Wed. Feb 28th, 2024

Commercial redfish fishing opens in the Gulf of St. Lawrence

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The Minister of Fisheries announced his intentions regarding the relaunch of redfish fishing.

  • Marguerite Morin (View profile)Marguerite Morin

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After nearly 30 years of moratorium, commercial redfish fishing will be authorized this year in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

This was announced by the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Diane Lebouthillier, Friday afternoon, in Rivière-au-Renard, during her presentation of a transition plan for the future of fisheries in Quebec and in Atlantic Canada.

The first phase of the reopening of this fishery will be done with at least 25,000 tonnes for Quebec and the provinces of x27;Atlantique.

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Federal Fisheries Minister Diane Lebouthillier says there will be more redfish fishing in the waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence in 2024.

Ms. Lebouthillier did not detail the proportion of this quota for each province, but indicated that the lion's share went to Nova Scotia. The distribution also shows that offshore fishermen, i.e. boats over 100 feet, will hold the majority of allocations, i.e. 58.69% of the total authorized.

Access and allocations are however broken down by fleet, where shrimpers from the estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence as well as indigenous communities have respectively 10% of the quota reserved for them.

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Fleet sectors Allocations (%)
Fleet of offshore mobile devices (ships>100 feet) 58.69%
Coastal fleet of mobile craft (vessels < 65 feet) 14.84%
Mid-shore mobile fleet (65 and 100 foot vessels) 5.72%
Fixed coastal fishing gear (bycatch) 0.75%
Shrimp fishermen of the estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence 10%
Indigenous communities 10%

Source: Fisheries and Oceans Canada

For the following years, Minister Lebouthillier evokes development work with transitional quotas.

With the collapse of northern shrimp stocks in the Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence, DFO has no choice but to significantly reduce the total allowable catch (TAC) for the next fishing trip.

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Shrimp boats from New Brunswick, Quebec and Newfoundland will be able to count on a slim quota of only 3,060 tonnes.

Although it is This is a slightly higher quota than several observers initially estimated for the next season, this quantity of catch is barely enough to supply a single factory in the entire Gulf.

Neither an aid fund nor a possibility of buying back licenses is currently being considered by the minister for the shrimp industry.

Minister Lebouthillier indicates, however, that Fisheries and Oceans will show flexibility with regard to permits, in particular by granting the possibility of twinning, i.e. for fishermen to fish on board the same boat.

More details to come.

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