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DUFOUR, R., H. BENOIT, M. CASTONGUAY, J. CHASSÉ, L. DEVINE, P. GALBRAITH, M. HARVEY, P. LAROUCHE, S. LESSARD, B. PETRIE, L. SAVARD, C. SAVENKOFF, L. ST-AMAND, M. STARR, 2010. 2010 Canadian marine ecosystem status and trends report. Advis. Sec. Sci. Advis. Rep. 2010/030(Revised), 38 p .
GENDRON, L, G. SAVARD, 2010. Évaluation de létat des stocks de crabe commun (Cancer irroratus) des eaux côtières du Québec en 2009 ; Assessment of Rock crab (Cancer irroratus) stock status in the coastal waters of Québec in 2009. MPO, Secrétariat canadien de consultation scientifique, Document de recherche ; DFO, Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat, Research Document, 2010/069, 70 p .
begin to take off until 1995, first in the southern part of the Gaspé Peninsula and Magdalen Islands, then along the north shore of the Gaspé Peninsula and, since 2004, on the North Shore and Anticosti Island. It is common knowledge that rock crab is an important prey species for lobster. Thus, as soon as rock crab exploitation began, the fishery was managed by a conservation plan intended to protect the trophic relationships between these two species. The management measures currently in place are for protecting the reproductive potential by keeping exploitation rates low or moderate. The present research document describes the data and analyses that served to determine stock status and provide recommendations for the 2010-2012 fishing seasons (MPO 2010). Stock assessment is based mainly on the review of abundance indicators (landings and catch rates) and demographic indicators (size of crabs landed), from the commercial fishery. The assessment was based on examination of historical trends highlighting the changes observed since the last stock assessment in 2006 (MPO 2007). Additionally, incidental catches of rock crab from a survey on lobster conducted since 1995 in the Magdalen Islands was used to estimate recruitment. A trap survey was also conducted in July 2008 along the north shore of the Gaspé Peninsula to follow the evolution of rock crab populations in exclusion (no-take) areas, in comparison with adjacent fishing areas. The development of the rock crab fishery in the Gaspé Peninsula and Magdalen Islands in the past fifteen years has been done in a cautious manner. In 2009, in general, stock status indicators suggest that up to now, harvesting levels are not causing any major problems for populations. In a few cases, such as in the Magdalen Islands and on the North Shore, small reductions in quotas or fishing effort were recommended in order not to accentuate observed declines in CPUEs, or decreases in mean size or in the number of large-size crabs. However, the management objectives of maintaining moderate harvesting levels are threatened by a lack of control of the by-catches by lobster vessels. In addition, the directed fishery effort currently deployed is significantly lower than that permitted by the existing management measures. The deployment of latent effort would increase the exploitation rate, with unknown consequences on the stability observed until now. Recommendations were given to eliminate this latent effort.
GENDRON, L., G. SAVARD, 2008. Distribution et abondance des homards de grande taille en Gaspésie et impacts économiques et biologiques de l'instauration dune taille maximale de capture. Rapp. can. ind. sci. halieut. aquat., 281, 43 p .
A study was undertaken in 2004 to assess the economic impacts for the lobster fishers of the implementation of a maximum legal catch size and to examine the benefits of such a measure in terms of increase in egg production. To the request of the industry, three scenarios of maximum catch size (carapace length, CL) were examined: 120 mm (4.75 inches), 127 mm (5 inches) and 140 mm (5.5 inches). The assessments were based on the number of lobsters ≥ 120, ≥ 127 and ≥ 140 mm CL reported during the 2004 lobster fishing season in each lobster fishing sub-zones, from at-sea and plant sampling. Sampling was done between the 10 May and the 1st July 2004, from which 15555 and 13361 lobsters were sampled at-sea and in plants respectively. The two main elements that come out of this study are that the abundance of large lobsters is relatively low in the Gaspé and that these lobsters are not distributed homogenously throughout the area. Consequently, the benefits of the implementation of a maximum catch size, in terms of the increase in egg production would be marginal in the short term and could be significant only on a longer term (15 years). Because of the spatial heterogeneity in the distribution of large lobsters, the financial impact of this measure would not be shared evenly among fishermen.
