Notices to Fish Harvesters

Sea Urchin - 1 à 8 - Gaspe-Lower St. Lawrence

Conservation harvesting plan - SEA URCHIN – AREAS 1 TO 8 – GASPE – LOWER ST. LAWRENCE AREA


Approved March 21, 2019

1.    Application

The present conservation harvesting plan (CHP) applies to the fleet of urchin licence holder/vessel operators of areas 1 to 8, under a competitive regime, for seasons 2018 to 2019.

2.    Fishing Areas

The sea urchin fishing areas and sub-areas are marked by straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed: 


48°05'59.1"         N         66°20'45.9"   W

48°05'04"            N         66°21'30"      W

48°03'16"            N         66°19'21"      W

48°01'30"            N         65°50'00"      W

47°51'42"            N         65°29'10"      W

48°02'18"            N         65°29'10"      W



48°02'18"            N         65°29'10"      W

47°51'42"            N         65°29'10"      W

47°57'45"            N         65°03'30"      W

47°59'40"            N         64°59'05"      W

48°06'21.6"         N         65°01'56.4"  



48°11'23"            N         64°51'38"      W

48°05'11.6"         N         64°46'18.5"   W

48°12'15"            N         64°30'00"      W

48°19'36"            N         64°41'36"      W 



48°19'36"            N         64°41'36"      W

48°12'15"            N         64°30'00"      W

48°12'15"            N         64°22'24"      W

48°23'43"            N         64°30'22"     



48°30'00"            N         64°13'15"      W

48°20'39.8"         N         63°32'42"      W

48°30'00"            N         63°00'00"      W

48°43'00"            N         64°13'30"      W

48°50'30"            N         64°24'30"      W

48°50'11.7"         N         64°28'24.3"  



48°50'11.7"         N         64°28'24.3"   W

48°50'30"            N         64°24'30"      W

48°43'00"            N         64°13'30"      W

48°44'55"            N         64°09'51"     



48°44'55"            N         64°09'51"      W

48°43'00"            N         64°13'30"      W

48°30'00"            N         63°00'00"      W

49°40'36.3"         N         64°43'57.6"   W

49°12'06.5"         N         64°54'57.5"   W


Excluding areas AP5 and AP6, which are between the following points:

49º10'26''            N         64º48'54.2''   W

49º17'00''            N         64º44'00"      W

49°17'41.5''         N         64°52'04''      W

49°12'01.2''         N         64°54'44.4''   W


48°59'29.5''         N         64°22'20.4''   W

49°04'22.4''         N         64°14'23.3''   W

49°05'25''            N         64°16'50.5''   W

49°00'33.8''         N         64°23'57.3''   W



49°12'06.5"         N         64°54'57.5"   W

49°40'36.3"         N         64°43'57.6"   W

49°51'30"            N         65°00'00"      W

49°33'30"            N         65°56'30"      W

49°13'36.9"         N         65°56'30"      W


Excluding areas AP3B and AP4, which are between the following points:

49º13'42''            N         65º54'35''      W

49º19'00''            N         65º54'35''      W

49°13'36.9"         N         65°56'30"      W

49º19'00''            N         65°56'30"      W


49º15'09.6''         N         65º26'00''      W

49º20'36.2''         N         65º26'00''      W

49º21'25''            N         65º35'30''      W

49°15'13.5''         N         65°35'30''      W



49°13'36.9"         N         65°56'30"      W

49°33'30"            N         65°56'30"      W

49°24'24.2"         N         66°25'00"      W

49°09'33.9"         N         66°25'00"      W


Excluding areas AP2 and AP3A, which are between the following points:

49º10'21.5''         N         66º21'00''      W

49º19'00''            N         66º21'00''      W

49°19'00''            N         66°25'00''      W

49°09'33.9''         N         66°25'00''      W


49°13'36.9"         N         65°56'30"      W

49º19'00''            N         65°56'30"      W

49º19'00''            N         66º00'50''      W

49º13'22.8''         N         66º00'50''      W



49°09'33.9"         N         66°25'00"      W

49°24'24.2"         N         66°25'00"      W

49°13'45.6''         N         66°58'25''      W

49°00'11.5''         N         66°58'25''      W


Excluding area AP1B, which is between:

