Coral and sponge being assessed on a trawler. (Photo: DFO)
Proportional northern shrimp distribution approach continuation requested
Friday, March 09, 2018, 01:20 (GMT + 9)
An anticipated decrease in northern shrimp quotas in key fishing areas off Newfoundland and Labrador this year should result in the same proportional shared quota approach set last year, says the Canadian Shrimp Producers Association (CAPP).
"We must be careful about the fishing pressure we give these shrimp stocks," said CAPP executive director Bruce Chapman in a press release.
"Nobody likes to see a reduction in their quota, but in an area where the total allowable catch (TAC) must be reduced, it is important that all fishers share these reductions in proportion to their participation in fishing quotas."
An important meeting of the North Shrimp Advisory Committee has been held in Montreal. At the meeting, the scientific advice of the DFO was to be presented and discussed with the interested parties of the industry and the indigenous groups. The recommendations for the TAC level for northern shrimp and any other management measures will be taken in the days and weeks after the meeting.
CAPP says that in 2016 Minister of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) Dominic Leblanc replaced a long-standing northern shrimp allocation policy with a proportional proportional apportionment approach.
The statement states that while the change was a financial blow to traditional shrimp fishermen throughout the year, the logic of the minister was that the proportional percentage or percentage of a given TAC would allow all shrimp fishing companies and dependents on them build their plans on safe arrangements to shared quotas. While the TAC may fluctuate, license holders will at least know that their respective portion of the TAC would be secure.
The details of the latest stock assessment of the northern shrimp were published last month by DFO, with the key area of shrimp fishing (SFA) 6 off the northeast coast of the province, which looks rather bleak.
The fissile biomass has been reduced by 16 per cent and the biomass of the breeding population has dropped by 19 per cent in SFA 6, thus leaving the shrimp in that area in the critical area of the precautionary approach framework used by the DFO science.
In 2017, the TAC in SFA 6 was reduced in a ferina from 62.6 per cent to 10,400 tonnes after stock assessment last year revealed a 25 per cent drop in exploitable biomass.
Chapman noted that the shrimp resource is also declining in SFA4 (in northern Labrador) and in SFA2 (in the Hudson Strait/southeast area of Baffin Island). The scientists indicate that these changes in shrimp abundance are mainly due to fluctuating environmental and ecosystem factors.
The statement said that hundreds of shrimp farms and their families in Newfoundland and Labrador depend on their 23 per cent share in decreasing the fee in SFA 6. While the small fee is essential to maintain the small number of vessels throughout the year. During the early spring period, it would only keep the large fleet of seasonal harvesters fishing for a single day.
"We are all negatively affected by these reduced quotas, which can not support all fishing companies that exist," Chapman said.
Photo Courtesy of FIS Member MPO - Pêches et Océans Canada - Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) (Headquarters)