GENDRON, L., P. GAUTHIER, G. SAVARD, 2007. Expériences préliminaires de culture de lalgue brune Laminaria longicruris en laboratoire et en mer au large de Paspébiac (Québec) en 2006. Rapp. tech. can. sci. halieut. aquat., 2731, 53 p .
GENDRON, L., G. SAVARD, N. PAILLE, 2004. État des stocks de homard de la Côte-Nord du Québec (Zones 15, 16 et 18) en 2003. MPO, Secrétariat canadien de consultation scientifique, Document de recherche, 2004/062, 48 p .
In recent years, lobster landings from the North Shore accounted for 1 % to 2 % of total lobster landings in Quebec. Landings recorded in area 15 in 2003 totalled 30 t, which is equivalent to 2002 and to the 1984-1993 average (35 t). In area 16, landings totalled 8 t which is lower that the 1984-2002 average (13 t). Landings in area 18 are very low and have reached 2 t in 2003. Since 1993, the average annual CPUE observed during at-sea sampling in LFAs 15 and 16 ranged from 0.2 to 0.4 lobsters per trap. Mean CPUE recorded in 2003 reached 0.3 lobster per trap, which is slightly below the series average (0.33 lobster per trap). Mean size of commercial lobster was 87.5 mm in 2003 compared to 83.6 mm in 1997, before the increase in minimum legal size. Since 1998, minimum catch size was increased by 4 mm. Although size frequency distributions occasionally show a few modes in the larger size groups, they nevertheless indicate relatively high exploitation rates. No jumbo lobsters (≥127 mm CL) were found in samples in 2003. Over the years, berried females have been seen in catches, mainly at the end of the fishing season, in proportions that ranged from 5 % to 35 %. However, the abundance is generally low and between 1993 an 2003, an average of only 24 berried females was sampled each year. There was a slight increase in their proportion in the past three years. The average size of berried females is about 90 mm. Observations made in 2003 in LFA 15 showed that females reach sexual maturity at approximately 93 mm. Egg-per-recruit production was not calculated specifically for North Shore sectors. Nevertheless, because of the large size at sexual maturity and high exploitation rates, the egg production per recruit level is thought to be low compared with a non-harvested lobster stock. Consequently, it is recommended that minimum catch size continue to be increased, in order to increase egg production.
GENDRON, L., G. SAVARD, 2003. État des stocks de homard de la Gaspésie (Zone 19, 20 et 21) en 2002 ; Lobster stock status in the Gaspé (LFAs 19, 20 and 21) in 2002. MPO, Secrétariat canadien de consultation scientifique, Document de recherche ; DFO, Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat, Research Document, 2003/059, 54 p .
