New Brunswick and Quebec Seafood Processors and Fishermen Associations are actively involved in pilot and sea trial of new and emerging technologies for the reduction of entanglement of right whales in snow crab fishing gear in Gulf of St. Lawrence and surrounding areas.
Offering sustainable seafood to the consumer is important for us and to do so, our fishermen and processors made possible to achieve MSC certification in 2012.
In 2018 and 2019, the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification of the Gulf of St. Lawrence Canadian snow crab trap fishery is suspended due to NARW mortalities.
We take what happens to the Right Whale seriously. Already in 2017, a dedicated group made of our fisherman, scientist, engineers and others are actively and urgently trying to find solutions to this emergent problem mainly caused by climate change.
We rapidly understood that our snow crab fishery and industry now depends on avoiding entanglements of any species, but specifically NARW and to do so, fishery management reforms and alternative gear is the key.
Along with the fishery management reforms aligned by the Canadian Government, we have put in place several trials of different type of weak link and ropeless gear in the last years as we consider urgent to see ropeless commercial fishing going on here in Canada in the close future.
We took the opportunity to be a leader in getting this type of gear off the shelf and into the water. Our success could set the precedent for other fisheries grappling with whale (and other species) entanglement problems.
We realize that our fisheries's pro activity is in fact the basis of what is called a Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) and our primary goal is to make a difference in being an active leader toward sustainable fisheries in this climate change era .
Through this ordeal, an incredible collaboration is taking place between the different fisherman associations and processors from Quebec and New Brunswick.
We are confident that our unified and combined effort is the key to improvements to endangered, threatened, and protected (ETP) species impacts in the Gulf of St. Lawrence snow crab fishery and effective work to reduce risk to NARW.
That is what our Fishery Improvement Project is all about, welcome.
A fishery improvement project is a multistakeholder effort to address environmental challenges in a fishery. These projects utilize the power of the private sector to incentivize positive changes toward sustainability in the fishery and seek to make these changes endure through policy change.
The goal of this Fishery Improvement Project is to help the fishery make the environmental and management changes necessary that allow it to reinstate a full assessment against a standard for sustainable fisheries.
This FIP will cover improvements to endangered, threatened, and protected (ETP) species impacts in the Gulf of St. Lawrence snow crab fishery to mitigate the risk to NARW and other ETP species, while maintaining a sustainable Canadian seafood industry.
“Meeting the MSC standard takes considerable ongoing effort and investment by fisheries. We commend the tremendous amount of work the southern gulf of St. Lawrence snow crab fishery has put into reducing and eliminating its interactions with North Atlantic Right Whales in close collaboration with DFO and many other stakeholders. We support their continued efforts and commitment to regain MSC certification at the completion of their improvement project."
Kurtis Hayne-Program Director, Canada
Marine Stewardship Council
SFP is a marine conservation nonprofit dedicated to helping the seafood supply chain function in as environmentally-friendly a fashion as possible. We do this by approaching industry stakeholders, alerting them to sustainability problems within the supply chain, and making it easy for them to make positive changes; our Target 75 initiative is challenging the global seafood industry to work toward the goal of seeing 75 percent of the world’s seafood by volume produced in a manner that can be labeled sustainable or improving toward sustainability.
The New England Aquarium’s Sustainable Seafood Programs aim to protect the world’s ocean resources by raising public awareness and by working with the seafood industry to advance sustainable practices within wild-capture fisheries and aquaculture operations.
Industry partnerships. We increase responsible seafood sourcing by working through seafood supply chains.
Our Vision is the sustainable co-existence of whales and humans.
Our Mission is to conduct and support activities to better understand and protect marine mammals and to promote awareness and responsibility for their habitats.
Collaborating with marine industries to mutually develop solutions in an effort to mitigate the effects their activities may have on marine mammals, with a focus on the North Atlantic right whale.
Conducting scientific research, sharing knowledge, and advancing evidence-based solutions.
We understand Retailers, Brokers and Distributors wish to supply themselves from sustainable and responsible fisheries, that is why we are actively in a FIP that has definitive and ambitious goals, measurable metrics, and time bound milestones.
Our primary goal is to make a difference. Thank you for supporting us.
Seafood retailers and brokers can take action to advance gear on demand technologies, thereby supporting both right whales and sustainable fisheries and providing whale -safe product to consumers, and they did!
THE GULF OF ST. LAWRENCE ALLIED FISHERIES.
We are pioneers of the First commercial fishing of ropeless systems in North America.
In 2023, 35 Fishermen with each 50 ropeless gear were allowed to in an area that was otherwise closed to protected NARW.
Our sponsors supported directly their fishermen suppliers.
With their contribution, they allow more gear testing in otherwise closed area to help harvesters transition to whalesafe gear.
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