Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

March 30, 2015 15:17 ET

Minister Shea Announces TAC Increase And Rollovers For Northern Shrimp Fishery

Effective Management for Sustainability and Economic Opportunity

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - March 30, 2015) - The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, today announced the 2015/2016 Northern shrimp fishery management decisions for Shrimp Fishing Areas 0, 4, 5 and 6.

The Government of Canada is committed to ensure the sustainability and the financial stability of the Northern shrimp fishery while maximizing economic opportunities for fishermen. In keeping with this commitment, the management decision for Northern shrimp is as follows:

  • A total allowable catch (TAC) rollover in Shrimp Fishing Area (SFA) 0 at 500 tonnes.
  • A TAC rollover in SFA 4 of 14,971 tonnes, which includes a 1,700 tonnes Section 10 allocation, and a by-catch of P.Montagui of 4,033 tonnes.
  • The TAC in SFA 5 will increase from 20,970 tonnes to the 2013 level of 23,300 tonnes. Allocations to quota holders will also be reinstated to 2013/2014 levels.
  • A TAC rollover in SFA 6 of 48,196 tonnes.

Fisheries management decisions are complex and take into account a number of considerations including science, conservation and input from Aboriginal groups, other levels of government and stakeholders.

Quick Facts

  • Canada exports more cold water shrimp than any other country in the world and shrimp is Canada's fourth most valuable seafood export.
  • Northern shrimp is by far the most abundant of the 30 shrimp species found in the Canadian Atlantic, representing approximately 97 percent of the overall commercial fishery in the region.
  • Canada's Northern shrimp fishery is effectively managed to maintain the future health of the stock. It was the first Canadian fishery to receive the Marine Stewardship Council's eco-certification as sustainable seafood in 2008.
  • The Northern shrimp fishery opens on April 1, 2015 for SFAs 4, 5 and 6. SFA 0 opened on January 1, 2015.
  • Since the introduction of the Last In, First Out policy (LIFO) in 1997, in SFA 6 the inshore fleet received 90 percent with 10 percent going to the >100' shrimp sector when stocks increased.

    As a result, the inshore fleet today has a quota of 22,500 tonnes more than in 1997, while the >100' shrimp sector has a quota of 2,500 tonnes more than in 1997.
  • Northern shrimp prices have been relatively high in the past years, approaching historic highs in 2014. The expectation for 2015 is that Northern shrimp landed prices will continue to be strong, mainly as a result of changes in world supply, economic growth forecasts for key European markets and China, and the value of the Canadian dollar.


"Our Government recognizes the economic importance of the Northern shrimp fishery for coastal and northern communities in Atlantic Canada. This year's science supports a modest increase of the total allowable catch. It means that all fishermen currently involved in this fishery will be out fishing this upcoming season.

We are committed to look for the right balance between maximizing economic opportunities for fishermen and ensuring sustainable fisheries. Going forward, the Government of Canada will continue to engage with our Northern shrimp industry groups and take actions that conserve and protect this vital resource for future generations."

The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Related Product

  • Backgrounder : Northern Shrimp Fishery Management Decisions For 2015/2016


Northern Shrimp Fishery Management Decisions For 2015/2016


The most recent science results indicate the fishable biomass in Shrimp Fishing Area (SFA) 4 declined by 6.3 percent, increased by 42.2 percent in SFA 5, and increased by 7.9 percent in SFA 6 from last year. While SFA 4 and 5 remain in the healthy zone, SFA 6 remains in the lower half of the cautious zone of the precautionary approach framework, where it has been for the last five out of six years.

Northern Shrimp Advisory Committee Meeting

The Northern Shrimp Advisory Committee (NSAC) meeting was held on March 4 with industry members and stakeholders in the Northern shrimp fishery. The advisory committee process is an important opportunity for stakeholders to offer their perspectives, experiences and views for consideration in the decision-making process. Discussions at the meeting revolved around various issues including the science, potential Total Allowable Catches, allocations, and other matters. Input provided by stakeholders, along with the most recent science and other relevant factors, were provided to the Minister to inform the 2015/2016 Northern shrimp management decisions.

Total Allowable Catch (TAC) rollover versus increase in SFA 4

While the stock in SFA 4 remains in the healthy zone of the precautionary approach framework, science results show that the fishable biomass in SFA 4 has declined by 6.3 percent. Taking into consideration the fluctuations in fishable biomass over the past decade and the declines observed over the last two years, the TAC for SFA 4 will remain the same as last year's.

Last-in, First-out Policy

The Last In, First Out policy, known as LIFO, was introduced in 1997 after significant consultation and has been included in every Northern shrimp fisheries management plan for more than ten years. It has been consistently communicated to stakeholders that should there be a decline in the abundance of the resource, new participants/allocations would be reduced or removed from the fishery in reverse order of gaining access-last in, first out. LIFO was also reviewed by a third-party independent reviewer in 2012 who confirmed that the Department was appropriately applying the policy when required in a fair and transparent manner.


Follow us on Twitter!

Contact Information

  • Frank Stanek
    Media Relations
    Fisheries and Oceans Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario

    Sophie Doucet
    Director of Communications
    Office of the Minister
    Fisheries and Oceans Canada