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Infoceans
The Quebec Region Bulletin
Volume 11 – Number 2 – April - May 2008



Nomination of the Regional Director of Fisheries and Aquaculture Management, Quebec Region

On February 18, Fisheries and Oceans Canada announced the nomination of Patrick Vincent to the position of Regional Director, Fisheries and Aquaculture Management.

Patrick Vincent holds a degree in Economics. He joined Fisheries and Oceans Canada in 1989 as an Economist at the Economics Division and later held the position of Development Officer at the Gaspe sector office. He pursued his career as an Economist at the Regional Policy and Economics Branch until 1999.

He then assumed various coordinating and planning functions at the Canadian Coast Guard before becoming Director of Human Resources and, more recently, Director of the Resource and Aboriginal Fisheries Mana­ge­ment Branch.

“I am convinced that the sustainable use and management of marine resources still constitute exciting challenges nowadays” explains M. Vincent.

“I am counting on the cooperation of all ­players involved to ensure the sustainable development of fisheries resources in the Quebec Region, from commercial fishermen to aquaculturists, from Aboriginal communities to recreational fishermen, from fishery officers to experts responsible for licensing and statistics, from resource managers to biologists with Science.”

“With the support of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Management team, I hope to contribute to the improvement of the ­sustainability of marine resources and to the prosperity of fisheries and aquaculture activities in Quebec.”

Picture - Patrick Vincent

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Farley Mowat: The Government of Canada Takes Enforcement Action

On April 12, the Government of Canada took enforcement action against the Farley Mowat for alleged Fisheries Act violations off the west coast of Newfoundland.

The Farley Mowat was boarded in the Gulf of St. Lawrence in Canadian waters by the RCMP who, along with the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG), were assisting Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) in this operation. The boarding was in relation to an alleged violation of the Marine Mammal Regulations on March 30, which is an alleged offence under the Fisheries Act.

While the Farley Mowat was warned repeatedly to exit and remain out of Canadian waters, it re-entered on April 10, 2008 . The Minister of Transport, the Honourable Lawrence Canon, then issued a Ministerial Direction under provisions of the Marine Transportation Security Act which instructed the Farley Mowat to proceed immediately to the Port of Sydney, Nova Scotia. It did not comply.

The Farley Mowat will be kept in DFO custody until such time as the court orders the release of the vessel upon posting of reasonable security. The vessel will also be inspected by Transport Canada and law enforcement officials to ensure the vessel and crew pose no safety or security threat.

The Government of Canada continues to monitor and assist in ensuring the 2008 seal hunt unfolds safely and securely. Its priority is to ensure a lawful seal hunt, protecting the safety of participants, including hunters, permitted observers and law enforcement officers.

Picture - Farley Mowat

The Farley Mowat closes in on a sealing vessel (photographed on ­ April 11, 2008, off the east coast of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia).

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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 “Publications” section, 2007 and 2008 series: www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/csas/

• Assessment of Softshell Clam Stocks in Quebec’s Coastal Waters in 2007  (2007/051)

• Assessment of Shrimp Stocks in the Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence in 2007  (2008/002)

• Assessment of Cod Stock in the Northern Gulf of St. Lawrence (3Pn, 4RS) in 2007 (2008/003)

• Assessment of Cod in the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence  (2008/004)

• Assessment of Snow Crab in the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence (Areas 12, E and F)  (2008/006)

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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

Judge

Wayne R. Bobbit

Sept-Îles

Possession of five lobsters smaller than the legal size of 82 mm.

Non-compliance with cod licence conditions for the 2006 season by exceeding weekly quota of 1,071 lbs.

February 5, 2008

$500

 

February 5, 2008

$500 + a fine of $357.75 for exceeding cod quota

Louise Gallant

Donny Morency

Kégaska

Fishing herring without a licence.

February 5, 2008

$750

Louise Gallant

Stephen Mc Kinnon

Chandler

Possession of undersized lobsters.

February 8, 2008

$1,000

Lucie Morissette

Yves Turcotte

Chandler

Fishing lobster without a licence and possession of undersized lobsters.

February 8, 2008

$600 + 80 hours of community service + 3 year’s probation (ordered to keep the peace and be of good behaviour and prohibited from being within 200 metres of Chandler and Newport wharves)

Lucie Morissette

Charlie Roberts

Harrington Harbour

Non-compliance with cod licence conditions for the 2006 season by exceeding weekly quota of 954 lbs.

February 13, 2008

$750 + a fine of $250 for exceeding cod quota

Nathalie Aubry

Michel Marcoux

Tête-à-la-Baleine

Non-compliance with sealing licence conditions for the 2006 season by possessing a firearm not authorized for hunting.

