Sea scallop fishery enters MSC assessment
The Full Bay Scallop Association (FBSA) in Canada has entered an Atlantic sea scallop fishery into MSC assessment.
The FBSA fleet is comprised of approximately 55 operating vessels ranging in size from 45-65 feet.
The fishery is based in Canadian waters in the North West Atlantic primarily in the Bay of Fundy and Area 29, a nearby fishing zone adjacent to Nova Scotia. Scallop beds in these areas have been commercially fished since the mid-1800s.
The Total Allowable Catch (TAC) in this area in 2010-11 was 1,265t, of which the FBSA client share is 69.5%. In 2009, the FBSA fleet landed 831mt for an approximate value of $12 million.
The gear type used is Digby fishing dredge, which is a steel cage towed along the seafloor.
The Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) manages the fishery and establishes annual catch limits, fishing areas and management measures, including limited entry licensing, shell size and scallop meat counts based on weight, individual transferable quotas, dockside and vessel monitoring. Every vessel in the FBSA uses a Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) while fishing. In addition, there is 100% dockside observer weigh-out of the harvest and submission of documents for data entry.
The season is open all year with a concentration from early June and to early October. Fishing in Area 29 includes at-sea observer coverage developed in collaboration with the local lobster industry to monitor any lobster bycatch. In the Bay of Fundy, vessels can retain landed monkfish, but all winter skates must be returned to the water with the least amount of harm. In Area 29, all bycatch must be returned causing the least amount of harm.
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