Notices to Fish Harvesters

Whelk - 15 - Magdalen Islands

Conservation harvesting plan 2015-2017 (2015-05-12)

Approved May 1, 2015
This Conservation Harvesting Plan (CHP) for whelk applies to the whelk licence holders from the Magdalen Islands fleet when fishing whelk in the whelk fishing area no.15 in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
Fishing areas
Based on valid Conditions of licence, the authorized fishing area is the whelk area 15, a coastal area surrounding the Magdalen Islands.
Fishing seasons
The whelk fishing season is of a maximum period of seven months. It generally opens in early May to close in late November. These dates are however subject to change, at the request of the industry.
Unless otherwise specified, the opening dates planned are:
In 2015: from May 4 to November 30. 
In 2016: from May 2 to November 30.
In 2017: from May 1 to November 30.
The whelk quota granted to the fleet in area 15 is 376 t for 2015.
For 2016 and 2017, this section will be updated before the opening of the fishery.
Management regime
Competitive management regime with Individual Maximum Catch Limits (IMCL).
As the participation of licence holders is not regular, the IMCL granted in 2015 is 35.89 t per licence holder, for a potential catch of 395 t, or 5 % more than the total allocation granted to the fleet. The arrangements that will apply if the 376 t allocation is reached are described in the "quota Reconciliation" section.

Fishing gear
Regarding the number of traps, licence holders may choose between the two following options:
If they make their first fishing trip before August 1st, maximum 100 traps.
If they make their first fishing trip on August 1st or after, maximum 150 traps.
The trap maximum exterior volume is 0.3 m3. All traps must be equipped with a suitable biodegradable escape mechanism.
Dockside monitoring
Hail in is mandatory for 100% of the landings and dockside monitoring is sporadic.
Before the beginning of a fishing trip, the licence holder must have entered into an agreement with a dockside monitoring company legally designated by Fisheries and Oceans Canada for the hail in and the landing of fish.
Combined form / Logbook / Purchase Slip
The logbook must be obtained from a prequalified supplier identified by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, be completed according to the instructions specified in the document and submitted to Fisheries and Oceans Canada after each landing.
DFO reminds fish harvesters who are using different types of traps or meshing that their logbook must clearly reflect this information.
Incidental catches
Unless expressly authorized by regulations or by Conditions of licence, the retention of incidental catches is prohibited. Consequently, any fish caught incidentally shall forthwith be returned to the water from where it was taken and, if it is alive, in a manner that causes it the least harm.
Small fish protocol
Any whelk with a shell length (distance measured in a straight line through the longest part of the shell) less than 70 mm must be returned to the water.
Vessels with a length overall less than 15.24 metres (50 feet) may be used.
Partnerships between two licence holders are authorized upon request to Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Both licence holders will be issued a partnership authorization and must be on board the vessel for the duration of the agreement.

Quota reconciliation
If, in 2015, whelk total catches exceed 376 t, licence holders who will have landed more than 34.18 t will see their allocation for the following year deducted of the overharvested quantity, on a one-for-one basis. For 2016 and 2017, this section will be updated before the opening of the fishery.
Other management measures
Simultaneous fisheries: Whelk fishing is not authorized during the area 22 lobster fishing season (a fish harvester who holds both licences).
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 of this management plan's release, the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Atlantic species targeted by these measures are the following: Spotted Wolffish, Northern Wolffish, Leatherback Turtle and Striped Bass (St. Lawrence Estuary population). New species could be added within the year.
All bycatches of species identified above must be returned to the water and released in the exact capture location and, if the fish is still alive, with as little harm as possible. In addition, information regarding any species at risk, including the 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 relevant section of the logbook.
Conditions of licence
To obtain their Conditions of licence, licence holders must log on to the Online Licensing System. For Online Licensing System assistance, please contact customer support by phone at 1-877-535-7307, or by email at
Approved by
Sylvette Leblanc 
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
For any question regarding this CHP
You may call at 418-986-2095

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