February 14, 2008

$500

Nathalie Aubry

Robert Lebel

Port-Cartier

Fishing snow crab without a licence.

February 15, 2008

$6,500 + a fine of $277 equivalent to the proceeds of the fish

Louise Gallant

Poissonnerie Boréalis

Matane

Possession of egg-bearing female lobsters.

February 26, 2008

$500

Lucie Morissette

Poissonnerie du Phare oust Inc.

Matane

Possession of egg-bearing female lobsters.

February 26, 2008

$500

Lucie Morissette

Daniel Scherrer

Havre-Saint-Pierre

Fishing for crab during a closed time.

March 4, 2008

$1,200

Michel Parent

Raynald Thériault

Havre-Saint-Pierre

Fishing for lobster without a licence and possession of berried females.

March 4, 2008

$2,000

Michel Parent

Guy Thibault

Havre-Saint-Pierre

Fishing for Atlantic halibut during a closed time.

March 6, 2008

$1,000

Louise Gallant

Réjean Labillois

Miguasha

Groundfish fishing without a licence.

March 10, 2008

$500

Jean Bécu

Pierre Raymond

Atholville (Nouveau-Brunswick)

Shellfish harvesting in a closed area.

March 10, 2008

$300

Jean Bécu

Richard Roy

Pointe-à-la-Croix

Clam harvesting in a closed area.

Clam harvesting in a closed area. Retaining more than the permitted number of clams. Possession of clams under legal size.

March 10, 2008

March 10, 2008

$450

Jean Bécu

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Lake Portneuf: a Very Popular Fishway for Brook Trout

By Jean-Guy Jacques, Simon Trépanier and Sylvi Racine

In 1997, Hydro-Québec was planning to build a dam at the outlet of Lake Portneuf as part of its project to divert the Portneuf River to the Bersimis complex on the North Shore. During the assessment of the impact of the project on fish habitat, Fisheries and Oceans Canada asked Hydro-Québec to include the construction of a fishway on the dam to ensure that Lake Portneuf, a productive foraging, wintering and spawning habitat, remained accessible to brook trout, a species that is highly prized in the region.

In 2002, Hydro-Québec carried out the work in accordance with DFO’s requirements and, after three years of follow-up, impressive results were reported: over 25,000 juvenile and 8,700 adult brook trout had successfully ascended the fishway to Lake Portneuf.

A few technical details about the diversion project

The diversion of approximately 65 percent of the waters of the Portneuf River watershed required the construction of a dam between Lake Portneuf and Lake Itomamo.  A second dam (control structure) was also required at the outlet of Lake Portneuf to maintain the area of the lakes and to capture part of the spring runoff, which is impounded and released in summer during periods of lower flows.   

The initial project also involved the installation of deflectors and jetties to conserve as much habitat favourable to brook trout in the river as possible.  In addition to the construction of the fishway, the habitat loss compensation measures requested by DFO included developments aimed at creating or enhancing brook trout habitat both in the river and in certain lakes used by the fishery in this watershed.  

Fisheries and Oceans Canada is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the Fisheries Act (FA), the Species at Risk Act (SARA) and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA). The FA and SARA apply to all projects and activities carried out in or near water and that are likely to affect fish habitat.

Picture - Portneuf dam

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Farmers Improve Fish Habitat

By Sylvi Racine

The Union des producteurs agricoles (the Quebec farmers union) and the Quebec Wildlife Foundation, in collaboration with Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Ressources naturelles et  faune Québec, have published a special edition of their newsletter, Le Riverain, devoted to fish.  It describes various initiatives taken by farmers to improve the water quality and biodiversity of our rivers and streams.

The enhancement of aquatic wildlife habitats is a priority of the Agricultural Stream Biodiversity Enhancement Program. Focused on three areas of action (agriculture, environment and wildlife), the program supports a dozen agricultural organizations that are developing an innovative watershed-based integrated water resources management approach.  Some 500 farmers are actively participating in the program by making improvements to their practices and implementing lasting solutions in cooperation with local stakeholders.

Le Riverain is read by close to 1,000 participants and partners of the Agricultural Stream Biodiversity Enhancement Program, including agricultural producers, watershed organizations, agri-environmental advisory clubs, municipalities, departments, educational institutions, etc.

The special edition of the newsletter devoted to fish (available in French only) can be downloaded from the following web site: www.fondationdelafaune.qc.ca/initiatives/projets_pilote/

(the link to the special edition is at the bottom of the page)

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L'ACADIEN II - Independent Investigator Appointed

The Honourable Loyola Hearn, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, appointed Retired Rear Admiral Roger Girouard to lead a Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) investigation of the events and circumstances leading to and following the capsizing of L’Acadien II on March 29th.

