Shrimp are becoming increasingly rare in the St Lawrence River

Shrimp are becoming increasingly rare in the St. Lawrence River

The shrimp fishing sector is in serious crisis in Quebec. Northern shrimp stocks in the Gulf of St. Lawrence are facing historic declines that threaten the work of fishermen.

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With quotas too low to justify a fishing season and no government support to emerge from the crisis, the economies of certain regions are at risk. In Gaspé alone, up to 1,000 jobs are at stake.

The lack of oxygen in the water and the overabundance of redfish are among the main reasons explaining the decline in shrimp numbers in the St. Lawrence River.

For the mayor of Gaspé, Daniel Cété, several possible solutions should be considered.

“For example, is there a transfer of shrimp fishing licenses to other species and not just redfish?” suggests the chosen one.

The latter mentions in particular the lobster fishery as a substitute fishery.

Mr Côté also mentioned the possibility of buying back the licenses of fishermen who are nearing retirement age.

“The federal government is buying back the shrimp fishermen’s license, which means they are pulling out of the industry. So the piece of cake could be divided into 15 or 12 instead of 25. So that could also give an upswing,” suggests the mayor of Gaspé.

Greater financial support is also one of Daniel Côté's proposed solutions.

To watch the full interview, watch the video above.