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Infoceans
The Quebec Region Bulletin
Volume 9 – Number 1 – February – March 2006



NEW MINISTER OF FISHERIES AND OCEANS : THE HONOURABLE LOYOLA HEARN
Picture - Loyola Hearn, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

 On February 6, 2006, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the appointment of Loyola Hearn as Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.

Loyola Hearn was elected as a Member of Parliament in a federal by-election in 2000 in the riding of St. John’s South–Mount Pearl (Newfoundland and Labrador). He was re-elected in 2004 and 2006.

Mr. Hearn most recently served as Official Opposition Critic for Fisheries and Oceans. Prior to this, he was Critic for the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, for Public Works and Government Services and for Canadian Heritage.

Mr. Hearn also served as Conservative Party House Leader and was a member of a number of standing committees and parliamentary subcommittees.

Prior to his election to the House of Commons, he served in the Newfoundland House of Assembly as the Member for the riding of St. Marys–The Capes from 1982 to 1993, and was Minister of Education from 1985 to 1989.

Mr. Hearn was born in the fishing village of Renews, where he received his early education. He studied at Memorial University of Newfoundland and the University of New Brunswick. After graduating from Memorial University in 1969, he returned to Renews to teach.

Mr. Hearn lives in Renews with his wife, Maureen, and they have two children.

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COMMERCIAL FISHING RESULTS IN QUEBEC: 2005 SEASON

By Richard Lessard

Picture - Commercial fishing

By the end of November 2005, 57,000 tonnes of fish and shellfish had been landed in Quebec, for a total value of $140 million. These results are in line with the averages for the last 15 years.

The aggregate volume of landings posted for all species is close to the average of 59,000 tonnes for the last 15 years. The landed value of $140 million is slightly higher than the average of $134 million recorded for 15 years.

Results for the various species harvested are positive. The 2005 season saw an increase in the landings and landed value of cod, scallops and Atlantic halibut. Snow crab catches also rose by 8%, in terms of volume.

The landed prices for lobster, shrimp, scallops, Atlantic halibut, herring and mackerel were all higher than in 2004, but snow crab prices suffered a sharp drop of 43%.

 

Graphic - Trends in Quebec landings, 1990-2005(p)

Results for Areas

GASPE

Aggregate landings for all species in the Gaspe were 36,000 tonnes, worth $73 million. This represents a drop in both volume and value from the 2004 season, whose results were 40,000 tonnes with a value of $108 million. However, both volume and value were higher than the Gaspe average for the last 15 years.

In 2005, 64% of total Quebec marine resources harvested were landed at Gaspe harbours. This was made up of 45% shrimp and 27% snow crab. Close to 60% of all snow crab catches and 92% of all shrimp catches were landed at Gaspe harbours.

In 2005, Gaspe landings represented 52% of total Quebec landing values, made up of 44% snow crab and 29% shrimp.

MAGDALEN ISLANDS

Aggregate landings for all species in the Magdalen Islands were a little over 9,000 tonnes, worth over $44 million. This represents a decline from the 2004 season, whose results were 11,000 tonnes with a value of $55 million. While the volume of Magdalen Islands landings was lower than the average for the last 15 years, their value exceeded the average by nearly $8 million.

In 2005, 16% of total Quebec marine resources harvested were landed at Magdalen Islands harbours. This was made up of 26% lobster and 24% snow crab. Nearly 75% of total Quebec lobster catches were landed at Magdalen Islands harbours.

In 2005, Magdalen Islands landings represented 31% of total Quebec landing values, made up of 73% lobster and 19% snow crab.

 

NORTH SHORE

Aggregate landings for all species on the North Shore were 11,400 tonnes, worth $24 million. This represents a rise in volume, but a drop in values relative to the 2004 season, whose results were 10,000 tonnes with a value of $35 million. Both volume and values for North Shore landings were below the average of the last 15 years.

In 2005, 20% of total Quebec marine resources harvested were landed at North Shore harbours. This was made up of 39% snow crab and 13% groundfish. Nearly 70% of total Quebec scallop catches were landed at North Shore harbours.

In 2005, North Shore landings made up 17% of total Quebec landing values, and of this 61% was snow crab.

SPECIES HARVESTED IN QUEBEC IN 2005

Canada remained the world's main supplier of snow crab, with landings of 95,250 tonnes, more than 85% of which was exported to the United States. Snow crab prices decreased by 30% on the U.S. market and by 25% on the Japanese market owing to the combined effect of reduced demand and the higher Canadian dollar.

