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Quebec Bulletin
February-March 2016/Volume 19/Number 1

Commercial Fisheries — Preliminary Results, 2015 Season

The preliminary results for the 2015 commercial fishing season in Quebec show total landings of 57,000 tonnes with a value of $229.2 million. This is a record value for the second year in a row. It is important to mention that the landed value does not yet take into account supplementary purchase slips (SPS) or year-end discounts granted to some buyers. These data will be updated within the next few months.

Total landings in Quebec from 1995 to 2015*
Total landings in Quebec from 1995 to 2015*

The year was marked by a 2% decrease in landed volume and a 12% increase in value. The decrease in landings is primarily due to a decrease in catches of sea cucumber (-60%), mackerel (-28%), rock crab (-12%) and snow crab (-5%), despite a marked increase in landings of capelin (+327%), redfish (+255%), clams (+192%), herring (+17%) and lobster (+10%).

The main reason for the significant increase in landed value is the increase in the landed value of lobster (+43%) and shrimp (+26%) in 2015. The increase in the average landed price of lobster (+30%) and shrimp (+26%), two of the three marine species caught in Quebec with the highest landed value, explains the significant increase in the value of landings in 2015. In the case of lobster, the 10% increase in landed volume also explains the increase in its landed value.

Shrimp, snow crab and lobster remain the most landed species with 68% of the landed volume and 88% of the landed value. Pelagic fish follow, with 15% of the landed volume and 2% of the landed value in 2015. Groundfish landings, mainly Greenland halibut, account for 8% of the landed volume and 7% of the landed value.

Breakdown of Landings by Species in 2015*

Volume (57,000 tonnes)

Shrimp 32%
Snow crab 26%
Lobster 10%
Groundfish 8%
Molluscs 6%
Others 3%

Value ($229.2 million)

Snow crab 37%
Lobster 32%
Shrimp 19%
Groundfish 7%
Molluscs 2%
Others 1%

The Gaspe Peninsula is Quebec’s leading marine area, both in terms of volume and landed value. In 2015, landings were as follows: 61% on the Gaspe Peninsula, 26% on the North Shore and 13% on the Magdalen Islands. Landed value totalled $119.2 million on the Gaspe Peninsula (52% of all landings), $59.3 million on the Magdalen Islands (26%) and $50.1 million on the North Shore (22%). Compared to 2014, the value in landings in 2015 increased by 26% in the Magdalen Islands and by 15% on the Gaspe Peninsula, but decreased by 7% on the North Shore.

Breakdown of Landings by Marine Area in 2015*

Volume (57 000 tonnes)

Gaspe 61%
North Shore 26%
Magdalen Islands 13%

Value ($229.2 million)

Gaspe 52%
North Shore 26%
Magdalen Islands 22%

For the period from January to November 2015, Quebec marine product exports totalled $272.5 million, an increase of 6% over the same period the previous year. Year in and year out, snow crab, lobster and shrimp are Quebec’s main marine exports, accounting for approximately 80% of the total market. The United States are Quebec’s primary marine product market with 80% of the market, followed by Japan and Europe.

*Note that this data is from January 4, 2016. The 2015 data on pelagic fish landings is still preliminary data and, as a result, must be carefully interpreted.

Supplementary purchase slips (SPS) include all landings not reported on general purchase slips. This information is based on estimates drawn from four different sources: direct sales to the public, personal consumption (fish harvesters and their families, sports fishing), fish processed by fish harvesters and fish used as bait.

Martial Ménard
Strategic Services

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