Notices to Fish Harvesters

Soft Shell Clams - Gaspe-Lower St. Lawrence

Administrative guidelines for individual transferable quota (ITQ) programs - all species managed under an ITQ program - extension of transitional measures (2019-01-23)


Quebec City — January 23, 2019


In 2017, the Quebec Region of Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) reviewed the various administrative guidelines in collaboration with the industry.

This review applies to all the species managed under ITQ programs currently in place. The goal is to establish standard regional guidance for all ITQ programs in the Quebec Region.

A presentation on the progress of this review was given during the meeting of the Liaison Committee between Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Quebec Harvesting Sector in December 2018. In early 2019, a proposed Regional Guidance for ITQ Program Management will be sent to the industry and to First Nations for feedback. Subsequent consultations will take place until April 2019.

In the meantime, and to ensure appropriate management for the next fishing season, DFO has announced that the transitional ITQ program management measures implemented in 2018 will be maintained.

Therefore, until the above-mentioned Regional Guidance is in place, the administrative guidelines that expired on or around December 31, 2018, are renewed, and the rest remain in effect, subject to the following terms and conditions:

1) The definitions remain unchanged.
2) The general provisions remain unchanged.
3) The provisions pertaining to the Administrative Guidelines Committee remain unchanged.
4) The provisions pertaining to quota transfer registration remain unchanged.
5) The provisions pertaining to temporary ITQ transfer remain unchanged except for the maximum possible, which is set at 50% for all administrative guidelines with a maximum greater than that indicated above.
6) The clauses pertaining to the right of first refusal are removed.
7) The clauses pertaining to priority when it comes to re-issuing a licence (issuance of a “replacement licence”) to family or immediate family are removed.
8) The concept of related licences remains in use, in accordance with the terms and conditions of the relevant administrative guideline.
9) Licences must be re-issued (issuance of a “replacement licence”) in accordance with the rules of the relevant administrative guideline, based on the    residency criterion when applicable, as well as the Commercial fisheries licensing policy for Eastern Canada - 1996. 
 a. Any new potential participant in an ITQ must first be eligible according to the licensing Policy as indicated above; and
 b.  When applicable, the participant must also be a resident of the same sector or marine sub-sector as the previous licence holder (Lower North Shore, Upper Middle and North Shore, Gaspé-Lower St. Lawrence, Magdalen Islands).
10)  The provisions pertaining to permanent ITQ transfers remain unchanged.
11)  To provide Aboriginal communities with access to ITQ fisheries, this Notice to Fish Harvesters must be interpreted in conjunction with DFO's Reconciliation Strategy. In this regard, Aboriginal communities may acquire an ITQ or a portion of an ITQ based on a criterion of proximity to the fishing area, subject to availability.
12) This Notice does not apply to the administrative guidelines for interregional fleets.
13) This Notice applies only to fisheries and fleets managed under ITQ.

For additional information

For more information you can call your respective administrative area:

 Magdalen Islands Area: 418-986-2095

North Shore Area: 1-800-463-1729

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


 Maryse Lemire

Regional Director, Fisheries Management

Fisheries and Oceans Canada—Quebec Region

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