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Infoceans
The Quebec Region Bulletin
Volume 10 – Number 1 – February - March 2007



Commercial Fishing Results in Quebec: 2006 Season

Fisheries and Oceans Canada recently published Quebec’s commercial fishing results for the 2006 season. 

By the end of November 2006, the aggregate landings for all species in Quebec totalled 58,300 tonnes, up 3% from 2005 levels. This rise is attributable to an increase in landings of shrimp, lobster, Atlantic cod and Atlantic mackerel.

The landed value of $110.2 million was down 28% from the previous season. The sharp drop in the overall landed value is mainly attributable to the drop in prices for snow crab, lobster and shrimp.

Results for Areas

GASPE

The aggregate volume of landings posted for all species in the Gaspe remained rather stable at 36,052 tonnes, representing a value of $52.4 million. The volume landed exceeds the Gaspe average for the past 15 years, whereas the landed value falls short of this average.

The volume of lobster landings totalled 831 tonnes, up 9% from 2005 levels. The landed volume of shrimp was 17,972 tonnes, an increase of 10% from the previous year. 

Gaspe turbot (Greenland halibut) landings had a value of $3.9 million. Snow crab accounted for 51% of landed value in the Gaspe.

With respect to volume, 62% of catches in Quebec were landed at Gaspe ports. Of this, Gulf shrimp accounted for 50% and snow crab for 21%.

The value of Gaspe landings represented 48% of total landed value in Quebec. Of this, 35% was for snow crab and 30% for shrimp. Still in terms of value, roughly 90% of all  shrimp catches and 51% of all snow crab catches were landed at Gaspe ports.

MAGDALEN ISLANDS

Aggregate landings for all species in the Magdalen Islands totalled 8,843 tonnes, worth over $37.3 million. Landed volume was down 3% and was below the average for the past 15 years. Although the value of landings dropped sharply by 19% in 2006, it remains slightly higher than the average for the past 15 years.

The landed volume of groundfish rose significantly by 21%, whereas that of other species remained relatively stable.

In terms of volume, 15% of all catches in Quebec were landed at Magdalen Islands ports. Of this, lobster accounted for 27% and snow crab for 24%. It should be noted that lobster represented 73% of the value of landings, which, thanks to conservation measures implemented in recent years, remained at record highs.

The value of Magdalen Islands landings represented 34% of the total value of Quebec landings. Of this, 75% was for lobster and 15% for snow crab. In terms of value, 73% of all Quebec lobster catches were landed at Magdalen Islands ports.

NORTH SHORE

Aggregate landings for all species on the North Shore were 13,336 tonnes, worth $20.3 million. Although landed volume was slightly higher than the average for the past 15 years, the value of landings was below this average.

It is interesting to note that the North Shore posted the sharpest rise in landed volume (16%). Snow crab accounted for 62% of the value of landings in this sector.

The landed volumes of snow crab and shrimp were up by 22% and 28%, respectively. A sharp increase in capelin landings was also posted, attesting to the interest in this species.

For 2006, 23% of all Quebec catches were landed at North Shore ports. Of this, snow crab accounted for 41%, groundfish for 11% and shrimp for 11%.

The value of North Shore landings represented 18% of total landed value in Quebec. Of this, 62% was for snow crab. In terms of value, nearly 65% of all Quebec scallop catches were landed at North Shore ports.

Chart - Trends in Québec landings

Species harvested in Quebec in 2006

Canada remained the world’s largest supplier of snow crab, with landings of 88,600 tonnes in 2006. The United States continued to be the main export market for Canadian snow crab, accounting for more than 85% of Canada’s snow crab exports. In 2007, the United States is expected to maintain its position as the leading importer, followed by Japan.

The value of lobster landings totalled $38.2 million, down sharply from 2005 levels. Although landed volume held steady in the Magdalen Islands and increased by 9% in the Gaspe, landed prices showed an average decline of 16%. Since landed prices in Quebec are strongly influenced by U.S. market prices, the depreciation of the U.S. dollar in 2006 had a major impact on landed prices in Quebec.

