Oceana Canada supports today’s announcement by Fisheries and Oceans Canada that states it will maintain the current fishing quotas for the Gulf of St. Lawrence redfish fishery as part its two-year management plan.
“The government decision to maintain quotas and not increase the harvest for the Gulf of St. Lawrence redfish fishery is great news. It will allow the fishery to continue to recover and develop its potential to be a lucrative fishery for the area,” said Robert Rangeley, Science Director, Oceana Canada.
Under this management plan, an experimental quota will also be made available as part of the Experimental Redfish Fishing Plan for the purpose of testing gear to minimize capture of undersized redfish and bycatch, and to collect data on redfish species identification and reproduction.
“Redfish are complicated stocks to manage. The experimental quota plan addresses a key concern in the management of this stock – the need to protect juvenile fish that have not yet had the chance to reproduce,” said Rangeley. “Information collected through this plan will help inform a robust rebuilding plan for the stock.”
Rangeley adds that a redfish rebuilding plan was to be delivered by June 2018. “We look forward to the government delivering on its commitment to implement a rebuilding plan for this stock that integrates science-based management and guides the stock to recovery.”
Once among Atlantic Canada’s largest groundfish fisheries, the redfish fishery collapsed in the 1990s due to overfishing, delivering another devastating economic and social blow to the Canadian fishing industry already impacted by the collapse of Northern cod.
In the fall of 2017, Oceana Canada released the most comprehensive review of the state of Canada’s fisheries and the first annual assessment of how the government is managing them. The results from the 2017 Fisheries Audit revealed that Canadian fisheries are in trouble: only one third of stocks are considered healthy and 13 per cent are in critical condition. One of the conclusions is that successful rebuilding occurs in jurisdictions where rebuilding plans are mandatory for overfished stocks. In the United States, for example, rebuilding became mandatory 20 years ago. Since then, 43 stocks have been rebuilt, generating on average 50 per cent more revenue than when they were overfished. Oceana Canada’s 2018 Fisheries Audit will be released this fall.
For more information, please contact: Kara-Ann Miel, Communications Director, Oceana Canada, 647-535-6326, firstname.lastname@example.org
Oceana Canada was established as an independent charity in 2015 and is part of the largest international advocacy group dedicated solely to ocean conservation. Canada has the longest coastline in the world, with an ocean surface area of 7.1 million square kilometres, or 70% of its landmass. Oceana Canada believes that Canada has a national and global obligation to manage our natural resources responsibly and help ensure a sustainable source of protein for the world’s growing population. Oceana Canada works with civil society, academics, fishers, Indigenous Peoples and the federal government to return Canada’s formerly vibrant oceans to health and abundance. By restoring Canada’s oceans, we can strengthen our communities, reap greater economic and nutritional benefits, and protect our future.