Lobster Fishing Area 22
(Quebec Region - Magdalen Islands Area)

Foreword

The purpose of this integrated fisheries management plan (IFMP) is to identify the principal objectives and requirements specific to the lobster fishery in Area 22 as well as the management measures that will be used to achieve these objectives. This document also serves to communicate the basic information on this fishery and its management to Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) staff, legislated co-management boards established under agreements arising from the settlement of land claims (if applicable) and other stakeholders. This IFMP provides a common understanding of the fundamental “rules” governing the sustainable management of fisheries resources.

This IFMP is not a legally binding instrument which can form the basis of a legal challenge. The IFMP can be modified at any time and does not fetter the Minister's discretionary powers set out in the Fisheries Act. The Minister can, for reasons of conservation or for any other valid reasons, modify any provision of the IFMP in accordance with the powers granted pursuant to the Fisheries Act.

Where DFO is responsible for implementing obligations under land claims agreements, the IFMP will be implemented in a manner consistent with these obligations. In the event that an IFMP is inconsistent with obligations under land claims agreements, the provisions of the land claims agreements shall prevail to the extent of the inconsistency.

Maryse Lemire
Regional Director, Fisheries Management
Quebec Region

Table of contents

  1. Overview of the fishery
  2. Stock assessment, science and traditional knowledge
  3. Economic, social and cultural importance of the fishery
  4. Management Issues
  5. Objectives
  6. Management measures
  7. Shared stewardship arrangement
  8. Compliance plan
  9. Performance Review

List of figures

Figure 1
Lobster fishing areas used by 71 lobster fishers over three studies (1995, 2008–2009, and 2012) and correspondence with areas identified in 1985 (outlined in red).
Figure 2
Lobster landings in the Magdalen Islands from 1945 to 2015. Healthy zone is green. Cautious zone is yellow, and the Critical zone is red.
Figure 3
Monthly lobster landings in the United States, Quebec, and the rest of Canada, 2002–2016 average
Figure 4
Global American lobster landings, 1996–2016p
Figure 5
Lobster landed price in Quebec (in blue), price on the New England market (in red), and ratio (1¼ lb, May–June), 2003–2016p
Figure 6
Changes in average lobster price on the New England market (1¼ lb, May–June) and effect of $US/$CA exchange rate, 2003–2016
Figure 7
Amount of lobster landed in Quebec by area, 2004–2017p, in tonnes.
Figure 8
Value of lobster landings in Quebec by area, 2004–2017p.
Figure 9
Decision rules (predetermined actions) for each stock status zone (Healthy, Cautious and Critical).
Figure 10
Closed fishing areas in Les Demoiselles nursery (baie de Plaisance) and the Magdalen Islands lagoons.
Figure 11
Coral and Sponge Conservation Areas and Lobster Fishing Area Limits
Figure 12
Historic landings and value of Magdalen Islands Lobster (1875 to 2017)

List of acronyms

APPIM
Association des pêcheurs propriétaires des Îles-de-la-Madeleine
AQIP
Association québécoise de l’industrie de la pêche
CL
Carapace length
C&P
Conservation and Protection Branch
CPUE
Catch per unit of effort
CSAS
Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat
DFO
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
FHAMIS
Fish Habitat Management Information System
FRCC
Fisheries Resource Conservation Council
IFMP
Integrated fisheries management plan
LFA
Lobster Fishing Area
LRP
Limit Reference Point
MAPAQ
Ministère de l’Agriculture des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation du Québec
MSC
Marine Stewardship Certification
MLI
Maurice Lamontagne Institute
MLS
Minimum legal size
OEABCM
Other effective area-based conservation measures
PA
Precautionary approach
RPPCI
Regroupement des pêcheurs et pêcheuses des côtes des Îles
SLD
Statistics and Licensing Division
SS
Strategic Services
TAC
Total Allowable Catches
URP
Upper Reference Point

1. Overview of the fishery

1.1 History

The lobster fishery has existed in the Magdalen Islands since 1875. Average annual landings have exceeded 2,344 t since the mid 1980s, with a record 4,214 t being landed in 2017. Thereafter, landings fluctuated before reaching a stable annual average of about 2,400 t since 2004. Historic and current landing data are provided in Appendix 1.

In 1995, the Fisheries Resource Conservation Council (FRCC) published its first lobster report. In the wake of this report, the Association des pêcheurs propriétaires des Îles-de-la-Madeleine (APPIM) called on the fish harvesters to convince them to increase the minimum size for lobster, the goal being to ultimately double egg production. As a result, the minimum size was increased from 76 mm in 1996 to 83 mm in 2003.

In 2005, APPIM undertook a vast consultation with the aim of reducing the fishing effort, as recommended by Fisheries and Oceans Canada Regional Science Branch. As a result of this vast consultation and an additional survey of all Area 22 lobster harvesters conducted by DFO in winter 2006, the number of traps was reduced by three per year per licence from 2006 to 2010 and standards governing trap lines were introduced.

Despite this new and significant effort on the part of the fleet, as early as the beginning of the 2006 fishing season, some people were already expressing their fears that the management measures put into place would become less effective as fishing effectiveness had improved. Consequently, in 2007, the fish harvesters accepted to reduce their fishing schedules and raise their traps only once per day.

In 2009, the Government of Canada launched the Lobster Fishery Sustainability Program to help the fishers who suffered financial hardship due to the global economic downturn. As part of a project proposed by APPIM under this program, the reduction in the number of traps by three per year was extended from 2011 to 2014, and 49 artificial reefs were constructed since fall 2010. The first artificial reefs in Lobster Fishing Area 22 were constructed in Plaisance Bay in 2009 by Transport Canada (TC). The purpose was to compensate for a loss of habitat.

In July 2013, lobster in Area 22 obtained Marine Stewardship Certification (MSC) for five years. One of the reasons for obtaining this certification is to get a better landing price.

Since 2015, Area 22 lobster fishers have been required to complete logbooks. Data from logbooks are an important source of information for scientific assessments and resource management.

1.2 Type of fishery

With the exception of activities connected to a few licences that have been issued for scientific, educational or public display purposes, the only lobster fishing practiced in Area 22 is the commercial fishery.

1.3 Participants

The number of participants in this fishery is stable and limited to 325 fish harvesters. Each owner-operator fishes from his own vessel; the lobster vessels average 39’2’’ in length.

The fish harvesters work out of ten fishing harbours. Nearly 70% of the fish harvesters operate on the south side of the Magdalen Islands from six harbours located between Havre-Aubert and Grande-Entrée; the remaining 30% ply the waters on the north side from four harbours located between Millerand and Grosse-Île. The fishing ports in Magdalen Islands are shown on Figure 1.

1.4 Location of the fishery

The Magdalen Islands lobster harvesters have access to Lobster Fishing Area 22 (LFA 22) as described in the Schedule XIII of the Atlantic Fishery Regulations, 1985. Fishing activity is concentrated on rocky reefs—the preferred habitat of the lobster—lying between the shore and about 20 nautical miles offshore. In the 1980s, the Ministère de l’Agriculture des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation du Québec (MAPAQ) mapped the lobster fishing areas using as its reference points the locations of fishing buoys as shown on aerial photographs. The information collected from lobster fishers under three studies in 1995, 2008–2009, and 2012, which covered 22% of the lobster fishing fleet, was used to create a more accurate map of the use of lobster fishing grounds (Figure 1).

figure 1

Figure 1

The map shown in Figure 1 highlights the use of lobster fishing grounds by 71 lobster harvesters over three studies (in 1995, 2008-2009 and 2012) by the color shades of blue to red. The areas with a red outline are the fishing grounds identified by the ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation du Québec (MAPAQ) in 1985.

The lobster harvesters generally begin their season by working the seabed farther from shore, where a large proportion of the lobster that have spent the winter offshore are located. As the season advances, the fish harvesters move closer inshore, following the migrating lobster. These fish harvesters use a pursuit strategy to harvest their catch. A smaller number of fish harvesters remain near the shore and, adopting an interception strategy, wait for the lobster to arrive there.

1.5 Fishery characteristics

The lobster fishery is managed by controlling the fishing effort. The elements controlled include fishing areas, period, the number of gear and their characteristics, and the characteristics specific to the lobsters harvested (berried females, size, etc). The specific measures that will be in place for the duration of this plan are described in Section 6 (Management Measures).

1.6 Governance

The fishing activities are subject to the Fisheries Act and its regulations, including more specifically the Atlantic Fishery Regulations, 1985 and the Fisheries (General) Regulations.

The Lobster Local Advisory Committee for Area 22 plays an important role in determining management orientations and objectives for the species. The recommendations put forward by the committee, which works in close partnership with DFO, regularly translate into conservation measures that, without contradicting, go beyond the provisions of the abovementioned legislation. The Local Advisory Committee is composed of fish harvesters’ representatives, resources representing the MAPAQ, buyers’ and local producers’ representatives appointed by the Association québécoise de l’industrie de la pêche (AQIP) and various DFO branches.

This committee meets each winter and additional meetings can be held as needed. The representatives sitting on the committee are the link between the industry and DFO. In this regard, recommendations submitted to the Department are consensus-based rather than the result of a vote. The appointed representatives consult their peers in advance and inform them of the outcome of advisory committee discussions.

1.7 Approval process

Development of the IFMP is coordinated by the Resource and Aquaculture Management and Aboriginal Affairs (RAMAA) Direction in Québec. The document drafting and consultation processes involve the Resources Management and Aquaculture division in Quebec city and Magdalen Islands, Strategic Services and Science branch; fishers' organizations; First Nations; the processing industry; and the Quebec province. The final draft of the IFMP is approved by Fisheries Management and Aquaculture Regional Director, and by the Regional Director General (RDG) of the Quebec Region to allow publication on the DFO national website. The approved IFMP is sent to the fishery stakeholders and to the public. The Magdalen Islands Area Director, the Resource and Aquaculture Chief and the Conservation and Protection (C&P) Area Chief together approve the annual management measures that are then published as Notices to Fish Harvesters. Furthermore, they assure the implementation of the IFMP.