Volume and Value of the Main Species Harvested in Quebec in 2006
 

Species

Volume (tonnes)

Value ($)

Snow crab

15,309

36.6 M

Lobster

3,235

38.2 M

Shrimp

19,384

17.3 M

Scallop (meat weight)

131

1.6 M

Cod

2,581

2.7 M

Greenland halibut (turbot) 

2,903

5 M

Atlantic halibut

124

800,000

Flatfish (plaice, flounder)

657

600,000

Herring

4,191

1.1 M

Mackerel

1,816

900,000

The $6.6-million decrease in the total value of landings in Quebec is attributable to a decline of more than 30% in the average price paid for shrimp. Landed volumes nevertheless rose by nearly 2,000 t because a larger proportion of the quota was caught in 2006. The price of shrimp remained at record lows on world markets.

Scallop prices fell in North America in response to a substantial increase in U.S. scallop landings in 2006. Quebec scallop landings declined by 9% from the previous year. Landings decreased by 39% in the Magdalen Islands, 2% in the Gaspe and 1% on the North Shore.

The volume and value of cod landings were up in the three maritime areas. The 2,155 tonnes of cod landed in Quebec represented an increase of 19.8% from the previous year. Landed value also rose by 26.5%, from $2.2 million in 2005 to $2.7 million in 2006. Nearly 58% of the total value of cod was landed at Gaspe ports, 31% on the North Shore and 12% in the Magdalen Islands.

Regarding other groundfish species, the 2006 results show that the value of turbot landings in the Gaspe totalled $3.9 million, accounting for nearly 80% of total landed value in Quebec. With regard to Atlantic halibut, the value of Gaspe landings was $485,000, or nearly 64% of the total value landed in Québec.

Lastly, mackerel landings were up in all areas in 2006. Mackerel landings in the Magdalen Islands accounted for 66% of the total value landed in Quebec.

A presentation on the 2006 fishing season can be viewed at:  

http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca

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New Canadian Ambassador for Fisheries Conservation

On January 25, Peter MacKay, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Loyola Hearn, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, announced the appointment of Loyola Sullivan as Ambassador for Fisheries Conservation.

As a representative of the two ministers, Mr. Sullivan will meet regularly with national and international stakeholders on matters relating to overfishing and fish stock management. He will thus advocate Canada’s international priorities for the ongoing reform of regional fisheries management organizations, the use of improved science and technology, and greater state responsibilities.

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Convictions for Fisheries Act Violations

By Martin Bourget

Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Quebec Region, has released the names of fishermen who have received fines for violations of the Fisheries Act.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada continues to strictly enforce its zero tolerance policy on violations of the Fisheries Act. The Department has a mandate to protect and conserve fishery resources and is ever vigilant in its effort to prevent poaching of marine resources. Fisheries and Oceans Canada also encourages the public to report poaching incidents by calling 1-800-463-9057. All calls are confidential.

Offender

Home

Offence

Sentencing date and fine

Judge

Réjean Decoste

Fatima

Fishing lobster without a licence, possession of lobsters smaller than the legal size, fishing lobster other than from a vessel and with a lobster trap.

December 6, 2006

$450, 105 hours of community service, three years’ regular probation, forfeiture of seized goods, including a diving suit.

Embert Whittom

Alvin Dickson

L’Île-d’Entrée

Fishing lobster with untagged traps.

December 6, 2006

$200

Embert Whittom

Richard Keating

Grosse-Île

Fishing lobster without a licence, fishing in a lagoon and fishing lobster during a closed time.

December 6, 2006

$1,750 fine, one year of probation with the condition of staying away from lagoons unless aboard a commercial fishing vessel.

Embert Whittom

Robert Lebouthillier

Caraquet (N-B)

Seal hunting during a closed time and non-compliance with licence conditions by failing to report hauls truthfully.

December 6, 2006

$3,000 fine, forfeiture of seized seal pelts, imposition of the Vessel Monitoring System for a two-year period for all fishing activities.

Embert Whittom

Noëline Bouchard Couture

Grande-Rivière

Possession of notched female lobsters.

November 13, 2006

$400

Embert Whittom

Régis Lelièvre

Sainte-Thérèse-de-Gaspé

Possession of notched female lobsters.

November 13, 2006

$500

Embert Whittom

Lucien Morin

Albert Parisé

Gascons

Fishing mackerel without a licence and possession of lobster.

