Notices to Fish Harvesters

Whelk - 11 to 14

CHP - WHELK – AREAS 1 TO 9 AND 11 TO 15 – QUEBEC REGION – SEASONS 2018-2020

 

Approved March 29, 2018

Amended April 13, 2018

Amended March 22, 2019

1.     Application

This Conservation harvesting plan is applicable to all Whelk fishing licence holders in the Quebec region.

2.     Fishing areas

Areas 1 à 9: North Shore area.

Areas 11 à 14: Gaspé-Lower St. Lawrence area.

Areas 15: Magdalen Islands area.

Fishing areas coordinates are detailed in the licence conditions and on the map of fishing areas available at the following link: http://www.qc.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/peches-fisheries/fr/cartes/pdf/Buccin.pdf

3.     Fishing closures

3.1  Coral and sponge conservation areas

In 2017, Fisheries and Oceans Canada created eleven coral and sponge conservation areas in the Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence in order to protect areas with high concentrations of sponges and sea pens.

All fishing activities that use bottom-contact gear or gear designed to come into contact with the sea bed, including but not limited to bottom trawls, dredges, gillnets, bottom longlines, bottom seines and traps, are forbidden in the conservation areas.

For more information and maps of the eleven coral and sponge conservation areas, please visit the dedicated DFO website: http://www.qc.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/golfe-gulf/coraux-eng.html.

 

3.2  Banc-des-Américains Marine Protected Area

On March 6th, 2019, Fisheries and Oceans Canada created, jointly with the Quebec government, the Banc-des-Américains Marine Protected Area (MPA) in order to the ensure the conservation and protection of this marine ecosystem.

Provisions of the Banc-des-Américains Marine Protected Area Regulations apply to licence holders. In order to comply with those, please refer to the terms that apply to your fishing activities: http://www.gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p2/2019/2019-03-06/html/sor-dors50-eng.html

4.     Fishing seasons

Durations of fishing seasons may vary between 23 to 30 weeks according to the areas. They represent the maximum duration of fishing periods. Opening dates may vary according to particular circumstances while closing dates may be advanced according to factors such as the reach of quotas or when risks of exceeding them are high. Opening and closing fishing dates of each fleet will be confirmed through usual communication means, particularly Notices to Fish Harvesters.

Areas

2018

2019

2020

Start

End

Duration (weeks)

Start

End

Duration (weeks)

Start

End

Duration (weeks)

1

April 2

Sept. 24

25

April 1

Sept. 23

25

March 30

Sept. 22

25

2

April 2

Sept. 9

23

April1

Sept. 8

23

March 30

Sept. 6

23

3

April 16

Nov. 11

30

April 15

Nov. 10

30

April 13

Nov. 8

30

4

April 23

Oct. 21

26

April 22

Oct. 20

26

April 20

Oct. 18

26

5

April 9

Oct. 7

26

April 8

Oct. 6

26

April 12

Oct. 10

26

6

April 24

Oct. 23

26

April 24

Oct. 23.

26

April 24

Oct. 23

26

7

April 24

Oct. 23

26

April 24

Oct. 23

26

April 24

Oct. 23

26

8

April 23

Oct. 28

27

April 22

Oct. 27

27

April 20

Oct. 25

27

9

April 9

Oct. 23

28

April 8

Oct. 23

28

April 12

Oct. 23

28

11

April 1

Sept. 30

26

April 1

Sept. 30

26

April 1

Sept. 30

26

12

April 1

Sept. 30

26

April 1

Sept. 30

26

April 1

Sept. 30

26

13

April 1

Sept. 30

26

April 1

Sept. 30

26

April 1

Sept. 30

26

14

April 1

Sept. 30

26

April 1

Sept. 30

26

April 1

Sept. 30

26

15

May 7

Nov. 30

30

May 6

Nov. 30

30

May 4

Nov. 30

30

It should be reminded that it is the responsibility of the captain to acquaint himself with the marine safety notices published by Environment and Climate Change Canada and Transport Canada as well as with the standards and best practices in marine safety and to take all measures necessary to insure a safe fishery during the period where fishing is authorized.

