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Redfish: Magdalen Islands captains regroup and claim their share in case of recovery

Le président de l'Association des pêcheurs de sébaste des Îles, Jean-Bernard Bourgeois

Îles de la Madeleine

Fishermen-owners of the archipelago interested in the resumption of redfish harvesting in the Gulf have joined forces and set up the Association des pêcheurs de sébaste des Iles (APSI).

The group includes 21 of the 26 Magdalen Islands mobile gear groundfish license holders under 65 feet, which represents more than a quarter of the Quebec fleet distributed in the North Shore and Gaspé regions.

Its president, Jean-Bernard Bourgeois, explains that while rumors of a resumption of activity are being heard, several fishermen from the Islands are trying to position themselves and to organize themselves in order to benefit from the economic potential of the resource, estimated at 4.3 million tons.

On the issue of stock allocation, the organization is advocating that the share historically fished in Quebec, one-third of the quotas allocated for the Gulf, be divided equally among the province’s 80 licence holders.

According to Mr. Bourgeois, this model of sharing quotas with each owner captain has proven to be successful in other fisheries, both economically and in terms of resource preservation.

While sustainability is in the sights of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the approach that prevailed in the 1990s has, in his opinion, had its day.

Remember that at the time of the redfish moratorium in 1995, the Madelipêche plant owned 80% of the shares held in Quebec, or about 25% of the overall allocation for the Gulf.

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