Despite the drop in the landed value of lobster from the 2004 level, 2005 proved to be an excellent year for this species. In the Magdalen Islands, prices and landings remained stable. The Gaspe region posted a decrease in landed volume but its effect was softened by the higher landed price.

Landings of shrimp decreased by 22% despite the record level of the total allowable catch. This decline is attributable to a dispute over landed price that arose between fishers and processors in the middle of the season. The value of scallop landings rose, primarily because of the decline in U.S. landings. Landed volume also increased, thanks mainly to the 72% increase in scallop landings in the Magdalen Islands.

The value of cod landings in the Gaspe totalled $1.3 million, or nearly 64% of the total landed value in Quebec. On the North Shore, cod landings generated $606,000, or close to 29% of the total for Quebec. Cod landings in the Magdalen Islands brought $150,000, accounting for 7% of the total landed value in Quebec.

On the topic of other groundfish species, the 2005 results show that the 3,000 tonnes of turbot (Greenland halibut) landed in the Gaspe generated $4.8 million, accounting for nearly 76% of total landed value in Quebec. With regard to Atlantic halibut, the value of Gaspe landings stood at $548,000, or nearly 64% of the total value landed in Quebec ports.

In terms of pelagic fish, herring landings fell sharply in the Magdalen Islands, but rose in the Gaspe. Landed value stood at $981,000 in the Gaspe, representing nearly 68% of the total for Quebec. The year 2005 saw a decline in mackerel landings in the Gaspe and in the Magdalen Islands, where the landed value totalled $381,000, or close to 69% of the total for Quebec.

 

Table - Graphics of 2005 season - Quebec

 

 

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MORE INFO ON MARINFO!

For several years now, the Canadian Coast Guard, Quebec Region has been building up its Internet presence with Marinfo, its marine data portal, and providing clients with yet more useful information.  A wealth of material is now accessible through this portal, such as notices to shipping, notices to mariners, the buoyage program, positions of Coast Guard vessels and ice information.  In addition, georeferenced data mean that all this information can be obtained in real time, superimposed on charts.

We invite you to visit the Marinfo portal regularly and use it as a prime reference source for marine information on the St. Lawrence.

(P.F.)

www.marinfo.gc.ca

 

Picture - Marinfo web site

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2005 SURVEY OF RECREATIONAL FISHING IN CANADA

On January 25, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) announced the launch of the 2005 Survey of Recreational Fishing in Canada, in cooperation with provincial and territorial governments.

The survey is the most comprehensive assessment of recreational fishing conducted in Canada. It has been conducted every five years since 1975. The results are used by fisheries management agencies as a primary source of information about recreational fishing in all provinces and territories.

Survey questionnaires will be mailed to 82,000 Canadian residents and anglers from other countries by provincial and territorial agencies and DFO over the coming weeks. The purpose of the survey is to obtain reliable, up-to-date information on the importance and popularity of recreational fishing in Canada. Recipients are being asked questions such as where they fish and how often, what fish they catch and retain, their opinions on specific management issues and the amount of money they spend in pursuit of their fishing activities.

The results of the 2000 survey showed that angling in Canada is a popular outdoors activity. In 2000, there were 3.6 million active adult anglers who fished for a total of 48 million days. Of the fish caught, nearly two-thirds were released. The success of catch and release programs is a testament to the importance of conservation to Canada’s anglers. Overall, the angling population spent an estimated $6.7 billion in Canada in 2000.

A final report on the 2005 survey, with Canada-wide results as well as those for each jurisdiction, will be published next year.

More information on the results of the previous Surveys of Recreational Fishing in Canada is available on the Statistics link of DFO’s homepage at

www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca

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SPECIES AT RISK ACT: CONSULTATIONS ON THE PROPOSED LISTING OF WINTER SKATE

By Chantale Thiboutot

Picture - Winter skate

In recent months, the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) has made recommendations to the government on adding certain species to the List of Wildlife Species at Risk.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada is currently holding consultations to seek input from the public on COSEWIC’s recommendation to add the following populations to this List:

 

•   Winter Skate, Eastern Scotian Shelf population (threatened)

•   Winter Skate, Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence population (endangered)

COSEWIC has indicated that the listing of these populations is necessary because the species possesses life history characteristics that make it vulnerable to exploitation, that reduce the recovery rate and that increase the risk of extinction. These characteristics include delayed sexual maturity, long generation time, low fecundity and slow population growth rate.