2. Stock assessment, science and traditional knowledge

2.1 Biological synopsis

The American lobster (Homarus americanus) ranges along the west coast of the Atlantic, from Labrador to Cape Hatteras. Adults prefer rocky substrates where they can find shelter, but also live on sandy or even muddy bottoms. While lobsters are generally found in commercial numbers at depths of less than 35 m, they migrate seasonally to shallower, warmer water in spring and early summer and to deeper, less turbulent water in the fall.

Lobsters begin life by going through a planktonic larval phase that lasts about three weeks. During this time, they undergo three stages (Stages I, II and III) before metamorphosing to become postlarvae (Stage IV), which resemble adult lobster. Over the course of the planktonic phase, lobsters are exposed to high mortality due to predator action and displacement by currents, which can carry larvae far from the sites that would be optimal for the continuation of their life cycle.

At the end of this planktonic phase, the postlarvae drift down from the surface layer and settle on the bottom in coastal habitats that offer many crannies where they can find shelter (nurseries). Lobsters are highly dependent on the nature of the substrate for their survival during the early benthic stages and they congregate where shelter already exists. Thus, they are found primarily on gravel and cobble substrates, but also in association with beds of mussels and macroscopic algae where they lead a cryptic existence. The lobsters are distributed almost exclusively in the subtidal zone, at depths of less than 10 m. Habitat quality is a deciding factor in the success of benthic settlement and future recruitment. Lobsters leave the nursery when they reach a carapace length (CL) of about 40-50 mm and outgrow their shelters. At this stage, the lobsters are about 3 to 4 years old. It is estimated that lobsters reach the minimum catch size (83 mm CL) at around 8 years of age, after they have moulted about 16 times since settling on the bottom.

Females reach sexual maturity at a size of about 79 mm (CL) in the southern part of the Magdalen Islands and about 84 mm in the northern part. The males are smaller when they reach maturity. In general, females have a two-year reproductive cycle, spawning one year and moulting the next. A female spawning for the first time can produce nearly 8,000 eggs, whereas one with a carapace size of 127 mm (a jumbo) can produce up to 35,000 eggs. Not only are some large females more fertile, they may also spawn two years in a row before moulting. After the eggs are released, they remain attached to the female’s swimmerets for 9 to 12 months, until the planktonic larvae emerge the following summer. It has been observed that spawning and hatching can occur earlier in the season in multiparous females (females spawning for at least the second time) than in primiparous individuals (females spawning for the first time). Also, the emerging larvae produced by multiparous females have been observed to be larger than those produced by primiparous females.

Although recruitment cannot be predicted on the basis of egg numbers, this nevertheless plays a key role in the productivity of populations. Maintaining an adequate egg supply and increasing the contribution of multiparous females to this supply are key stock management goals.

2.2 Ecosystem interactions

The early benthic stages and immature stages of lobster are vulnerable to predation by cunner, tautog and monkfish, particularly on substrates with no algae or few or no shelters. In inshore waters, the vulnerability of lobsters to predation tends to decline rapidly as their size increases. This phenomenon can be explained by the scarcity of large, mobile predators near the coast. Hard-shell lobsters are practically immune to predators once they reach adult size. The importance of the spiny dogfish as a predator of benthic crustaceans is not well documented. In addition, observations from earlier studies on the stomach contents of harp seals and grey seals have, up until now, shown that crustaceans generally make up a minimal part of their diet and lobster is virtually absent from it.

The lobster lives in close association with the rock crab throughout its life. Rock crab is a key food resource for lobster. Throughout its range, the lobster feeds heavily on rock crab, which has been observed to be a predominant prey species in lobster stomach contents. The lobster shows a marked preference for rock crab when presented with a choice of prey. The rock crab is a high-quality prey item and a substantial source of energy and proteins for the lobster.

The Magdalen Islands are considered to be an autonomous production area for lobster. Recruitment comes essentially from the local adult population with displace to areas far from the Magdalen Islands being limited by the presence of an intermediate layer of cold water.

The water temperature at lobster grounds varies from -1oC to 18oC over the course of the year. Spring temperatures in the last decade have been higher than the average recorded for the last 25 years.

The springtime water temperature when the season opens has a direct impact on catch rates, with warmer water generating higher catch rates. Warmer springs cause fish harvesters to want the season to open earlier. In the context of climate change, warmer temperatures can foster embryonic and larval development and speed up moulting which can increase the stock’s productivity. On the other hand, in the longer term, rising water temperatures could foster the establishment of non-native species which could adversely modify the ecosystem for the lobster. By changing the physical and chemical properties of the water (oxygen, pH), rising water temperatures could also encourage the development of diseases in the lobster. As yet, it is hard to predict what impact, if any, climate change will have.

2.3 Traditional ecological knowledge

The traditional ecological knowledge of the Magdalen Islands lobster fish harvesters was studied in 1995 (master’s thesis, Université Laval, Quebec); the study examined their fishing techniques and strategies as well as their knowledge of the resource and the environment, stock management and governance. This knowledge was then incorporated into the stock assessments done in subsequent years, which allowed fish harvesters, scientists and managers to adopt a common point of view regarding the status of stocks and to develop conservation plans together.

2.4 Stock assessment

Stock status was assessed annually until 2005, which made it possible to closely monitor the impacts that increasing the minimum catch size had on lobster populations. The assessment is now done every three years. The most recent assessment was done in winter 2016 and served to describe the status of the stock in 2015 as well as the changes that had occurred from 2012 to 2015, since the assessment done in 2012. The next assessment will take place in winter 2019 and will examine the 2016 to 2018 seasons. The Science Advisory Report is available on the DFO website in the Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat.

The status of the resource is assessed by examining abundance, demographic, fishing pressure and stock productivity indicators. The data used to establish these indicators are obtained from the landings recorded on the purchase slips issued by processing plants, the logbooks, the sampling done at sea annually since 1995, and a trawl survey conducted on the southeast side of the archipelago since 1995. In addition, divers have studied the benthic deposition of lobster in the Demoiselles area (Baie de Plaisance) since 1995. Since 2003, this last survey has been done in collaboration with the Association des pêcheurs propriétaires des Îles-de-la-Madeleine (APPIM).

The most recent stock assessment showed that abundance indicators increased significantly from 2012 to 2015. Landings have increased since 2011 and in 2015 (3,486 t), they were 52% higher than the average for the last 25 years (2,300 t). The mean catch per unit of effort (CPUE) was slightly up from 2012 to 2015, about 0.83 lobster/trap and 0.57 kg/trap. In 2015, the CPUE in numbers was 8% above than the 1985-2014 series average and about 30 % higher in weight. The demographic indicators showed that the average size of lobster caught has been slightly and constantly increasing since 2003 at a level about 7 mm larger CL than the mean size recorded prior to the increase of the minimum legal size, and a mean weight of about 26% higher. From 2005-2008, the sex-ratio remained in favour of males overall and seems appropriate for reproduction. Size structures were truncated and consequently, the proportion of jumbo size lobster (≥ 127 mm CL) remained low (< 1%). Although the size structure has slightly increased from 2005-2009, the trend is stable or decreasing according to the different sources of data from 2010 to 2015. The fishing pressure indicators revealed that the estimated exploitation rates for 2010 to 2014 were 67 % in the south and 61% in the north on average, compared with 70% in the south and 71% in the north on average between 2007 and 2009. However, fishing mortality for the portion of the population ≥ 76 mm CL dropped as a result of the increase in the minimum legal size. The stock productivity indicators remained stable from 2011 to 2015. The abundance of berried females has remained higher than prior to the increase of the minimum legal size and egg production estimates for 2011-2015 were higher by a factor of around three compared to those prior to the increase of the minimum legal size. Between 2011 and 2015, the number of multiparous females was slightly higher than between 2008 and 2010. Recruitment indices recorded in 2015 were positive in the trawl survey (pre-recruits) while there was a negative trend from 2011 to 2015 at levels similar to 2008-2009.

2.5 Stock scenarios

In general, the stock status indicators for Magdalen Islands lobster are positive. Abundance is high and has been fairly stable since the early 2000s. Moreover, recruitment within the population appears to be good. The recruitment indices obtained from the 2015 trawl survey have reached a historic peak suggesting that landings in 2016 would remain high. It was confirmed although the low catchability at the beginning of the season had an impact on the fishing season. Abundance indices for juveniles up to 2 moultings prior to reaching commercial size also suggest that good recruitment can be maintained in the medium term. The benthic deposition observed in recent years shows a negative trend, but remains strong and even higher than it was before the minimum legal size was increased. These observations augur well and suggest that fishing will continue at interesting levels over the course of the next few years.

It is important to point out that increasing the legal catch size from 76 mm to 83 mm has brought about positive changes, as predicted by the models used to calculate egg production per recruit. It has helped to increase egg production by a factor of three compared to 1996 and to reduce the problem of overfishing lobsters at a size smaller than the size producing maximum yield per recruit.

Despite the efforts and positive signs, some improvements to the size structure of the stocks appear necessary. This will help reduce the dependence of the fishery on the annual recruitment and will also help increase the proportion of multiparous females in the population and ensure their reproductive success by maintaining suitable sex-ratios, according to the recommendations made by the Fisheries Resource Conservation Council (FRCC).

2.6 Precautionary approach

The precautionary approach, recognized as key to sustainable fisheries management, is applied to management decisions for the lobster fishery in the Magdalen Islands since 2012. It involves exercising caution when conclusive scientific evidence is not available, and not using the absence of relevant scientific data as a reason for not taking or delaying action to avoid serious harm to fish stocks or their ecosystems.

A precautionary approach (PA) based on an empirical method was suggested for the lobster fishery in the Magdalen Islands. The limit and upper reference points (LRP and URP) and the stock status zones (healthy, cautious and critical) were defined from a stock biomass indicator and in compliance with the DFO operational policy framework (DFO 2009). Figure 2 shows the stock indicator for 2015 in the Madgalen Islands.

figure 2

Lobster landings in the Magdalen Islands from 1945 to 2015. Healthy zone is green. Cautious zone is yellow, and the Critical zone is red.

The research document 2012/010 is available on the website of DFO in the Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat section.

