uncertainty and that performance statistics used are clear expressions of management objectives and risk tolerances. The process is iterative, with the participation of stakeholders, in addition to managers and scientists.
CONSERVATION & PROTECTION
Presentation was provided outlining the Conservation and Protection performance for 2009. It was reported that 1020 hours of compliance monitoring took place, 189 vessels checked, with 40 occurrences resulting in 12 violations reported (9 warnings, 2 still open and 1 closed): 9 occurrences involved logbooks; 11 occurrences with Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS) requirements; 10 occurrences dealt with observers; and, other miscellaneous including Dockside Monitoring and gear cleaning. Recording by-catch for Species at Risk; protocols for cleaning and testing of fishing nets; exclusivity relating to at-sea observer contracts; and timely access to information were also identified as issues to be addressed. Also mentioned were new NAFO measures including reporting speed and heading every hour and the Memorandum of Understanding signed with Greenland on data exchange.
The representative of the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador (NL), Tom Dooley, asked whether the 1 hour reporting affected the entire fleet.
The reporting affects all shrimp fleets in all zones
The issue of unreported discards was clarified by stating that these were inadvertent discards and the issue was corrected on site.
Key aspects of the Newfoundland-Labrador Shelf Ecosystem
During the late 1980s and early 1990s the fish community in the Newfoundland and Labrador (NAFO Divs. 2J3KLNO) marine ecosystem collapsed. This collapse was more dramatic in the northern regions but was observed throughout the system. It involved commercial and non-commercial species alike. Most fish functional groups showed significant declines in their biomass/abundance ratios, generally driven by a loss of large fish. Other important changes in the marine community during this period included the increasing trend of harp seals, and the build-up of shrimp. Based on acoustic surveys, capelin showed a dramatic decline in the early 1990s which was accompanied by significant changes in its biology. More recently, an increasing trend in fish biomass was observed between 2003 and 2007. Although a positive signal, biomass levels are still well below pre-collapse levels. In the last couple of years, this trend has stalled and some functional groups are showing declines; nonetheless overall fish biomass is still higher than the level observed in the 1990s.
Although shrimp biomass continued increasing until the mid 2000s, it began showing negative trends in 2006-2007 and the biomass levels in 2009 showed a dramatic decline with respect to previous years. In 2007-2009 capelin showed an increased biomass level in the 3L acoustic survey in comparison with the very low levels observed in the mid 1990s. Nonetheless, its current biomass is still orders of magnitude below the ones observed in the late 1980's. The picture from bottom trawl surveys is slightly different; although they also indicate an overall increasing trend since the mid 1990s, they also showed capelin declines in 2008-2009. This difference could be related to changes in the availability of capelin to the bottom trawl gear due to variations in capelin behaviour, but this disparity still needs further examination.
The fall diet of cod and turbot were examined. Diet results indicate that capelin was a dominant prey for both cod and turbot from early 1980s until the early to mid 1990s. At this time the importance of capelin dropped significantly. In recent years, shrimp has become a key prey for cod, but both cod and turbot show an increasing contribution of shrimp to the diet over time. This increasing trend starts in the late 1980s, but becomes more important in the early to mid 1990s. There is latitudinal pattern in shrimp consumption in both predators; shrimp decreases its contribution to the diet from north to south. In terms of mortality on shrimp, these results suggest that predation mortality should have increased since the mid 1990s, given the increasing shrimp contribution to diets and the positive trend in overall fish biomass, but this effect is expected to be distributed across many predators, and not exclusively linked to a single predator species (e.g. cod). Since overall fish biomass is still well below pre-collapse levels, overall prey consumption by fish is also expected to be lower than in the mid-late 1980s.
Following the presentation Dwight Spence, inshore harvester, expressed concerns about the size of shrimp, how it has decreased over the years and what are the effects of catching these immature shrimp. He suggested large shrimp are disappearing faster each year.
DFO responded by noting that abundances of smaller shrimp did increase until 2006 but that when exploitation was in terms of number rather than weight caught, the exploitation rate indices were not much higher than they were when based upon weight. Even when the number of individual shrimp caught increased, until recently, the number hatched also increased and offset the number caught. Furthermore, when the population exploded it is expected to have smaller individuals.
Representative from the Canadian Association of Prawn Producers (CAPP), Bruce Chapman, asked if there are working density models in use anywhere in the world and could Science advise NSAC on this matter.
Science responded that there are lots of models available that put density and size together but situation with shrimp very complex; there are other impacts on shrimp such as water temperature and competition for food.
