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Quebec Bulletin
February-March 2017/Volume 20/Number 1

Commercial Fisheries — Preliminary Results, 2016 Season: New Record for Landed Value in Quebec

The preliminary data for the 2016 commercial fishing season in Quebec show a third consecutive record in landed value, with shrimp, snow crab and lobster remaining the main species landed and exported. The Gaspé Peninsula remains the most significant marine sector in terms of landings.

Total Landings in Quebec from 1996 to 2016

Débarquements totaux au Québec de 1995 à 2015.*

Preliminary data for the 2016 commercial fishing season in Quebec showed total landings of 54,405 tonnes (t), valued at $258.5 million. Despite the 5% drop in landings recorded compared to the previous year, these figures demonstrate a significant increase in value of 8%, which, for the third consecutive year, represents an all-time high.

The drop in landings is mainly attributable to a decline in catches of mackerel (-18%), lobster (-12%), shrimp (-10%) and herring (-9%), despite a considerable increase in landings of whelks (+51%), urchins (+31%), sea cucumbers (+43%), Atlantic clams (+17%) and softshell clams (+16%).

The increase in the value of landings is mainly due to the strong growth in value of snow crab, which rose from $86.4 million in 2015 to $102.2 million in 2016, an increase of 18%. The 20% increase in the average landed price of snow crab—one of the three main marine species caught in Quebec in terms of value—is the reason behind last year's increase in the landed value. Note that the average landing prices of shrimp and lobster also saw an increase of 7% and 15%, respectively.

Main species landed

Shrimp, snow crab and lobster remain the most landed species with 67% of the landed volume and 87% of the landed value. Pelagic fish follow, with 14% of the landed volume and 1% of the landed value in 2016. Groundfish landings, mainly Greenland halibut, account for 8% of the landed volume and 7% of the landed value.

Breakdown of Landings by Species in 2016

Volume (54,405 tonnes)

•	Shrimp: 30%
•	Snow crab: 27%
•	Pelagic fish: 14%
•	Lobster: 10%
•	Groundfish: 8%
•	Shellfish: 8%
•	Other: 3%

Value ($258.5 million)

•	Snow crab: 40%
•	Lobster: 29%
•	Shrimp: 18%
•	Groundfish: 7%
•	Shellfish: 3%
•	Pelagic fish: 1%
•	Other: 2%

Breakdown of Landings by Marine Area

The Gaspé Peninsula remains Quebec’s leading marine sector, both in volume and landed value. In 2016, landings were as follows: 60% on the Gaspé Peninsula, 29% on the North Shore and 11% on the Magdalen Islands. The value in landings amounted to $141.2 million on the Gaspé Peninsula (55% of the total), $61.1 million on the North Shore (24%) and $55.2 million on the Magdalen Islands (21%). Compared to 2015, the value in landings in 2016 increased by 22% on the North Shore and by 11% on the Gaspé Peninsula, but decreased by 9% on the Magdalen Islands.

Breakdown of Landings by Marine Area in 2016

Volume (54,405 tonnes)

•	Gaspé Peninsula: 60%
•	North Shore: 29%
•	Magdalen Islands: 11%

Value ($258.5 million)

•	Gaspé Peninsula: 55%
•	North Shore: 24%
•	Magdalen Islands: 21%


For the period from January to October 2016, Quebec marine product exports totalled 19,731 tonnes, for a value of $313.5 million, an increase of 9% in volume and 24% in value 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 is Quebec’s primary marine product market with 80% of the market, followed by Japan and Europe.

    * This data is from January 5, 2017. The data on pelagic fish landings are still very preliminary and, as a result, must be carefully interpreted. Moreover, the landed value reported herein does not 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.

Supplementary purchase slips (SPS) include all landings that were not reported on the 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, sport fishing), fish processed by fish harvesters and fish used as bait.

Martial Ménard
Strategic Services

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