June 15, 2018
June 14, 2018
PEI TOAD CRAB FISHERY IN LOBSTER FISHING AREA 24 –
NEW MANAGEMENT MEASURES STARTING IN 2018 TO MINIMIZE
THE RISKS OF INTERACTIONS WITH THE NORTH ATLANTIC RIGHT WHALE
The following colored markings will be required for the PEI Toad Crab fishery “orange and white”.
- The rope used to attach a crab trap to a primary buoy must have orange and white markings each of 15 cm in length.
- The marking referred to in 2.5.1 must be permanently affixed at a maximum, at every 27.4 meters of rope attaching a crab trap to a primary buoy.
- The markings must be made by using colored twine or colored tape.
- When using colored twine, it must be interlaced within the rope in such a manner that it remains permanently affixed to the rope.
- When using colored tape, it must be affixed to the rope in such a manner that it remains permanently affixed to the rope.
- The shade of orange used for the markings must contrast with the color of the rope used to attach a crab trap to a primary buoy.
The following requirements will be in place to minimize the length of rope floating on the surface of the water and to reduce the risks of entanglements:
- No rope attaching a crab trap to a primary buoy shall remain floating on the surface of the water after the crab trap has been set.
- A maximum of 3.7 meters of rope shall be used when attaching a primary buoy to a secondary buoy.
Note: A primary buoy is defined as a buoy or other floating device attached to a trap. A secondary buoy is defined as a buoy or other floating device attached to a primary buoy.
Requirement to report lost gear
Licence holders will be required to report lost gear. This new management measure will help quantify the amount of gear lost annually and identify the need to increase efforts to retrieve gear that has been lost, which would reduce the risks of whale entanglements.
The following specific information must be reported to DFO by email () within 72 hours of noticing that the gear has been lost:
- sequence number of tag attached to the crab trap that has been lost;
- vessel registration number (or in the case of Aboriginal licence conditions: vessel identification number);
- latitude and longitude of last known position of lost crab trap and the identification number written on the primary buoy; and
- date the crab trap was last fished.
Marine mammal interaction reporting
In order to comply with the implementation of the US Marine Mammals Protection Act (MMPA) regulations, licence holders must now provide information regarding all interactions with a marine mammal including: bycatch, collisions and all sightings of entangled marine mammals that occur during fishing expeditions.
A Marine Mammal Interaction Form (included with licence conditions) must be completed and submitted by email to DFO.NAT.InteractionsMM-InteractionsMM.NAT.MPO@dfo-mpo.gc.ca within 48 hours after the end of a fishing trip.
The information provided on the form will be used by DFO to estimate levels of accidental mortality and injury to marine mammals. This information will allow DFO to better assess the types of threats that may affect Canada's marine mammals and to develop mitigation strategies.
Requirement to report sightings of live whales
Sightings of live, free-swimming whales must be reported to DFO by telephone: 1-844-800-8568, or by email: XMARwhalesightings@dfo-mpo.gc.ca.
Protocol for the dynamic management of the fisheries
DFO will implement a protocol for the dynamic management of the fisheries in 2018 which will close areas to fishing activities when the presence of NARW is observed. This protocol will allow DFO to close specific areas to fishing activities to prevent incidents with NARW, such as entanglements. DFO will use the existing soft shell/white crab grids to close areas due to the presence of NARW. These measures may be adapted as needed over the season.
Observations inside a foraging area for the toad crab fishery
When one NARW is observed inside a foraging area (see map below), a maximum of nine grids in the forage area will be closed to provide a buffer area around the sighting location to account for whale movements.
Closing and reopening of the areas
Closures will be in force for a minimum period of 15 days and will be extended by 15 days from the last NARW sighting. If NARWs are not seen during at least two aerial surveillance flights during the 15 days period, the dynamic closure for the relevant sections will be automatically lifted at the end of the period. Closures will be regulated through variation orders and licence holders will be provided an advance notice of 48 hours to retrieve fishing gear from the area prior to closure.
Map of the foraging areas and Lobster Fishing Areas
The season opening will be announced at a later time.
Fisheries and Oceans
Fisheries and Oceans