Terms of Reference
Assessment of lobster in Quebec’s inshore waters in 2022 and advice for the 2023 to 2025 fishing seasons
Regional Peer Review - Quebec Region
Febrary 28-March 3, 2023
Chairperson: Cédric Juillet
Lobster fishing is carried out by 558 licence holders from the Magdalen Islands, Gaspé and the North Shore who have access to one of the eight lobster fishing areas (41 sub-areas) in Quebec. Nine First Nations also practice communal fishing for commercial purposes, but also for food, social and ceremonial purposes, in Gaspé and along the North Shore. In Quebec, the lobster fishery is a limited-entry inshore fishery that takes place at depths generally less than 40 metres. The fishery is managed through effort control and escapement measures. The precautionary approach, which is recognized as an essential element of sustainable fisheries management, is applied to lobster fishery management decisions in Gaspé and the Magdalen Islands. The management plans established over the last two decades are aimed at ensuring a sustainable lobster fishery, in accordance with the recommendations of the 2012 stock assessment (DFO 2012) and the Fisheries Resource Conservation Council (FRCC 2007). At the request of the Quebec Region Fisheries and Aquaculture Management Branch, the resource assessment is conducted every 3 years. The last lobster stock assessment was done in 2019 and updated in 2022. The purpose of the review is to determine whether changes that have occurred in the stock status warrant adjustments to the management plan for the 2023 to 2025 fishing seasons.
Provide scientific advice for the management of lobster stocks on the North Shore and Anticosti Island (Areas 15, 16, 17 and 18), Gaspé (Areas 19, 20 and 21) and the Magdalen Islands (Area 22) for the 2023 to 2025 fishing seasons. This advice will include:
- a description of the biology and distribution of lobster in Quebec’s inshore waters;
- a description of the fishery, including the fishing effort and management measures specific to the fishing areas;
- an analysis of abundance indicators (catch per unit effort, density/biomass, landings) and exploitation rate from the fishery and scientific survey data, depending on the availability of data sources;
- a description of fluctuations in ecosystem variables (water temperature and rock crab abundance) in order to modulate advice on the status of lobster stocks in Quebec;
- identification and prioritization of research work to be considered for the future; and
- the outlook for the 2023 to 2025 seasons for each of the three sectors (North Shore and Anticosti Island, Gaspé, and Magdalen Islands).
- Science Advisory Report
- Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) (Science and Fisheries Management Sectors)
- Fishing industry
- Indigenous communities/organizations
- Provincial representatives
- Fisheries Resource Conservation Council (FRCC). 2007. Sustainability Framework for Atlantic Lobster 2007: report to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. FRCC.07.R1. July 2007.
- DFO. 2012. Assessment of Lobster Stocks of the Magdalen Islands (LFA 22), Quebec in 2011. DFO Can. Sci. Advis. Sec. Sci. Advis. Rep. 2012/012.
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