Integrated Fisheries Management Plan

Lobster in the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence

ACCESS AND ALLOCATION

 

In 1990, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that members of the Musqueam band had an Aboriginal right to fish for food, social and ceremonial purposes. As a response to that decision, DFO launched the Aboriginal Fisheries Strategy, which provided members of Aboriginal groups access to fisheries resources for food, social and ceremonial purposes. DFO recognizes this food, social and ceremonial access to fishery resources has priority over other allocations, provided conservation of the stock is not an issue. Within this principle, DFO provides regulated access to lobster for Aboriginal people to provide for some of their food, social and ceremonial needs.

Principles respecting the management of Atlantic Canadian fisheries including the priority of access to fishery resources can be found in the “Policy Framework for the Management of Fisheries on Canada’s Atlantic Coast”.

In response to the Supreme Court of Canada in the Sparrow (1990) and Marshall (1999) decisions, licences are issued to Aboriginal organizations authorizing harvesting for food, social and ceremonial purposes, and communal commercial licences are issued to Aboriginal organizations and they designate the fish harvesters and vessels to be used in the fishery.

Access to the lobster fishery is limited and granted through licences issued under the discretion of the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans under section 7 of the Fisheries Act. The policies governing the issuance of these licences including licence reissuance, licence splits, partnering, vessel replacement, fish harvester and vessel registrations, general policy guidelines, etc., are included in the “Commercial Fisheries Licensing Policy for the Gulf Region”.