Notices to Fish Harvesters

Soft Shell Clams - 1A, 1B, 1C, 2 et 3 - North Shore

Bivalve shellfish Area 2 - Season 2019

 

bivalve SHELLFISH– AREA 2

Season 2019

 

Approved September 10, 2019

 1.    Application

This Conservation Harvesting Plan (CHP) applies to fishing license holders of bivalve shellfish using mechanical gear,  area 2 of the North Shore area, Quebec Region.

2.    Fishing Areas

Fishing area 2, from Pointe des Monts to Rivière de L'Étang :

Fishing sub-areas:
2.1  Mingan area
2.2  La Romaine area
2.3  Pointe aux Morts area
2.4  Îles Saint-Charles area
 
The fishing areas coordinates are listed in the Conditions of licence and are also indicated on the fishing areas maps, which are available at the following address: http://www.qc.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/peches-fisheries/commerciale-commercial/index-eng.html

3.    Fishing closures

3.1       Coral and Sponge Conservation Areas in the Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence  

On December 15, 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.

IMPORTANT: In addition to fishery closures for conservation purposes, areas for shellfish fishing may also be closed under the Management of Contaminated Fisheries Regulations. For the latest information concerning the areas closed for contamination reasons, please dial one of the following telephone numbers: 1 800 463-8558 or 1-800-463-1736.

The Canadian Shellfish Sanitation Program (CSSP) has equipped itself with an interactive cartography tool to allow visualisation of open or closed sectors for bivalve mollusc harvesting in Canada.

This tool is called SHELLI: (S)hellfish (H)arvest (E)xtents (L)atitude (L)ongitude (I)nformation and can be accessed online at the following address: http://fcs-scp.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/Geocortex/Essentials/Viewer/Index.html?viewer=CSSP_Public_En_Site

4.    Fishing seasons

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.

From September 10 to December 21, 2019

5.    Number of licences and access

2 licences (attrition)

6.    Quotas

Total allowable catch (TAC)

Sub area:  2.1  Mingan area :                                         24 tons
Sub area:  2.2  La Romaine area :                                 20 tons
Sub area:  2.3  Pointe aux Morts area :                         11.4 tons
Sub area:  2.4  îles Saint-Charles area :                        11.4 tons

7.    Management Regime

The management of these species is under a competitive regime, with a total allowable catch (TAC) for each of sub-areas.

8.    Minimum catch size

Softshell clam: 51 mm

Razor clam: 100 mm

9.    Fishing Gear

Mechanized system only (attrition)

10.Management measures to minimize the risks of interactions with the North Atlantic Right Whale

Management measures to reduce interactions with North Atlantic Right Whales and to report any interactions with marine mammals are now in place in all Quebec fisheries. All the information on these measures has been published in the April 12th, 2019 Notice to Fish Harvesters, available at the following link: https://inter-l01.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/applications/opti-opei/notice-avis-eng.php?region_id=4&sub_type_id=5&type=1&display_option=1.

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

10.1    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 http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fisheries-peches/commercial-commerciale/reporting-declaration-eng.html. 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.

10.2    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: 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.).

11.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 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.

12.Dockside Monitoring

A hail in to a local dockside monitoring company is mandatory.

13.Combined form / Logbook

The Combined Form must be obtained from a pre-qualified supplier identified by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, a list of which is available at the following addresshttps://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fisheries-peches/sdc-cps/nir-nei/logbooks-journaux-eng.html

The Logbook section must be completed on each fishing day, before arrival at dockside. The Combined form must be sent to DFO after each fishing trip.

14.Vessel Monitoring System

From 2020, 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: http://dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fisheries-peches/sdc-cps/vessel-monitoring-surveillance-navire/index-eng.html

15.Incidental Catches

The discarding of catches taken in accordance with the Fisheries Act and Regulations is prohibited.

16.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).

17.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 fishing-peche@dfo-mpo.gc.ca.

Approved by:

Maryse Lemire
Fisheries Management Regional Director
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Quebec

For any question regarding this CHP

You may call at :
North Shore area: 1-800-463-1729

For additional information

Please visit our website at the following address: http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fisheries-peches/index-eng.htm.

 

 

 

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