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Assessment of the scallop fishery in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence

Regional Science Advisory Meeting - Gulf

Moncton (NB)
February 17 and 18, 2011

Chairperson: C. LeBlanc (DFO Gulf Region)


The Giant Scallop (Placopecten magellanicus) fishery in the Gulf has always been a complementary fishery to the lobster, herring and groundfish fisheries. Scallops are harvested with mobile gear (drag) using small vessels. In the Gulf Region there are over 700 commercial scallop fishing licences, although many are inactive (Mallet 2010). Almost all scallop fishers hold more than one fishing licence.

In the Gulf Region, the scallop fishery is a relatively small fishery dispersed over a large area. The scallop grounds in the Gulf Region are divided into four Scallop Fishing Areas (SFA) with one zone (SFA 21) divided into three sub-zones. There are SFA specific management measures but there are no quotas. In most SFAs, buffer zones that prohibit scallop dragging over selected habitat have been implemented mainly to protect lobster larval settling areas and surrounding habitat. First recorded landings were in the early 1900’s and peak landings of 900 t annually occurred in late 1960’s and early 1970’s. Landings were just over 100 t in 2002.

The last assessment of the Gulf Region scallop fishery dates to 1990 (Lanteigne et al. 1992). The Department of Fisheries and Oceans – Gulf Region convened a workshop on March 30 and 31, 2006 to discuss the future of the southern Gulf scallop fishery (Davidson et al. 2007). The workshop was organized to identify progressive management practices for the traditional scallop fishery, while also exploring new harvesting methods.

DFO Ecosystem and Fisheries Management has requested an assessment of the scallop fishery and the scallop stocks in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence with particular consideration to the effectiveness of the present management measures to protect the resource from over-exploitation.


The objectives of the science peer review meeting are to describe the scallop fishery in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence and to assess the effectiveness of management measures. Specifically, the following points will be addressed:

Expected Publications

A Science Advisory Report and supporting research document(s) are expected outputs of the meeting. As well, a proceedings report that summarizes the review of the working papers during the meeting will be produced.

The Science Advisory Report is expected to be produced within eight weeks of the meeting. The supporting research documents and proceedings document are expected within four months of the date of the meeting.

When finalized, the products from the meeting will be posted on the DFO Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat website.


To assist in the review and the drafting of the advice, participation is expected from:


Davidson, L.-A., M. Niles and L. Légère. 2007. Proceedings of the Southern Gulf Scallop Fishery Workshop: Moncton, New Brunswick, March 30-31, 2006. Can. Tech. Rep. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 2785:vii + 87p.

Lanteigne, M.; Davidson, L.-A. 1992. Status of the giant scallop (Placopecten magellanicus) fishery in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence (Fisheries and Oceans, Gulf Region) - 1990 update. Canadian manuscript report of fisheries and aquatic sciences; 2148.

Mallet, M. 2010. Commercial Scallop (Placopecten magellanicus) Fishery Profile in the Gulf Region. Statistical and Economic Analysis Series. No.1-5: v + 25 p.


Participation to CSAS peer review meetings is by invitation only.

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