5.     Quotas (Subject to quota reconciliation)

Area 1 : 491 t

Area 2 : 109 t

Area 11 : 32 t

Area 12 : 75 t

Area 13 : 82 t

Area 15 :376 t

6.     Management regime

Areas 3 to 9 and 14: Competitive fishing regime managed by fishing effort.

Areas 1, 2 and 11 to 13: Competitive fishing regime with TAC.

Area 15: Individual Maximum Catch Limit (IMCL) of 34.18 t per licence holder.

7.     Minimum catch size and small fish protocol

Areas

Minimum length (mm)

2018

2019

2020

1

70

70

70

2

70

70

70

3

70

80

80

4

70

80

80

5

70

80

80

6

70

80

80

7

70

80

80

8

70

80

80

9

70

80

80

11

70

75

75

12

70

75

75

13

70

75

75

14

70

75

75

15

75

75

75

.

Whelk length consists of the distance measured in a straight line through the longest part of the shell.

Small whelk protocol will be applied in areas 11 to 14.

8.     Fishing gear

This section includes the terms related to the number and the volume of traps authorized (see table on following page).

For every fishing areas, fish harvesters are responsible for pulling up their fishing gear at least once every 72 hours. All traps used for fishing must be equipped with a biodegradable escape mechanismand must bear only one (valid) annual tag with a unique identification number. The list of tag suppliers approved by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) is available at the following address: http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fm-gp/sdc-cps/nir-nei/tags-supplier-region-eng.htm.
 

Areas

Number of authorized traps and permanent businesses merging options

Maximum external volume authorized for traps

1 à 7 et 9

(North Shore)

The number of authorized traps is written on the licence and is specific to each one. The following details apply:

a)  Current whelk licence holders who are authorized to use 150 traps under a grandfather clause will retain this privilege. However, the grandfather clause will lapse if the licence is transferred to someone else than a son or daughter. The new licence holder will then be authorized to use 100 traps;

b)  In area 1:

·   When businesses merge permanently and one whelk fishing licence authorizing the use of 50 traps and one fishing licence authorizing the use of 100 traps are involved, one licence will be withdrawn and the independent Core licence holder will be authorized to use up to 125 traps;

·   When businesses merge permanently and two whelk fishing licences authorizing the use of 100 traps or more are involved, one licence will be withdrawn and the independent Core licence holder will be authorized to use up to 175 traps;

·   When businesses merge permanently and two whelk fishing licences authorizing the use of 100 traps or more and one fishing licence authorizing the use of 50 traps are involved, two licences will be withdrawn and the independent Core licence holder will be authorized to use up to 200 traps;

·   When businesses merge permanently and three whelk fishing licences authorizing the use of 100 traps ore more are involved, two licences will be withdrawn and the independent Core licence holder will be authorized to use up to 200 traps.

c)   In area 5:

·   when businesses merge permanently and two whelk fishing licences authorizing the use of more than 100 traps are involved, one licence will be withdrawn and  the independent Core licence holder will be authorized to use up to 150 traps.

·   when businesses merge permanently and two whelk fishing licences authorizing the use of 50 traps and one fishing licence authorizing the use of 100 traps are involved, two licences will be withdrawn and the independent Core licence holder will be authorized to use up to 150 traps.

0,3 m3 (10,6 ft3).

8

(North Shore)

The number of authorized traps is 100 traps.

