Gulf of St. Lawrence northern shrimp
Certified sustainable 23 September 2008.
Species: Shrimp (Pandalus borealis)
Location: The fishery is conducted within Canadian waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The clients and harvesters are registered in the DFO Gulf region and based in Quebec and New Brunswick, Canada.
Fishing methods: Most of the fishing is conducted by otter trawlers ranging in length from 16.7 m (55 feet) to 27.4 m (90 feet).
Number of fisheries: 1
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More about Canada northern shrimp
Pandalus borealis (the candidate shrimp species also known as northern shrimp) is distributed in boreal regions throughout the Atlantic Ocean. It typically occurs in high salinity waters with temperature in the range of 0-5C on soft mud or sand/silt bottoms at depths of 50-500m. The species is found throughout the northwest Atlantic Ocean including the northern Gulf of St. Lawrence and in the St. Lawrence River estuary, primarily at depths of 150 to 350m. P. borealis are protandric hermaphrodites, changing sex in the course of their life cycle, achieving male sexual maturity in about two and a half years, then becoming female between four and five years old.
Shrimp are associated with the bottom during the day but migrate vertically at night for feeding purposes, although feeding occurs on the bottom as well as in the water column. Food composition has not been documented for shrimp in the northern Gulf of St. Lawrence but studies elsewhere have found that the shrimp diet consists of detritus (particulate matter of plant and animal origin), a wide variety of zooplankton species, phytoplankton and benthic species such as polychaete worms.
More about the fishing methods
Most of the fishing is conducted by otter trawlers ranging in length from 16.7 m (55 feet) to 27.4 m (90 feet).
Currently, there are five shrimp processing plants in Quebec and two in New Brunswick. The broad market split is between product exported to the European market (60%) and product remaining within the Canada and US domestic markets (40%).