Notice to Fish Harvesters

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

April 18, 2011

Lobster Management Measures for Lobster Fishing Areas 23, 24, 25, 26A and 26B for 2011 and Beyond

Moncton – Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), Gulf Region, today provided the details of management measures that will be in place in southern Gulf Lobster Fishing Areas (LFAs) and sub-LFAs 23A, 23B, 23C, 23D, 24, 25, 26A and 26B starting in 2011 and beyond. Unless indicated otherwise, existing management measures remain in place.

Height and Length of Escape Mechanisms

Beginning with the 2013 fishing seasons, in sub-LFAs and LFAs 23D, 24, 25, and 26A-1 the height of the escape mechanism will be a minimum of 42 mm for escapes between 127 mm and less than 254 mm in length or a minimum of 41 mm in height for escapes that are equal to or greater than 254 mm in length. In areas with larger carapace sizes, DFO will undertake discussions with fishing organizations where needed to identify a calendar for implementation of necessary adjustments. Further to a Notice to Fish Harvesters of December 11, 2008, below is updated information about the minimum heights and lengths of escape mechanisms.

Table specifying the Height of the escape opening in relation to the carapace size
Length of Escape Opening between 127 mm and less than 254 mm
Minimum carapace sizeHeight of Escape Opening
70 mm to 71 mm 40 mm
>71 mm to 73 mm 42 mm
>73 mm to 76 mm 43 mm
>76 mm to 81 mm 44 mm
>81 mm to 82 mm 46 mm
>82 mm to 83 mm 47 mm
Table specifying the Height of the escape opening in relation to the carapace size
Length of Escape Opening equal to or greater than 254 mm
Minimum carapace sizeHeight of Escape Opening
70 mm to 71 mm 40 mm
>71 mm to 73 mm 41 mm
>73 mm to 76 mm 42 mm
>76 mm to 80 mm 43 mm

For minimum carapace sizes greater than 80 mm and for escape mechanisms with a length equal to or greater than 254 mm, no information is available about the minimum heights.

Atlantic Lobster Sustainability Measures

In the context of the Atlantic Lobster Sustainability Measures (ALSM) program, the Department has approved sustainability plans for LFAs and sub-LFAs 23A, 23B, 23C, 23D, 24, 25, 26A and 26B. The following management measures apply to the above listed LFAs: the minimum carapace size will be 71 mm for the 2011 seasons and 72 mm for the 2013 fishing seasons; a reliable electronic catch and effort data collection system including information about by-catches and species at risk will be implemented for the 2012 fishing seasons; an effective biodegradable panel will be implemented for the 2012 fishing seasons.

In addition, several funding proposals have been approved in 2011 for the following: LFAs 23, 24, 25 (N.B.), 26A-1, 26A-3 and 26B. Many of these approved proposals affect the maximum number of traps in 2011. Please refer to the table further on of the major management measures in place or being introduced in the Gulf Region LFAs. With respect to licence fees, refunds if applicable, will be prepared after the 2011 fishing season.

Additional information about some management measures

LFA 23

A separate Notice to Fish Harvesters will be provided regarding additional management measures.

LFA 24

The definition of LFA 24 has been changed in the regulations and harvesters no longer need to request a separate licence condition to have access to McLeod’s Ledge. Licences in LFA 24 are segregated into two administrative areas for the following purposes: 1) identifying ports for the loading and landing of lobster traps and the off-loading of the catch and 2) restricting the re-issuance of licences between these two administrative areas. The two areas are: 1) ports west of Malpeque Harbour and 2) ports including Malpeque Harbour and east. Harvesters are permitted to fish anywhere within LFA 24. Beginning in the 2012 fishing season, the maximum number of traps will be 290.

LFA 25

Possession of lobster and lobster fishing gear is prohibited between 9:00 p.m. and one hour before sunrise. The Department remains open to introducing additional management measures if harvesters are interested.

LFA 26A-1

Lobster harvesters from Gulf Nova Scotia fishing within management area LFA 26 A-1 (east of port of Malagash and west of port of Little Harbour) must have a minimum of five traps per line. Lobster harvesters from Prince Edward Island (PEI) must have a minimum of six traps per line within a defined area.