Figure 2

Figure 2 presents lobster landings evolution in Magdalen Islands from 1945 to 2015 on which the green, yellow and red zones represent respectively the healthy zone, the cautious zone and the critical zone.

Year Landings (tonnes)

1945

1087

1946

1043

1947

910

1948

1130

1949

838

1950

906

1951

971

1952

973

1953

1097

1954

1127

1955

1155

1956

1462

1957

1154

1958

1086

1959

1299

1960

1495

1961

1405

1962

1768

1963

1609

1964

1266

1965

1314

1966

1500

1967

1285

1968

1058

1969

883

1970

987

1971

931

1972

785

1973

908

1974

882

1975

983

1976

999

1977

1080

1978

1111

1979

1384

1980

1022

1981

1194

1982

1149

1983

1208

1984

1193

1985

1458

1986

1581

1987

1878

1988

1798

1989

2376

1990

2380

1991

2642

1992

2806

1993

2593

1994

2007

1995

2142

1996

2219

1997

1883

1998

1914

1999

1936

2000

2080

2001

2270

2002

2160

2003

2087

2004

2371

2005

2336

2006

2341

2007

2371

2008

2487

2009

2566

2010

3033

2011

2648

2012

2669

2013

2709

2014

3313

2015

3486

2.7 Research

In addition to stock assessment work, data from the trawl survey and the diving surveys done at nursery sites have produced new knowledge about lobster biology. In recent years, work on the embryonic development of eggs in trawl-caught females has led to improvements in the understanding of the temporal dynamics of larvae production. Data from the trawl survey have also been used to re-examine the allometric relationships between the lobster’s different body parts and its size and to identify the transition phases that correspond to ontogenic changes or sexual maturity.

The study monitoring the lobster’s benthic deposition underway since 1995 in the Demoiselles area (Baie de Plaisance) has served to describe the growth trajectory of lobsters during their first three years of benthic life and to make predictions as to the number of moults and the time needed to reach commercial size. The work has also help to determine cohort strength and to better understand the importance winds and surface currents play in terms of transporting larvae to sites suitable for their settlement on the bottom as well as in concentrating and retaining them at those sites. The relative importance of hydrodynamic factors and conservation measures (increased egg production after the minimum legal size was increased) to the success of benthic settlement was also examined.

Work is also underway to find out more precisely when a cohort enters the fishery and what happens over time to the abundance indicator observed at the time of benthic settlement. This study incorporates data obtained from the trawl survey, the diving survey and landings; the objective is to establish the connection between the intensity of benthic deposition and the level of later landings.

There are studies of reproduction and production:

Research projects focusing on the impact of aquaculture on crustaceans (including lobster):

3. Economic, social and cultural importance of the fishery

3.1 Portrait of the lobster market

On the international scale, Canada (58%) and the United States (42%) are responsible for all American lobster (Homarus americanus) landings. More than 30% of landings occur during the months of May and June (Figure 3). Canada and the United States are also the two countries that consume the most American lobster. The other destinations for lobster are Europe and East Asia. Note that the size of the Asian market has increased significantly in recent years.

figure 3

Monthly lobster landings in the United States, Quebec, and the rest of Canada, 2002–2016p average

Source: DFO Statistics Branch Compilation, SS, DFO, Quebec Region
P: Preliminary

Figure 3

Average of monthly lobster landings in thousands of tonnes with the average of market price
for 1 ¼ pound hard shell and soft shell lobster between 2012 and 2016p*.
Month Quebec
(US$)
Canada
(Except Quebec)
(US$)
USA
(US$)
Total
(US$)
Average price – hard-shell
(US$)
Average price – soft-shell
(US$)

Jan.

 

4.0

1.0

5.0

6.27

 

Feb

 

2.3

0.5

2.8

7.31

 

March

 

1.9

0.5

2.4

8.34

 

April

0.1

3.4

0.8

4.3

8.38

 

May

2.4

20.5

1.7

24.7

6.09

 

June

1.9

15.5

3.1

20.5

5.74

 

July

0.5

1.8

9.7

12.0

5.91

5.00

August

0.0

3.2

14.8

18.0

 

4.68

Sept.

 

2.3

12.5

14.8

 

5.00

Oct.

 

2.2

11.8

14.0

 

5.02

Nov.

 

4.9

7.2

12.0

 

4.98

Dec.

 

16.6

3.5

20.1

6.02

 

* Preliminary

In 2016, in Canada, the main regions that land lobster are, in order of importance, Maritimes (61%) and Gulf (30%). Quebec ranks third with 5,200 tonnes landed in 2016 (6%), ahead of Newfoundland (3%) (Figure 4).  

figure 4

Global American lobster landings, 1996–2016e

Source: DFO Statistics Branch Compilation, SS, DFO, Quebec Region.

Figure 4

Global lobster landings in thousands of tonnes between 1993 and 2016e* and total value of catches in billion dollars.
Year Maritimes (tonnes) Gulf and NFL. (tonnes) Quebec (tonnes) USA (tonnes) Total (tonnes) Total (G$US)

1993

14.7

21.8

3.6

26.3

66.4

0.4

1994

17.0

20.9

3.2

31.7

72.7

0.5

1995

16.9

20.7

3.4

31.7

72.8

0.5

1996

16.0

19.9

3.5

32.3

71.7

0.5

1997

17.5

19.2

2.8

37.5

77.0

0.6

1998

17.6

20.4

3.0

36.0

77.0

0.5

1999

21.7

19.4

3.1

40.2

84.4

0.7

2000

20.9

19.8

3.2

39.4

83.3

0.7

2001

28.9

19.8

3.3

32.3

84.3

0.7

2002

23.0

19.8

3.0

37.7

83.5

0.7

2003

27.0

19.4

3.1

32.5

82.0

0.8

2004

25.4

18.1

3.3

40.9

87.7

0.8

2005

29.2

17.7

3.2

39.8

89.9

1.0

2006

30.7

20.0

3.2

43.6

97.5

1.0

2007

25.2

19.5

3.2

36.8

84.7

1.0

2008

33.4

21.1

3.5

39.8

97.8

0.9

2009

32.4

22.3

3.5

45.7

103.9

0.8

2010

39.3

23.5

4.2

53.3

120.3

1.0

2011

41.8

21.1

3.7

57.3

123.9

1.1

2012

45.2

25.9

4.0

68.1

143.2

1.1

2013

44.8

28.9

4.3

68.1

146.1

1.1

2014

57.3

30.5

5.4

67.1

160.3

1.4

2015

55.7

30.4

5.9

66.5

158.5

1.6

2016e

54.8

30.5

5.2

66.5

157.0

1.5

e: Data estimate for the Scotia Fundy and United States regions forecasting a growth rate, between 2015 and 2016, equivalent to landings for other Canadian regions.

3.2 Price and exchange rates

The main wholesale markets for American lobster are located along the northeastern seaboard of the United States, more particularly in Boston and New York. Because of the enormous amounts of lobster that pass through it and the fact that prices are posted, the New England (Boston) market is a reference market. Prices at this market are generally used as benchmarks for negotiations between fishers and buyers (Joint Plan) or even between producers and distributors in Canada. Therefore, it is unsurprising that the landed price curve in Quebec generally follows the price curve of lobster on the New England market. Figure 5 illustrates changes in the average lobster price in Quebec and the United States and the ratio of Quebec prices to US prices for 2003–2016. Figure 6 shows the changes in the average lobster price in Canada and the United States and the exchange rate for 2003–2016.

figure 5

Lobster landed price in Quebec (in blue), price on the New England market (in red), and ratio (1¼ lb, May–June), 2003–2016e.

Source: DFO Statistics Branch Compilation: RPEB, DFO, Quebec Region
P: Preliminary

Figure 5

Landed price of 1¼ lb lobster in Quebec versus the American market price between 2003 and 2016p*.
2003 ‘04 ‘05 ‘06 ‘07 ‘08 ‘09 ‘10 ‘11 ‘12 ‘13 ‘14 ‘15 ‘16p
US Market price
(May-june, $CAN/lb)

7.89

7.66

8.05

7.33

8.01

6.50

5.70

5.41

6.04

6.24

5.10

5.77

7.92

8.70

Qc Landing Price ($Can/lb)

6.09

5.84

6.38

5.66

6.21

5.22

4.14

3.93

4.63

4.73

4.16

4.33

5.68

6.54

Ratio Landing Price vs US Market Price

77%

76%

79%

77%

77%

80%

73%

73%

77%

76%

81%

75%

72%

75%

*Preliminary

figure 6

Changes in average lobster price on the New England market (1¼ lb, May–June) and effect of $US/$CA exchange rate, 2003–2016

Source: DFO Statistics Branch Compilation, SS, DFO, Quebec Region

Figure 6

Change in 1¼ lb. lobster prices on the (US and CAN) wholesale market and exchange rates (May to June), 2003-2016.
2003 ‘04 ‘05 ‘06 ‘07 ‘08 ‘09 ‘10 ‘11 ‘12 ‘13 ‘14 ‘15 ‘16
May-June ($US)

5.77

5.60

6.45

6.59

7.42

6.45

5.00

5.20

6.23

6.11

4.98

5.31

6.44

6.74

May-June ($CAN)

7.89

7.66

8.05

7.33

8.01

6.50

5.70

5.41

6.04

6.24

5.10

5.77

7.92

8.70

Exchange rate
($US/$CAN)

0.73

0.73

0.80

0.90

0.93

0.99

0.88

0.96

1.03

0.98

0.97

0.92

0.81

0.75

Of course, there are other reasons for price changes, such as the abundance of lobster and substitutes or employment and income levels in populations that consume lobster (recessions or periods of economic growth). In addition, marketing campaigns and the development of new markets (China, cruises, casinos, etc.) can also have a positive impact on prices.

3.3 Importance of the lobster fishery on the Magdalen Islands

From 2013 to 2017, Magdalen Islands 325 lobster harvesters caught an average 10,000 kg of lobster each, with a market value of $124,000. Lobster is the principal species landed in this maritime area and generates a total landing value of about $40 million (average between 2013 and 2017). As illustrated in Figure 7 and Figure 8, the Magdalen Islands sector had the highest lobster landings in Quebec. In 2017, it accounted for 57% of lobster landings in Quebec and 4.5% of the Canadian supply. Note that in addition to the 325 owner operators, the number of assistant fishers is estimated at 516, for a total of 841 active crew members in the Magdalen Islands lobster fishery.

figure 7

Amount of lobster landed in Quebec by area, 2004–2017p, in tonnes.

