Chartering of a vessel specialized in purse seine fishing to catch live herring in the western sector of NAFO Division 4S

Solicitation number 30004546A

Publication date

Closing date and time 2023/09/15 13:00 EDT

Last amendment date


    The Science Sector of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) is mandated to provide scientific information essential to the conservation and sustainable use of fisheries resources. Scientists assess stock status and advise fishery managers and industry on conservation and management measures to adopt to protect exploited species. They conduct research on the biology, ecology and physiology of marine invertebrates and fish, as well as on the factors influencing their abundance, recruitment, growth and reproduction.

    The objective of this work is to develop conservation strategies that ensure the sustainable exploitation of resources, by increasing the data available on the migration patterns of herring stocks in the northern Gulf of St. Lawrence. Herring is a pelagic fish with a major ecological role since it is preyed upon by several predators, including certain species of commercial importance. It also supports important commercial fisheries in NAFO Divisions 4R, 4S, 4TVn and 4VWX.

    The chartered fishing vessel will have to follow the itinerary provided by DFO in order to search the area targeted by the project. The fishing vessel should catch herring using its purse seine when aggregations of herring are detected by the echo sounder along the route traveled and when bottom conditions, currents (and winds) and the depth of the school of fish are suitable.

    Herring should be caught alive in such a way as to tighten the school sufficiently, but not too much, in order to bring the specimens on board using a dip net. The herring will be kept in a holding tank (i.e. Xactic of about 800 liters) supplied with fresh seawater with a sufficient flow (i.e. minimum of 3-4 renewals in the tank per hour). A sub-sample of herring must be kept (n=55) and frozen for each fishing set that will have made it possible to capture enough herring to mark at least 30 individuals. A maximum of 110 herring could be tagged, in two or three rounds of tagging.

    Once the tagging procedures have been completed, the tagged herring will be kept under observation for 1-2 hours in a second tank before being released. Tagged herring should be released with unmarked herring, and at a location where there is an aggregation of herring if possible.

    The initial contract period is expected to start in October until November 30, 2023. The project duration (days at sea) is approximately 5 days. The supplier will have until November 30, 2023 to deliver the data and frozen samples, if applicable. The exact number of days at sea will be weather dependent and will be determined by the DFO scientist in charge in consultation with the contractor.

    The contractor will be paid according to the number of days at sea and at dock. Days at sea include days when the vessel is looking for herring aggregations accompanied by DFO personnel. A day at sea may be counted even if no fish are caught provided that a member of the DFO scientific team judges that the crew of the fishing vessel has worked diligently. Working days will be 24 hours a day.

    Loading of equipment and reception of DFO staff will take place and end in Natashquan (Qc). Transit days to get to the loading and unloading port (Natashquan, Qc) before the start of the contract will not be counted as sea days and cannot be invoiced.
    Once the project has started, the days described below will be considered as a day spent at the wharf and will therefore be billed at the rate specified in Annex B (Basis of Payment):

    • Scientific team loading and unloading days, if required.
    • Days of bad weather conditions forcing the chartered fishing vessel to stay at the wharf.
    Days spent at the wharf due to a breakdown in the equipment of the fishing vessel will not be counted as a day at sea or a day spent at the wharf. They cannot be invoiced.

    The chartered fishing vessel must follow the instructions of the DFO mission head (scientist).

    The fishing vessel must navigate in unit area 4Sy as a priority, unless the DFO mission head decides otherwise. The crew of the fishing vessel will assist DFO personnel in collecting samples. They will be required to help count a sub-sample of intact herring, put it in a box and freeze it on board the fishing vessel.

    Fishing will be done using a purse seine, whose mesh size is adequate for catching small pelagic fish such as herring.

    The contractor must provide the fishing crew, the fishing vessel and the necessary equipment (fishing gear, repair kits, maps for navigation, freezer, etc.). Tagging equipment, boxes for fish samples and plastic bags will be provided by DFO.

    The Contractor will be responsible for managing its fuel and food reserves, dockside fees, and other needs.

    The contractor will be required to take on board two DFO scientific staff and provide them with meals for the duration of the project. The crew will be informed of food allergies or intolerances of scientific staff. DFO staff will bring survival suits for the science crew.

    The chartered vessel and fishing gear required for the project will have to be ready and previously tested before contract award, to be operational by that date. It is important that a seine damage repair kit be available on the vessel during operations.

    Contract duration

    The estimated contract period will be 2 month(s), with a proposed start date of 2023/09/22.

    Trade agreements

    • No trade agreements are applicable to this solicitation process

    Reason for limited tendering

    A contracting officer can use limited tendering for specific reasons outlined in the applicable trade agreements. The reason for this contract is described below:

    • None

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    Contact information

    Contracting organization

    Fisheries and Oceans Canada

    301 Bishop Drive

    Fredericton, New Brunswick, E3C 2M6
    Contracting authority
    Marie-Carmen Sedji
    (506) 478-7358

    301 Bishop Drive

    Fredericton, Atlantic, E3C 2M6
    Bidding details

    Full details regarding this tender opportunity are available in the documents below. Click on the document name to download the file. Contact the contracting officer if you have any questions regarding these documents.

    Tender documents
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    Summary information

    Notice type
    Request for Proposal
    English, French
    Region(s) of delivery
    Region of opportunity
    Quebec (except NCR)
    Contract duration
    2 month(s)
    Procurement method
    Competitive – Open Bidding
    Selection criteria
    Highest Combined Rating of Technical Merit and Price

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