49°03'11.4"         N         66°50'00''      W

49°16'26.5''         N         66°50'00''      W

49°14'51''            N         66°55'00''      W

49°01'50''            N         66°55'00''      W



48°56'31.4"         N         67°10’00"      W

49°09’45"            N         67°11’00"      W

48°52'41.3"         N         67°54'30.6"   W

48°45'18.4"         N         67°47'55"      W



48°42'00"            N         67°56'04''      W

48°49'11.3''         N         68°03'26.5''   W

48°39'28.6''         N         68°28'11''      W

48°33'07''            N         68°23'00''      W



48°33'07"            N         68°23'00''      W

48°39'28.6''         N         68°28'11''      W

48°30'21.4''         N         68°51'26.4''   W

48°22'41''            N         68°43'39''      W



48°19'52.8"         N         68°51'27.4"   W

48°27'00"            N         69°00'00"      W

48°16'34.5''         N         69°15'06.3''   W

48°11'29.5''         N         69°06'22''      W



48°09'05"            N         69°08'46"      W

48°14'56"            N         69°18'40"      W

48°12'15"            N         69°25'00"      W

48°01'12"            N         69°34'47"      W

47°58'24"            N         69°27'37"      W



47°58'24"            N         69°27'37"      W

48°01'12"            N         69°34'47"      W

47°53'48"            N         69°41'15"      W

47°47'55"            N         69°46'19"      W

47°46'49"            N         69°47'34.5"   W

47°43'40"            N         69°40'22"      W



47°40'30"            N         69°43’53"      W

47°43'54''            N         69°50'54''      W

47°38'56"            N         69°56'33"      W

47°34'32"            N         70°03'27"      W

47°30’34"            N         69°57’26"      W



47°30'34"            N         69°57’26"      W

47°34'32"            N         70°03'27"      W

47°37'45"            N         70°08'22"      W

47°02'57"            N         70°48'40"      W

46°56'08"            N         70°44'11"      W

The fishing areas coordinates are listed in the licence conditions and are also indicated on the fishing areas maps, which are available at the following address:


    3. Fishing closures 

            3.1      Banc-des-Américains Marine Protected Area


On March 6, 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 them, please refer to the clauses that apply to your fishing activities:

4.    Fishing seasons

The season will run from August 1 of this year to May 31 of next year.


The following seasons will be in effect for the duration of this CHP. They represent the maximum duration of fishing periods. Opening dates may vary according to particular circumstances such as industry requests and the TAC announcement 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 or Variation Orders.

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. Allowable catch

Area 8E: 110.7 t (for the entire 2019-2020 fishing season).

A catch limit of 85 t applies in thepart of area 8E defined as sub-area 8E-1 and delimited by the straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed:

1.  47°53'48.0"         N         69°41'15.0" W

2.  47°55'39.8"          N         69°39’37.6" W

3.  47°53'35.7"         N         69°40’43.8" W

4.  47°55'27.5"         N         69°39’06.4" W

6.    Management Regime

Competitive fishing regime.

7.    Minimum catch size

50 mm (test width (shell)).

8.    Fishing Gear

License holders are allowed to fish for sea urchins while diving. 


a) Use of a principal boat


Exploratory dive fishing with a maximum of five divers at all times, either diving and/or on board the boat, is authorized only when the principal boat takes part in a fishing trip that includes harvesting operations; handling, measuring and sorting sea urchins as well as transporting and deploying divers.

Similarly, during the experimental dive fishing, when only one principal boat takes part in a fishing trip, a maximum of 4 divers at all times, either diving and/or on the boat, is allowed.

b) Use of a principal boat and a secondary boat

When a licence holder elects to use a secondary boat in addition to his/her principal boat, all operations during the fishing trip must take place on board one boat at a time and all trip participants must be on board one boat.

When a secondary boat is used, a maximum of 2 divers the dive fishery with a maximum of two divers in the water at all times is authorized.

Both boats must be registered.

9.    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 of North Atlantic Right Whales:


9.1      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, available online at 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.

9.2      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: 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 mammal 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 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:

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.


It is mandatory to hail in to a local dockside monitoring company prior to landing.

Before the beginning of a fishing trip, the licence holder/vessel operator must have entered into an agreement with the dockside monitoring company legally designated by DFO for the hail in under these conditions of licence.

12.Combined form / Logbook

Fishermen must acquire their booklet of Combined Forms from a prequalified supplier, identified by DFO, whose list is available at the following address:

A log must be kept in the section of the combined form provided for this purpose. This section must be completed prior to arrival at the dock and the combined form must be returned to the Gaspé DFO office no later than 7 days after each fishing trip.

13.Vessel Monitoring System

The use of a Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) approved by DFO is mandatory. Each licence holder must register his DFO-approved VMS unit prior to the beginning of his fishing activities. Data transmission every 15 minutes is required.


The current list of DFO-approved VMS units and the procedure and form to register a VMS unit are available at the following address:

14.Electronic Monitoring System

Since the 2018 fishing season, an Electronic Monitoring System (EMS) capable of recording continuous video or photos of all fishing activities is mandatory on board a fishing vessel. Licence holders must provide qualified installers identified by a Fishery Officer, access to the fishing vessel for the installation, removal and maintenance of the EMS, as well as for the installation or retrieval of the memory card/hard drive from the EMS. Before and while fishing, licence holders must ensure that the cameras lens is kept clean so the quality of the video or pictures is not degraded.

15.Quota reconciliation (when applicable)

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.  

16.Other conditions

Participation clause :

The participation clause of 4536 kg (10,000 lbs) for all areas and subareas of the Gaspé–Lower St. Lawrence sector is maintained for exploratory licences. This quantity must be fished in a direct fishery so that licences can be renewed the following year.

17.Species At Risk Act

Pursuant to the Species at Risk Act, 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 susceptible to being captured are the following: the Spotted Wolffish, the Northern Wolffish, the Leatherback Turtle and the 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).

18.Conditions of licence

To obtain their Conditions of licence, fish harvesters must access the National Online Licensing System. For National Online Licensing System assistance, please contact customer support by phone at 1 877‑535-7307 or by email at  

Approved by:

Maryse Lemire

Fisheries Management Regional Director

Fisheries and Oceans Canada


For any questions regarding this CHP

You may call at 1-877-898-5559.

For additional information

Please visit our website at the following address:

Date modified: