REGIONAL GUIDELINES FOR THE MANAGEMENT OF INDIVIDUAL TRANSFERABLE QUOTA PROGRAMS
The implementation of individual transferable quota (ITQ) programs in Atlantic fisheries, including the Quebec region, began in the late 1980s for certain mobile gear groundfish fleets. In the early 1990s, ITQ programs were put in place for the shrimp fishery in the Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence and for snow crab in the southern Gulf. These programs were designed to provide an individual quota management and transfer tool, and to encourage rationalization in the number of licences for the groundfish and shrimp fleets. This management regime was later implemented into several other fisheries in Quebec. Administrative guidelines were developed in the late 2000s and early 2010s in a different context and with broader objectives.
Changes in the fisheries sector and the diversity of administrative guidelines in place have made it necessary to simplify and streamline these programs. The Regional Guidelines for the Management of Individual Transferable Quota Programs were developed taking into account these facts as well as the state of fisheries in Quebec at the time it was drafted.
This document will be updated periodically to take into account changes in the fisheries in Quebec but also, where applicable, to add or delete programs.
ADMINISTRATIVE GUIDELINES INCLUDED IN THE REGIONAL GUIDELINES (fisheries included in the Regional Guidelines)
PROGRAM 1: Snow Crab - Area 12 Subgroup G-2 - (New Access - Magdalen Islands)
PROGRAM 2: Snow crab - Area 12 Subgroups G-3 and G-4 (New Access - Gaspésie)
PROGRAM 3: Snow Crab - Area 12 Subgroup G-5 (New Access - Magdalen Islands)
PROGRAM 4: Snow Crab - Area 12A
PROGRAM 5: Snow Crab - Area 12B
PROGRAM 6: Snow Crab - Area 12C Group B and Area 15 Group B (New Access)
PROGRAM 7: Snow Crab - Area 14
PROGRAM 8: Snow Crab - Area 15 Group A - Lower North Shore
PROGRAM 9: Snow Crab - Area 16 Group A
PROGRAM 10: Snow Crab - Area 16 Group B
PROGRAM 11: Snow Crab - Area 16A
PROGRAM 12: Snow Crab - Area 17, Group A
PROGRAM 13: Snow Crab - Area 17 Group B (New Access)
PROGRAM 14: Rock Crab - Area 16B
PROGRAM 15: 4RST Atlantic Halibut - Gaspésie fixed gear fleet of less than 13.71 m - Turbot group under ITQ
PROGRAM 16: 4RST Atlantic Halibut - Fixed gear fleet of less than 19.81 m - Magdalen Islands
PROGRAM 17: 4RST Atlantic Halibut, 4RST Greenland Halibut and 3Pn4RS Cod - Gaspé fleet of 13.71 m and over (but less than 19.81 m) - Group of others
PROGRAM 18: 4RST Atlantic Halibut, 3Pn4RS Cod and 4T Cod - Gaspé Longliner fleet
PROGRAM 19: Greenland Halibut - Fixed gear vessels of less than 19.81 m
PROGRAM 20: Greenland Halibut - Fixed gear vessels of less than 19.81 m - Lower North Shore
PROGRAM 21: Shrimp - Shrimp fleet under ITQ - Quebec Group A
PROGRAM 22: Cod 3Pn4RS and Atlantic Halibut 4RST - Fixed gear vessels of less than 19.81 m - Lower North Shore
PROGRAM 23: Snow Crab - Area 12C Group A - Lower North Shore
1.1 The purpose of these Regional Guidelines is to:
1.1.1 Ensure conservation and sustainable use of the resource by implementing simple, stable, transparent and consistent management measures for all fishers;
1.1.2 Promote the self‑sufficiency of the fisheries sector through the contribution and accountability of participants and by exercising the authorities and responsibilities of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO).
2.1 These Guidelines have a regional scope and applies to all commercial fisheries authorized or governed under individual transferable quota (ITQ) programs by DFO in the Quebec Region, under the Fisheries Act. Fisheries covered by the Guidelines are listed at the beginning of this document.
2.2 In the event of any discrepancy, these Guidelines supersedes all documents issued before their implementation. However, all provisions of the appendix to these Regional Guidelines or the Regional Guidelines Registry take precedence over the provisions of these Guidelines’ main document.
2.3 These Regional Guidelines serve as a guide for the Minister. It is not binding on the Minister nor does it fetter his or her discretion to issue licences granted under Section 7 of the Fisheries Act.
2.4 In the event of a discrepancy, the provisions of an Act of Parliament and its regulations, including Supreme Court of Canada decisions, take precedence over the provisions of these Guidelines.
2.5 These Regional Guidelines do not extinguish Indigenous rights and title relating to access to fisheries resources, and it must be applied in accordance with the provisions of the Aboriginal Communal Fishing Licences Regulations and specific exemptions under the Commercial Fisheries Licensing Policy for Eastern Canada (1996).
3.1 Fleet allocation: portion of total allowable catch allocated to a program.
3.2 Management year: period from January 1 to December 31 of the current year, with the exception of groundfish, for which the management year runs from May 15 to May 14 of the following year.
3.3 Committee: sectoral or regional advisory committee, sectoral or regional resource management committee, local committee or, as the case may be, any other group representing the fleet directly involved in a program. A DFO representative must participate in the committee’s activities.
3.4 Regional Guidelines (RG): this document, including its appendix.
3.5 Fleet: all licence holders for a fishery included in the Regional Guidelines.
3.6 Administrative list: grouping of licence holders for a fishery included in the Regional Guidelines and their respective ITQs.