Source: DFO Statistics Branch Compilation, SS, DFO, Quebec Region

Figure 7

Landings in tonnes by maritime area in Quebec and price per pounds
in Magdalen Islands from 2004 to 2017p*.
Année/Year Magdalen Islands (MI) (tonnes) Gaspé (tonnes) Anticosti (tonnes) North Shore (tonnes) Quebec (tonnes) Price MI ($/lb) Price Gaspé ($/lb)

2004

2371

837

96

19

3325

6.01

6.03

2005

2336

693

125

26

3180

6.37

6.44

2006

2341

772

112

17

3241

5.76

5.35

2007

2371

704

131

26

3232

6.10

6.59

2008

2487

786

157

24

3455

5.20

5.27

2009

2566

741

174

24

3505

4.05

4.41

2010

3033

887

205

31

4156

3.86

4.10

2011

2648

876

174

23

3721

4.67

4.49

2012

2669

1032

244

41

3987

4.77

4.66

2013

2709

1225

314

39

4287

4.06

4.42

2014

3313

1536

452

52

5353

4.25

4.55

2015

3486

1818

504

83

5891

5.80

5.51

2016p

2558

1926

564

134

5182

6.58

6.47

2017p

4215

2486

477

189

7367

6.90

6.98

* Preliminary

figure 8

Value of lobster landings in Quebec by area, 2004–2017p.

Source: DFO Statistics Branch Compilation, SS, DFO, Quebec Region

Figure 8

Value of lobster landings in Quebec by area between 2004 and 2017p*.

Year Magdalen Islands (MI) (M$) Gaspé (M$) Anticosti (M$) North Shore (M$) Quebec (M$) Quebec Average Price ($/lb)

2004

31.4

11.1

1.4

0.2

44.1

5.84

2005

32.8

9.8

1.8

0.3

44.7

6.38

2006

29.7

9.1

1.4

0.2

40.4

5.66

2007

31.9

10.2

1.8

0.3

44.2

6.21

2008

28.5

9.1

1.8

0.3

39.7

5.22

2009

22.9

7.2

1.7

0.2

32.0

4.14

2010

25.8

8.0

1.9

0.3

36.0

3.93

2011

27.3

8.7

1.8

0.2

37.9

4.63

2012

28.1

10.6

2.5

0.4

41.6

4.73

2013

24.3

11.9

2.8

0.3

39.3

4.16

2014

31.0

15.4

4.2

0.4

51.1

4.33

2015

44.6

22.1

6.3

0.9

73.8

5.68

2016p

37.1

27.5

8.5

1.7

74.8

6.55

2017p

64.1

38.3

7.3

2.5

112.2

6.91

*p: Preliminary

In 2015, there were 12 sea product buyers and/or processors, six of which bought or processed significant amounts of lobster. These processing plants generated about 800 jobs, of which approximately 350 to process lobster. The activities associated with the primary and secondary lobster processing sectors occupy 23.1% of the Magdalen Islands active population (Magdalen Islands active population was about 5,955 individualsFootnote 1 in 2015).

According to preliminary data for 2015, the majority of lobster from the lobster fishing area 22 is sold fresh by the processing industry. The rest of the lobster harvested on the Magdalen Islands has undergone a primary transformation (cooking, freezing, etc.). Some Magdalen plants also buy lobster off-island (Gulf and Maritimes regions, USA) and process it locally to meet the North American market demand.

4. Management Issues

The section on management issues provides an overview of the key management matters and problems specific to the lobster fishery in Area 22. The main management issues, already verified with the principal internal and external stakeholders, are presented here in terms of the elements of risk. As for the objectives that aim to resolve these issues, the ones selected for the duration of the plan are presented in Section 5. The management issues are updated with the participation of the industry when it becomes necessary to add or withdraw new issues.

4.1 Stock productivity

Since the first Fisheries Resource Conservation Council (FRCC) report on lobster was issued in 1995, the fish harvesters have put into place measures to ensure the survival of the Magdalen Islands stock. These measures have been fruitful and the stock is now more productive in terms of weight-per-recruit yield and egg production. When the stock was assessed in winter 2009, it was recommended that measures be implemented to improve the size structure of stocks, primarily in order to increase the proportion of multiparous females in the population.

4.2 Importance of lobster for the Magdalen Islands community

As shown in the section on the economic, social and cultural importance of the fishery, the earnings generated by the lobster fishery represent a very large share of the economy of the Magdalen Islands community. Any variation in the number of fishing enterprises or in the earnings of these enterprises has a direct repercussion on the dynamism of the local economy.

4.3 Monitoring of commercial fishing activities and controlling poaching

The degree of compliance with management measures is always conditioned by the monitoring done by fishery officers and the industry’s adhesion to those measures. The intensity of fishing activities taking place in a relatively large fishing area calls for a significant investment in human and financial resources on the part of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. This intensive monitoring is desired by the industry to ensure that the management measures it proposes are respected.

Lobster poaching is a constant concern. Nearly 300 kilometres of coastline are nearly always accessible, which enormously complicates the fishery officers’ surveillance task. The accessibility of the lagoons combined with the number of recreational divers and individuals who own pleasure craft are factors that need to be taken into account. Finally, like in most rural areas, it is relatively hard for fishery officers to obtain the collaboration of the community, although efforts to raise awareness (school visits, anti-poaching campaigns, etc.) appear to be having a positive effect.

4.4 Market access

Markets are increasingly competitive and consumers are becoming more selective in their purchases, which could require the industry to reposition itself in terms of marketing.

4.5 Habitat and ecosystem

The lobster harvesters and their representatives have several times expressed to DFO their concerns about the need to protect the lobster grounds. It is well documented that lobster prefers to inhabit rocky bottoms as adolescents and adults. Moreover, gravel and cobble substrates in shallow water are known to be the habitats where the lobster settles after the end of its larval phase. The quality of these habitats is a determining factor in the success of the lobster’s benthic settlement and future recruitment. Lobster is also a bycatch in other fishing activities. Fishers have raised concerns about the condition of lobster returned to the water after being caught as bycatch in other fisheries. This being said, the interrelations between the various fishing activities (other than the lobster fishery) and other activities (for instance, aquaculture, dredging deposits, etc.) that have an impact on the seabed and on lobster populations are not always taken into consideration when establishing management measures for the diverse species or activities. The issue is to improve our knowledge of these matters (critical lobster habitats and the interrelations between the different activities and these habitats) so as to find solutions that address the concerns expressed by the lobster harvesters.

Moreover, the presence of traps on the sea floor changes the natural habitat of marine species and can also impact aquaculture activities. The impact of bottom-contact gear is a national issue. Accordingly, the Government of Canada is committed to protecting 5% of Canada’s marine and coastal areas by 2017 and 10% by 2020. The 2020 target is both a domestic target (Canada’s Biodiversity Target 1) and an international target as reflected in the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Aichi Target 11 and the United Nations General Assembly’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development under Goal 14. The 2017 and 2020 targets are collectively referred to as Canada’s marine conservation targets. More information on the background and drivers for Canada’s marine conservation targets is available on the DFO websites.

To meet these targets, DFO is establishing Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and “other effective area-based conservation measures” (OEABCM), in consultation with industry, non-governmental organizations, and other interested parties that help meet these targets. An overview of these tools, including a description of the role of fisheries management measures that qualify as OEABCM is available on the DFO website. Specific measures for the conservation and protection of cold water corals and sponges that affect the Magdalen Islands Lobster Fishery (LFA 22) qualify as OEABCM and therefore contribute to Canada’s marine conservation targets. More information on these management measures and their conservation objectives is provided in Section 6 of this IFMP.

One of the issues pertaining to the impact of lobster activities on the ecosystem is bycatch. Although the trap fishery is generally considered to not have an impact on the habitat, the fact remains that lost traps could have an impact on some species. Though the lobster trap is highly selective, some non-targeted species do enter the traps, are brought up to the surface and are then returned to the water. Lobster fishers can keep certain bycatch and may have an impact on the sustainability of the fishery when they are also targeted by a commercial fishery. The lack of information on these impacts makes it difficult to implement appropriate measures to reduce the impact of the lobster fishery on the ecosystem. Therefore, it is important to collect relevant information to adjust management measures, if necessary.

5. Objectives

This section of the integrated fisheries management plan defines the short and long-term objectives as identified by Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the members of the Area 22 Lobster Local Advisory Committee, whose members notably include lobster harvesters delegated by Association des pêcheurs propriétaires des Îles-de-la-Madeleine (APPIM). The management measures that will be put into place as well as the efforts made by DFO and the industry will seek to achieve the identified objectives. These objectives are set by taking into account the issues described in the previous section and they propose short and long-term solutions.

5.1 Stock productivity

The assessment of lobster stocks is done every 3 years and results are published through a Science Advisory Report on the Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat (CSAS) website. The report proposes recommendations to promote stocks productivity that can be achieved via these sub-objectives:

5.1.1 Help maintain the abundance of stocks in the healthy zone as defined by precautionary approach

5.1.2 Begin the consultations needed and put into place the additional management measures needed to improve the size structure.

5.2 Importance of lobster for the Magdalen Islands community

In a context where a resource is of such importance to a community, its sharing becomes a very sensitive concern. To stabilize this situation, resource sharing has remained stable with 325 lobster fishing enterprises involved in this fishery since the 1970s. Maintaining these fishing enterprises has been central to all management decisions made since that time, with all the associated challenges in terms of resource conservation and economic viability. This strategy is still valid today.

5.2.1 Maintain the current situation in terms of the number of lobster fishing enterprises in Area 22 at 325.

5.2.2 When making decisions, take into account the potential increase in operating costs associated with lobster management and thus, keep them as low as possible.