In order to favor area 8 exploration, the Department is willing to consider pilot projects aiming the use of a maximum of 200 traps in zones of area 8 outside of the sector bounded by straight lines joining the following points in the order in which they are listed:

51° 25' 50" N 57° 12' 46" O

51° 20' 50" N 57° 12' 46" O

51° 25' 00" N 57° 06' 45" O

Licence holders exercising this option are not authorized to fish whelk in the sector previously described, near Blanc-Sablon. A Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) approved by DFO, with data transmission every 15 minutes, is mandatory for this pilot project.Each licence holder must register his DFO-approved VMS unit prior to the beginning of his fishing activities. Prior authorization from the Department will be needed in that sense; one should allow a reasonable time frame for the analysis of the project. Pilot projects allowing the use of a maximum of 200 traps will be assessed annually to consider renewal.

0,3 m3 (10,6 ft3).

11 à 14

(Gaspé-Lower St. Lawrence)

The number of authorized traps is written on the licence and is specific to each one. The following details apply:

a)  When businesses merge permanently and two whelk fishing licences authorizing the use of more than 100 traps are involved, one licence will be withdrawn and the independent Core licence holder will be authorized to use up to 175 traps;

b)  When businesses merge permanently and two whelk fishing licences authorizing the use of 50 traps and one fishing licence authorizing the use of 100 traps are involved, two licences will be withdrawn and the independent Core licence holder will be authorized to use up to 175 traps;

c)   When businesses merge permanently and one whelk fishing licence authorizing the use of 50 traps and one fishing licence authorizing the use of 100 traps are involved, one licence will be withdrawn and the independent Core licence holder will be authorized to use up to 125 traps;

d)  When businesses merge permanently and three whelk fishing licences authorizing the use of 50 traps are involved, two licences will be withdrawn and the independent Core licence holder will be authorized to use up to 100 traps.

a)  0,3 m3 (10,6 ft3) for whelk fishing licence holders authorized to use 50, 100, 125 or 175 traps.

 

b)  0,15 m3 (5,3 ft3) for whelk fishing licence holders authorized to use 150 traps. These fish harvesters will retain this privilege (grandfather clause) until there is a change in licence holder. The new licence holder will then be authorized to use 100 traps

15

(Magdalen Islands)

Licence holders may choose between the two following options:

a)  100 traps if they make their first fishing trip before august 1st ;

b)  150 traps if they make their first fishing trip on august 1st or after.

0,3 m3 (10,6 ft3).


9.     New management measures to minimize the risks of interactions with the North Atlantic Right Whale

The following requirements have been implemented in order to reduce the risk of entanglement to North Atlantic Right Whales:

9.1     Amount of Rope Floating on the Surface of the Water

Since 2018, the following requirements are in place to minimize the length of rope floating on the surface of the water and reduce the risk of NARW entanglements:

Note: A primary buoy is defined as a buoy or other floating device attached to a fishing gear. A secondary buoy is defined as a buoy or other floating device attached to a primary buoy.

9.2     Gear marking

Licence holders using fixed gear must mark the rope used to attach a fishing gear to a primary buoy with a colour specific to the targeted species and to the fishing area in which they are authorized to fish. Implemented in 2018, this requirement is intended to facilitate the identification of the area where an entanglement has occurred. The following coloured markings are required for each fleet:

Fleet

Colours for marking

Entry into force

Snow crab, area 12

Orange

Mandatory as of 2018

Snow crab, area 12E

Yellow

Mandatory as of 2018

Snow crab, area 12F

Blue

Mandatory as of 2018

Snow crab, area 12A

Green

Mandatory as of 2019

Snow crab, area 12B

Blue-orange

Mandatory as of 2019

Snow crab, areas 12C, 13, 14, 15 et 16A

Green-orange

Mandatory as of 2019

Snow crab, area 16

Red

Mandatory as of 2019

Snow crab, area 17

Black

Mandatory as of 2019

Lobster (Gaspé and Magdalen Islands)

To be determined

Mandatory as of 2020

Whelk

To be determined

Mandatory as of 2020

Other crab species

To be determined

Mandatory as of 2020

Groundfish

To be determined

Mandatory as of 2020

Pelagics

To be determined

Mandatory as of 2020

The rope used to attach a fishing gear to a primary buoy must bear these coloured markings that are 15 cm in length. Starting from the primary buoy, the coloured marking shall be permanently affixed every 27.4 meters (15 fathoms) along the rope attaching a fishing gear to a primary buoy. The requirements for shallow water fisheries will be clarified later.