3.7 DFO: Department of Fisheries and Oceans.
3.8 Participant: a licence holder for a fishery included in the Regional Guidelines.
3.9 Communal licence: refers to a licence within the meaning of subsection 4(1) of the Aboriginal Communal Fishing Licences Regulations.
3.10 Management plan: all management measures governing a fishery during one or more years of management.
3.11 Licensing policy: Commercial Fisheries Licensing Policy for Eastern Canada ‒ 1996.
3.12 Program: rules or method of operation applicable to licence holders for a fishery included in the Regional Guidelines.
3.13 Individual transferable quota (ITQ): proportion, expressed as a %, of the total allowable catch allocated to a program that a licence holder is authorized to draw from a stock during a program’s management year.
3.14 Initial individual transferable quota (initial ITQ): ITQ issued by DFO at the beginning of each management year for each licence holder of a program. Initial ITQ does not take into account landings.
3.15 Maximum individual transferable quota (maximum ITQ): maximum ITQ limit, expressed as a %, of the fleet allocation that a participant may hold in a program.
3.16 Minimum individual transferable quota (minimum ITQ): minimum ITQ limit, expressed as a %, of the fleet allocation that a participant may hold in a program.
3.17 Regional Guidelines Registry: list of administrative guideline elements relating to the Commercial Fisheries Licensing Policy for Eastern Canada - 1996.
3.18 Resident of a marine sector: a person having his or her principal residence in a marine sector.
3.19 Marine sector: North Shore (NS), Gaspésie-Lower St. Lawrence (GLSL) and the Magdalen Islands (MI).
3.20 Stock: population of a given species in a given area.
3.21 Permanent transfer: an ITQ transfer authorized by DFO between two participants for the duration of the program.
3.22 Temporary transfer: ITQ transfer between two participants for the duration of a management year.
3.23 Total allowable catch (TAC): total quantity of a stock that can be caught by all users of the resource during a management year.
4. GENERAL PROVISIONS
4.1 DFO may modify, suspend or cancel the Program(s) or the RG at any time, in whole or in part. Generally, DFO consults the relevant committees before implementing any decisions related to the RG.
4.2 A Committee may request that DFO implement changes to its Program or to the RG. To do so, it must send its request, in writing, to the Regional Senior Advisor for the species concerned at the Regional Branch and to DFO’s Director of the Marine Sector.
4.3 DFO is responsible for implementing these RG and for its compliance with the applicable legislation and regulations.
4.4 Participants who receive authorization from DFO to catch an ITQ must manage their activities in accordance with the Management plan and the legislation and regulations in force.
4.5 These RG do not apply to the licence re‑issuance process, which must be conducted in accordance with the general rules set out in the Licensing Policy and in any subsequent document published by DFO regarding the interpretation of the pertinent elements of the Policy. The Regional Guidelines Registry is a list of administrative guideline elements relating to the Licensing Policy.
4.6 During every Management year throughout the validity period of the Program, DFO authorizes Participants to catch the ITQ shown in the Administrative list in accordance with articles 4.10 and 4.11.
4.7 For the application of these RG, the official weight as defined by DFO is expressed as gross or round weight.
4.8 All catches made by a Program Participant, whether direct catches or bycatch, is deducted from his or her ITQ.
4.9 Participants are responsible for executing their activities in accordance with the ITQ allocated, taking their transfers and landings into consideration. If applicable, they must also make any arrangements required to cover any ITQ overruns that occurred during previous fishing trips before embarking on a new fishing trip, and must hold the ITQ necessary to cover the catches that will be made during said trip.
4.10 Any ITQ overruns by a Participant during a Management year that are not covered by one or more transfers will be deducted from his or her ITQ for the next Management year on a one‑for‑one basis.
4.11 Unless otherwise specified in the Management plan, any ITQ not caught by a Participant during the Management year that is not transferred may not be reallocated to the ITQ for the following Management year.
4.12 A Program is automatically renewed for a period of one year at the end of its Management year.
5. MAXIMUM AND MINIMUM ITQ
5.1 The minimum ITQ is the smallest ITQ, excluding Temporary transfers and adjustments for landings that a Participant may hold under a Program. If the Participant falls short of this ITQ, he or she is automatically excluded from the Program and his or her fishing licence is returned to DFO.
5.2 The maximum ITQ is the largest ITQ, excluding Temporary transfers and adjustments for landings that a Participant may hold under a Program.
6. ADMINISTRATIVE LISTS
6.1 The ITQ-related information in effect for each Participant in a Program under the application of the RG is indicated in the Administrative lists in the appendix. DFO ensures that the Administrative lists are kept up to date.
7. ITQ TRANSFERS
7.1 ITQ transfers are authorized between Participants in the same Program at any time during a Management year, subject to compliance with the maximum ITQs and minimum ITQs of the Programs.
7.2 To be counted in a Management year, the transfers must have been made during the Management year.
7.3 Participants who make an ITQ transfer are responsible to DFO and the recipient of the transfer for ensuring that they hold the quantity of ITQs to be transferred.
7.4 Participants must submit requests for ITQ transfers via the National Online Licensing System prior to embarking on a fishing trip for which the transfer is required, and transfers must be registered in order to become official.
7.5 Permanent ITQ transfers are authorized among Participants in the same Program but must be approved by DFO.
7.6 Temporary ITQ transfers are authorized among Participants in the same Program. However, a Participant must always have a minimum of 50% of his or her initial ITQ.
7.7 Participants who wish to relinquish their ITQ will be excluded from the associated Program and will have their fishing licence returned to DFO.
7.8 An ITQ associated with a licence that is returned to DFO will be set aside by DFO.
VERSION OF 2020-12-22