Notices to Fish Harvesters

Halibut - 4RST - Gaspe-Lower St. Lawrence - Fixed Gear less than 13,71m - Competitive - Lobster Fishers Group A125



Approved: June 22, 2017



  1. Application 

This Conservation Harvesting Plan (CHP) for Atlantic halibut applies to the groundfish licence holders of the Gaspé fixed gear fleet of less than 13.71 m from the Lobster Fishers Group designated by the Regroupement des pêcheurs professionnels du sud de la Gaspésie (RPPSG) when fishing for touristic purposes in a portion of Division 4T from May 15, 2017 to May 14, 2018.


Note that:



2. Fishing areas 

Based on valid Conditions of licence and subject to a Variation Order, fishing for Atlantic halibut as part of the RPPSG touristic commercial fishery project is authorized in Subdivisions 4T3a, 4T3b, 4T4 and 4T6.


 Information on fishing areas is available on the Department’s website at:


 3. Permanent fishing closures 

The protection of fish during the spawning period and in areas where there are concentrations of juveniles is a priority that the Department and the industry consider very important for the recovery of the cod stock in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The following conservation measure applies:



































Note: The lines joining points 1, 2, 3, 4 and 1 (in that order) represent the permanently closed area, which is known as the Miscou box.

          The lines joining points 2, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 2 (in that order) represent the area open to the directed halibut fishery (green area) from June 24 to December 31.



 4. Fishing seasons 

The fishing season below is in effect for the validity period of this CHP. Opening period: june 24 to September 30


5. Quotas 

In 2017, the Atlantic halibut allocation for the Gaspé fixed gear fleet of less than 13.71 m corresponds to 150.963 t.


Based on the permanent sharing agreement of the fleet of less than 13.71 m, the part granted to the licence holders from the Lobster fishers group corresponds to 27.75 % of this allocation, which is of 41.892 t.


Considering the carry-forward of the 2016-2017 uncaught residual of 2.125 t, the initial allocation is 44.017 t in 2017-2018.


An allocation of 43.767 t is alloted to the directed fishery and to the cover the group’s bycatches during other groundfish fisheries and 250 kg are allotted to the RPPSG touristic commercial fishery project.


6. Management regime 

Two licence holders designated by the RPPSG will be allowed to fish the allocation allotted to the touristic commercial fishery project under a competitive regime.


7. Fishing gear 

The specifications for fishing gear authorized for the touristic commercial fisheryare: 


8. Notice of departure at sea 

Licence holders are required to transmit the required information relative to their fishing trip, as specified in their Conditions of licence, at least 60 minutes before each fishing trip at the following email address:


9. Hail-in 

Before the beginning of a fishing trip, licence holders must have entered into an agreement with a dockside monitoring company legally designated by DFO. The licence holder/fishing vessel operator must contact the dockside monitoring company at least 30 minutes prior to the expected time of arrival at port.


10. Dockside monitoring 

There will be no dockside monitoring or weighting. However, the licence holder/fishing vessel operator must weigh the fish caught on board the fishing vessel.


11. Combined form / Logbook / Purchase slip  

Filling of the Logbook section in the Combined Form is mandatory and the Combined form must be returned to the Fisheries and Oceans office at the end of each week when fishing trips occurred.


The logbook section must be completed properly on each fishing day prior to arrival at port, even if no fish are caught.


12. Passengers Logbook 

A Passengers Logbook must be available at all times for review by a fishery officer and must be forwarded to DFO at the end of the season. Before departure for a fishing trip, the Passengers Logbook must contain the name and address of the passengers. The number of Atlantic halibut caught and the tag numbers used (see Section 21 - Other Management Measures) must be recorded before arrival at port.


13. Vessel Monitoring System 

Not applicable.


14. Bycatch protocol  

The possession or the retention of incidental catches is prohibited. Consequently, the licence holder/fishing vessel operator shall forthwith return any incidental catch to the place from which it was taken and where it is alive, in a manner that causes it the least harm.


Bycatch is defined as the round weight of a bycatch species divided by the round weight of the target species.


Fishers must ensure that they take all the necessary measures to restrict by-catches within the allowable limits. For example, licence holders/fishing vessel operators must move away from their actual fishing location when they witness high bycatches rates to specifically target Atlantic halibut and minimize bycatch.


If bycatch limits per fishing trip are exceeded, the fishery may be closed.


Authorized groundfish bycatch limits per fishing trip:



The greater of 30% or 45 kg per fishing trip.

White Hake

5% per fishing trip.


The lesser of 10% or 500 kg. At the time of landing and weighing, at least a portion of the tail fin must be attached to the shark's carcass. Also, the pelvic fins (the paired fins adjacent to the cloaca or “vent”) must be intact and attached to the carcass.

Other groundfish species

10% per fishing trip.


 15. Small fish protocol  

Every Atlantic halibut less than 85 cm must be returned to the water immediately. When live fishes are returned to the water, they must be handled in a manner that causes them the least harm.


16. Vessel replacement 

Vessels with an LOA less than 15.24 m may be used, regardless of cubic number.


17. Partnership 

Not applicable.


18. Conversion ratio 

The following conversion ratio is used in order to convert the weight of eviscerated catches to round fish weight:


·         Atlantic Halibut



19. Simultaneous fisheries


No simultaneous fishing activity is permitted.


20. Other management measures 

Every Atlantic halibut caught must immediately be tagged with a valid tag inserted in the gills.


No Atlantic halibut discarding is authorized. If an individual or fleet is suspected of dumping and discarding groundfish at sea, the industry-funded at-sea observer coverage may be increased, in addition to other regulatory options, including fisheries closures and legal proceedings.


21. Species at Risk Act 

Pursuant to the Species at Risk Act (SARA), no person shall kill, harm, harass, capture, take, possess, collect, buy, sell or trade an individual or any part or derivate of a wildlife species designated as extirpated, endangered or threatened.


At the time this Management Plan is promulgated, the Gulf of St.-Lawrence and the Atlantic species targeted by these measures are the following ones: Spotted wolffish, Northern wolffish, Leatherback Turtle, Striped Bass (St. Lawrence Estuary population) and the White Shark (Atlantic population). New species could be added in the course of the year.


All by-catch of species identified above must be returned to the water and released in the exact capture location and, if the fish is still alive, in a manner that causes it the least harm. In addition, information regarding interactions with species at risk, including species mentioned above as well as the North Atlantic Right Whale, the Blue Whale (Atlantic population) and the Beluga Whale (St. Lawrence Estuary population) must be recorded in the Species at risk section of the logbook.


22. Conditions of licence  

To obtain Conditions of licence, fishers must log on to the National Online Licensing System. For help with the National Online Licensing System, please contact customer support by calling 1-877-535-7307 or by sending an email to


Approved by:


Maryse Lemire


Fishery Management Regional Direction


Fisheries and Oceans Canada


For additional information


Please visit our websiteat the following address:


Note: In the case of discrepancies between the English and the French versions, the latter prevails.




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