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Quebec Bulletin
February - March 2013/Volume 16/Number 1

Dispatches

The Canadian Coast Guard Broadens its Horizons

he new Central and Arctic Region, which includes Quebec, represents the major St. Lawrence–Great Lakes navigation corridor and the great Arctic region. The Canadian Coast Guard’s services to navigators are indispensible on these key waterways passing between settled shores and through fragile ecosystems. Our mission in the Arctic is evolving and expanding given the dramatic changes in climate and ice conditions in this northern environment, which is drawing increased attention both nationally and internationally.

CCGS Henry Larsen
This winter, you have no doubt noticed the more frequent presence of the CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent, CCGS Griffon and CCGS Henry Larsen in waters they used to visit only occasionally. These deployments are among the improved services resulting from the new organizational structure.

In the fall of 2013, the Central and Arctic Region will move its administrative offices to a new location on the fifth floor of 105 McGill Street in Old Montréal. Employees of the Assistant Commissioner’s Office, Regional Operations Centre, Ice Operations Centre, Notices to Mariners (NOTMAR) office and Fleet Directorate team will all work there. However, to facilitate a gradual transition, temporary offices have been set up in Montréal’s Place Bonaventure since early February 2013.

To ensure continuous, high-quality service, the technical staff responsible for aids to navigation services, Marine Communications and Traffic Services (MCTS), search and rescue, environmental response and waterways management will remain at their current bases in Québec and Sarnia or in operations centres across the territory. Ships will also remain at their usual bases, though they may be deployed throughout the greater region.

Mario Pelletier, Assistant Commissioner
Canadian Coast Guard

Using technology to connect with students in isolated communities

Videoconference room

For many years, fishery officers from the North Shore have offered educational programming for students in many of the North Shore schools. It has often been difficult to visit some schools on a regular basis due to the isolation of certain communities between Blanc-Sablon and Kegaska. In order to overcome this obstacle, Officer Guy Thibault took a new approach, working closely with school representatives at Chevery and Harrington Harbour and the director of the adult education centre at Blanc-Sablon.

On January 17, 2013, a presentation was given simultaneously via video-conference to 15 students at the Harrington Harbour School and 28 students at the Netagamiou School in Chevery. Awareness articles were sent in advance to the teachers so they could introduce their students to the themes of the presentation. The presentation focused on the biology and habitat of marine species native to the Lower North Shore, species at risk, the mandate and role of fishery officers, the importance of conservation and protection, and career opportunities with Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

Students and teachers were very appreciative of the presentation and of the efforts made to reach their communities.

Dean Flynn
North Shore Area

North Shore Area for Species at Risk

Wolffish
DFO R. Larocque

Wolffish
In 2003, the Spotted Wolffish, the Northern Wolffish and the Atlantic Wolffish were protected under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) due to declining populations. These declines were caused by overfishing as bycatch of other groundfish fisheries. Conservation measures imposed under SARA now require the release of wolffish bycatch. Although still below abundance levels seen in the 1970s, all three species show recent signs of recovery as a result of protection and management measures. At the last assessment meeting of the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada, Spotted and Northern Wolffish were assessed as “threatened” and the Atlantic Wolffish as a “special concern.”

St. Lawrence Striped Bass
J. L. Courteau
St. Lawrence Striped Bass
In 2004, the St. Lawrence Striped Bass population was assessed as “extirpated.” The reintroduction of the species in the early 2000s has produced impressive results, and reproduction in the natural environment has been confirmed. The increasing abundance and good distribution of the Striped Bass observed since then are encouraging signs. A review of the status of the population resulted in a change from “extirpated” to “endangered” in November 2012.