DARTMOUTH, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwired - Feb. 11, 2014) - The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada is pleased to announce that Mr. Greg Roach has been retained to work with the lobster industry in Lobster Fishing Area (LFA) 34 to develop a plan to improve the viability of the industry.
Mr. Roach will work with the industry to develop options for management measures that will better manage supply and improve prices. He will facilitate discussions on possible changes to the LFA 34 fishery with a variety of stakeholders such as licence holders, buyers, processors and First Nations, and will also work to develop a transparent process that will allow industry members to receive information, provide their feedback and express their support for implementing the different options.
Harvesters have expressed strong dissatisfaction with the price they have recently obtained for their catches. Fisheries and Oceans Canada's mandate relates to the conservation of lobster stocks. Measures to improve market price and manage supply more effectively are therefore best developed by the industry-led process that Mr. Roach will facilitate.
Mr. Roach retired in 2012 as Associate Deputy Minister with the Nova Scotia Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture.
- LFA 34 is the area between Goose Point in Shelburne County and Burns Point in Digby County, Nova Scotia.
- The fishing season in LFA 34 is from the last Monday in November until May 31. Lobster landings in LFA 34 in 2012/13 were 22,775 tonnes which is almost three times the 50-year average.
- LFA 34 has the highest landings and the most participants of any lobster fishing area in Canada.
- The lobster fishery is managed using a number of management measures including limits on the numbers and types of traps that a harvester can use. The season's opening and closing dates are also part of managing fishing effort and there are restrictions on the size of the vessel that can be used. There is a minimum size carapace length, and egg-bearing lobsters cannot be landed. There is no limit on the number of lobsters that a harvester can land and the lobster fishery is not managed using quotas.
- Harvesters in LFA 34 can use 375 traps from November to March and 400 traps from March to May.
"Our Government will continue to be open to solutions, supported by fishermen that strengthen the economic competitiveness of this traditional pillar of our coastal economy. Mr. Roach has a strong understanding of the issues confronting the lobster industry and Lobster Fishing Area 34 in particular. I'm hopeful his work can help inform management practices across the region."
The Honourable Gail Shea
Minister of Fisheries and Oceans
"Providing the opportunity for inclusive discussion on options for change in the Southwest Nova Scotia lobster fishery is of vital importance to the lobster sector in Canada. Greg Roach has the knowledge and background to help the harvesters in LFA 34 effect change in their fishery."
Mr. Geoff Irvine
Executive Director, Lobster Council of Canada
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