New licence to be issued for Arctic Surf Clam in 2018

News Release

Ottawa, Ontario Enhancing access to fisheries provides an opportunity to create social and economic benefits for local coastal and Indigenous communities, and further promote economic prosperity for middle class Atlantic Canadians. That is why the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, today introduced a fourth licence for Arctic Surf Clam representing 25 per cent of the existing total allowable catch (TAC) for 2018.  

The new entrant to the Arctic Surf Clam fishery will be identified via an Expression of Interest. Interested parties wishing to participate in this fishery must send a written proposal, to be received by DFO by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) November 2, 2017. This licence will be issued to a new participant in 2018. 

Applicants, regardless of configuration, must be majority owned by Canadians, must demonstrate an ability to comply with all the measures set out in the existing conditions of the licence, and must be an Indigenous entity located in one of the four Atlantic provinces or Quebec. Further details on the specific criteria are found within the notification at 

The most recent stock assessment of the Grand Banks was 2010 and serves as the basis for the current TAC. Scientific work for the Grand Banks stock area is planned and an updated stock assessment will be completed once scientific work is finalized. The Grand Banks assessment was based on a survey that took three years to complete between 2007 and 2009. An assessment of Banquereau Bank took place in April 2017 and it is expected the results will be used as the basis for any future TAC decision or changes to management measures.


“This is the first time that an Indigenous community will be able to participate in an offshore fishery. Enhancing access to this fishery within the current total allowable catch provides an opportunity to broaden the access and benefits from this public resource while respecting the best available science. Today, we are taking a powerful step toward reconciliation.”


The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, P.C., Q.C., M.P., Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

Associated Links


Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Laura Gareau
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister
Fisheries and Oceans Canada



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