Government of Canada releases draft 2022-23 Prawn and Shrimp by Trap Integrated Fisheries Management Plan

January 27, 2022 at 4:00 pm  Federal, Politics

January 17, 2022

Vancouver, BC – Proactive conservation measures are critical to sustain a healthy Pacific prawn population today, and to restore abundant stocks for future generations. Close collaboration between the Government of Canada and harvesters is key to getting this important work done.

Today, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Joyce Murray, announced that Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) has released the draft 2022-23 Prawn and Shrimp by Trap Integrated Fisheries Management Plan (IFMP) for a 30-day consultation period. The IFMP is developed each year and describes the proposed management measures for the upcoming season.

Feedback from the Pacific Prawn Fishermen’s Association (PPFA) and prawn harvesters over the course of the 2020-21 season helped inform DFO’s efforts to clarify existing regulations that apply to the practice of on-board freezing of prawns (known as prawn tubbing) in the commercial prawn fishery. For the 2022-23 Prawn and Shrimp by Trap season, harvesters may continue using existing containers to package frozen prawn tails in liquid, such as seawater, on-board their vessels. This decision gives harvesters adequate time to prepare for a transition to new standards for packaging frozen prawn tails in seawater on-board vessels in 2023.

For the 2023 season, DFO intends to update Conditions of Licence for the commercial prawn fishery to include requirements for the use of transparent packaging and a maximum packaging volume of up to 710ml – a size commonly used by industry– for packaging frozen prawn tails in liquid on-board vessels. This clarification in the Conditions of Licence will support DFO fishery officers’ ability to readily determine the species, number, weight and size of the catch.

In the upcoming year, DFO looks forward to continuing discussions with industry and collaborating on the following measures to ensure the sustainability of the commercial prawn fishery:

  • Implementing a third-party monitoring program for prawns that are frozen in sea water.
  • Advancing work on the traceability of products through the development of labelling requirements for frozen products and the implementation of a tag requirement for live prawns.

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