In 2002, lobster landings in the Gaspé totalled 789 t, a decrease of 17 % from 2001 (959 t). Landings in 2002 were 14 % below the average for the 1990s and beginning of the 2000s (1990-2001), but 8 % above the 25-year average (1977-2001). In the Gaspé in 2002, 94 % of landings were from LFA 20, 4 % were from LFA 19 and 2 % were from LFA 21. <br>The decrease in landings in 2002 can be attributed to a cold fishing season which could have negatively impacted catchability. The 1-mm increase in minimum catch size can account for up to 10 % of the drop in certain sectors. The 2001 fall fishing season in 21B has taken part of the annual recruitment, which could explain the decrease in landings the following spring in this area. In 2002, the CPUE of commercial lobsters was 0.41 lobster/trap, its lowest level since 1986. It was 28 % below the average (in number) for 1986-2001 and 18 % below the weight average. Larger lobsters partly offset the decrease in the number of lobsters caught. CPUEs measured during the fall fishing season in 21B were on average seven times higher than in spring. Following the increases in minimum legal size, the mean size of lobsters landed in LFA 20 as a whole increased from 4-5 mm in 2002 compared with 1996, while mean weight rose by about 15 %. The proportion of "market" lobsters (greater than or equal 83 mm) was 82 % in 2002, compared with an average of 49 % for 1993-1996. The exploitation rate for commercial-size males reached 88 % in 2001 in LFA20. The increase in minimum catch size contributed to reduce to 60 % the exploitation rate for the portion of the stock greater than or equal 76 mm. In LFA 20, the proportion of jumbo lobster (greater than or equal 127 mm CTL) accounted for only 0.04 % of the catch (in number) in 2002. The mean size of lobsters in LFAs 19 and 21 is bigger than that of lobsters in LFA 20. More jumbo lobsters were also found there, accounting for 4.5 % and 1.6 % of the catch, respectively. The results of a simulation model show that with the 5-mm increase in minimum catch size, egg production per recruit (EPR) appears to have increased by approximately 90 % from 1996 levels. The objective of the conservation plan to double 1996 EPR levels will be reached with a minimum size of 82 mm. The abundance of berried females has increased in the population but egg production probably mainly comes from first spawners (primiparous). The conservation measures taken since 1997 have had a tangible, positive impact on lobster stocks. Egg production has increased and the growth potential of lobster is better expressed. Doubling egg production per recruit is the first step in meeting the conservation objectives that are also intended to ensure the distribution of egg production between first spawners and mulltiple spawners and to widen the size structure of stocks. Exploitation rates remain high and need to be reduced. Such high exploitation rates make the fishery heavily dependent on annual recruitment, offset the expected benefits of increasing the minimum catch size, and slow down the increase in the proportion of multiparous females in stocks.
GENDRON, L., G. SAVARD, 2003. État des stocks de homard aux Îles de la Madeleine (Zone 22) en 2002 ; Lobster stock status in the Magdalen Islands (LFA 22) in 2002. MPO, Secrétariat canadien de consultation scientifique, Document de recherche ; DFO, Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat, Research Document, 2003/058, 54 p .
Lobster landings in the Magdalen Islands reached 2,024 t in 2002, compared with 2,177 t in 2001, representing a 7 % decrease. Landings were 4 % below the average of the years 1985-2001 (2,110 t), which include years where historic high levels of landings were recorded. In a longer term perspective, landings in 2002 were 12 % higher than the 25-year average (1977-2001) of 1,812 t. The 2002 fishing season was slightly colder than the preceding years, which may have had an effect on catchability. In 2002, the average CPUEs in number of lobster for the entire Magdalen Islands were 13 % below the series average (1985-2001), but in terms of weight of lobster, they were 2 % above the average. CPUEs in number were lower in 2002 compared to 2001 both in southern and northern Magdalen Islands. However, decreases of CPUEs in weight were a little less. The mean size of lobsters caught increased by approximately 5 mm in 2002 compared to 1996. In 2002, the proportion of "market" lobsters (≥ 83 mm) was > 90 %, compared with averages of 54 % (south) and 65 % (north) in 1996. The proportion of jumbo lobster (≥ 127 mm CL) remains very low (< 1 %). Exploitation rates for commercial-size male lobsters remain high in the southern and northern Magdalen Islands and are above 70 %. Exploitation rate of the fraction of the population ≥ 76 mm has decreased to approximately 45 % since the minimum catch size was increased. The results of a simulation model show that with the 6-mm increase in minimum catch size, egg production per recruit appears to have increased by approximately 75 % from 1996 levels. The objective of doubling egg production per recruit should be reached by increasing minimum catch size to 83 mm. The abundance of berried females has increased in the population but egg production probably mainly comes from first spawners (primiparous). The abundance indices of recruitment to the fishery suggest that current landing levels could be maintained in 2003. However, prerecruit and juvenile abundance indices were down during the trawl survey in 2002, suggesting a possible drop in fishing recruitment in the coming years. The conservation measures taken since 1997 have had a tangible, positive impact on lobster stocks. Egg production has increased and the growth potential of lobster is better expressed. Doubling egg production per recruit is the first step in meeting the conservation objectives that are also intended to ensure the distribution of egg production between first spawners and mulltiple spawners and to widen the size structure of stocks. Exploitation rates remain high and need to be reduced. Such high exploitation rates make the fishery heavily dependent on annual recruitment, offset the expected benefits of increasing the minimum catch size, and slow down the increase in the proportion of multiparous females in stocks.
