Atlantic Halibut Winter Fishing Project for Scientific Purposes
A winter Atlantic halibut project for scientific purposes in the Saguenay Fjord will take place during the winters 2022 and 2023.
This project, initiated by the Comité de bassin de la baie des Ha! Ha! (CBBH), aims to acquire additional scientific knowledge on this species and its presence in the Saguenay Fjord.
DFO will issue a scientific fishing licence to the Comité de bassin de la baie des Ha! Ha!, which will be responsible for coordinating scientific fishing activities, including identifying participants who will be permitted to participate in scientific fishing activities under this licence.
The total allowable catch for all participants named in the license will be 100 specimens for each season. In addition, the minimum size of halibut that may be retained will be 85 cm and over. Participants will be required to return any Atlantic halibut less than 85 cm in length immediately to the water from which it was taken and in a manner that causes the least harm to the halibut if it is still alive.
Scientific fishing activities will take place at the same time as winter recreational fishing activities but a designated participant will not be able to carry out both types of activities simultaneously.
What do we know about the Atlantic halibut in the Saguenay Fjord?
Studies suggest that the populations of some groundfish species in the Saguenay Fjord are "sink populations", which means that they are isolated from those of the Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence. In the case of Atlantic halibut, this issue has been little studied and DFO lacks data to test this hypothesis. Therefore, the data collected during the project will help advance knowledge on the species.
The partnership with the Comité de bassin de la baie des Ha! Ha!
In order to carry out this project, the Comité de bassin de la baie des Ha! Ha!, as community partner, will be able to count on the collaboration of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The CBBH has significant experience and knowledge of the winter groundfish fishery in the Saguenay Fjord. For more information on the CBBH, visit https://www.obvsaguenay.org/cbbh/.
For more information, please contact a fishery officer at your local Fisheries and Oceans Canada office.