Representative from Fish Food and Allied Workers (FFAW), Earle McCurdy, commented that with recent decreases, there are no signs that shrimp size is going up.
Gabe Gregory, consultant, mentioned that all inshore catches are graded dockside by weight and that there has been a 15% decrease in average size of shrimp (table provided in Annex 2). Distribution is changing as well.
Tim Siferd, DFO Central and Arctic, presented a summary of the assessment and the science advice for SFAs 0, 2 and 3.
In addition, he presented a summary of the NAFO Science Council recommendations for Greenland shrimp stock (SFA1) for 2009. The full Redbook Report can be found online at the NAFO site.
Dave Orr presented a condensed version of the assessment for SFAs 4-6.
For SFA 7, he provided a summary of the Science as found in the following documents:
D.C. Orr, P.J. Veitch and D.J. Sullivan. 1999. Divisions 3LNO Northern shrimp (Pandalus borealis) – Interim Monitoring Update. NAFO SCR Doc. 09/51 Serial No. N5695. p.17
D.C. Orr, P.J. Veitch and D.J. Sullivan. 1999. The 2009 assessment of the Northern Shrimp (Pandalus borealis, Kroyer) resource in NAFO Divisions 3LNO. NAFO SCR Doc. 09/059 Serial No. N5720 p. 67.
These above two documents are accessible at the following website: http://www.nafo.int/publications/frames/sci-reports.html
Management Measures for 2010
SFA 0 - No comments.
For 2010, Status Quo.
SFA 2 Pandalus Borealis - No comments. For 2010, Status Quo
SFA 3 (Pandalus montagui in SFAs 2,3,4).
CAPP commented that the science rationale does not match up with the management approach in 2, 3, and 4 in part because of the different vessel surveys giving two indices to manage the fishery. This not only complicates Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification, but also the development and use of reference points and harvest control rules for the respective area units. We need to step back and look at whole picture of montagui - separation of management units to correspond with scientific input and analysis; suggested two separate management units roughly corresponding to SFA 3, and Areas 2&4, with a base target exploitation rate of 15% in each. CAPP proposes that, with priority access for bycatch use, montagui would be a by-catch regime for offshore fleet in SFAs 2 and 4, thereby reducing directed fishing opportunities, but would be available for directed fishing within the NSA for the residual quantity of the SFA2&4 TAC , and within SFA3.
Representative from Northern Coalition (NC), Keith Watts, supports CAPP's proposal.
Several participants ask for a detailed proposal in writing.
It was noted that with respect to SFA 3, efforts were made in the past to bring together stakeholders to discuss TACs, but perhaps all parties were not involved.
CAPP clarified that the purpose was not to impair anyone's access to resource, but to bring down exploitation rates in a reasonable timeframe, i.e. this year. CAPP is willing to sit down after meeting to discuss.
Chair agreed to a meeting after NSAC with interested parties.
CAPP has concerns with signs of resource declines in SFA 5, but is prepared for a roll-over with caveat that science assessment be carried out next year, instead of bi-annually. Science confirmed that a 2011 assessment for SFAs 4-6 is recommendation of this year's RAP.
For 2010, status quo with assessment to take place in 2011.
CAPP notes that any change (increase) would be 15% given Harvest control rules. Uncertain about increase since other areas diminishing; would support roll-over for 2010 on the basis that another assessment of this unit be conducted in 2011.
Northern Coalition support status quo and the meeting agreed, including that there be another assessment of this unit in 2011.
For 2010, status quo.
Chair noted that level of decline is precipitous.
Dwight Spence remarked that prices aren't there and expenses are high - it's not feasible for fishermen anymore. Suggests short-term pain for long-term gain.
FFAW agrees that we can't ignore Science advice. There are implications of different levels of quota from a marketing perspective.
Province of NL has a concern for the stock and suggests that a 25% decrease may be necessary as a starting point.
CAPP takes the scientific information seriously and cautions that we should not be driven by current economic needs. If current rate of decline continues for 2-3 years, Spawning Stock Biomass (SSB) will be below the Lower Limit reference point and there will be no directed fishing. Shrimp is a forage species so there is also demand from other species. It is also a MSC certification issue, and linking our decision to rationale in the Harvest Control Rules, we should not exceed a 20% exploitation rate. A 59-62,000 TAC will give a 19-20% exploitation rate which represents a 31% reduction in TAC.
Representative of the Association of Seafood Producers (ASP), Derek Butler, supports meaningful reduction to bring exploitation rate below 20%, especially under MSC and the importance for the resource.