GENDRON, L., G. SAVARD, 2000. État des stocks de homard des eaux côtières du Québec en 1999 et suivi des impacts de l'augmentation de la taille minimale de capture. MPO, Secrétariat canadien pour l'évaluation des stocks, Document de recherche ; DFO, Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat, Research Document, 2000/115, 84 p .
Québec lobster landings reached 292 t in 1999, compared with 3049 t in 1998 and 2825 t in 1997. They have been declining since the early 1990s. For the last three years, landings in the Magdalen Islands have remained stable at about 1900 t, but are 34 % below their 1992 peak. Gaspé landings were about 950 t, roughly the same as in 1998, and above the mean of the last 14 years (695 t). Landings on the North Shore dropped to 32 t and those of Anticosti Island to 89 t. In 1999, for the Magdalen Islands as a whole, catch rates held steady at 1998 levels, although on the north side they have been dropping constantly since 1992. In 1999, in the Gaspé, in LFAs 20A and 20B, catch rates were equivalent to those of 1998 and above the mean for the last 15 years. Catch rates in LFA 21 and on the North Shore (LFAs 15 and 16) remained stable in 1999, but were only half to a third of those in LFAs 20A and 20B. We have no figures on catch rates for LFA 17 (Anticosti), 18 (North Shore) and 19 (Northern Gaspé). In 1999, as a result of the increase in the minimum legal size, the mean size of lobster caught was about 3 mm longer than in 1996 in the Magdalen Islands and the Gaspé and about 2 mm longer on the North Shore. Exploitation rates remained high in the Magdalen Islands (about 70 %), the Gaspé (about 75 %) and probably on the North Shore, as well. They have been increasing since 1985, highlighting the fisherys dependency on annual recruitment. The exploitation rate was lower on Anticosti Island (about 20 %). Since the legal size limit was raised 3 mm, computer modelling suggests that E/R has increased 26 % in the Magdalen Islands and 40 % in the Gaspé over 1996 levels. The goal is a 100 % increase. Recruitment indices were up in the Magdalen Islands and in the Gaspé, which suggests that landings in 2000 could be comparable to those of 1999. However, precision of the recruitment indices still needs to be improved, to increase the reliability of the predictions.
GENDRON, L., S. BRULOTTE, C. CYR, G. SAVARD, 1998. Développement de la pêche et état de la ressource de crabe commun (Cancer irroratus) en Gaspésie et aux Iles-de-la-Madeleine (Québec) de 1995 à 1997. Rapp. tech. can. sci. halieut. aquat., 2248, 37 p .
