Terms of Reference
Identification of Atlantic surfclam fishing areas off Grosse-Île (Magdalen Islands, Quebec) to avoid impacting lobster habitat
Quebec Region Science Special Response Process (SSRP)
June 1, 2011
Chairperson: Charley Cyr
The economy in the Magdalen Islands is based on commercial fishing, but particularly on coastal species. With the decreased access to many offshore stocks (pelagic fish, groundfish, snow crab), the coastal area surrounding the archipelago is increasingly sought, increasing the likelihood of conflicts between different users. In fact, exceptionally serious conflicts took place in 2009 in the Grosse-Île area between Atlantic surfclam and lobster fishermen. In 2009, Atlantic surfclam fishermen, which for several years had focused their activities on the south side of the Islands, began to explore new areas between Pointe-de-l’Est and Grosse-Île. The arrival of these new fishermen using mobile gear in the vicinity of traditional lobster fishing grounds angered lobster fishermen who called for an end to this activity. Their concern was that the recurring passage of dredges could damage lobster habitat and potentially reduce lobster productivity. Fisheries Management is sensitive to this concern and they would like to introduce measures for managing the Atlantic surfclam fishery, and more typically the mobile gear fishery.
- To identify and accurately locate the bottoms that represent lobster habitats and Atlantic surfclam habitats
- Based on this information, delineate areas where Atlantic surfclam fishing with a hydraulic dredge would be acceptable.
CSAS Science Response
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