Shrimp in St. Lawrence Bay will be able to catch 15,812 tons this year and 14,524 tons in 2023. This quota was 17,999 tons last year.
A meeting between fisheries management, scientists and industry last winter heralded a reduction in quotas.
However, this is much more than shrimp expected, says Patrice Element, director of the Quebec Shrimp Fishermen’s Office.
According to him, this is more than the forecasts of the Fisheries and Oceans calculations, it is more than the fishermen expected, the reductions are greater than recommended. This is a little more than was needed to save the resource.
” This is another tile that falls on our heads. »
Distribution of reductions
Shrimp from the Persian Gulf, mainly the fleet from Quebec, as well as aboriginal fishing companies and coastal provinces are common in four fishing areas: Eskimo, Antiquity, Sept-Ile and Estuer.
Reducing quotas will have a greater impact on fishermen from the coastal provinces visiting the Eskimo and Antiquity areas, where the reduction in catches is greatest.
Quebec fishermen, who usually keep their quotas in the other three areas, will be penalized a little less, in part because quotas in the Sept-Ile area have increased slightly.
In a context where the increase in fees is hitting fishermen hard, this fall is a concern for the fleet, which is wondering whether fishing will be profitable if it is not.
Diesel fuel costs, for example, have doubled since last year, according to Element. Unlike crabs and lobsters, the shrimp market has not been so prosperous in recent years, says a spokesman for the shrimp.
At last year’s average price, the decline is already a loss for shrimp of several million dollars.
Aboriginal fishermen, as well as fleets from Quebec and the coastal provinces, are due to meet on Friday to take stock.
As an exception, the ministry started the fishing season by allowing only intermediate total allowable catches (TACs).
Despite the fact that the shrimp fishing season is open from April 1, so far only a few fishermen have gone to sea to supply fishermen. Others will await the outcome of land price negotiations between processing companies and the Quebec Shrimp Fisheries Council.
These talks were suspended pending a decision by Fisheries and Oceans. Therefore, the DFO’s decision was highly anticipated.
Processors, like shrimp, have now turned their attention to their predominantly European export market.