Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

June 16, 2009 15:37 ET

Minister Shea Announces 2009 Fisheries Management Decisions for the Gulf of St. Lawrence

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 16, 2009) - The Honourable Gail Shea, Federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, today announced a number of management measures including northern and southern Gulf Cod and sharing arrangements for Group B Gulf Shrimp.

"Today's announcements reflect our Government's commitment to ensuring the long-term economic viability and sustainability of fisheries in the Gulf," said Minister Shea. "These measures are aimed at rebuilding stocks and increasing fairness and stability for fishers from across the region this year and for seasons to come."

Minister Shea announced the following management measures for the Gulf of St. Lawrence:

- Closure of the directed commercial fishery for southern Gulf cod;

- A Total Allowable Catch of 7,000 tonnes for northern Gulf cod;

- Direction by the Minister to the department to ensure the targeted removal of grey seals; and

- Stabilization for the 2010 fishing season of a permanent allocation for the Group B Gulf shrimp fleet of 13.5%

"By taking these steps now to address the health of cod stocks, we are protecting the future of the Gulf fishery. This is the right thing to do," said Minister Shea.

Canada's Economic Action Plan also provides a range of measures to assist resource dependent communities during this difficult time by improving access to credit for harvesters, processors and buyers, as well as improvements to many small craft harbours and significant investments in the Coast Guard.


BACKGROUNDER

2009 Gulf of St. Lawrence Fisheries Management Decisions

On June 16, 2009, the Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, announced a number management decisions affecting the following fisheries in the Gulf of St. Lawrence:

Northern Gulf cod (3Pn4RS)

The 2009 Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for northern Gulf cod will remain at 7,000t. This decision took into account scientific information and input from the fishing industry.

Southern Gulf cod (4TVn)

There will be no directed commercial fishery for southern Gulf cod (4TVn) in 2009. A TAC of 300t has been set for by-catch, Aboriginal and recreational fisheries and scientific surveys. The decision to close the fishery was based on the most recent scientific assessment, which shows that this cod stock is at a historically low level and is continuing to decline.

Impact of seal predation on southern Gulf cod

The department's most recent peer-reviewed scientific assessment indicated that grey seal predation appears to be a significant component of the very high mortality rates of cod in the southern Gulf. Based on these findings, Minister Shea has directed the department to ensure the targeted removal of grey seals that are preying on southern Gulf cod as part of its conservation approach. The science assessment is available at: http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/CSAS/Csas/Publications/SAR-AS/2009/2009_007_e.htm

Gulf Shrimp - Group B

For 2009, an allocation of 15% was previously announced for the Group B Gulf shrimp fleet. Beginning in the 2010 fishing season, a permanent allocation of 13.5% for the Group B Gulf shrimp fleet will be introduced. The stabilization of this sharing arrangement will support the rationalization plans of both the groundfish and traditional shrimp fleets, and improve the ability of fishers to make business planning decisions.

For further details about the decisions, visit http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/decisions/index-eng.htm

http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Contact Information

  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada
    Nancy Bishay
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Minister
    613-992-3474
    or
    Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa
    Scott Cantin
    Media Relations
    613-993-5413