LFA 26A-3

As mentioned in previous Notices to Fish Harvesters, and further to recent discussions with the fishing organization, an adjustment to the length/height of the escape mechanism will be required for the 2012 fishing season. In addition, beginning in 2012, harvesters fishing in this area must have a minimum of two traps per line.

LFA 26B Southern portion (approximate location between ports of Auld’s Cove and Broad Cove Marsh)

Beginning in the 2012 fishing season, for those harvesters who use an escape mechanism with a length equal to or greater than 254 mm, the height must be 43 mm.

LFA 26B Northern portion (approximate location between ports of Margaree Harbour and Pleasant Bay)

Beginning in the 2012 fishing season, the minimum carapace size will be 81 mm and one day will be removed at the close of season.

References to communities, ports or other reference points in this document are used for information purposes only; precise coordinates defining where various management measures apply are provided in licence conditions and/or variation orders.

See summary table at the end of this notice for an overview of management measures.

Other

The Department is continuing to work on implementing an electronic data collection system in southern Gulf LFAs and fishing organizations will be kept apprised as this project evolves. Work is also being completed on biodegradable panels and discussions with industry will take place in the coming months to identify an appropriate panel.

Further to the Department’s policy on implementing the Precautionary Approach, work is underway on identifying the biological reference points for lobster. Over the next several months, discussions will take place between lobster biologists throughout Atlantic Canada. Once proposed biological reference points have been identified, they will be subject to a peer review process which includes participation from industry stakeholders. As a next step, the Department anticipates having a series of discussions with industry stakeholders to identify how best to ensure management measures and decisions can be taken in the context of the Precautionary Approach. In the interim, industry stakeholders are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the Department’s policy on the Precautionary Approach by visiting the following website: A Fishery Decision-Making Framework Incorporating the Precautionary Approach

Opening/Closing Dates

The expected opening date for spring fisheries is 6:00 a.m. April 30, 2011, weather and ice permitting and closure is on July 1, 2011. For a portion of LFA 26A between Point Prim to Victoria, PEI, the fishery will open until further notice at 6:00 a.m. on May 7 and will close July 8. The opening date of LFA 25 is 6:00 a.m. August 9, 2011, weather permitting and will close at 9:00 p.m. on October 10; an early opening date and extensions to the season will not be considered.

Contact Information for Eastern New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Gulf Nova Scotia Areas:

Ernest Ferguson
Area Director, Eastern NB
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Tracadie-Sheila, NB
506-395-7702


Bill Drost
Area Director, PEI
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Charlottetown, PEI
902-566-7810


Helen Kerr
Area Director, Gulf NS
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Antigonish, NS
902-863-5670


Summary Table of Major Management Measures in Place 2011 Lobster Fishing Areas 23, 24, 25, 26A, 26B
First row contains column titles. First column contains lobster fishing areas. Columns 2 to 6 contain data. Column 7 contains management measures specific to lobster fishing areas.
LFAMinimum Carapace (mm)Window
/Maximum size females (mm)
Maximum Number of trapsMinimum number of traps per line1 Maximum hoop size (mm)Other
23A 74 115-129 300 n/a 152 More information to be provided in separate Notice
23B 74 115-129 300 n/a 152 More information to be provided in separate Notice
23C 72 115-129 300 In a portion of 23C, 3 traps 152 More information to be provided in separate Notice
23D 71 115-129 300 In a portion of 23D, 3 traps 152 More information to be provided in separate Notice
24 71 115-129 300 n/a n/a Regulation changed to provide access to McLeod’s Ledge. Restrictions on ports of landing and on the reissuance of licence between ports west of Malpeque Harbour and ports including Malpeque Harbour and east.
25 71 114 NB 250
GNS 250
PEI 240
n/a 152 2,000 transferable traps for Prince County Fishermen’s Association in PEI
26A-1 71 115-129 280 In a portion of 26A-1 (GNS) 5 traps In a portion of 26A-1 (PEI) 6 traps n/a n/a
26A-2 73 115-129 275 6 traps 152 n/a
26A-3 76 115-129 250 n/a n/a n/a
26B South 79 n/a 250 n/a n/a n/a
26B North 80 n/a 250 5 traps 152 Closure of Cheticamp Harbour, regulated season dates

Footnotes

As defined by licence conditions

1

Lobster Fishery Information