5.3 Monitoring commercial fishing activities and controlling poaching

The Conservation and Protection (C&P) branch continues to dedicate a large portion of its resources to monitoring the commercial fishery. Over the last few years, a number of strategies have been developed to ensure consistency. In addition, given the resource’s proximity and how easy it is to access, the community is the first target of any strategy seeking to reduce the intensity of poaching activities.

5.3.1 Put into place a monitoring plan that addresses the critical management measures.

5.3.2 Maintain the Poaching Alert program.

5.3.3 Continue awareness-raising visits to schools.

5.3.4 Ensure prompt and thorough follow-up of complaints received.

5.3.5 Meet with fishermen before the beginning of the season to raise their awareness as to the importance of the management measures in place.

5.4 Market access

Some types of marketing can require the establishment of particular management measures. Such requests would come from the industry and result from their efforts to reposition themselves in terms of markets.

5.4.1   Within the limits of DFO’s mandate, support initiatives by the industry in such areas as traceability, eco-certification or other marketing strategies.

5.5 Habitat and ecosystem

As fishing activities in the Magdalen Islands coastal environment intensify, users are becoming more concerned about the interrelations between the species, and between fishing activities and the habitat. The diverse pressures on critical lobster habitat and the lobster bycatch from other fisheries are of growing concern to fish harvesters. To address these concerns, it will be important to obtain the information needed so that adapted management measures can be put into place.

5.5.1   Identify the habitats that are of importance to the lobster at each stage of its development.

5.5.2   Identify the activities that have an impact on critical lobster habitat.

5.5.3   Characterize and document bycatch in the inshore lobster fisheries.

5.5.4   Identify the impact of lobster bycatch in other fishing activities.

5.5.5   Identify the impact of the lobster fishery on the habitat.

5.5.6   Document and assess the impact of lobster traps lost at sea.

5.5.7   Set up a technical committee for the development and implementation of artificial reefs and other compensatory measures for 2018

5.5.8   Continue to raise awareness amongst the fish harvesters regarding the importance of having escape panels in their traps, as is required by legislation.

6. Management measures

The management measures that are applied in the Lobster Fishing Area (LFA) 22 are announced by means of Notices to Fish Harvesters. These Notices to Fish Harvesters are published annually and describe the management measures that will be put into place for a given period. The Notices to Fish Harvesters issued by Fisheries and Oceans Canada are published on the Quebec region DFO website.

6.1 Fishing season/areas

The lobster fishery in LFA 22 (see map of LFAs in Appendix 7) is a nine-week spring fishery. Under Schedule XIV of the Atlantic Fishery Regulations, 1985, the lobster fishery is closed from July 1 to April 30 of the following year. However, the opening of the lobster fishery in Area 22 can be modified by variation order in response to recommendations made by the Local Advisory Committee. The season opens on the Monday closest to May 10, with fish harvesters being authorized to set their traps the preceding Saturday. From 2003 to 2016, the opening date was on the Monday closest to May 6. The Opening Date Analysis Committee recommends the fishery opening date (Appendix 3).

6.2 Control and monitoring of removals

The following are regulated to control and monitor catches: fishing vessel length, the characteristics of lobster caught, the fishing schedule, number of hauls, and the number and characteristics of fishing gear.

Any lobster below the minimum legal size (MLS) must be released. Moreover, as stipulated in the Atlantic Fishery Regulations, 1985, possession of female lobster with eggs attached is prohibited. If such lobster are caught and hauled in, they must be released in the location where they were caught, in a manner that causes them the least harm if they are still alive.

There is no fishing on the day when the traps are set or on Sundays. Fishing (lifting of traps) is authorised during the period comprised between 5:00 and 21:30, with the exception of the last two fishing days of the season when the fishing schedule does not apply. Fish harvesters are not authorized to haul their traps more than once per day and fishing vessels with a length overall less than 15.24 metres (50 feet) may be used.

The lobster fishery is conducted using regulation-sized traps and the number of traps is limited to 273 per fish harvesters. These traps are highly selective and must be equipped with escape vents that serve to reduce the retention and mortality of undersized lobster and non-targeted species. Each lobster trap must be equipped with one exit panel. The size of the escape vent opening was increased in 2003 to take into account the new minimum commercial size. Each trap must be equipped with one rectangular escape vent (47 mm high by 127 mm long) or two circular escape vents (65 mm diameter). Each trap lines must have a minimum of 7 traps, the distance between traps must not exceed 8 fathoms and the length between the first and last trap does not exceed 56 fathoms. All traps (in the water and aboard the vessel) must bear a valid tag and the commercial fishing vessel registration number (VRN) must appears on buoys of fish harvesters at any time.

A logbook (paper or electronic) approved by Fisheries and Oceans Canada must be filled out every fishing day with information about fishing activities, including the date, position of the last trap hauled in, number of traps hauled in, total amount of lobster caught, total amount of male rock crab kept, and bycatch by species.
Simultaneous fisheries of lobster fishery and whelk, rock crab and toad crab fisheries (hyas sp) are not authorized. Fishing lobster and flounder during a same fishing trip is not authorized.

6.3 Decision rules

The decision rules established by precautionary approach allow the implementation of management measures based on the stock status of the lobster (LFA 22) and are summarized in Figure 9. The rules were determined jointly by DFO and the industry (Association des pêcheurs propriétaires des Îles-de-la-Madeleine, APPIM) (Gendron, L. & Savard, G; 2012). The complete research document (2012/010) is available on the website of DFO in the Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat section.

The following describes the actions to take depending on the status indicators of lobster stocks in LFA 22:

Healthy zone: when the stock is in the healthy zone, no new management measure will be implemented unless the advisory committee decides otherwise.

Cautious zone: the decision was made to adopt an approach that could be scaled up to nine (9) years if the stock is in the cautious zone. Successive and additive conservation methods would be used until stocks return to the healthy zone.

A first measure (increase the minimum catch size by 1 mm) will be implemented at the end of the second consecutive fishing season below the upper stock reference point (USR). In year 4, as management measures have changed indicators used to establish reference points, Sciences will need to develop new biomass indicators. The year 5 will be an observation year; no specific action will be taken. If stocks show another reduction with respect to the USR after year 4 and 5, a 10% reduction of effort will be carried out. If indicators are still below the USR 2 years after the implementation of this measure, a second 10% of effort will be carried out.

Critical zone: If, in spite of all measures, stocks reach this zone, more stringent measures will be applied to significantly reduce captures. Partial closure of the fishery will be imposed while maintaining a sentinel fishery. A rebuilding plan will need to be put in place that could lead to further reductions in fishing effort and even the introduction of a quota.

figure 9

Decision rules (predetermined actions) for each stock status zone (Healthy, Cautious and Critical).
Source: Sciences, DFO Quebec Region (2012)

Figure 9

Figure 9 shows the decision rules (predetermined actions) for each stock status area, which are healthy (the first green line), caution (the second yellow line), and critical (the last red line), of lobster from Magdalen Islands.

When landings, which serve as indicators, are above the Upper Stock Reference Point (USR), the stock is considered in the healthy zone and no action is planned. If necessary, target reference points (PR-Targets) at the biological or socio-economic level, for example, may be added.

When landings are between the USR and the LSR, the stock is in the caution zone (the yellow middle part in the figure). In this zone, the approach adopted for the application of the actions is done over 9 (nine) years. If, at the end of the first year under the USR, landings still remain below this level, no action is planned. If, at the end of the second year, the landings remain under the USR, the increase in the minimum catch size of 1 mm will be the management measure that will be applied on the third year. Year 4 is a year of observation of the indicator. Thus, if the landings are still under the USR, no action is planned. At the end of the fifth year, if landings decrease under the USR, the reduction of the fishing effort by 10% will be put in place on the next year. Years 7 and 8 are years of observation of the indicator. No action is planned. At the end of the eighth year, if landings decrease under the USR, a second reduction in fishing effort of 10% is planned.

When landings are under the LSR, the stock is considered to be in the critical area. The predetermined actions planned when the stock reaches this area are urgent, consisting of a partial closure of the fishery and the maintenance of a sentinel fishery. Fishing could be managed by effort or quota in case of extreme need. A rehabilitation plan will be established.

6.4 Species at risk

Pursuant to the Species at Risk Act (SARA), no person shall kill, harm, harass, capture, take, possess, collect, buy sell or trade an individual or any part or derivate of a wildlife species designated as extirpated, endangered or threatened. The species at risk in the Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence likely to be captured during lobster fishery are: Spotted wolffish, Northern wolffish and leatherback turtle. Other species could be added during the year.

However, under section 83(4) of SARA, the recovery plans for species at risk listed above allow fishers to engage in commercial fishing activities subject to conditions. All bycatch of these species by lobster fishermen must be immediately returned to the water and, if the fish is still alive, in a manner that causes it the least harm. Information related to species at risk catches must be reported in the “Species at risk” section of the logbook. Furthermore, information regarding interactions with all species at risk, including the species listed above as well as the North Atlantic right whale, the striped bass (St. Lawrence Estuary population), the blue whale (Atlantic population), the beluga whale (St. Lawrence Estuary population) and the white shark (Atlantic population) must be recorded in the Species at Risk section of the logbook.

6.5 Habitat and biodiversity protection measures

In order to protect the resource and to reduce the impact on the eel grass, rules are in place with regard to the soaking of traps. The soaking of completed traps is authorized from March 15 to the opening of the commercial fishery, in tidal waters less than 3 feet deep only and outside any dock, fishing harbour or marina.

Closure of specific fishing areas is a management measure that can be used for the protection and conservation of fish and their habitat. For lobster around the Magdalen Islands, there are marine refuges. These refuges qualify as other effective area-based conservation measures (OEABCM) to preserve marine and coastal ecosystems. Two areas near the Magdalen Islands are designated as marine refuges and contribute to Canada’s marine conservation targets. One is the Demoiselles nursery (Plaisance Bay) and the other is the Magdalen Islands lagoons (Figure 10). The Demoiselles nursery aims to protect juvenile lobster habitat by banning mobile gear fishing. With regard to fishing activities in the lagoons, no large-scale commercial fishing is allowed except for the manual harvesting of molluscs. More information on marine areas is available on the DFO website.

