Canadian Lobster Fishermen Move Towards Electronic Declarations

Chandler, Quebec, CANADA

CHANDLER, Quebec, Oct. 20, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Electronic logbooks for fisheries are essential for timely processing and analysis of capture declarations and the sustainable management of Canadian fisheries. Since 2018 in Québec, fishermen using JOBEL have demonstrated that their fishing activity is compliant with national and international requirements. Also, Department of fisheries and Oceans, the fishermen and scientists now have the information needed to evaluate the durability of the Québec lobster fishery. Indeed, lobster fishermen in the Gaspe area greatly benefited from being able to provide the Marine Stewardship Council with accurate information on the impact on other species during the certification process for their spring fishery.

Today, with the implementation of JOBEL across Canada and a brand-new version of the multi-species Elog, the whole Canadian lobster fisheries and DFO are taking a step forward. Fishermen can not only by reporting catches, by-catch and interaction with endangered species in real time, but DFO can also manage electronically interactions with marine mammal species as well as found and lost fishing gear. Fishermen can also have a good picture of the baits used in their fishery, knowledge particularly important at a time when DFO imposed a moratorium on mackerel and herring fisheries.

Fishermen have always been involved in the protection of the oceans they depend on for their living and have actively engaged in the transition towards electronic logbooks. The Canadian fisheries have faced multiple challenges over the years and independent lobster fishermen in Québec eager to have a tool that serves their sustainable fisheries and meet their reality developed and implemented the JOBEL, the first ever and only Canadian electronic logbook for fishing declaration qualified from 2018 by the Department of Fisheries and Ocean Canada. Today, with the solution going national, other fishing organizations like the Maritime Fishermen Union (MFU) have joined the Regroupement des pêcheurs professionnels du sud de la Gaspésie (RPPSG) to lead and support fishermen in the transition towards the mandatory use of elogs by 2024. 

Developed by independent fishermen for fishermen, the elog for fisheries JOBEL received in 2019 the prestigious Mercure award for web and mobile applications.

With a proven track record of over 135 000 electronic capture declarations in the Gulf of St Lawrence, it has been overwhelmingly adopted by fishermen for lobster, snow crab, herring and shrimp fisheries.

Independent fishermen's organizations such as the RPPSG and UPM are aware that electronic data on national natural resources requires specific protections to ensure that private and foreign interests do not use for commercial purposes the information stored on private servers. They therefore work together for the management of the elog JOBEL to offer their members the highest level of confidentiality beyond the protections currently provided by law. Furthermore, these same organizations ensure that JOBEL remains under the exclusive control of Canadian independent fish harvesters.

Media contact National:
Claire Canet
Regroupement des pêcheurs professionnels du sud de la Gaspésie
Tel : (418) 689 6594
Email : 

Media contact New-Brunswick and Nova-Scotia
Annie Chiasson
Maritime Fishermen’s Union
Tel: (506) 395-3494