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Infoceans
The Quebec Region Bulletin
Volume 10 – Number 6 – December 2007 - January 2008



Holiday Greetings from the Regional Director General and the Assistant Commissioner

We have worked together throughout 2007 to provide our clients with programs and services that promote the sustainable development and use of our waterways and aquatic resources. Thank you for your extraordinary support, commitment and dedication, which are the very foundation of the Quebec Region’s achievements.

To meet the challenges that await us in 2008, we plan to continue providing integrated services in partnership with stakeholders, in an ongoing effort to serve Canadians better.

The employees of Fisheries and Oceans Canada and of the Canadian Coast Guard in the Quebec Region, including those in the maritime areas, join us in wishing you and your loved ones happiness and health in the coming year.  

Marc Demonceaux, Regional Director General                  

René Grenier, Assistant Commissioner

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New Fisheries Act tabled in Parliament

On November 29, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans introduced in Parliament a new Bill to modernize the 139-year-old Fisheries Act. Bill C-32 aims to provide a more predictable, stable and transparent fisheries and fish habitat management system where fish harvesters, and others with an interest in the fisheries, can share in the management of this important public resource.

In December 2006, the Government introduced a modernized Fisheries Act in the form of Bill C-45. Since the tabling of that bill, DFO has been engaged with stakeholders through technical briefings and correspondence to discuss details and answer questions on the bill.

On September 14, 2007 the 1st session of Parliament ended, marking the end of further consideration of Bill C-45. The government has now introduced Bill C-32 to amend the Fisheries Act.

While Bill C-32 is essentially the same as Bill C-45, it incorporates four important changes where there was a strong agreement that changes were needed. The new bill now:

affirms that the fisheries are a common property resource. The addition of this phrase refines the language in the Preamble and clarifies the intent of Parliament to manage the fisheries as a common property resource for the benefit of Canadians. This also reflects current Supreme Court decisions.

requires the Minister to first take into account conservation in licensing and allocation decisions. This amendment is a direct result of concerns that the Minister is granted too much discretion when making licensing and allocation decisions and with regard to the lack of reference to conservation as a priority.  

removes the authority to assign a quota of fish to fund activities within a Fisheries Management Agreement. This change removes the authority of the Minister to allocate fish to fund management activities within a Fisheries Management Agreement and clarifies the fact that the allocation of fish made by the Minister through an allocation order is completely separate and independent from these agreements.

Removes wording that cast doubt over the possibility of continuing the current practice of licence transfers. Confusion about this section in Bill C-45 warranted an amendment. Regulations under Bill C-32 will continue to authorize what is commonly referred to as a request for transfer, i.e. the relinquishment of an existing licence and the issuance of a new licence to an eligible fish harvester.

Canadians will again have the opportunity to express their views when it is sent to the Standing Committee of Fisheries and Oceans after Second Reading where C-32 will be considered by Parliamentarians.

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Workshop on Aquatic Invasive Species in Quebec

By Karina Laberge

From October 24–26, 2007, in the Magdalen Islands, a workshop organized by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), Quebec Region, brought together some 30 people who are involved in the issue of aquatic invasive species.

The participants from Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Environment Canada, Transport Canada and the ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation du Québec reviewed the actions taken over the last few years and took stock of the changes in the most worrisome invasive species in the marine section of the St. Lawrence. They also shared their knowledge and experience to develop an effective common approach to limit the introduction and propagation of these species in Quebec. Over the next few months, action plans for the maritime sectors, as well as a regional intervention plan will be completed.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada is very actively addressing the issue of aquatic invasive species in the marine environment in Quebec, particularly in the Magdalen Islands, where the latest cases of introduction of these species have been reported. In addition to raising public awareness in a variety of ways since 2004, the Department has set up a warning system bringing together many community users in the Magdalen Islands.

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Oceans Under Close Observation: Argo Celebrates its 3000th Ocean Profiling Float

By Karina Laberge

This fall, the international Argo program completed its global network of oceanographic buoys by deploying its 3000th active ocean profiling float. The Argo network collects temperature and salinity data to build a global ocean profile and detect any changes. 

More than 30 countries are participating in the project and sharing profiling float data, which are being retransmitted by satellite. Since the Argo project began eight years ago, Canada has deployed 221 profiling floats in the north Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

Denis Gilbert, a researcher with the Maurice Lamontagne Institute of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, has been involved in the project from the very beginning. He is particularly interested in climate change and oxygen reduction in seas and oceans. The data from the Argo profiling floats located in the north west Atlantic help us better understand climate change and oxygen depletion in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

For more information, visit: www.argo.ucsd.edu

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

•   State of the Ocean 2006: Physical Oceanographic Conditions in the Gulf of St. Lawrence (2007/036)
•   Documenting Habitat Use of Species at Risk and Quantifying Habitat Quality (2007/038)

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Lobster Workshop in Gaspé

By Michel Plamondon

On November 6, 2007 , Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Regroupement des pêcheurs professionnels du sud de la Gaspésie co-chaired a lobster workshop in Gaspé. More than 20 fleet representatives discussed restructuring, resource conservation measures and recommendations made by the Fisheries Resource Conservation Council (FRCC). Several recommendations, including minimum and maximum lobster sizes and the merging of companies, will be proposed to fishermen at the next lobster advisory committee meeting.

