CAN - Lobster landings data released by DFO show complex picture
The moderate livelihood lobster fishery has unleashed extensive arguments about conserving lobster stocks
When Minister of Fisheries Bernadette Jordan announced the federal government intends to authorize a moderate livelihood fishery within the existing commercial season, conserving lobster stocks was a key part of her message.
"Lobster stocks are healthy on the East Coast and have remained that way in part because my department works to monitor biomass and determine appropriate fishing limits and practices year after year," the minister said in a statement.
Both Mi'kmaw fishers and people who work in the commercial fishing industry say conservation is a key concern. Some in the commercial fishing industry have pointed to declining lobster catches as evidence of potential harm to the fishery.
The Bay of Fundy Inshore Fishermen's Association has said it has concerns about the amount of lobster being landed in St. Marys Bay, which it says has declined 68 per cent since 2016.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada released data showing a decline from the record highs in 2015-16. However, an examination of the 18 years of data shows a nuanced picture.
Rising and falling catches
Over the entire LFA 34, lobster landings rose significantly overall between 2002 and 2015.