December 18, 2006

$1,250 each

Luc Marchildon

Georges Huard

Franquelin

Giving DFO false information. Exceeding snow crab quota. Possession of snow crab taken in violation of the Fisheries Act. Incitement to give false information. Conspiracy.

January 11, 2007

$4,500, surcharge of $10,500

Marc Gagnon

O'Neil Poirier

Mont-Louis

Fishing for halibut using a longline with hooks with a gape of 15.4 mm.

January 22, 2007

$1,250

Luc Marchildon

Marc-André Bélisle

Trois-Pistoles

Fishing for groundfish with a net without a valid tag.

January 29, 2007

$600

Julie Dionne

Réal Poirier

Saint-Siméon

Harvesting shellfish in a closed area.

February 5, 2007

$300

Julie Dionne

Dany Bujold

Saint-Siméon

Harvesting shellfish in a closed area, possession of softshell clams under 51 mm, and possession of more softshell clams than the legal limit.

February 5, 2007

$700

Julie Dionne

Rock Arsenault

Martin Arsenault

Travor Campbell

Saint-Alphonse



Saint-Siméon


Caplan
Harvesting shellfish in a closed area. February 5, 2007

$300 each
Julie Dionne

Alain Mercier

Val-d’Amour (N-B)

Possession of more softshell clams than the legal limit.

February 5, 2007

$200

Julie Dionne

Réal Bujold

Pierre Lapointe

Saint-Siméon

 

Bonaventure

Harvesting shellfish in a closed area. February 5, 2007

$300 each
Julie Dionne

Robert Grenier

Paspébiac

Possession of notched female lobsters.

February 7, 2007

$600

Julie Dionne

Nathalie Dérosby

Steve Lachapelle

Henri Langevin

Port-Cartier

Fishing rock crab without a licence.

November 13, 2006

$250 each

Louise Gallant

Éric Joubert

Sept-Îles

Possession of undersize whelk and crab traps during a closed time.

November 15, 2006

$1,250

Louise Gallant

Sylvain Petitpas

Havre-Saint-Pierre

Non-compliance with crab licence conditions by failing to hail out during the 2005 season.

November 15, 2006

$500

Louise Gallant

Janick Vaillancourt

Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan

Non-compliance with crab licence conditions by exceeding quota for the 2003 season.

November 15, 2006

$3,200

Louise Gallant

Donald Boucher

Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan

Possession of crabs without their carapace (shell).

November 20, 2006

$200

Michel Parent

Arnaud Landry

Havre-Saint-Pierre

Non-compliance with 2005 crab licence conditions by failing to hail out and hail in during the 2004, 2005 and 2006 seasons.

November 20, 2006

$3,200, May not file a new licence application before June 1, 2007.

Michel Parent

Patrice Arseneault

Havre-Saint-Pierre

Fishing lobster without a licence and possession of egg-bearing female lobsters.

November 21, 2006

$1,250

Michel Parent

Julien Bond

Rivière-au-Tonnerre

Fishing using untagged whelk traps and possession of snow crabs without their carapace (shell).

November 21, 2006

$750

Michel Parent

Marcel Bond

Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan

Possession of untagged whelk traps.

November 21, 2006

$1,000

Michel Parent

Gino Boudreau

Havre-Saint-Pierre

Fishing lobster without a licence.

November 21, 2006

$750

Michel Parent

Carl Chevarie

Havre-Saint-Pierre

Non-compliance with crab licence conditions by failing to hail out during the 2005 season and denying the boarding of a dockside observer.

November 21, 2006

$1,100

Michel Parent

Laval-Marie Dionne

Trois-Pistoles

Allowing his boat to be used by an unauthorized person, as per his whelk licence.

December 4, 2006

$300

Julie Dionne

Lisa Dumont

Trois-Pistoles

Non-compliance with whelk licence conditions by using a boat other than the one indicated on his licence.

December 4, 2006

$300

Julie Dionne

Jacques Morneau

Les Escoumins

Allowing his boat to be used by an unauthorized person, as per his sea urchin licence.

January 22, 2007

$1,000

Louis Duguay

Alain Poitras

Ricky Tremblay

Forestville

Non-compliance with licence conditions for softshell clams by failing to wear a security vest.