Other closure areas have been implemented in the Gulf of St. Lawrence to protect areas of high coral and sponge concentration. There are closed areas in the Magdalen Islands lobster fishing area (Figure 11). These closures have no significant impact on the lobster fishery, since they are not in the lobster fishing grounds illustrated in Figure 1.

figure 10

Figure 10

Closed fishing areas in Les Demoiselles nursery (baie de Plaisance) and the Magdalen Islands lagoons.

The orange areas on Figure 10 illustrates the closed fishing areas in the Magdalen Islands lagoons and in Les Demoiselles Nursery (baie de Plaisance).

Source: Oceans Management, DFO, Quebec Region

figure 11

Coral and Sponge Conservation Areas and Lobster Fishing Area Limits

Source: DFO, Quebec Region

Figure 11

This figure illustrates the location of coral and sponge conservation areas with delineations of lobster fishing areas in the Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence.
Zone Full Name
Anticosti-East East of Anticosti Island Sponge Conservation Area
Anticosti-South-East South-East of Anticosti Island Sponge Conservation Area
Beaugé Bank Beaugé Bank Sponge Conservation Area
Bennett Bank North of Bennett Bank Coral Conservation Area
Parent Bank Parent Bank Sponge Conservation Area
Gulf-Centre Central Gulf of St. Lawrence Coral Conservation Area
Gulf-East Eastern Gulf of St. Lawrence Coral Conservation Area
Honguedo-East Eastern Honguedo Strait Coral and Sponge Conservation Area
Honguedo-West Western Honguedo Strait Coral Conservation Area
Jacques-Cartier Jacques-Cartier Strait Sponge Conservation Area
Magdalen Shallows Slope Slope of Magdalen Shallows Coral Conservation Area

The lobster fishing licences issued to fish harvesters have conditions attached to them. These conditions of licence, issued pursuant to Section 22 of the Fishery (General) Regulations, can vary from year to year depending on the management decisions described in the Notice to Fish Harvesters. The conditions of licence set out in greater detail the management measures in effect and make them operational.

7. Shared stewardship arrangement

The Advisory Committee, as described in Section 1.6, is clearly the cornerstone of shared stewardship in the Lobster Fishing Area (LFA) 22. The Advisory Committee is the principal forum where Fisheries and Oceans Canada integrates into the management of fisheries resources the advice it receives from the various fishing industry representatives, including the lobster harvesters from each community. In the case of LFA 22 lobster, in addition to the formal annual meetings of the lobster advisory committee, regular communication between the local DFO office and the industry help the users of the resource to play an even more active role in defining and making operational the management measures that affect them.

Some of the many examples of collaboration between DFO and the industry notably include the creation of several working groups that were set up to deal with particular subjects, for instance:

  1. The opening date analysis committee composed of fish harvesters’ representatives from various fishing harbours in the area and mandated to decide on the opening date, when required and in keeping with the rules that were established in advance in collaboration with the industry. The terms of reference used by the analysis committee to decide the opening date are provided in Appendix 3.
  2. The weather conditions monitoring protocol established in 2010 by a working group composed of members representing the industry, DFO and other stakeholders such as Transport Canada and the Canadian Coast Guard. This committee determines the weather conditions (wind strength) that would make it preferable to delay the opening of the lobster season for safety reasons. The weather condition monitoring rules are provided in Appendix 4.

The many surveys and consultation activities involving the lobster harvesters in LFA 22 are other examples of shared stewardship. These activities have taken various forms over the years (written surveys piloted by DFO and/or APPIM; the “Grand Tour”, a series of visits in the villages organized by APPIM; targeted meetings with lobster groups led by DFO fishery officers). The fact that industry comments are taken into account when identifying new management measures has invariably led to better compliance with these same measures.

Finally, another example of industry involvement is the collaboration of APPIM in the technical committee mandated to monitor the establishment of artificial reefs; artificial reefs projects are compensation measures implemented to counter the effect of undertakings that result in the deterioration of fish habitats.

8. Compliance plan

The General Conservation and Protection (C&P) enforces the legislation, policies and harvesting plans so as to make sure resources are conserved and sustainably developed. The management of Canadian fisheries calls for an integrated approach in terms of monitoring and control activities: the participation of fishery officers in aerial, marine and land patrols; the presence of observers aboard fishing vessels, dockside monitoring and an electronic remote surveillance system.

In compliance with its mandate, which is to manage Canadian fisheries in a sustainable manner, Fisheries and Oceans Canada is responsible for the application of the Fisheries Act and other related legislation.

The Department also fosters application of the law through education and awareness-raising activities to encourage Canadians to protect fisheries resources and fish habitat.

8.1 Regional compliance program

Every year, a lobster fishery monitoring program is developed by the C&P area chief. The plan is based on industry concerns and the information available to the Department, and is used by C&P to plan the deployment of human and financial resources. Year after year, from 30 to 35% of the time allocated to monitoring in the area is designated for the lobster fishery, with on average over 3,000 hours/person being allocated to this task.

A team of six fishery officers monitors the lobster fishery in the Magdalen Islands. Since 2003, the area DFO office hires students as assistant fishery officers, largely to monitor the lobster resource. In addition, from time to time officers from other maritime areas in the Quebec Region come to support the local team, either while the commercial fishery is underway or during targeted anti-poaching operations.

During the commercial fishing season, a large percentage of the work involves dockside inspections. On average, 350 of the roughly 16,000 total landings are inspected annually, primarily to verify the size of the lobster and to check for the absence of berried females. The work of the fishery officers also includes verifications at sea and aerial patrols.

Outside the commercial fishing season, poaching monopolizes a large share of the local resources allocated to the C&P program. Anti-poaching activities are mostly determined on the basis of complaints denouncing acts of poaching. Year after year, the area receives about sixty complaints, over 60% of which involve lobster.

8.2 Consultations

At the Advisory Committee’s annual meeting, C&P reports on the monitoring activities that took place during the preceding season and adds various points of current interest for discussion. The committee members then have the opportunity to comment the level of monitoring and to share their viewpoints on the various management measures in place or on the other points under discussion. Other meetings are organized as needed with the committee members or with fish harvesters’ groups to discuss various points or to settle a particular problem.

8.3 Assessment of compliance performance

On average, 10 offences are detected annually during dockside verifications. The principal breaches observed are the possession of undersized lobster or berried females. Given the number of verifications, the degree of compliance with the regulations can be considered to be high. More at-sea verifications are planned for the next seasons to verify trap-related compliance (escape vents, tagging, maximum number of authorized traps, etc.). As for poaching, some 5 to 6 individuals per year are caught and prosecuted for a variety of charges.

8.4 Current compliance-related issues

As mentioned earlier, the landing of undersized lobster and berried females as well as the conformity of fishing gears used are the principal items of concern regarding the commercial fishery for C&P. The industry also asks C&P to ensure compliance of such measures as the prohibition to haul the traps the day they are set and more than once per day thereafter during the season. Poaching also continues to be a concern and operations to control its intensity are a priority.

8.5 Compliance strategy

Dockside and at-sea monitoring will be more targeted by taking into account the complaints received and the fish harvesters’ records. Meetings are planned with fish harvesters entering the fishery to go over with them the important points of the regulation and conditions of licence. The campaign will seek to raise public awareness and have people take responsibility regarding the impact of poaching on marine resources, including lobster, and ultimately, to encourage them to report illegal activities. Priority will be given to cases of alleged poaching recognized as being serious.

9. Performance review

This section of the integrated fisheries management plan defines the indicators that will serve to assess progress in reaching the objectives identified in Section 5. It proposes a list of qualitative and quantitative indicators that will be updated annually to take into account the evolution of work underway. They will first be reviewed by Fisheries and Oceans Canada in November or December, and then by the Advisory Committee at a meeting held the following winter. The annual update of these indicators is provided in Appendix 5.

Objective Result indicators

Stock productivity

Maintain the abundance indicator in the healthy zone as defined in the precautionary approach.

Work and initiatives connected to improvements in the size structure that have been accomplished.

Importance of lobster for the Magdalen Islands community

Stability in the number of lobster fishing enterprises in Area 22: 325.

Impact of new initiatives associated with lobster fishery management on the operating costs of lobster harvesters.

Monitoring commercial fishing activities and controlling poaching

Number of dockside and at-sea verifications during the current year and compared to preceding years.

Percentage of fisher officer hours allocated to lobster during the current year and compared to preceding years.

Degree of compliance with legislation and management measures (number of offences in relation to verifications).

Number of offences connected to lobster poaching for the current year and compared to preceding years.

Number of complaints received for the current year and compared to preceding years.

Number of information meetings at schools (% of the targeted clientele that was in fact met).

Percentage of lobster harvesters met by fishery officers during the current year.

Number of wharves visited and fishers met by fishery officers

Market access

Advancement of work connected to traceability, eco-certification or other marketing strategies.

Work accomplished by DFO in response to industry demand.

Habitat and ecosystems

Progress on identification of habitats of importance to lobster and activities that impact them.

Advancement of work being done on inshore fishery bycatches to identify lobster fishery and lobster bycatch in the other inshore fisheries.

Progress on the impact of lobster fishing on habitat

Advancement of work on the impact of lobster traps lost at sea.

Technical committee for the development and implementation of artificial reefs is set up for 2018

Number of lobster harvesters per year that have equipped their traps with escape panels.

