Integrated Fisheries Management Plan

Lobster in the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence


Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge (ATK):
Knowledge that is held by, and unique to Aboriginal peoples. It is a living body of knowledge that is cumulative and dynamic and adapted over time to reflect changes in the social, economic, environmental, spiritual and political spheres of the Aboriginal knowledge holders. It often includes knowledge about the land and its resources, spiritual beliefs, language, mythology, culture, laws, customs and medicines.
Number of individuals or total weight of animals in a stock or a population.
Age Composition:
Proportion of individuals of different ages in a stock or in the catches.
Biodegradable Panel:
A portion of a lobster trap affixed by a material which will degrade over a relatively short period of time in order to allow lobsters and other fish to escape from lobster traps that have been lost.
total weight of all individuals in a stock or a population.
The unintentional catch of one species when the target is another.
Catch per Unit Effort (CPUE):
The amount caught for a given fishing effort.
Carapace size:
The distance from the rear of the eye socket to the end of the carapace shell. Size limits for lobsters which may be retained are based on carapace size.
Communal Commercial Licence:
Licence issued to Aboriginal organizations pursuant to the Aboriginal Communal Fishing Licences Regulations for participation in the general commercial fishery.
Ecosystem Factors:
The ecosystem is a complex web of interdependencies where changes in one constituent can have implications for other constituents. Examples of ecosystem factors include: the effect of one species exploitation on another, the impacts of habitat alteration on the mix of organisms the altered habitat can support.
Fishing Effort:
Quantity of effort using a given fishing gear over a given period of time.
Food, Social and Ceremonial (FSC) Fishery:
A fishery conducted by Aboriginal groups for food, social and ceremonial purposes under rights affirmed by the Supreme Court of Canada in the Sparrow decision (1990).6
Ghost Fishing:
The situation where lost fishing gear continues to catch and kill fish.
Limited Entry:
A fishery management policy in place where no new licences are issued so as to limit fishing effort and to support economic viability of enterprises.
Lobster Fishing Area (LFA):
A management zone established in regulation for the purposes of supporting the management of the lobster resource within a given geographic area.
Marshall Response Initiative:
In response to the Supreme Court of Canada decision in the Marshall (1999) case on the commercial aspects of Aboriginal fishing rights, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans introduced a series of initiatives to support the participation by First Nations in commercial fisheries.7
Mobile Bottom Trawling Gear:
A fishing gear where a funnel-shaped net is dragged along the bottom and fish are corralled into a mesh bag (“cod end”) at the end of the gear.
Precautionary Approach:
Set of measures and actions, including future courses of action, which ensures prudent foresight, reduces or avoids risk to the resource, the environment, and the people, to the extent possible, taking explicitly into account existing uncertainties and the potential consequences of being wrong.
Amount or weight of individuals becoming part of the exploitable stock that can be legally caught and retained in a fishery.
Research Survey:
Survey at sea, on a research vessel, allowing scientists to obtain information on the abundance and distribution of various species and/or collect oceanographic data. Ex: bottom trawl survey, plankton survey, hydro-acoustic survey, etc
Scallop Dragging:
A fishing method where rectangular “buckets” fabricated with steel bars and interconnected steel rings are dragged along the bottom to capture scallops.
Shared Stewardship:
An approach to fisheries management whereby participants are effectively involved in fisheries management decision-making processes at appropriate levels, contribute specialized knowledge and experience, and share in accountability for outcomes.
Size at the Onset of Maturity:
The size of an animal when reaching sexual maturity and has the capacity to reproduce (measured in carapace length in lobsters).
Describes a population of individuals of one species found in a particular area.
Stock Assessment:
Scientific evaluation of the status of a species belonging to a same stock within a particular area in a given time period.
Tonne (t):
Metric tonne, which is 1000kg or 2204.6lbs.

6 In 1990, the Supreme Court of Canada issued a landmark ruling in the Sparrow decision. This decision found that the Musqueam First Nation has an Aboriginal right to fish for food, social and ceremonial purposes. The Supreme Court found that where an Aboriginal group has a right to fish for food, social and ceremonial purposes, it takes priority, after conservation, over other uses of the resource. The Supreme Court also indicated the importance of consulting with Aboriginal groups when their fishing rights might be affected. In response to this decision, and to provide stable fishery management, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) launched the Aboriginal Fisheries Strategy (AFS) in 1992. The AFS is applicable where DFO manages the fishery and where land claims settlements have not already put a fisheries management regime in place.

7 Since the Supreme Court of Canada’s 1999 Marshall decision that affirmed a treaty right to hunt, fish and gather in pursuit of a “moderate livelihood” arising out of Peace and Friendship Treaties of 1760 and 1761, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) has implemented a number of programs to provide direction and assistance to facilitate the integration of First Nations communities affected by the decision into Atlantic Canadian fisheries. The Marshall decision affected 34 Mi’kmaq and Maliseet First Nations located in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and the Gaspé area of Québec. The Court reaffirmed that the federal government has the authority and responsibility for regulating the fishery, with conservation as the key consideration.