Certifier : 
Global Trust Certification Ltd.
Certified status : 
Certified
Certified since : 
05 Mar 2015
Certificate expires : 
24 Feb 2026

Overview

Fisheries are composed of one or more parts, each of which is entitled to receive an MSC certificate. These parts or “units” are defined by their target stock(s), fishing gear type(s) and if relevant vessel type(s), and the fishing fleets or groups of vessels.

When the term “Unit of Certification” is used for fishing units that are in assessment, it refers to the “Unit of Assessment” or “Unit of potential certification”. Expand a status below to view the parts that form this fishery. To check the detailed scope, download the latest certificate or open the Assessments page to get the latest report. Find out more by visiting our page on Fisheries

Units of Certification & Certificate Information

  • Certified
    MSC UoC Number Species Gear Type Ocean Area Certificate Code
    UoC-1089 American lobster (Homarus americanus) Traps - Pots 21 (Atlantic, Northwest) MSC-F-31180 (F-SAI-015)

View glossary of terms

Catch by Species

Species Reported Catch Year Metric Tonnes
American lobster (Homarus americanus) 2018 2,295.0

Information is provided by an independent Conformity Assessment Body as live weight (the weight of species at the time of catch, before processing) and where a fishing season covers multiple years, the end year is given as the reported catch year. Additional information is available in the latest report, see the assessments page.

About this Fishery

The American lobster is distributed from Cape Hatteras in North Carolina to Newfoundland to the Strait of Belle Isle that separates Labrador and Newfoundland. It inhabits areas from the water line out to the edge of the continental shelf.

This fishery operates on the Gaspé Peninsula in Quebec, along the shores of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. It incorporates 163 licence holders – all of the current commercial lobster harvesters in the area.

Lobster is harvested using baited traps set on the sea bed. Trap dimensions and design have changed and evolved through time and the arrival of hydraulic haulers on fishing vessels has allowed the use of larger traps. However, the majority of traps currently in use are still under the maximum allowable dimensions. Since 1994, traps must be equipped with escape vents that serve to reduce the retention of undersized lobster and non-target species.

The Gaspésie fishery typically operates in the spring for up to 71 days, depending upon location, and uses baited traps to catch lobster. Conservation measures include restrictions on the length of season, the number of licences and the number and size of traps, in addition to minimum and maximum legal sizes, escape vents and biodegradable clips.

Gaspésie lobster image © Gaspésie lobster fishery/Steven Melanson Photographie

 

Market Information

Gaspésie lobster is sold in different forms with the principal product of live lobster sold primarily in Quebec markets, in addition to other markets in Canada and the United States.