Gabe Gregory - Fishery has been declining since 2006 with big increases only a few years ago. Suggests a minimum 30% reduction.
Government of NL supports significant reduction of a third or a quarter.
FFAW - supports a clear commitment and a full review next year.
Northern Coalition supports CAPP, need for a deep cut.
Government of New Brunswick representative, Annie Ferguson, supports a reduction in TAC. Suggests that a risk analysis should be included in next year's Science assessment.
Chair summarized that NSAC will recommend 59,000 to Minister for 2010, with proviso that a RAP for SFAs 4-6 will take place in 2011, with the inclusion of a risk analysis for SFA 6.
FFAW asked how reduction will be applied. A major reduction in exploitation rate will theoretically improve the catch rates for the fishery that does occur. Cut should be looked in the context of each sector's overall access to Northern shrimp given that all other TACs are status quo. Will participate in follow-up discussions with Department.
Chair reminded members that there is an allocation policy as stated at previous meetings - Last In First Out (LIFO) - therefore Dept/ Minister would reduce access based on how it increased in reverse order. This is a topic not up for discussion.
FFAW stated that LIFO is applied in different ways/different stocks and has not been applied as rigorously and subject to the circumstances. The overall stock complex is broken down in major components and a major reduction in one area has different impacts on different users. Need to analyze overall impact on people who have investments in fishery in context of job content of respective users.
Government of NL requested a written definition of LIFO and thresholds. The understanding is at the threshold they come in at, is the threshold that they come out at. When you are above that threshold, the amount you allocate above threshold is Minister's discretion.
Chair clarified that as quotas went up, there were formulas created to decide who got the increases. In some areas it was 90%-10%. When quotas go down, quotas would go down proportionally according to formulas as they increase. For somebody who came in at X level, and the quota goes below X, they would be out. This is how LIFO would be operationalized.
CAPP supports implementation of LIFO as per section 7.2 of the IFMP.
Province of Nova Scotia representative, Linde Greening, supports LIFO. Province of NB supports LIFO. Nunavut representative, Brian Burke, indicated that his government does not support LIFO.
Charlie Reardon, representative of St. Anthony's Basin Resource Inc (SABRI) stated that they have not received any increases; so they should not be cut like everyone else.
Vachon Noel representative of the North of Fifty Thirty Association (NOFTA) stated his opposition to the strict application of LIFO - as one of the last entrants in SFA 6, total allocation based on percentages, their allocation would be eliminated.
FFAW stated that consideration must be given to economics of adjacent regions. For example, Northern Peninsula has 4 shrimp plants, pop 13,500, 2,300 jobs in the fishery. This region has been devastated by groundfish fishery in particular, problems with out migration. IFMP can say things but someone has to be accountable to the people/communities who are struggling and that must be taken into account when making allocations. What should be factored in is what is the overall net affect on someone's share, how much did their overall share go up or down, what's fair bearing in mind Minister's discretion as in the crab fishery.
Government of NL wants the principle of adjacency to be taken into account, not all fleets have access to all areas, so there is not a level playing field.
As there were no other issues under Management Measures, the Chair summarized the TAC levels as above, and closed the meeting. He invited all interested parties to remain for discussion on the CAPP montagui proposal.
MEETING ON MONTAGUI
As a result of a proposal raised by the Canadian Association of Prawn Producers regarding structural changes to the montagui fishery, a meeting was held with interested NSAC members. The result is the proposal found in Annex 3. The next step is to circulate the proposal to affected co-management partners, and other stakeholders, to seek their views.
- Barry Rashotte, Chair DFO-NCR
- Gerry Donovan Barry Group Inc.
- Jennifer Buie DFO - NCR
- Lance Dawe 10507 Nfld Ltd.
- Richard Ruest DFO - Gulf Region
- Grant Stonehouse Caramer / Davis Strait Fisheries
- Andrew Newbould DFO - Maritimes
- Christine Penney Clearwater
- Bill Broderick FFAW
- Bruce Chapman CAPP
- Aubrey Russel 2J - Chair, FFAW/CAW
- Beverly Sheppard Hr Grace Shrimp Co.
- Nelson Bussey 3L - Vice Chair, FFAW/CAW
- Scott Nichols M.V. Osprey Ltd.