This investigation began on April 4 and Rear Admiral Girouard has been asked to present his final report to Minister Hearn and the Commissioner of the Canadian Coast Guard in the fall. The report will be shared with the families of those who were lost in this tragic incident, after which it will be made public.

Specifically, the investigation will determine:

• The sequence of events that led to and followed the occurrence.

• Compliance with CCG policies, procedures and work practices including the CCG’s towing policy and general non-Search and Rescue assistance to vessels, and their application.

• The contribution of CCG policies, procedures and work practices to the events.

• How the incident occurred, why the incident occurred, direct causes and contributing factors.

The report will include safety-oriented recommendations to prevent similar incidents in the future.

Rear Admiral Girouard may choose to speak to anyone who may be of assistance to him and to his team. Rear Admiral Girouard and his team will also provide their assistance and any information requested to the Transportation Safety Board of Canada and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police as they move forward with their own investigations.

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Are Your Nautical Charts Up-to-Date?

By Robert Dorais

Before venturing out into unknown waters or waters with which you think you are familiar, it is critical to have up-to-date nautical charts. Updates to nautical charts are essential to fishermen who set out fishing gear: they warn them of buoy changes, the discovery of a wreck or the installation of an aerial or underwater cable,.

Pursuant to the Charts and Nautical Publications Regulations, 1995, the master of a ship is required to have on board the most recent editions of charts and publications and to keep them up-to-date. The charts must have been published by the Canadian Hydrographic Service. An exception exists for ships of less than 100 tons if the master has sufficient knowledge of the characteristics of the area, such that safe navigation is not compromised (a 12-metre fishing vessel is the equivalent to about 15 tons).

The Canadian Hydrographic Service has published a pamphlet describing how to update charts in five easy steps. For more information, visit www.charts.gc.ca or www.notmar.gc.ca.

Map - Sample chart patch
Example of a chart patch that is printed and affixed to a chart to correct it. This patch adds information on an intertidal breakwater and private buoys.

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Use Caution when Harvesting and Eating Shellfish

Fisheries and Oceans Canada is advising the public that shellfish harvesting is prohibited in closed areas or in areas located within 200 metres of a wharf, due to the risk of contamination. Eating contaminated shellfish is dangerous and may lead to paralysis and even death

Fisheries and Oceans Canada is ever vigilant in its efforts to prevent shellfish harvesting in closed areas and to protect public health. The Department is also asking the public to report poaching incidents by calling 1-800-463-9057 . All calls are confidential.

For more information on the status of shellfish beds (open and closed areas), you can consult the Canadian Shellfish Sanitation Program’s Web site at www.mollusca.gc.ca/. This program is managed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Environment Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

You can also find the latest information on shellfish harvesting by calling one of the following numbers:

CHARLEVOIX, NORTH SHORE AND ANTICOSTI ISLAND  
From Ile-aux-Coudres to Baie-Trinité:
(800) 463-8558
From Baie-Trinité to Blanc-Sablon:
(800) 463-1736

MAGDALEN ISLANDS: (418) 986-3882

LOWER ST. LAWRENCE AND GASPE
From Saint-Roch-des-Aulnaies to Cap Gaspé: (800) 463-0607
From Cap Gaspé to the Matapédia River:
(800) 463-4204

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New Fishery Officers

On March, twenty-one new fishery officers, among whom ten will be posted to the Quebec Region, graduated from the Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) fishery officer training program. This brings to 105 the number of new officers hired by DFO since August 2006. These new officers will boost DFO’s monitoring and surveillance capacity on Canadian waters.

Fishery officers have multiple responsibilities: they must enforce the Fisheries Act and other related Acts and Regulations, protect the fishery resources and the fish habitat by doing patrols on land, by sea and air; and participate in public education and awareness programs.

During the thirty-six months of field and classroom training, fishery officers acquire skills acquired in areas such as fish identification, conducting patrols, communications, negotiations and enforcement methods.

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2008 Management Measures for Atlantic Seal Hunt

On March 10, Fisheries and Oceans Canada announced management measures for the 2008 Atlantic seal hunt. The harp seal total allowable catch (TAC) has been set at 275,000, out of a herd of more than 5.5 million. This one-year TAC includes allocations of 2,000 seals for personal use, 4,950 seals for Aboriginal initiatives and a carryforward of 16,186 seals for those fleets who did not capture their quota from 2007. Once the carry forward is deducted, existing sharing arrangements remain in place, with the Front receiving about 70% of the TAC and about 30% for the Gulf. The 2008 hooded seal TAC has been set at 8,200 animals out of a herd of 600,000.

To ensure that the sustainability of the seal hunt is based on the most up-to-date science, the Department has already started its population survey instead of waiting until 2009, as originally planned.

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Infoceans

April - May 2008
Volume 11
Number 2

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