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2022 - Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence lobster Conservation Harvesting Plan for Lobster Fishing Areas (LFAs) 23, 24, 26A and 26B

Moncton, NB – March 30, 2022 – Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), Gulf Region, announces the 2022 management measures for Lobster Fishing Areas (LFAs) 23, 24, 26A and 26B. Unless indicated otherwise, existing management measures remain in place.  Please refer to your lobster licence conditions for further details.  Licence conditions should be available on the National Online Licensing System on April 1, 2022.

Management measures for LFA 25 will be issued at a later date.

Management measures in place for the 2022 fishing season

Opening Dates in 2022

As previously announced (please refer to March 18, 2022 email) starting with the spring 2022 lobster season, the department will consider an early season opening up to 72 hours before the scheduled season opening (April 30) in LFA 23, 24 and 26A if all conditions (channel dredging, ice condition, buoys installation) and weather are favorable. If the lobster fishing season opening is advanced, the season will be shortened, one day for one day at the end of the season.

If the fishing season opening is delayed, the 2021 guidelines will apply and the lobster season will be shifted one day for one day at the end of the season, up to a maximum of 4 days.

DFO will monitor and assess the situation at the various wharves a few weeks before the scheduled opening. Conference calls will be held in the days leading up to the scheduled opening between DFO and stakeholders to obtain feedback on the situation at various locations in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence.

LFA 26B North will open at 6:00 a.m. May 7 and close July 7, 2022. The openings of the fishery are subject to ice and weather conditions.

The fishery in LFA 25 will open at 6:00 a.m. on August 9 and will remain open until October 10, 2022. The opening of the fishery is subject to weather conditions.

Management measures to minimize interactions with North Atlantic Right Whales

The Management measures to minimize interactions with North Atlantic Right Whales (NARW): 2022 fishery management measures

Table 1. Key Management Measures in 2022 in Lobster Fishing Areas 23, 24, 26A, 26B
  Minimum legal carapace size (mm)¹ Window size females (mm)² Maximum number of traps Minimum number of traps per line³ Maximum hoop size (mm)
23A 79 115-129 300 n/a 152
23B 79 115-129 300 n/a 152
23C 79 115-129 300 In a portion of 23C:  3 traps 152
23D 79 115-129 300 In a portion of 23D:  3 traps 152
24 75 115-129 300 6 traps n/a
26A-1 75 115-129

272 PEI
280 Gulf NS

In a portion of 26A-1 adjacent to PEI:  6 traps

26A-1 (Gulf NS fishers only): 5 traps
26A-2 76 115-129 255 and 274 6 traps 152
26A-3 76 115-129 250 2 traps n/a
26B South 82.5 n/a 250 n/a n/a
26B North5 82.5 n/a 250 5 traps 152

Please note increase in carapace size, as per request from industry, for LFA 23, 24 and 26A-1.

Notes: ¹See table 2 for height of escape mechanism corresponding to the minimum carapace size in effect.
²As defined by licence conditions (female Lobst  er of a length of 115 mm but not more than 129 mm shall be returned to the water immediately in a manner that causes it the least harm).
³As defined by licence conditions.
4Commercial licence holders: 255 traps/Some Communal Commercial licence holders: 275 traps.
5Closure to fishing of Cheticamp Harbour.                                                                                                                                 

Height and Length of Escape Mechanisms

The height of the escape mechanism as indicated in Tables 2 and 3 needs to be adjusted according to the minimum legal carapace size in effect in each LFA (refer to Table 1 for minimum legal size).

Table 2. Length of escape opening between 127 mm and less than 254 mm
Minimum legal carapace size Minimum height of escape opening
>73 mm to 76 mm 43 mm
>76 mm 44 mm
Table 3. Length of escape opening equal to or greater than 254 mm
Minimum legal carapace size Minimum height of escape opening
>73 mm to 76 mm 42 mm
>76 mm to 80 mm 43 mm
>80 mm 44 mm

Restrictions on the movement of lobster licences

For information on restriction on the movement of lobster licences you can refer to the Commercial Fisheries Licensing Policy for Gulf Region.

Daily closed time

The daily close time is from 9:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. in LFA 23.

Transit Corridors

The transit corridors remain in effect and a Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) is required (every 5 minutes) if using the transit corridor.  The corridor allows fish harvesters to transport their catches through that area to reach their homeport avoiding the use of the smack boat. For this reason, a validity period is added to LFA 23D licences from the date of issuance to June 30. The opening and closing of the season will remain as indicated in the Fisheries Regulations or as announced in a Variation Order. The coordinates for the corridor are identified in the Variation Order and the licence conditions of those using the corridor.


Licence holders that will not be using an ELOG are still required to use paper logbooks and submit them to DFO on a monthly basis as in previous years.

List of paper logbook suppliers

Before you go fishing

The Department has assembled a list of requirements and documents harvesters will need before they start fishing.

For more information

Mario Gaudet
Resource Management, Eastern NB
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
(506) 395-7705

Ben Moore
Resource Management, PEI
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Charlottetown, PEI

Alan Dwyer
Resource Management, Gulf NS
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Antigonish, NS
(902) 735-7114

Pierre Mallet
Resource Management, Gulf Region
Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Gulf Region
Moncton, NB
(506)  874-0513

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