- Dwight Spence 4R - Chair, FFAW/CAW
- Brian McNamara NRL
- Earle McCurdy FFAW / CAW
- Keith Coady QC
- Keith Sullivan FFAW / CAW
- Jerry Warde BFC
- Frank Corbett DFO - Economics, NL
- Brian Bruke Govt. of Nunavut
- Tom Dooley Government of NL
- Joe Justus DFO - Iqaluit
- Ken Budden FOGO Island Co-op
- Tim Sigerd DFO-C&A Science
- Gregor Gilbert Nunavik Marine Region Wildlife Board
- Vachon Noel NOFTA
- Mark O'Connor Nunavik Marine Region Wildlife Board
- Sam Elliott SABRI
- Bob Johnston P.E.I. Atlantic Shrimp Corp
- Linde Greening Government of Nova Scotia
- Derek Fudge Ocean Choice Int. CP
- Chris Montague Labrador Metis Nation
- Derek Butler Assoc. Seafood Producers
- Dave Orr DFO-NL, Science
- Mariano Koen-Alonso DFO Science, NL Region
- Bernard Morin DFO-RM-Quebec Region
- Annie Ferguson Government of NB
- Fred Hall Ueushuk Fisheries Ltd.
- Vincent Dupuis Groupe A Québec
- Heather Bishop DFO-RMAF - NL
- Jamie Snook Torngat Joint Fisheries Board
- Annette Rumbolt DFO - RM - NL
- Don Stansbury DFO - Science, NL
- Paul Ma DFO-Policy - NCR
- Charlie Reardon S.A.B.R.I.
- Kevin Anderson DFO-F&AM-NL
- Marc Allard UNAAQ Fisheries
- Roland Andrews PIKALVJAK Fish
- Frank Flynn Labrador Shrimp Co.
- Peter Matthews Clearwater Ocean Prawns
- Phil Quinlan Labrador Shrimp Co.
- Jack Rowe Ocean Choice Int.
- Neil Greig Makivik Corp.
- Paul Glavine DFO - Nfld. Region
- Keith Watts Torngat Fish Producers Co-op / Northern Coalition
- Patricia Williams DFO - NL Region
- R. Walsh Northern Coalition
- Carolyn Girard DFO - Que Region
Data on Inshore Cooked and Peeled Shrimp Industry in NL
|NAFO AREA||# of Raw shrimp per pound||Average weight in grams||% reduction in ave. size from 2007||% of catch <4grams||Change|
|Month||Seadays||Catch in lbs||Lbs/Seaday||Seadays||Catch in lbs||Lbs/Seaday||2008 to 2009|
Pandalus montagui -
Blue: SFA 2,3,4 west of 63°West Offshore Quota - 3300t. This quota could be fished anywhere between 63°W and 70°W. When the Nunavut and Nunavik Land Claims came into effect, the offshore fleet was limited to the area in blue east of the land claim borders (red lines).
Yellow: NWMB SFA2 Quota - 2000t.
Green: NWMB SFA3 Quota - 1000t.
Pandalus borealis -
400 t by-catch quota to be fished in SFA3 and SFA2 within the NSA.
|Offshore Licence Holders (Expl. P. borealis E of 63°W)||1,750|
|Nunavut (N of 63N and E of 63W)||1,750|
|Nunavut (Exploratory P. montagui inside NSA)||2,000|
|3||Offshore Licence Holders (Pandalus montagui in SFAs 2/3/4 West of 63W)||3,300|
|Nunavut (Exploratory P. montagui inside the NSA)||1,000|
|Pandalus Borealis (bycatch)6||400|
Current Management and Science:
- Currently one quota of 3,300t for the offshore fleet, and two allocations to Nunavut within the Nunavut Settlement Area (NSA) (SFA 2 - 2,000t, SFA 3 - 1,000t). Therefore, the total P. montagui TAC equals 6,300t.
- In 2009, catches were recorded against the offshore allocation in the amount of 463t. A history of the fishery is provided below:
|AREA 2||NWMB NUNAVUT SETTLEMENT AREA||0||0||197||0||465||0||0||0|
|AREA 2, 3 & 4||EAST HUDSON STRAIT & UNGAVA BAY (WEST OF 63ºW)||463||645||1636||2167||1658||2069||651||2453||3751||2922|
|AREA 2, 3 & 4||EAST OF 63ºW||0||0||0||0||402||916|
|AREA 3||NWMB NUNAVUT SETTLEMENT AREA - INSIDE NSA||0||0||341||264||176||0||0|
- The offshore fishery area encompasses SFA 2,3, 4 west of 63W. This quota area includes parts of the NSA and the Nunavik Marine Region (NMR). Both land claims prohibit fishing by the offshore fleet unless permission has been provided by the appropriate management board. Therefore, most fishing has occurred in the SFA 2 and 4 portions east of the land claim borders.
