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A Sustainable Fishery
for Gulf of St. Lawrence shrimp

Ann Grace

In the last five years, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Gulf of St. Lawrence shrimp industry have collaborated to establish a work plan targeting, among others, the precautionary approach and the update of the Gulf Shrimp Integrated Fisheries Management Plan (IFMP). These two factors are important tools in managing marine resources in Canada and are meant to provide more stability and predictability for decision-making and management.

International Recognition

In 2008, shrimp stocks in the four areas of the Gulf of St. Lawrence attained Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification, which confirms to buyers that shrimp meet the criteria related to sustainable fisheries. The full certification report can be found on the MSC website (

Obtaining this certification and the need to maintain it for the future are important steps for the Department in improving its management tools adapted for Gulf of St. Lawrence shrimp.

Predictable Process for Total Allowable Catch

In March 2012, the Department, in collaboration with its partners, improved its process for establishing total allowable catch (TAC) for Gulf shrimp. Specific indicators were identified so a more predictable TAC could be established. This new process provides stability for the industry, which was a goal for the 2012 and 2013 seasons.

An IFMP with an Adapted Multi-year Action Plan

An essential component of an effective IFMP is to clearly identify, with industry partners, the issues surrounding a sustainable and prosperous fishery. Based on the realities, the IFMP action plan for Gulf shrimp can focus on sensitive issues related to conservation, socio-economic or ecosystem-based aspects of the fishery.

To take stock of the socio-economic and ecosystem-based aspects of this fishery, members of the Gulf Shrimp Advisory Committee agreed to consider holding a conference by the end of 2012. This conference would be a unique opportunity to further work on the global challenges of this fishery and to prepare, with all stakeholders, the multi-year action plan that will guide the committee in its work over the next few years.

The Gulf Shrimp Management Plan is available on the Department's national Web site.

Gulf of St. Lawrence Shrimp Management

Gulf of St. Lawrence northern shrimp fishery certified as sustainable

Daniel Boisvert
Fisheries Management
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