The COSEWIC report states that since the early 1970s, the abundance of mature individuals is estimated to have declined by more than 90% on the eastern Scotian Shelf and by 98% in the southern Gulf of St.Lawrence. As well, the area occupied by the two populations appears to have declined significantly since the mid-1980s.

According to COSEWIC, one probable cause of the decline is the unsustainable rate at which these fish are taken as by-catch in fisheries directed at other groundfish species, especially flatfish.

When a species is included on the List of Wildlife Species at Risk, management and/or recovery measures are implemented. Species listed as extirpated, endangered or threatened are automatically protected by the prohibitions set out in the Act.

Other consultations in process

Consultations are currently being held regarding the addition of other aquatic species to the List of Wildlife Species at Risk. Candidate species include the Striped Bass, St. Lawrence Estuary population (extirpated); the Striped Bass, Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence population (threatened) and the Copper Redhorse (endangered).

You can provide your views on the proposed listing of the above populations by using the consultation workbooks provided on the SARA Public Registry (www.sararegistry.gc.ca) or by contacting the Species at Risk Co-ordination Office, Quebec Region:

Tel.: 1-877-775-0848

E-mail: especesperilqc@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

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2006 DFO CONSULTATIONS WITH THE FISHING INDUSTRY

Each year, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Quebec Region, holds a series of consultations with fisheries stakeholders in order to develop the fisheries plans and management measures that will be in force for the following fishing season. The calendar below presents the dates and locations of these meetings.

Note: Consultation dates are subject to change without notice. Please check with your local DFO office.

Species Advisory Committees Responsibility Location Date
         
Groundfish Gulf Groundfish Regional Moncton April 11-12, 2006
         
Pelagics Atlantic mackerel Area N/D April (TBD)
  Small pelagics North Shore (herring 4S) Area Sept-Îles Week of April 17, 2006
         
Crustaceans Snow crab area 13 Interregional N/D TBD
  Magdalen Island toad crabs Area M.I. March 1, 2006
  Magdalen Island rock crabs Area M.I. March 1, 2006
  Snow crab area 12 Interregional Moncton March 14, 2006
  Snow crab area F Interregional M.I. March 21, 2006
  Gaspé rock crab Area Gaspé March 22, 2006 AM
  Snow crab area E Interregional Moncton March 23, 2006
         
Molluscs Magdalen Islands scallops Area M.I. March 2006 (TBD)
  M.I. Extended Integrated management committee of Bassin aux huîtres Area M.I. March 6, 2006
  M.I. whelk Area M.I. March 7, 2006 PM
  M.I. Atlantic quahog, Stimpson clam and razor clam Area M.I. March 7, 2006 AM
         
Echinoderms Gaspé sea urchins Area Gaspé TBD
         
Species Others meetings Responsibiliy Location Date
         
Groundfish Greenland halibut Regional + Area Québec March 2006
         
Pelagics Long term vision for herring and mackerel fisheries, Southern Gulf Area Moncton March 20-21, 2006

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NEW EDITIONS OF NAUTICAL CHARTS

By Karina Laberge

The Canadian Hydrographic Service (CHS) recently produced new editions of nautical charts for the Lower North Shore region and the Magdalen Islands:

• Chart 4473, Île de la Grande Passe to Îles Bun

• Chart 4957, Havre-Aubert

The new editions of these charts update all information appearing on the previous versions: depths, positions and characteristics of buoys, underwater obstacles, place names and any other data of use to mariners. The charts incorporate survey data newly acquired by the Canadian Hydrographic Service.

Mariners should therefore purchase these new editions from their authorized chart dealer. The charts will be updated through Notices to Mariners.

The 2006 Tide and Current Tables of Canada are now available. This year, the Pointe-au-Père lighthouse in Rimouski has been chosen as the cover illustration for the four volumes of tide tables covering eastern Canada.

For more information on CHS products and services, please visit

 www.charts.gc.ca

Picture - Canadian tide and current tables

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Infoceans

February - March 2006
Volume 9
Number 1

Published by:
Communications Branch
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
104
Dalhousie St.
Quebec
(Québec)  G1K 7Y7
Telephone:
418-648-7747

Acting Director:
Marcel-M. Boudreau

Editor:
Viviane Haeberlé

Production Coordinator:
Karina Laberge

Visual Coordinator:
Denis Chamard