Quebec City has agreed to buy fish caught in a lakeshore lake in southern Quebec to save the species, but that could be years away.
The province says the fish would be sold to Canada.
Quebec Environment Minister David Poirier said the province was in discussions with Canada, but did not specify where the fish might be sold.
The lake, in the northwestern province of Labrador, is called La Tuna.
“I cannot tell you exactly where the sale will take place.
We’ve made it very clear to the minister that this is an important species, and that we want to protect it, and we have the capacity to do so,” Poiriers spokesman Daniel St-Pierre told reporters.
In February, Quebec Fisheries and Oceans launched a pilot program that has allowed anglers to catch up to 20 fish per day, but they could catch up only to 100 fish per week.
That’s less than half of what anglers can now catch per day in Labrador.
The federal government has also allowed angler numbers to be restricted.
Fisheries and other departments in the country are not allowed to import fish from the province.
Quebec has no formal fish quota, but many anglers catch large amounts of fish at the lake and sell it to restaurants.
The government says anglers are allowed to catch 50 fish per kilogram of weight of the fish, which is between 25 and 50 pounds.
The provincial government has said that it has taken steps to increase its own quota, which it says will increase the catch rate by 50 per cent over the next five years.
The Quebec government says the province’s total catch of the species is just over 300,000 kilograms, of which 80,000 is from the lake.
The fish has been a popular sport fish for anglers in Labrador, who say it can be caught in the summer months and exported to New Brunswick.
It’s not the first time Quebec has tried to catch and save the fish.
In the late 1980s, the province had the world’s largest lake with about 1.5 million tonnes of fish, including tuna, sardines and other fish.
The country lost its last lake, known as La Vie-la-Vie, after it became a toxic lake and it closed down in 1994.
The fishing industry is now regulated in a province with a population of about 3.5m.