Appendix 1 : Landings and values (Magdalen Islands) – 1875 to 2017

Appendix 1

Appendix 1

Historic landings and value of Magdalen Islands Lobster (1875 to 2017)

Source: DFO, Quebec Region

Figure 12

Figure 12 shows historic lobster values and landings in Magdalen Islands between 1875 and 2017.
Year Landings (t) Value ($M)

1875

9

1876

57

1877

126

1878

177

1879

171

1880

103

1881

215

1882

216

1883

213

1884

236

1885

268

1886

231

1887

208

1888

117

1889

149

1890

155

1891

177

1892

252

1893

292

1894

302

1895

281

1896

339

1897

319

1898

278

1899

290

1900

270

1901

204

1902

195

1903

302

1904

267

1905

402

1906

248

1907

267

1908

233

1909

311

1910

N/D

1911

375

1912

1640

1913

1454

1914

836

1915

838

1916

1025

1917

892

1918

846

1919

1273

1920

1502

1921

1105

1922

1191

1923

1360

1924

799

1925

934

1926

1151

1927

928

1928

1008

1929

1023

1930

1117

1931

918

1932

1247

1933

1215

0.18

1934

1376

0.27

1935

985

0.22

1936

893

0.25

1937

785

0.17

1938

779

0.11

1939

776

0.13

1940

786

0.12

1941

795

0.14

1942

717

0.18

1943

757

0.33

1944

1026

0.43

1945

1087

0.60

1946

1043

0.69

1947

910

0.34

1948

1130

0.55

1949

839

0.40

1950

906

0.44

1951

971

0.55

1952

973

0.51

1953

1097

0.82

1954

1127

0.68

1955

1155

0.69

1956

1462

0.93

1957

1153

0.77

1958

1073

0.73

1959

1251

0.92

1960

1446

1.06

1961

1405

1.02

1962

1768

1.30

1963

1608

1.41

1964

1254

1.38

1965

1289

1.56

1966

1488

1.67

1967

1284

1.64

1968

1059

1.40

1969

883

1.30

1970

951

1.72

1971

900

1.60

1972

785

1.90

1973

909

2.46

1974

882

2.43

1975

975

2.58

1976

998

2.93

1977

1080

3.80

1978

1111

4.83

1979

1216

5.20

1980

1022

3.83

1981

1227

5.00

1982

1195

5.27

1983

1208

5.86

1984

1193

5.92

1985

1458

7.71

1986

1581

9.41

1987

1885

13.10

1988

1807

12.75

1989

2417

13.85

1990

2392

9.07

1991

2657

13.59

1992

2818

19.60

1993

2605

17.80

1994

2051

17.00

1995

2189

22.54

1996

2247

21.75

1997

1922

19.90

1998

1904

17.74

1999

1883

21.10

2000

2024

24.50

2001

2176

27.66

2002

2024

28.67

2003

2087

27.66

2004

2371

31.40

2005

2335

32.78

2006

2340

29.71

2007

2371

31.88

2008

2487

28.27

2009

2565

22.88

2010

3033

25.80

2011

2644

27.26

2012

2668

28.06

2013

2709

24.30

2014

3312

31.00

2015

3486

44.59

2016

2557

38.60

2017

4214

64.04

Appendix 2: Lobster management timeline for Area 22

1870
Prohibition on landing berried females.
1953
Minimum legal size set at 2½ inches.
1957
Minimum legal size set at 3 inches.
During the 1960s
Fish harvesters required to hold a licence to fish for lobster.
During the 1960s
Number of traps limited (300).
1973
Maximum number of licences set (325).
1985
Trap tagging becomes mandatory (each trap must bear a valid tag issued by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada).
1991
Lobster harvesters are recommended to install escape vents on their traps to allow small lobster to get out.
1992
Escape vents become mandatory (43 mm).
1995
An equivalence factor is introduced to allow fish harvesters to use 210 “large traps” or 300 “small traps”. The maximum dimensions of large traps are set at 125 cm long by 90 cm wide and 50 cm high. For “small traps”, the maximum dimensions are 81 cm long by 61 cm wide and 50 cm high.
1995
Prohibition on fishing in the Grande-Entrée channel.
1996
Prohibition on Sunday fishing, to make official the voluntary measure already in place for some years in response to industry recommendations.
1997
Prohibition on using “large traps”, all fish harvesters now use traps measuring 81 cm long by 61 cm wide and 50 cm high.
1997 to 2003
Minimum legal size increases by one millimeter per year until it reaches 83 mm, thus doubling egg production per female.
1999
Prohibition on equipping traps with pieces of rope or line to prevent the capture of very large lobster; this measure aims to leave large broodstock in the water.
2003
Minimum size of escape vents is increased to 47 mm (to correspond to the minimum legal size of lobster which was increased annually for 7 years).
2006 to 2010
Number of traps is reduced by three traps per year (15 traps in all).
2006
Minimum number of traps per trawl is set at 7 traps; maximum distance between traps is set at 8 fathoms; maximum length of a single trawl of traps is set at 56 fathoms.
2007
Prohibition on fishing before 5:00 h in the morning and after 19:30 h in the evening.
2007
Prohibition on hauling lobster traps more than once per day.
2011 to 2014
Additionnal reduction of an additional three traps per year (12 additional traps, a total reduction of 273 traps per fish harvester).
2013
mandatory escape panels with a third option by conditions of licence.
2015:
mandatory logbook.
2016
Introduction of a different maximum height for square traps so that their volume is equivalent to that of hemicylindrical traps (81 cm long by 61 cm wide and 42 cm high).

Appendix 3 : Terms of reference, opening date analysis committee

Opening date analysis committee
Lobster - Area 22

Updated May 1st, 2017

1.  

1. Committee members

The Committee is comprised of 10 fishermen representing the various landing ports of the Magdalen Islands, of the DFO area director and managers. Upon request, a representative of the Canadian Hydrographic Service and/or the biologist in charge may also participate in the meetings.

The Harbour Authorities are mandated to make their recommendations to DFO on the choice of Committee members. The number of representatives per fishing harbour is as follows:

Grande-Entrée : 2
Grosse-Ile : 1
Pointe-aux-Loups : 1
Havre-aux-Maisons and Pointe-Basse : 1
Cap-aux-Meules and Cap-Vert : 1
Étang-du-Nord : 1
Millerand : 1
Havre-Aubert : 1
Entry Island : 1

2.  

2. Committee mandate
The only mandate of the Committee is to make recommendations regarding the modification of the lobster fishery opening date.

3.   3. Process to set the opening date of the lobster fishery
    A

Planned opening date of the fishery for 2017 and after
Starting in 2017, the opening date of the lobster fishery (setting the traps) is planned for the Saturday nearest to May 10, without going beyond May 10. For the next three years, the planned dates are:
2017: setting of traps on May 6
2018: setting of traps on May 5
2019: setting of traps on May 4

    B

Validation by the Lobster Advisory Committee
The Lobster Advisory Committee, during its annual meeting, makes a first validation of the opening date identified above.

    C

Meeting of the Opening Date Analysis Committee
If additional discussions are required closer to the opening date planned, the Opening Date Analysis Committee meets. The Committee may meet in the following cases:

      *

There is ice around the Magdalen Islands.

      *

An organisation representing lobster fishermen asks for the Committee to meet (spring colder than usual, etc.).

4.   4. Committee rules
    A

To postpone the opening date because of ice :

      *

The first meeting is generally held on the Tuesday prior to the opening date. If, at this first meeting, at least one representative recommends to postpone the opening date because of the presence of ice in a given fishing area, DFO automatically postpones the opening by one week.

      *

If a second meeting is required to discuss a second postponement of the opening date :

  • If there is a consensus, DFO accepts the recommendation of the Committee. This recommendation could be to postpone the opening date for a period inferior to a full week.
  • If at least one representative recommends the opening of the lobster fishery, this recommendation will be considered by DFO in its decision-making process.
         
    B

To modify the opening date for any other reason at the request of a fishermen organisation :
DFO will share the comments received and will ask the Opening Date Analysis Committee members for their opinion. In such a case, a consensus is desirable. If there is no consensus, DFO will make the decision and will inform the same Committee members as soon as possible.

   

Note: Despite of these rules, in order to open the lobster fishery, DFO must firstly confirm that fishing harbours will be accessible. Therefore, the status of dredging activities prevails on the Committee recommendations.

Appendix 4 : Weather condition monitoring protocol

It is Environment Canada’s marine forecast released at 10:00 and 15:30 that will be used. If the forecast is available for both parts of Gulf –Magdalen, DFO will use the “worst” conditions to confirm the setting of traps.

Starting on Thursday, DFO will start monitoring the two marine weather forecast issued but no immediate action will be taken, as it is still too early.

Friday 10:00 H
20 knots or less Actions or more than 20 knots Actions

The forecast for Saturday morning is 20 knots or less.

The Variation order is prepared but only released after the
15:30 forecast.

The forecast for Saturday morning is more than 20 knots.

Notice to CFIM that the setting of traps may possibly be delayed.

Friday 15:30 H
20 knots or less Actions Or More than 20 knots Actions

No indication that it could be windy, the forecast for Saturday morning is 20  knots or less.

Release of the Variation Order and notice to CFIM that traps will be set on Saturday at 5:00, as planned.

The forecast for Saturday morning is more than 20 knots.

Notice to CFIM that the setting of traps is delayed and information on the new departure time (if it is possible to set a time).

       

If it is not possible to set a time, DFO will further monitor the marine forecast released twice a day. A Notice will be broadcasted (CFIM) when a date and time will be confirmed (at noon at the latest for any given day).

Appendix 5 : Performance Indicator Follow-up

Updated on February 23th, 2018

Issue Objective Indicator Result

5.1 Stock productivity

5.1.1 Help maintain the abundance of stocks in the healthy zone as defined by precautionary approach

Maintain the abundance indicator in the healthy zone as defined in the precautionary approach

Forthcoming

 

5.1.2 Begin the consultations needed to put into place the additional management measures needed to improve the size structure.

Work and initiatives connected to improvements in the size structure that have been accomplished.

N/A, from the DFO Science’s advice, it is not an imperative requirement for the short term.

5.2 Importance of lobster for the Magdalen Islands community

5.2.1 Maintain the current situation in terms of the number of lobster fishing enterprises in Area 22 at 325.

Stability in the number of lobster fishing enterprises in area 22: 325.

As of today: 325 fishing enterprises.

 

5.2.2 When making decisions, take into account the potential increase in operating costs associated with lobster management and thus, keep them as low as possible.

Impact of new initiatives associated with lobster fishery management on the operating costs of lobster harvesters.

Until 2015:
No new management measure put in place.
Progressive implementation of electronic logbooks.
Since 2015: Logbook in place (electronic or paper).

5.3 Monitoring commercial fishing activities and controlling poaching

5.3.1 Put into place a monitoring plan that addresses the critical management measures.

Number of dockside and at-sea verifications during the current year and compared to preceding years.

