Integrated Fisheries Management Plan

Lobster in the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence



There are a number of overarching objectives that guide fisheries management planning for all species. The objectives are guided by the principle that the fishery is a common property resource to be managed for the benefit of all Canadians, consistent with conservation objectives, the constitutional protection afforded Aboriginal and treaty rights, and the relative contributions that various uses of the resource make to Canadian society, including socio-economic benefits.

The conservation objectives require consideration of the impact of the fishery not only on the target species but also on non-target species and habitat. The social, cultural and economic objectives reflect Aboriginal rights and recognize the economic contribution that the fishing industry makes to the prosperity of Canadian businesses and many coastal communities. The Department is committed to managing the fisheries in a manner that helps industry stakeholders and First Nations to be economically successful while using the ocean’s resources in an environmentally sustainable manner.

The following objectives have been defined for the lobster fishery in the southern Gulf.

Stock Conservation

  • The short term objective is to implement a data collection program that includes information on amount and distribution of fishing effort.
  • The medium term objective is to reduce exploitation rates to reduce the risk of recruitment overfishing currently posed by high dependence of the fishery on new recruits.
  • The long term objective is to ensure the reproductive potential of the stock is preserved by implementing all of the elements of the Precautionary approach. Initially, the focus will be on establishing biological reference points to define various states of the stock.


  • The short term objective is to minimize incidental catches by ensuring that trap configuration allows for the escape of undersized lobster and includes an effective biodegradable escape mechanism.
  • The medium term objective is to complete coastal mapping which would include the identification of types of lobster habitat.
  • The long term objective is to ensure that any potential collateral effects the fishery has on other species is mediated;


  • The short term objective is to continue to hold Southern Gulf Lobster Advisory Committee meetings at predetermined frequencies which allows stakeholders to share their perspectives and for the Department to consult on management of the fishery
  • The long term objective is to continue to have an open and transparent working relationship with industry stakeholders and to build a collaborative approach between and among stakeholders.


  • The short term objectives are to:
    • promote a high-quality product including the continued implementation of management measures that promote the harvesting of a high quality product;
    • promote a fishery that operates in an efficient and orderly manner.
  • The medium term objectives are:
    • to stabilize access to the resource over longer periods to allow industry stakeholders to develop long-term business plans;
    • work with those fleets interested to facilitate fleet restructuring.
  • The long term objective is to provide stability, transparency and predictability in the management of the fishery.