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Infoceans
The Quebec Region Bulletin
Volume 10 – Number 3 – June - July 2007



Modernization of the Analytical Chemistry Laboratories $2 Million Investment at the Maurice Lamontagne Institute

By Karina Laberge

Picture - Ariane Plourde, Steven Blaney, and Marc Demonceaux at the presse conference on May 2, 2007
Ariane Plourde, Director of the Maurice Lamontagne Institute, Steven Blaney, Member of Parliament for Lévis-Bellechasse and Marc Demonceaux, Regional Director General of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Quebec Region, at the presse conference on May 2, 2007.

On May 2, speaking on behalf of the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Steven Blaney, Member of Parliament for Lévis-Bellechasse, announced a $2 million investment to modernize the analytical chemistry laboratories at the Maurice Lamontagne Institute (MLI) in Mont-Joli. This investment will make the Institute the national centre of expertise in inorganic chemistry for Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

"This investment attests to the importance that Canada’s government gives to applied scientific research, particularly in the area of fisheries and environmental science," said MP Blaney. "By centralizing our inorganic aquatic chemistry expertise and resources, we will better serve Canadians by improving our understanding of the movement and associated impacts of chemicals in Canada’s aquatic environments."
The modernized laboratories will be up and running by March 2008. The facilities will be equipped with state-of-the-art instruments that will allow the team of chemistry experts to precisely detect and measure chemical elements, such as metals and organic contaminants from the aquatic environment. The results and findings will help to support departmental priorities related to integrated aquatic ecosystem research. 

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Celebrations for the Maurice Lamontagne Institute's 20th Anniversary

                                           By Johanne Fournier

2007 marks the 20th anniversary of the Maurice Lamontagne Institute (MLI) in Mont-Joli. With 20 years of achievements benefiting the community as the theme, the celebrations kicked off on June 12, the day the MLI officially opened back in 1987.

A number of activities will be held between June and December. Programming for the 20th anniversary includes activities for MLI partners and clients in Trois-Rivières, Mont-Joli, Sept-Îles, Grande-Rivière and Cap-aux-Meules. The Institute will also be present at events in Rimouski and Matane. MLI open house days, an activity that is very popular with the general public, are planned for October. 

The Institute belongs to Fisheries and Ocean Canada’s network of research centres. It is one of the world’s main French-language research centres for marine science. With an annual budget of $32 million, the MLI employs some 400 people, far more than the 75 employees who worked there when the Institute first opened!

According to the facility’s Director, Ariane Plourde, the Institute’s 20-year record speaks for itself. She points to research in fisheries sciences, the assessment of fish stocks and the advances made in the areas of fish habitat, marine biology and physiology, species at risk and, of course, climate change and its impact on the aquatic environment. 

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New Marine Toxicology Laboratory

By Karina Laberge

Eastern Quebec now has a new marine toxicology and radioactive labelling laboratory. This highly specialized laboratory, located in Rimouski, makes it possible to use low-dose radioactivity for environmental science applications. Fisheries and Oceans Canada is developing and running this project in conjunction with the Institut des sciences de la mer de Rimouski.

The laboratory will enable the Department to delve deeper into the impact that human activity has on the health and productivity of aquatic ecosystems, particularly the impact of certain toxic substances, such as metals (e.g. mercury, cadmium and tin) and hydrocarbons.

Initial research will look at cadmium distribution in scallops to determine where the toxic metal settles when scallops are exposed to it. Radioactive labelling will then make it possible to calculate how quickly scallops can rid themselves of cadmium when placed in cadmium-free seawater.

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New Science Advisory Reports on the Internet

The following science advisory reports are now available on the Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat’s Internet site, in the 2007 list

• Stock Assessment on scallops of the inshore waters of Quebec in 2006

• Assessment of the Atlantic Mackerel Stock for the Northwest Atlantic (Subareas 3 and 4) in 2006 

• Ecologically and biologically significant areas (EBSA) in the Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence: identification and characterization

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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 efforts to prevent poaching of marine resources. 

Fisheries and Oceans Canada encourages the public to report poaching incidents by calling 1-800-463-9057. All calls are confidential. 

Offender 

 Home 

       Offence 

Sentencing ate and fine

  Juge

Jean-Guy Beaulieu

Québec

Harvesting shellfish in a closed area

April 23, 2007

$200 and forfeiture of goods seized

Lucie Morissette

Marcel Beaulieu

Sainte-Luce

Harvesting shellfish in a closed area

April 23, 2007

$200

Lucie Morissette

Sylvain Dionne

Trois-Pistoles

1-Landing fish with no dockside observer present.

