Boosting Gaspésie’s Blue Economy: Minister Lebouthillier launches a lobster data collection plan in collaboration with First Nations and industry

News release

June 6, 2024

Gaspé (Quebec) - In the context of climate change and the resulting warming of the oceans, it is more important than ever for the Government of Canada to be agile, and to seize all new economic opportunities for the benefit of coastal communities. That is why Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) wants to evaluate the growth potential of the commercial lobster fishery in certain areas that were previously under-exploited in Quebec, always with the aim of supporting these local economies.

Today, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, announced the implementation of a data collection plan for Lobster Fishing Area 19, which includes the north side of the Gaspé Peninsula. The data collection plan follows a decision, announced on May 10, to grant new exploratory lobster fishing licenses for Quebec's North Shore.

In the context of expanding lobster populations and a changing environment, accurate data collection is critical. This new data will help assess whether the lobster stock can support additional commercial fishing while ensuring the conservation of the resource.

The Department will soon begin discussions with First Nations and the industry to develop this plan, which will be implemented as early as next year. The right balance between the sustainability of the fishery and the conservation of the resource remains DFO's priority, and will guide all decisions regarding potential new exploratory fishing licences in the region.

New exploratory fishing licences on the north side of the Gaspé Peninsula could be issued as early as 2025. The number of permits, their distribution, and the allocation criteria, if any, would then be announced in due course. All of this would allow some fish harvesters to profit from fishing activities where they could sell their catch. As a result, the lobster data collection plan could help strengthen the local fishing industry in Gaspésie.


"On the occasion of Gaspesian Day, our government reaffirms its full commitment to the region's blue economy and is determined to seize every economic opportunity that arises, to benefit our coastal communities. The Data Acquisition Plan announced today is a good example of this and will give us a better overview of the state of lobster stocks in the region. In the long term, I am hopeful that this will generate concrete economic opportunities for our Gaspé fish harvesters, while advancing the important path towards reconciliation!"

The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier
Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

Quick facts

  • DFO will soon hold discussions with First Nations and industry to develop a plan to collect data on lobster populations.

  • The outcome of these discussions will help guide decisions regarding the issuance of new exploratory fishing licences in 2025 in LFA 19.

  • Lobster Fishing Area 19 extends from the tip of the Gaspé Peninsula to the Lower St. Lawrence.

  • A new scientific survey around the Gaspé Peninsula will begin in the fall of 2024, and will also be a valuable source of data to inform DFO and stakeholders on the data acquisition plan.

Associated links


Jérémy Collard
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Quebec Region

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