Quebec was recently praised by the FRCC for its lobster conservation efforts. The Council’s most recent report, Sustainability Framework for Atlantic Lobster, 2007, noted that fishermen in the Magdalen Islands and Gaspé Peninsula began implementing the recommendations in the 1995 report even before DFO requested the egg-per-recruit ratio be doubled.

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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. DFO 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 date and fine

Gilbert Bujold

Grande-Rivière

Possession of 4 sublegal size lobsters.

October 2, 2007

$500

Compagnie 2973-0819 inc.

Percé (Cap d’Espoir)

Making 6 non-compliant hails.

October 3, 2007

$1,500

Compagnie 9047-0717 inc.

Sainte-Thérèse-de-Gaspé

Fishing for shrimp without a licence.

October 3, 2007

$500

Crustacés de Malbaie

Percé (Malbaie)

Possession of 3 egg-bearing female lobsters.

October 3, 2007

$1,000

Laval Marie Dionne

Trois-Pistoles

Possession of sublegal size whelks.

October 3, 2007

$850

Michel Turbide

Percé (Cap d’Espoir)

Failure to land and weigh entire snow crab catch without interruption.

October 3, 2007

$2,000

Cédrick Stubbert

Kégaska

Non-compliance with conditions of crab fishing licence. Landing of crab without having it weighed by fisher’s helpers.

October 22, 2007

$500

Roger Blanchette

Rimouski

Fishing for turbot using nets with mesh smaller than the minimum legal size.

October 31, 2007

$1,200

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Publication of Seven Reports on the Costs and Earning of Fishing Enterprises in Quebec

By Ali Magassouba

The most significant survey of its kind since 1992

In early 2007, Fisheries and Oceans Canada published a series of reports on the costs and earnings of fishing enterprises in Canada. The reports present an economic portrait of the fishing fleets that participated in a national survey conducted across Canada in 2005 and 2006. A total of more than 1,500 fishermen, including nearly 300 from Quebec, voluntarily filled out the survey questionnaire. It was the most significant survey of its kind to be conducted among Canadian fishermen since 1992. The reports generated by the survey involved 40 different fishing fleets, including 15 from Quebec.

In addition to collecting detailed information on operating expenses and fishing revenues, the questionnaires that were distributed to fishermen included questions on the characteristics of the boats being used, fishing effort, debt and financial expenses. Analysis of this data provides an essential tool for assessing the economic viability of the industry, one of the Department’s principal objectives. The information collected also provides guidance for various fisheries management measures.

The Regional Policy and Economics Branch (RPEB) was responsible for surveying Quebec fleets and published seven different reports:

  • Magdalen Island Lobster Fishers (Area 22)

  • Gaspé Area Lobster Fishers (five Gaspé lobster fisher fleets: subareas 20A1–20A2, subareas 20A3–20A10, subareas 20B1–20B4, subareas 20B5–20B8, area 21)

  • Area 17 Lobster Fishers - Anticosti Island

  • Non-traditional Shrimp Fishers

  • Area 12A Crab Fishers

  • Lower North Shore Crab Fishers (Areas 14 and 15)

  • Non-traditional Crab Fishers (four snow crab fleets under temporary allocation in Areas 12 and F)

The reports on Quebec fleets, which contain numerous summary tables and various analyses, are available in print format or on CD-ROM from the RPEB.

The complete results for the fleets from Quebec and other regions in Atlantic Canada are presented in the Atlantic Region Report. This report is also available in print format from the RPEB or on the following Web site:www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/communic/statistics/publications/commercial/ces/index_e.htm

 

2007-2008 Turbot Fishery Survey

 

In November 2007, the Regional Policy and Economics Branch began surveying the Gaspé and the Upper/Middle North Shore turbot fishermen, a group that had not been included in the 2005-2006 survey. The fleet includes approximately 60 fishermen, who catch mainly Greenland halibut and snow crab. The results of this survey should be available in 2008.

A few figures…

The following two tables present some of the statistics drawn from the results of the costs and earnings survey conducted among Quebec fleets.

Principal operating expenses for five Quebec fleets, 2004

Chart - Fishing earnings and operating expenses for eight Quebec fleets, 2004

Fishing earnings and operating expenses for eight Quebec fleets, 2004

Chart - Principal operating expenses for five Quebec fleets, 2004

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St. Lawrence Beluga Contamination Study

By Karina Laberge

According to a recent study conducted by the Maurice Lamontagne Institute of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, contamination levels of some persistent compounds such as PCB, DDT and mirex have decreased slowly in St. Lawrence belugas. Despite regulations on the use of these compounds adopted in the 1970s and 1980s, their levels in belugas have decreased more slowly than anticipated. This situation can be explained in large part by the persistence of the compounds (they take decades to break down), the long life span of belugas, which can reach 80 years, and the transfer of contaminants from mothers to offspring during gestation and nursing.