2-Exceeding quota.

3-Landing fish at a non-designated port.

4-Submitting a document containing false or misleading information.

April 23, 2007

1-$500

2-$600

3-$500

4-$400

Total: $2000

 

Lucie Morissette

Rosaire Gauhtier

Les Méchins

Using nets of less than 152 mm mesh size.

April 25, 2007

$200

Louise Gallant

Gérald Carrier

Grosse Roche

Using a fishing boat without a licence.

April 26, 2007

$200

Louise Gallant

Émanuel Miville

Saint- Joachim-de- Tourelle

1-Using nets of less than 152 mm mesh size.

2-Using nets without a valid label.

3-Leaving fishing gear unattended in the water for more than 72 hours.

April 27, 2007

1-$800

2-$500

3-$200

Total: $1500

Julie Dionne

Gilles Arsenault

Saint- Alphonse

Shellfish harvesting in a closed area. 

April 30, 2007

$250

Sylvie Desmeules

Éric Boulianne

Colombier

Shellfish harvesting in a closed area. 

Marsh 13, 2007

$400

François Kouri

Kathy Desbiens

Ragueneau

Selling clams without a commercial fishing licence.

April 17, 2007

$200 for each of 7 convictions = $1400

François Kouri

Marcel Desbiens

Baie-Comeau

Selling clams without a commercial fishing licence.

April 17, 2007

$200 for each of 9 convictions = $1800

François Kouri

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The Comité de valorisation de la rivière Beauport Recipient of the 2007 Recreational Fisheries Award

By Michel Plamondon

Picture - Sylvie Boucher, Tony Denis, Minister Hearn and Nathalie Piedboeuf at the ceremony of the 2007 Recreational Fisheries Awards
Sylvie Boucher, Member of Parliament for Beauport-Limoilou, Tony Denis, coordinator for educational projects at CRVB, Minister Hearn and Nathalie Piedboeuf, Director General of CRVB, at the ceremony of the 2007 Recreational Fisheries Awards. - Photo: House of Commons B. Thibodeau

The Comité de valorisation de la rivière Beauport, City of Québec, is one of the four recipients of the Recreational Fisheries Awards. The Honourable Loyola Hearn, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, presented them their award on May 7, recognizing their hard work and dedication in promoting conservation and sustainable recreational fishing. The awards ceremony took place on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa. Minister Hearn presented the winners with a pewter medallion, made by the Canadian Mint, a lapel pin and a framed Award Certificate.

The Comité de valorisation de la rivière Beauport is a non-profit organization located in Québec that has been working on various environmental projects for 15 years. Its primary objective is the promotion, enhancement and conservation of the Beauport River and its watershed. The Comité created the project Attention à l’habitat du poisson!, the first of its kind in Quebec. This project seeks to directly protect fish habitat and to raise the awareness of high school students in several parts of Quebec. The project gives them an opportunity to study fish habitat through dynamic, interactive learning activities and to take concrete measures to protect fish habitat. 

Canada’s Recreational Fisheries Awards were created in 1989 to recognize outstanding contributions by individuals and organizations in areas such as recreational community leadership, restoring and enhancing fisheries and fish habitat or promoting conservation and sustainable recreational fishing.

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Operation True Lie: Illegal Landings of Snow Crab

By Normand Nadeau

In 2003, a major investigation carried out by fishery officers from Fisheries and Oceans Canada exposed fraudulent activities related to the landing of snow crab catches at the Matane wharf.

An analysis of data on all landings made by fishermen at the various designated ports in their regions indicated that it was very likely that clandestine landings had been made using falsified documents. In the spring of 2003, fishery officers monitored the snow crab landings made at the Matane wharf. By comparing their observations with the data held by the designated dockside observer, they determined that violations had occurred, primarily related to the falsification of official data on landings. Some fishermen had thus extended their fishing season and increased their total catches. Through an analysis of the documents received, it was determined that a large number of illegal landings had been made at this wharf.

An operation to gather the evidence for an investigation began on June 20, 2003. Dubbed Operation True Lie, it entailed the collaboration of a large number of people. Altogether, 31 searches were carried out and nearly 80 statements were obtained in the Lower St. Lawrence, Gaspé and North Shore regions. Through an analysis of the documents and statements, the investigators identified three conspiracies to violate the Fisheries Act and regulations. As a result of the investigation, the Department was able to bring charges against a dockside observer, eight snow crab fishermen, three truck drivers, two representatives of a buyer and one fish store.