Dockside:
2010: 445
2011: 482
2012: 447
2013: 365
2014: 364
2015: 399
2016: 489
2017 : 295

         

At sea:
2010: 41
2011: 41
2012: 28
2013: 40
2014: 26
2015: 19
2016: 22
2017: 69

   

Percentage of Fishery Officer hours allocated to lobster during the current year and compared to preceding years.

2010: 44% for 3,365 hours
2011: 42% for 2,993 hours
2012: 33% for 2,785 hours
2013: 26% for 2,043 hours
2014: 32% for 2,198 hours
2015: 40% for 2,372 hours
2016: 48% for 2,770 hours
2017: 37% for 2,192 hours

   

Degree of compliance with legislation and management measures (number of offences in relation to verifications).

2010:
4 offences
33 warnings
2011:
13 offences
21 warnings
2012:
7 offences
13 warnings
2013:
2 offences
13 warnings
2014:
1 offence
12 warnings
2015:
7 offences
75 warnings
2016:
19 offences
115 warnings
2017:
32 offences
84 warnings

 

5.3.2 Maintain the Poaching Alert program.

Number of offences connected to lobster poaching for the current year and compared to preceding years.

2010: 1
2011: 3
2012: 2
2013: 2
2014: 1
2015: 3
2016: 4
2017: 3

 

5.3.3 Continue awareness-raising visits to schools.

Number of information meetings at schools (% of the targeted clientele that was in fact met).

2010:
Met 33% of the targeted clientele.
2011: 17% of the targeted clientele.
2012: 60% of the targeted clientele.
2013: 75% of the targeted clientele.
2014: 50% of the targeted clientele.
2015: 50% of the targeted clientele.
2016: 55% of the targeted clientele.
2017: Same as 2016. Meeting with 12 fishermen to become from the Pêche professionnelle DEP

 

5.3.4 Ensure prompt and thorough follow-up of complaints received.

Number of complaints received for the current year and compared to preceding years.

2010: 35
2011: 25
2012: 15
2013: 12
2014: 14
2015: 13
2016: 14
2017: 7

5.3.5 Meet with individuals entering the commercial fishery to raise their awareness as to the importance of the management measures in place.

Percentage of lobster harvesters met by Fishery Officers during the current year.

         

2010 and 2011:
N/A, meetings every 4 year.
2012:
175 fish harvesters met (54% of the lobster fleet).
2013: N/A
2014: N/A
2015: N/A
2016: 25/39 fish harvesters met (64% of the new lobster fish harvesters since 2014).)
2017: Forthcoming before 2018 fishing season

Number of wharves visited and fishers met by fishery officers

Forthcoming

5.4 Market access

5.4.1 Within the limits of DFO’s mandate, support initiatives by the industry in such areas as traceability, eco-certification or other marketing strategies.

Advancement of work connected to traceability, eco-certification or other marketing strategies.

2010:
2010-2014 IFMP put in place.
2011: Development of a precautionary approach.
2012:
Precautionary approach in place.
Since 2013: Fishery certified (July 2013).

   
   

Work accomplished by DFO in response to industry demand.

2011:
Work on incidental catches by lobster harvesters.

     

2012:
Publication of the work on incidental catches.
2010 and 2011: Several meetings relating to the eco-certification pre-assessment process.
2012:
Participation in the eco-certification assessment process.
2013: Collaboration in the development of a work plan to meet the conditions related to the eco-certification.
Since 2014: Collaboration during surveillance audits.

5.5 Habitat and ecosystems

5.5.1 Identify the habitats that are of importance to the lobster at each stage of its development.

   

5.5.2 Identify the activities that have an impact on critical lobster habitat.

Advancement of work being done on the identification of important habitats for the lobster and on the activities having an impact on these habitats.

2010 and 2011: Multi-beam survey in Grosse-Ile (closure of sensitive areas).
2011 and 2012:  Work in Baie de Plaisance.
2013: Publication of the results of the previous year’s work.
2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014:
Collaboration in the artificial reefs projects.
Since 2015: status quo regarding the closure of the sensitive areas identified.

 

5.5.3 Characterize and document bycatch in the inshore lobster fisheries.

   

5.5.4 Identify the impact of lobster bycatch in other fishing activities.

Advancement of work being done on inshore fisheries to identify the incidental catches in the lobster fishery and the lobster incidental catches in the other fisheries.

2011:
Joint project DFO-industry to identify the incidental catches in the lobster fishery.
2012:
Publication of the results.
Since 2010: Data collection on lobster incidental catches in the flounder fishery via at-sea observers.

   

Compliance rate for reporting bycatch in the logbook

2013 and 2014: Collaboration in the Electronic Logbook project in the lobster fishery.

Since 2015: Mandatory logbook in place, including data on incidental catches.

 

5.5.5 Document and assess the impact of lobster traps lost at sea.

Progress on the impact of lobster fishing on habitat

Forthcoming

 

5.5.6 Document and assess the impact of lobster traps lost at sea.

Advancement of work on the impact of lobster traps lost at sea.

2010-2011: not realized
2012: literature review (internals DFO reports)
Since 2013: no new initiative

 

5.5.7 Set up a technical committee for the development and implementation of artificial reefs for 2018

Committee set up for 2018

Forthcoming

 

5.5.8 Continue to raise awareness amongst the fish harvesters regarding the importance of having escape panels in their traps, as is required by legislation. In addition, pursue efforts to put in place a third option consisting of using cotton twine to hold the mesh together, like in crab traps.

Advancement of work on regulatory amendments in order to offer fish harvesters a third option in terms of the mandatory escape panels on lobster traps.

2011: Regulatory amendment requested.
2012:
Decision to offer the third option (cotton twine) by way of conditions of licence starting in 2013.
Since 2013: Options implemented (on conditions of licence).

   

Number of lobster harvesters per year that have equipped their traps with escape panels.

N/A for 2010, 2011 and 2012.
2013: 40 at-sea inspections, 2 warnings for panels not meeting the requirements.
2014: 26 at-sea inspections, no warning.
2015: 19 at-sea inspections, 1 warning.
2016: 22 at-sea inspections, 2 violations.
2017: 69 at-sea inspections, 3 violations

Appendix 6: Resources

Name and Title Address Phone numbers and E-Mail

Cédric Arseneau
Area director Int.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

235, chemin Principal
porte 206
Cap-aux-Meules (Québec)
G4T 1R7

Tel: (418) 986-2390, ext. 212
Fax : (418) 986-5353
Cedric.Arseneau@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Josée Richard
Area chief, Resource management and Aquaculture
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

235, chemin Principal
porte 206
Cap-aux-Meules (Québec)
G4T 1R7

Tel: (418) 986-2390, ext. 214
Fax : (418) 986-5353
Josee.Richard@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Simon Richard
Area chief Int., Conservation and Protection
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

235, chemin Principal
porte 206
Cap-aux-Meules (Québec)
G4T 1R7

Tel: (418) 986-2390, ext. 222
Fax : (418) 986-5353
Simon.Richard@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Bernard Morin
Senior regional advisor, Resource management
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

104, rue Dalhousie
Québec (Québec)
G1K 7Y7

Tel : (418) 648-5891
Fax : (418) 649-7981
cedric.arseneau@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Ali Magassouba
Strategic Services
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

104, rue Dalhousie
Québec (Québec)
G1K 7Y7

Tel: (418) 648-4878
Fax: (418) 649-8003

Benoît Bruneau
Biologist
Marine Sciences and Aquaculture
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

C.P. 1000
Mont-Joli (Québec)
G5H 3Z4

Tel: (418) 775-0677
Fax : (418) 775-0740
benoit.bruneau@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Charles Poirier
President
Regroupement des pêcheurs et pêcheuses des côtes des Îles (RPPCI).

330, chemin Principal, bureau 301
Cap-aux-Meules (Québec) G4T 1C9

Tél : 418-986-2668
rppci@tlb.sympatico.ca

Mario Déraspe
President
Association des pêcheurs propriétaires des Îles-de-la-Madeleine (APPIM)

C.P. 8188
Cap-aux-Meules (Québec)
G4T 1R3

Tel : (418) 986-6079
Fax : (418) 986-5622
appim@tlb.sympatico.ca

Léonard Poirier
Executive director
Association des pêcheurs propriétaires des Îles-de-la-Madeleine (APPIM)

C.P. 8188
Cap-aux-Meules (Québec)
G4T 1R3

Tel: (418) 986-6079
Fax : (418) 986-5622
appim@tlb.sympatico.ca

Jean-Paul Gagné, director
Association québécoise de l’industrie de la pêche (AQIP)

2590, boul. Laurier
Bureau 860
Ste-Foy (Québec)
G1V 4M6

Tel: (418) 654-1831
Fax : (418) 654-1376
aqip@globetrotter.net

Donald Arseneau, director
Ministère de l’agriculture, des pêcheries et de l’alimentation du Québec

125, chemin du Parc
Bureau 101
Cap-aux-Meules (Québec)
G4T 1B3

Tel: (418) 986-2098
Fax : (418) 986-4421
donald.arseneau@mapaq.gouv.qc.ca

Appendix 7 : Map of lobster fishing areas

Appendix 7

Appendix 8: Bibliography

Gendron, L. and Savard, G. 2012. Lobster stock status in the coastal waters of Quebec (LFAs 15 to 22) in 2011 and determination of reference points for the implementation of a precautionary approach in the Magdalen Islands (LFA 22). DFO Can. Sci. Advis. Sec. Res. Doc. 2012/010. xvii+ 143 p.

Labbé-Giguère, Stéphanie (2015). Dynamique spatio-temporelle de la pêche au homard aux Îles de la Madeleine dans le cadre d'une étude de réalisation d'une aire marine protégée. Thesis. Rimouski, Quebec, Université du Québec à Rimouski, Institut des sciences de la mer de Rimouski, 189 p.

DFO. 2009. Assessment of the Lobster Stocks of the Magdalen Islands (LFA 22) in 2008. DFO Can. Sci. Advis. Sec. Sci. Advis. Rep. 2009/013.

DFO. 2016. Assessment of Lobster Stocks of the Magdalen Islands (LFA 22), Quebec, in 2015. DFO Can. Sci. Advis. Sec. Sci. Advis. Rep. 2016/045.