January 22, 2007

$200 each

Louis Duguay

Dave Tremblay

Forestville

Harvesting softshell clams without a licence.

January 22, 2007

$200

Louis Duguay

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Seal Hunt: Visit from Europe

By Michel Plamondon

Picture - Robert St-Onge and journalists from Italy, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Britain, Poland, Spain and Austria.
Robert St-Onge, manager of the Magdalen Islands Seal Interpretation Centre, welcomes journalists from Italy, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Britain, Poland, Spain and Austria

In order to allow Canada to set the record straight on the issue of seal hunting, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Department of Foreign Affairs jointly organized a tour of Newfoundland and Labrador and of the Magdalen Islands for European journalists. For the occasion, representatives of the federal government and of the seal industry met with the journalists to show how the seal hunt is managed and to explain how important this industry is to the coastal communities of eastern Canada.

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Should the American Eel be Added to the List of Wildlife Species at Risk?

By Viviane Haeberlé

The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) recently assessed the American eel and has recommended that this population be added to the List of Wildlife Species at Risk as special concern.

According to COSEWIC, American eel populations have declined significantly since the 1970s. Possible causes of this decline, including habitat alteration, dams, fishery harvest, oscillations in ocean conditions, acid rain and contaminants, could continue to impede recovery.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada wishes to receive your comments on the impacts and consequences of the addition of the American eel to the List of Wildlife Species at Risk. You can comment on the listing proposal by filling out a consultation workbook available on the SARA Public Registry at http://www.sararegistry.gc.ca or by participating in public consultations:

Tuesday, March 13, 2007 , at 7 p.m.
Verchères B Room, Holiday Inn Hotel, 900, Saint-Charles St. East, Longueuil

Wednesday, March 14, 2007 , at 7 p.m.
Jacques-Cartier II Room, Hôtel des Gouverneurs, 3030 Laurier Blvd, Québec

Thursday, March 15, 2007 , at 7 p.m.
Béluga Room, Hôtel Lévesque, 171, Fraser St.,
Rivière-du-Loup

Tuesday, March 27, 2007 , at 7 p.m.
Jos Le Bourdais Center, 330, chemin Principal,
Îles-de-la-Madeleine

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Projects for three Quebec Fishing Harbours

Loyola Hearn, minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, recently announced that he will invest $375,000 for maintenance and planning projects at three fishing harbours in Quebec. This investment, combined with projects announced during the last year, brings the investment for Small Craft Harbours in Quebec to $6.95 million.

At St-Georges-de-la-Malbaie in the Gaspe, development of plans and specifications will begin with a view to future work to strengthen the wharf with riprap and install floating docks so that fishers have a suitable mooring surface.

At the other Gaspe harbour of L’Anse-à-Valleau, part of the north wharf is collapsing.  It will be demolished to provide users with safe harbour facilities. Preparation of plans and specifications for the rebuilding of the tip of the main breakwater will also begin.

At Cap-aux-Meules in the Magdalen Islands, dredging of the entrance to the basin has recently begun, to give boats adequate water depth and safe access to the harbour.

The work, undertaken by Fisheries and Oceans Canada under the Small Craft Harbours Program, will be carried out in collaboration with the harbour authorities that manage and operate facilities for the benefit of local users.

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Consultation on Atlantic Shark

The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) recently assessed Atlantic populations of Blue Shark, Shortfin Mako and of White Shark and has recommended that they be added to the List of Wildlife Species at Risk of the Species at Risk Act.

The COSEWIC status report identifies bycatch in pelagic longline fisheries as the primary threat to blue sharks (special concern) and shortfin mako (threatened). As for white sharks (endangered), they are occasionally caught as bycatch in other large pelagic fisheries.

You can comment on the listing proposal by filling out a consultation workbook available on the SARA Public Registry at http://www.sararegistry.gc.ca/ or by contacting:

Species at Risk Coordination Office
Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Quebec Region
Email: especesperilqc@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Toll free: 1-877-775-0848

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Infoceans

February - March 2007
Volume 10
Number 1

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

Director:
Caroline Hilt

Editor:
Viviane Haeberlé

Visual Coordinator:
Denis Chamard