The True Lie investigation ended in January 2007 with one final guilty plea. Fines of $2,000 to $40,248 were imposed on the offenders, sometimes accompanied by a probation period. Fines imposed totalled $200,000.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada continues to monitor fishing activities and will prosecute violations of the Fisheries Act.

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Invasive Species in the Magdalen Islands: Awareness and Action!

By Karina Laberge

In the Magdalen Islands, the problem of invasive species is taken seriously, and more and more people are getting involved in the effort to combat aquatic invaders.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada has established an alert network for invasive species that brings together some 15 volunteers from a variety of backgrounds: divers, aquaculturists, fishermen, recreational boaters and so on. These experts will be “in the field” all summer long and so will be able to quickly identify and report any invasive species that make their appearance around the Magdalen Islands. Their observations are of primary importance in enabling the Department to mount a response at the earliest sign of invasion. The alert network members will also help to raise awareness among local residents and users of aquatic environments of effective practices for preventing the spread of undesirable species in the Magdalen Islands area. 

Meanwhile, the Aquarium des Îles recently inaugurated an exhibit on invasive aquatic species, which is aimed at raising local awareness of the issue. The exhibit will run throughout the summer.

For more information on the topic, please contact Selma Pereira at 418-986-2095.

Picture - Invasive Species 1
Picture - Invasive Species 2

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Best Practices for Watching Marine Mammals in Quebec

By Danielle Dorion

A new section on best practices for watching marine mammals in Quebec is now available on the Web site of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Quebec Region. A task force was set up in 2006 to develop the practices, following an in-house workshop on managing the observation of marine mammals in Quebec. The practices are geared mainly to the general public but they are also appropriate for commercial activities. The measures are voluntary and do not replace the laws and regulations currently in effect, such as the Regulations Respecting Marine Activities in the Saguenay–St Lawrence Marine Park. 

Although work is ongoing with regard to adopting and applying new management tools (amendment to the Marine Mammal Regulations of the Fisheries Act, proposed marine protected areas), the Department felt it was important to review the existing material in light of recent information and to immediately provide clear and useful information to the general public on how to behave around marine mammals in Quebec. 

The new section on the Fisheries Management Web site dealing with the observation of marine mammals also contains information on the initiatives underway to protect marine mammals in Quebec.

Picture - Best Practices for Watching Marine Mammals in Quebec

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The Capelin Observers' Network Needs You

By François Hazel

Capelin is a small fish that makes up a substantial and sometimes essential part of the diet of a number of species, including cod, salmon, fin whales, harbour seals, belugas, Northern gannets and razorbills. Each spring, the capelin “rolls into” the beaches of the St. Lawrence to spawn. To better understand and protect this fish, it is important to document the main habitats it uses. 

Capelin spawns on many sand and gravel beaches spread along much of the coast of the Estuary and the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Although the spawning grounds are known to local residents, for a long time there was no monitoring of the numbers of fish involved, the length of the spawning period and even the frequency with which spawning grounds have been used over the years. 

The Capelin Observers’ Network was established to increase our knowledge of the capelin’s spawning habits. In 2007, this network will begin its fifth season of monitoring. Over 70 spawning grounds have already been identified, and an activity report, tables with the dates and locations of capelin sightings, as well as a kit for observers are all available on request.

If you witness capelin spawning or find evidence of the species’ presence, such as marine mammals feeding at the surface or capelins beached on the shore, call the toll-free number below to report it. Thank you for helping to increase our knowledge about this small fish that is so important to the St. Lawrence ecosystem!

1-877-227-6853

Image - Capelin

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Dredging projects in the Gaspé Peninsula and Magdalen Islands

In May, Fisheries and Oceans Canada announced an investment of $921,000 for annual maintenance dredging at eleven fishing harbours in the Gaspé Peninsula and Magdalen Islands.

In the Gaspé Peninsula, $416,000 is being invested at the harbours of L’Anse-à-Beaufils, L’Anse-à-Brillant, Les Méchins (fishermen’s wharf), Port-Daniel Est, Saint-Godefroi and Tourelles (Saint-Joachim). In the Magdalen Islands, the harbours of Grosse-Île (Cap du Dauphin), Île d’Entrée, Millerand, Pointe-aux-Loups and Pointe-Basse divided $505,000 between themselves. Dredging began in early April and will continue over the following months.

All these projects are being undertaken by Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Small Craft Harbours Program, in close collaboration with the Harbour Authorities. They are necessary to ensure that vessels have adequate water depth in basins and channels. Fishermen will hence be provided with safer navigational conditions.

www.qc.dfo-mpo.gc.ca

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Infoceans

June - July  2007
Volume 10
Number 03

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