The markings shall be made by using coloured twine or coloured tape:

The shade of the colour used for the markings shall contrast with the colour of the rope used to attach a fishing gear to a primary buoy.

 

9.3     Additional identification of buoys

In addition to the current regulatory requirement to mark buoys with the vessel registration number (VRN), licence holders are required to identify each primary buoy with a sequential number in order to be able to individually identify each trap. This additional requirement will help identify and retrieve lost gear and could also help identify the sector where a NARW may have become entangled.

The sequential number shall be solid block Arabic numerals:

 

9.4     Requirement to report lost and retrieved gear

Since 2018, licence holders must report lost gear to Fisheries and Oceans Canada. This management measure will allow the amount of gear lost annually to be quantified and help identify the need to increase efforts to retrieve gear that has been lost, which would reduce the risk of whale entanglements.

Licence holders must report any lost fishing gear or the retrieval of any of their own previously reported lost gear to Fisheries and Oceans Canada by completing and submitting the Lost Fishing Gear form or the Retrieval of Previously Reported Fishing Gear form. Retrieval of a fishing gear can only occur under a valid fishing licence and only in relation to the fishing gear authorized by the fishing licence.

The appropriate form must be completed and submitted within 24 hours of discovering that gear has been lost or within 24 hours of retrieving gear previously reported as lost. For fishing trips of less than 5 days in length, the appropriate form must be completed and submitted within 24 hours of arriving at port.

The form is available online at the following address:  http://wwwdev.ncr.dfo-mpo.ca/fisheries-peches/commercial-commerciale/index-eng.html

 

9.5     What to do if you observe a North Atlantic Right Whale

First of all, it is important to maintain a minimum distance of 100 meters from the animal and 200 meters if the whale is accompanied by a calve. Details regarding sightings of live and free-swimming right whales may be provided to DFO at: XMARWhalesightings@dfo-mpo.gc.ca or by phone at 1-844-800-8568. If you observe this species, please send us your contact information and information about the sighting (date, time, geographical position, number of individuals, etc.). If possible, you can also send us photos or videos.

If you see a right whale entangled in fishing gear, you should not under any circumstances attempt to release it on your own. The behaviour of an entangled individual is unpredictable and dangerous. You should contact "Marine Mammal Emergencies" at 1-877-722-5346 as soon as possible to share information that will help to organize an appropriate response by experts (time and position of the entangled animal, behavior of the individual, details on the weather and the state of the sea, etc.).

10.  Marine mammals interaction reporting

In order to comply with the implementation of the US Marine Mammals Protection Act (MMPA) regulations, licence holders must now provide information regarding all interactions with a marine mammal that occur during fishing expeditions including: bycatch, collisions and all sightings of entangled marine mammals. To do this, the Marine Mammal Interaction Form must be completed and submitted by email to DFO.NAT.InteractionsMM-InteractionsMM.NAT.MPO@dfo-mpo.gc.ca within 48 hours after the end of a fishing trip.

A copy of the form is attached to the Conditions of licence and can also be downloaded and submitted online at the following address:  http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/species-especes/mammals-mammiferes/report-rapport/page01-eng.html

The information provided on this form will be used by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) to estimate levels of accidental mortality and injury to marine mammals. This information will allow DFO to better assess the types of threats that may affect Canada's marine mammals and to develop mitigation strategies.

In addition, if you observe a dead or distressed animal, please contact Marine Mammal Emergencies as soon as possible at 1-877-722-5346. If possible, do not hesitate to take photos or videos that will allow DFO to assess the situation and identify the species.

