Proceedings 2009/009

Proceedings of a Workshop on Canadian Science and Management Strategies for Atlantic Hagfish; 22–23 October 2007

Chairperson: Robert O’Boyle
Editor: Sherrylynn Rowe

Summary

Atlantic hagfish (Myxine glutinosa) is widely distributed along both coasts of the North Atlantic. There has been a directed fishery for hagfish off Nova Scotia since the late 1980s. At present, there are 7 fishers authorized to harvest hagfish in the Scotia-Fundy portion of Nova Scotia. Exploratory fishing activities have also been ongoing in the Newfoundland region since the 1990s. While the hagfish fishery is primarily an emerging fishery in Atlantic Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada has recognized that a requirement exists to develop a comprehensive fisheries management plan governing activities of current and future license holders. Although there is little biological information available from the Maritimes, other regions (e.g., Newfoundland) and countries (e.g., USA, Japan) have undertaken scientific studies on this and related species (e.g., Pacific hagfish (Eptatretus stoutii)). In this regard, there is a need to develop an understanding of the information that exists to assist management, the approaches that could be used for management, and future information needs. These Proceedings document discussions held during 22 – 23 October 2007 on these issues.

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