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Research Document - 2012/007

Scallop Fishery Assessment of the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence in 2010: Commercial Fishery Data

By L.-A. Davidson, M. Biron, and M. Niles


The only index of abundance available for the Gulf Region scallop stock is from the catch and effort data of the commercial fishery. Mandatory logbooks have been in effect since 2001 but there is incomplete compliance which adds to the uncertainty in the reliability of the landings and the effort data and the calculation and interpretation of catch per unit of effort (CPUE) data. Based on historical information, scallop stock abundance in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence (sGSL) is low and only 25% of licence holders are active. The benefits of area closures to scallop bed rebuilding have been documented in the literature but have not been examined in the sGSL. The closed areas in Scallop Fishing Areas (SFA) 21A, 21B and 22, when reopened, would be good case studies. Buffer zones were instituted for lobster conservation reasons not scallop stock rehabilitation. No new information was reviewed to assess the effectiveness of the buffer zone measures on lobster conservation. In the sGSL, there was no proposal for a change in drag ring size so the change to population structure of the harvested scallop and consequential yield was not assessed for this document. Scallop dredging has little impact on habitat and on the bycatch of groundfish or crustaceans.

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