Although the accumulated load of regulated compounds has decreased slightly over the last 20 years, the load of other non-regulated contaminants has increased substantially during the same period. New household and industrial products have been introduced and are contributing to increasing the total load of contaminants in St. Lawrence belugas.

Michel Lebeuf, a researcher with the Maurice Lamontagne Institute, believes that with only a slight decrease in the older compounds and the addition of new ones, the contamination of the St. Lawrence beluga is probably currently at its highest. This could partially explain the difficulties in re-establishing the population. Although significant growth was anticipated, the St. Lawrence beluga population has remained stable for close to 20 years and is currently listed as “threatened” on Canada’s Species at Risk Act.

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Coast Guard Officer Training Program: 2008 Recruitment Campaign

Do you know anybody who likes the sea and would like to work onboard a ship as a navigation officer or an engineering officer? The Coast Guard Officer training program can make this person’s dream come true!

The Canadian Coast Guard College, located in Sydney, Nova Scotia, is presently looking to recruit 48 officer cadets for the September 2008 session. The navigation and engineering programs are offered in both French and English. The 45-month long training includes time at the College and time at sea to obtain a commercial certification as Ship’s Officer from Transport Canada. During that time you will get free tuition, a monthly allowance and free room and board.

The goal of the Canadian Coast Guard College is to produce highly-qualified officers in navigation and engineering. After the training, the graduate will get a bachelor in nautical sciences and a job as officer onboard Coast Guard vessels across Canada. Applications must be sent in by January 31, 2008 . For more information, go to our Internet site at www.ccg-gcc.gc.ca and click on the  “Become an officer on board a Canadian Coast Guard ship!” link or contact Lynda Casey at 1-888-582-9090 .

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New Edition of Sailing Directions ATL 111

The Canadian Hydrographic Service (CHS), Quebec Region, informs mariners that the new edition of Sailing Directions ATL 111 ( St. Lawrence River , Île Verte to Québec and Fjord du Saguenay; 3rd edition, 2007), is now available through authorized CHS dealers. The new publication has been entirely updated and replaces the previous edition, published in 1999.  It covers, for the St. Lawrence River, the whole maritime sector located between Île Verte and the City of Québec, including the Saguenay fjord. It also incorporates all Notices to Mariners issued since 1999. For more information, visit: www.charts.gc.ca.

 

Picture - Publication - Sailing Directions

 

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A good Summary of Coastal Erosion in Quebec

A publication aimed at the general public on sea coasts and the processes that affect them was recently published by the Comité ZIP Côte-Nord du Golfe, in collaboration with five coastal Quebec ZIP committees, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and various partners. It explains different erosion processes and describes the impacts that stabilization measures adopted to protect shores can have on the coastal environment. The 50-page publication features numerous photographs and is intended for coastal residents and officials interested in better understanding the phenomenon of coastal erosion and in identifying possible solutions.

L’érosion des berges au Québec maritime (in French only) is available in .pdf format on the Web site of the Comité ZIP Côte-Nord du Golfe (www.zipcng.org). To obtain a printed copy (limited quantity), contact one of the coastal Quebec ZIP committees.

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Where Have All the Brook Trout Gone? A True Fishing Story

Fisheries and Oceans Canada is proud to be one of the partners of RAPPEL (a group of associations dedicated to protecting the lakes and watercourses of the Eastern Townships region and the upper St François River basin) in creating the traveling exhibition entitled Où est caché la mouchetée?. The exhibit (in French only) will educate the public about the threats to our bodies of water and their habitats and proposed solutions.

The exhibit was first presented to the general public at the Maurice Lamontagne Institute open house before being installed in Sherbrooke’s Musée de la nature et des sciences, where it will stay until January 7, 2008 . After that, the exhibit will hit the road and travel throughout Quebec until 2012. For more information on this traveling exhibition, visit the RAPPEL Web site at www.rappel.qc.ca.

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Groundfish Ice Fishing on the Saguenay

The groundfish ice fishing season on the Saguenay River will open on January 14, 2008 and close on March 12, 2008 . Spring icebreaking operations on the Saguenay River will begin on March 13, 2008 . In accordance with the current regulations and scientific advice, each person is allowed to catch a maximum of 5 groundfish per day of any type, with the exception of Atlantic halibut, which must be returned to the water.

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Study of Cap-aux-Meules Harbour

On November 23, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) announced an investment of $45,000 to conduct a design study which will assess solutions to congestion problems at Cap-aux-Meules fishing harbour in the Magdalen Islands . Implemented under the Small Craft Harbour Program, the study will be completed by the end of February 2008. DFO is working closely with the Harbour Authority, commercial fishermen, marina representatives and the municipality of Cap-aux-Meules.

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Infoceans

December 2007 - January 2008
Volume 10
Number 6

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