11.  Dockside monitoring

Areas 1, 2, 11 à 14: It is mandatory to hail in to a local dockside monitoring company prior to landing.

Area 15: It is mandatory to hail in to a local dockside monitoring company prior to landing. Sporadic coverage of the dockside monitoring program (DMP) is in place.

Areas 3 to 9: No measure required.

12.  Combined form

Fish harvesters must acquire their booklet of Combined Forms from a prequalified supplier, identified by DFO. The logbook section of the Combined Form must be completed at the end of each fishing day. The licence holder/fishing vessel operator must forward his Combined form completed truthfully to his Fisheries and Oceans Canada area office, without exception within the following time frame:

  1. Within 7 days following the landing when he lands in the Quebec Region;

  2. Within 10 days following the landing when he lands in a region other than the Quebec Region.

The list of prequalified supplier sis available at the following adress: http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fm-gp/sdc-cps/nir-nei/log-suppliers-eng.htm.

13.  Incidental catches

Incidental catches cannot be retained.

14.  Simultaneous fisheries

Management measures related to simultaneous fisheries for each fishing area are detailed in the licence conditions.

15.  Partnership

Areas 1, 2, 4 to 7 and 11 to 14: Buddy-up agreement between two licence holders of a whelk licence from the same area will be authorized between two fish harvesters who have registered whelk landings during the last two years prior to their demand. Fish harvesters involved in a partnership agreement are allowed to use a maximum number of traps corresponding to the sum of the maximum number of traps authorized by each of their licences. This measure is a pilot project and its impact will be evaluated at the end of each season to consider pursuing or modifying it.

Area 8: Buddy-up agreement between two licence holders of a whelk licence in sub-area 8-1 will be authorized between two fish harvesters who have registered whelk landings during the last 2 years prior their demand. Fish harvesters involved in a partnership agreement are allowed to use 225 traps. The impact of this measure will be evaluated at the end of each season to consider pursuing or modifying it.

Area 15: Buddy-up agreement between two licence holders is authorized. Fish harvesters involved in a partnership agreement are allowed to use a maximum number of traps that corresponds to the addition of the maximum number of traps authorized by each licence.

16.  Quota reconciliation

Areas 1, 2, 11, 12 et 13: In accordance with the quota reconciliation, any quota overrun incurred in an area during a fishing season will be deducted from the quota for this area for the following season by a one-to-one ratio.

Area 15: Quota reconciliation principles apply to the management regime in place (Individual Maximum Catch Limit - IMCL). Any overharvest of his IMCL by a licence holder in a given year will be deducted from his following year’s IMCL, on a one-for-one basis.

17.  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 Conservation Harvesting Plan is promulgated, the Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence species targeted by these measures are the following: Spotted Wolffish, Northern Wolffish, Leatherback Turtle and Striped Bass (St. Lawrence River population). New species could be added during the course of the year.

All incidental captures of species at risk must be immediately returned to the water where they were captured and, if the animal is still alive, in the manner that causes it the least harm. All incidental captures of species at risk must be recorded in the « Species at Risk » section of the logbook. Furthermore, all interactions with species at risk, notably the North Atlantic Right Whale, the Blue Whale (Atlantic population), the Beluga Whale (St. Lawrence Estuary population) and the White Shark (Atlantic population), must be recorded in this section of the logbook. 

 

These requirements are additional to any obligation to declare an interaction with a marine mammal using the prescribed form (see section Marine mammal interaction reporting).

Approved by:

Maryse Lemire

Fisheries Management Regional Director

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Quebec

For additional information

Please visit our website at the following address: http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fisheries-peches/index-eng.htm. or call at one of the following telephone numbers according to your area:

 

Magdalen Islands Area: 418-986-2095

North Shore Area: 1-800-463-1729

Gaspé-Lower St. Lawrence Area: 1-877-898-5559

Date modified: