The Canada Newfoundland and Labrador Lobster Pot FIP was initially started by Quin Sea Fisheries Limited of St. John’s, NL and has since been adopted for implementation and financial management by the Association of Seafood Producers (ASP) of Newfoundland and Labrador, also of St. John’s, NL. ASP is an association comprised of numerous lobster buyers, live traders, and producers. ASP is also intricately involved in production and marketing of several other commercial species within the province.
Interested ASP member companies, as FIP participants, will collaborate with the regulator, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), to align and improve the fishery’s management and science with the ultimate objective of achieving Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) fishery sustainability certification.
The FIP intends to address all fishing practices in the legally permitted pot fishery for American lobster (Homarus americanus) in Lobster Fishing Areas 3 - 14, which operates in the waters surrounding the island of Newfoundland, completely within Canadian EEZ waters.
The fishery dates back to the 1870s and is localized and happens from small open boats during an 8-10 week spring fishing season. Traps are set close to shore, at depths generally less than 20 m. Fishing effort is controlled through restrictive licensing and daily trap limits. Regulations prohibit the harvest of undersized (i.e. <82.5 mm carapace length) and ovigerous animals. In addition, there is a voluntary practice called v-notching, which involves cutting a shallow mark in the tail fan of an ovigerous female. The mark is retained for at least 2-3 molts and notched females cannot be retained in the fishery. The practice thus serves to protect proven spawners even when they are not carrying eggs externally. The number of licenses is currently around 2,450 and trap limits range from 100 to 300 depending on the Lobster Fishing Area (DFO 2016).
The Canada Newfoundland and Labrador Lobster Pot FIP was initially started by Quin Sea Fisheries Limited of St.
The Canada Newfoundland and Labrador lobster - pot/trap FIP objectives expected to be achieved by March 2025 are:
- Develop fishery-based metrics to be used in determining index-based stock status
- Benchmark effectiveness of metrics to confirm ongoing success of harvest strategy
- Update harvest strategy incorporating improved metrics, objectives and HCRs
- Standardize fishery monitoring metrics across all LFAs
- Determine bycatch interaction
- Determine bait species usage, provenance and impact on Primary & Secondary species
- Conduct a review of the potential effectiveness and practicality of alternative measures to minimize UoA-related mortality of unwanted catch of the target, Primary, Secondary and ETP species.
- Ensure adequate information from UoA impacts on primary, secondary and ETP species is collected and incorporated into key ecosystem status assessments.
May 7.21 - Updated objective timeline to March 2025 from March 2024.
FIP at a Glance
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