- Stock status is assessed using indices for P. montagui from the Northern Shrimp Research Foundation-DFO annual survey (4-year time series) for the area of SFA 2, 3, 4 between 63° and 66°W and two DFO surveys (2007 and 2009) in SFA3 west of 66°W. The surveys are conducted with different vessels and trawl gear.
- Because the quota range over two current shrimp fishing areas the entire TAC has the potential of being caught within the area of 63°-66°W. If fully caught, this would result in a very high exploitation rate of 57%.
- Recruitment remains uncertain.
- DFO Science reported at the 2009 ZAP that the stock is the healthy zone as measured by the provisional precautionary approach framework.
- Science surveys now being conducted in the area allows redesign of the management areas between 63°W to 70°W to observed biomass so that individual management areas each assigned TACs specific to the area. This will remove the overlap of quotas crossing management zones and simplify management of the fishery.
- Amend the current P. montagui SFA 2, 3, 4 management area by dividing into two new management areas each with science based TACs. Area 1 defined as the area between 63°W-64°30'W plus 64°30'W-66°W and 60°30'N-63°N. Area 2 would be west of Area 1 to 70°W.
- Area 1 mean fishable biomass index for P. montagui is 15,000t. Area 2 mean P. montagui fishable biomass index of 50,000t and for P. borealis 15,000t.
- By changing these boundaries to reflect science surveys and to lower potential exploitation rates based on the observed fishable biomass to 15%, the Area 1 TAC would be 2,250t.
- Given the conservation concerns, the offshore fleet is willing to convert the P. montagui fishery to a by-catch allocation/fishery while directing for P. borealis. This quota would initially be established at 1,100t, which represents the average caught between 2005-2009. This quota would be reviewed annually and adjusted accordingly so that sufficient by-catch is provided to enable effective prosecution of the directed fishery for P. borealis quotas.
- Initially, this would leave 1,150t remaining for allocation to Nunavut fisheries to be fished in Area 1 within the NSA. The P. borealis by-catch quota associated with the P. montagui fishery will be reduced to 250t given the reduction in P. montagui quota. This quota would be reviewed annually and adjusted accordingly.
- Since only based on two surveys, a lower, more precautionary, target exploitation rate of 10% was used to produce a proposed TAC in Area 2 of 5,000t and 1,500t for P. montagui and P. borealis respectively.
- Area 2 would be entirely within the NSA and NMR; these two management boards would benefit from the new allocation.
- Industry has encountered difficulties in pursuing Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification of the offshore shrimp fisheries in this area due to the complex nature of the P. montagui fishery and the high potential exploitation rates. Changes here, modifying existing boundaries and reducing the TAC based on survey results, will allow the assessment to proceed with a higher probability of success. Additionally this will also help support the separate MSC submission for the P. borealis fishery.
- Although Nunavut is losing 850t of P. montagui in the previous management allocation regime in SFA 2, under the new administrative boundaries, this will more than offset by new quota from their portion of the 5,000t TAC proposed for the new management Area 2. Nunavik would also benefit by gaining a share of the SFA 3 fishery where they had no separate allocation previously. It is recommended that representatives of the two land claim areas be encouraged to negotiate a sharing arrangement for the TAC assigned to Area 2.
- In 2010, Nunavut has sub-allocated their 3,000t quota and preparations are being made to fish this allocation.
Revised Map and Quotas:
Proposed new areas defining TAC areas and fishing sectors allowed to fish for Pandalus montagui:
New area 1 (yellow, green and blue): West of 63°W-64°30'W plus 64°30'W-66°W and 60°30'N-63°N.
P. montagui TAC = 2250t based on the mean fishable biomass for the 63°-66°W survey area for the 2008 and 2009 surveys and an target exploitation rate of 15%.
BLUE: Offshore P. montagui by-catch quota - 1100t (Based on the average P. montagui catch for the period 2005-2009 and subject to annual review).
YELLOW: NWMB P. montagui quota - 1150t. NWMB P. borealis by-catch quota 250t (subject to annual review)
GREEN: inside Nunavik Marine Region
New Area 2 (white): 66°W-70°W and south of 60°30'N (SFA3 survey area west of RISA).
P. montagui TAC - 5,000t. Based on average fishable biomass from the 2007 and 2009 surveys - 50,000t and a precautionary target exploitation rate of 10%.
P. borealis TAC - 1,500t. Based on average fishable biomass from the 2007 and 2009 surveys - 15,000 t and a precautionary target exploitation rate of 10%.
**Sharing of the TAC would be negotiated by representatives of Nunavut and Nunavik, with the final decision being made by the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.
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