Sun. Feb 25th, 2024

Redfish: the door opens for 2024< /p>Open in full screen mode

In recent years, the fish has become the most abundant in the St. Lawrence, but its fishing is under a moratorium. (Archive photo)

  • Martin Toulgoat (View profile)Martin Toulgoat

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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.< /p>

In a written statement, Minister Lebouthillier indicates that she wishes to make a decision on the distribution of access and allocations with a view to resuming this short-term fishing.

Diane Lebouthillier made this announcement following a meeting held Tuesday afternoon with key players in the shrimp industry.

Ms. Lebouthillier did not, however, specify what type of fishing it will be. Only small quotas of scientific and indicator fishing are permitted. Thus, since spring, experimental fishing of 5,000 tonnes has been authorized.

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The member for Gaspésie–Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Diane Lebouthillier, began her second term in October and she retained the Ministry of Revenue.

Commercial redfish fishing has been prohibited in the Gulf of St. Lawrence since the moratorium imposed in 1995.

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In eastern Canada, redfish is fished on a commercial basis, only in Atlantic (southwest) and west of Newfoundland.

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Fishermen from Lamèque are experimenting with redfish fishing in the hope of paving the way for a new industry. (File photo)

Several details remain to come, but this declaration could lead to a lifting of the moratorium. This decision is expected in the industry, affected by an unprecedented drop in stocks of shrimp, the redfish's main prey.

The director of the Quebec Shrimp Fishermen's Office, Patrice Element, participated in this meeting. This announced return of redfish is good news, but he hopes that the minister will quickly specify the stocks that will be authorized.

The minister confirmed that it There would be redfish fishing in 2024, but how it will land, we don't know, he explains.

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Patrice Element, director of the Quebec Shrimp Fishermen's Office, wants to know the authorized allocations as soon as possible. (Archive photo)

Whether for authorized stocks of shrimp or redfish, Mr. Element reminds that his fishing members want predictability in order to prepare for the next season. The decision is expected as quickly as possible.

Because there, we don't know what we're going to have to fish and, to a certain extent, we don't know if we're going to have anything to fish.

A quote from Patrice Element, director, Office of shrimp fishermen from Quebec

Journalist Martin Toulgoat takes stock of Minister Diane Lebouthilier's announcement.

For the management of the Les Pêcheries gaspésiennes factory, even if Minister Lebouthillier has not yet specified the catch volumes, this declaration is sufficient to develop markets for the next season.

With this announcement, we will be able to market the product and see how the market will react. Following that, we will evaluate what equipment we need and move forward, specifies the general director, Olivier Dupuis.

The Gaspé factory has processed 312 tonnes of redfish in recent months. We are capable of transforming much more, but it is difficult to estimate how many tonnes. Everything will depend on the reaction of the market, specifies Mr. Dupuis.

The Association of Captains Owners of Gaspésie (ACPG) is hoping for clarification. We have no choice but to wait for details, we do not yet know who will receive allocations and to what extent, underlines the general director, Claudio Bernatchez.

I think Ms. Lebouthillier wanted to be reassuring as the holidays approach, but there is still essential work to be done, he adds.

It takes commercial fishing. This species must be removed as quickly as possible from the list of moratorium species in Canada. Otherwise, there will be nothing to do to develop markets.

A quote from Claudio Bernatchez, Managing Director, ACPG

Questioned on the subject, the Bloc member for Avignon–Mitis–Matane–Matapédia, Kristina Michaud, remains cautious.

Ms. Lebouthillier announces that she will announce redfish fishing, so yes, good news, but obviously, we can't wait to see the details of that, concludes the federal MP.

She also maintains that not all shrimp fishermen will be able to fish for redfish.

According to her, the minister will have to provide financial aid to support this fleet, while financially supporting fishermen and industrialists who want to turn to redfish by investing in new equipment.

The minister must normally make known her intentions on the future of shrimp fishing in the Gulf of St. Lawrence by the end of January.

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