Exploitation of the rock crab (Cancer irroratus) on Canada's Atlantic coast is relatively new. Experimental fishing began in the southern part of the Gulf of St. Lawrence in 1974. In Quebec, markets developed later, and fishing began only in 1988. After a mere two years of operation, fishing practically ceased for lack of buyers, but a new start was made in 1995. When fishing first began, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans implemented a management plan to control development of this new fishery and maintain the population's reproductive potential. Fishing is regulated by a minimum legal shell width of 102 mm (4"), a ban on landing females, use of selective gear to minimize lobster (Homarus americanus) catches, and a limit on trap numbers. The number of licenses is limited in certain areas, as are catches. In 1997, Quebec rock crab landings reached 1,040 t, a 51 % rise from 1996. In the Gaspe, landings totalled 592 t, accounting for 57 % of Quebec landings. In the Magdalen Islands in 1997, landings increased by 125 % compared to 1996, reaching 448 t. They represented 43% of Quebec landings. The rock crab fishery is still expanding and the opening of new fishing grounds in 1997 contributed to the increase in landings. In the Gaspe, catch rates have been falling since 1995, quite steeply in some areas. In the Magdalen Islands, 1997 catch rates were lower than in 1996 but equivalent to those of 1995. Declining catch rates may reflect depletion of the accumulated biomass of these virgin stocks, but they could also be due to changes in fishing patterns in space and time in relation to seasonal crab movements or changes in the pattern of abundance that could be cyclic. At present, it is hard to detect the effects of harvesting on the populations. We insist on the need for slow and cautious development of this fishery because of concerns over the possible impact of rock crab harvesting on lobster stocks. The two species interact sufficiently to justify strict and cautious management of the crab fishery.
GENDRON, L., J.-P. DALLAIRE, G. SAVARD, 1995. Lobster on the Québec coast (fishing areas 15 to 22). Pages 27-54 in L. Savard (ed.). Status report on invertebrates in 1994 : crustaceans and molluscs on the Québec coast, northern shrimp and zooplankton in the estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence. DFO (Can. Manuscr. Rep. Fish. Aquat. Sci., 2323) .
GENDRON, L., J.-P. DALLAIRE, G. SAVARD, 1995. Homard des côtes du Québec (zones de pêche 15 à 22). Pages 28-56 in L. Savard (éd.). Rapport sur l'état des invertébrés en 1994 : crustacés et mollusques des côtes du Québec, crevette nordique et zooplancton de l'estuaire et du golfe du Saint-Laurent. MPO (Rapp. manus. can. sci. halieut. aquat., 2323) .
Lobster landings in the Québec region have increased regularly during the last 20 years, reaching 3835 t in 1992. In 1993, landings decreased by 7 % from 1992, reaching 3552 t. In the Magdalen Islands, landings and abundance indices from at-sea- sampling and index-fishermen have all decreased relatively to 1992. Despite this decrease, the abundance level is still high, considering values for the last fifty years. Recruitment indices obtained from at-sea-sampling, i.e. prerecruit (67-75 mm CTL) CPUE were lower in 1993 compared to 1992, indicating the possibility of a decrease in landings for 1994. In the Gaspé, in 1993, landings showed a 10 % decrease from 1992. Abundance indices obtained from the index-fishermen program also decreased. CPUE from commercial at sea sampling showed a slight increase compared to 1992, in the middle and end of the fishing season. CPUE observed at the beginning of the season in 1992 and 1993 were lower compared to the average of the past 8 years. Colder springs in the last two years may have reduced catchability at the beginning of the season. The relationship between the abundance of prerecruits a given year and the landings the next year for the Gaspé is not as clear as what was observed in Magdalen Islands. Forecasting the trend of the landings for the next season is not possible. The recent increase in landings is generally attributed to an increase in the abundance of lobsters on the fishing grounds. Because the phenomenon was observed over the whole range of distribution of the species, it is believed that common environmental factors have favoured large-scale lobster recruitment. It is also believed that the increase in landings can be, to a certain extent, the result of an increase in some components of the fishing effort, which contributed namely to the exploitation of new grounds. Lobster populations are heavily exploited and landings a given year strongly depend on recruitment in that year. This dependance appears to be greater in the Gaspé. Research efforts are presently directed at forecasting the recruitment to the fishery one to four years in advance.
MUNRO, J., G. SAVARD, 1991. Physical performance of a single versus a dual inflow rearing tank for fish and crustacean larvae. Pages 372-376 in P. Lavens, P. Sorgeloos, E. Jaspers & S. Ollevier (ed.). LARVI '91 : Fish & Crustacean Larviculture Symposium. European Aquaculture Sociey, Gent, Belgium (Special publication, 15) .
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