Arctic Surf Clam – Decision to Reconfigure Access in 2018

The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, confirmed today that he will be enhancing access to the Arctic Surf Clam fishery by introducing a 4th licence representing 25% of the existing total allowable catch (TAC). This licence will be issued to a new participant starting in 2018.

The new entrant in this fishery will be selected as a result of an Expression of Interest. Interested parties wishing to participate in this fishery must send a proposal to Jacinta Berthier through one of the options below:

Bedford Institute of Oceanography
1 Challenger Drive – P600
P.O. Box 1006
Dartmouth, NS B2Y 4A2

Proposals must be received in writing by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) November 2, 2017 - submissions that are late or do not comply with the requirements outlined below will not be taken into consideration.

To be eligible for this Expression of Interest, applicants must meet the following "/fisheries-peches/indexessential criteria:

  1. Applicants must be an Indigenous entity located in one of the four Atlantic provinces or Quebec;
    • “Indigenous entity” is defined as an Indigenous individual or community, or an Indigenous organization. “Indigenous organization” includes an Indian Band, Indian band council, a tribal council, and an organization that represents a territorially based Indigenous community or territorially based Indigenous communities. “Indigenous organization” also includes an Indigenous commercial entity which complies with the legal requirements to carry on business in the relevant province and which is:
      • a company in respect of which shares are owned by Indigenous persons or groups;
      • a cooperative controlled by Indigenous persons or groups, or;
      • a sole proprietorship or partnership of Indigenous persons.
  2. Applicants, regardless of configuration, must be majority owned (50%+1) by Canadians; and,
  3. Applicants must demonstrate an ability to comply with all the measures set out in the existing conditions of licence including: Observer coverage, by-catch requirements, Vessel Monitoring Systems, gear restrictions, reporting requirements, Species at Risk Act conditions, etc.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) will be assessing each proposal in the context of:

  1. The proposed direct and significant benefits that will be generated for Indigenous communities in the applicant’s geographic area including shore-based employment, skills training and other community benefits. Priority will be given to proposals received from an aggregate of multiple communities who can demonstrate enhanced collective capacity to manage this fishery resulting in a distribution of benefits across several Indigenous communities;
  2. The proposed contribution to the continuing sustainability of the resource and the fishery; and,
  3. The proposed contribution to the management and science of the fishery, and intent to collaborate with government and industry participants. Specifically:
    • Demonstrate a willingness to participate in and contribute to a spatially explicit rotational management approach. A key objective of this approach is to ensure that no sub-area is subjected to fishing pressure in excess of the target fishing mortality, within the global catch limit, to ensure that there is no serial depletion of high density clam beds.
    • Demonstrate capacity and willingness to contribute data and funds to support spatial mapping of the resource, which may include mapping of areas of suitable habitat, and of catches to support an initial spatially-explicit management approach for 2018, as well as a more thorough approach in the longer term (to be implemented in 2019-2020). Necessary data could include spatially explicit catch per unit effort, area swept, size distribution of clams, etc.
    • Willingness and capacity to contribute to a DFO Science, management and industry working group tasked with developing/reviewing possible short-term and long-term approaches. This work is expected to commence in the fall of 2017.
    • In the short term, financial support is expected to be minimal, but in the longer term, depending on the approach that is taken, new partners could be required to contribute funds to support periodic bank wide surveys if applicable, as well as possible annual fishery-independent survey work to address specific areas or management questions.

In consideration of the above, the following information is required to the extent possible in proposals:

  • In order to ensure that the benefits from this fishery are fully realized by local communities, the proposal must include a clear plan demonstrating how and when the applicant will be able to conduct fishing activities by itself within a reasonable timeframe;
  • An ownership profile of applicant (including partners);
  • A description of the applicant’s current engagement in Canadian fisheries;
  • The specific measures the applicant proposes to implement, and timelines associated thereto, to contribute to the management and science of the Arctic surf clam fishery (e.g. financial contributions, participation in management/science activities);
  • A description of the measures (if any) undertaken in the past by the applicant in any Canadian fishery to contribute to the management and science of that fishery;
  • A description of the jobs that would be created in Canada under the proposal, including the number of jobs, their duration (i.e., full-time, seasonal), and the sectors (processing, harvesting, marketing, etc.) and the particular locations (if known) in which they would be created;
  • The description of the vessel that would be used to prosecute this fishery, and a timeframe at which the vessel will be operational;
  • The particulars of the harvest strategy with respect to directed fishery including proposed locations of fishing activities, estimated duration and intended use of by-catch;
  • The measures to be implemented for processing; and,
  • The applicant’s plan to market product(s).

A copy of the Conditions of Licence and Integrated Fisheries Management Plan (IFMP) can be obtained by contacting Jacinta Berthier at

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