Science Advisory Report 2010/064

Stock Assessment Report on Pacific Herring in British Columbia in 2010

Summary

The 2010 herring spawning stock biomass (SSB) and forecasted 2011 pre-fishery mature stock biomass was assessed using previously reviewed stock assessment frameworks. The following is a summary of the assessment results and advice by management area.

Haida Gwaii

  • All herring spawning from Cumshewa Inlet in the north to Louscoone Inlet in the south are assumed to be part of the Haida Gwaii stock that migrates inshore from Hecate Strait in the late fall and leaves, after spawning, in late March and early April.
  • No commercial herring fishery occurred in this area in 2010 (or 2003-2009).
  • The forecast of mature stock biomass for 2011 is 4,140 tonnes (assuming poor recruitment), which is below the fishing threshold (10,700 tonnes).

Prince Rupert District

  • All herring spawning in Statistical Areas 3 to 5 are assumed to belong to the Prince Rupert District stock that migrates inshore from Hecate Strait in the late fall and leaves, after spawning, in late March and early April.
  • The roe herring seine total allowable catch in 2010 was 454 tonnes and the validated catch was 474 tonnes (approximately 5% of the total coast-wide catch). The roe herring gillnet total allowable catch in 2010 was 941 tonnes and the validated catch was 1,010 tonnes (approximately 10% of the total coast-wide catch).
  • The forecast of mature stock biomass for 2011 is 19,172 tonnes (assuming average recruitment), which is above the fishing threshold (12,100 tonnes). When applying a 20% harvest rate (see Management Framework), the maximum available yield for 2011 is 3,834 tonnes.

Central Coast

  • All herring spawning in Kitasu Bay (Statistical Area 6), in Statistical Area 7, and in part of Statistical Area 8 (Kwakshua Channel and Fitzhugh Sound) are assumed to be part of the Central Coast stock that migrates inshore in the late fall and leaves, after spawning, in late March and early April.
  • No commercial herring fishery occurred in this area in 2010 (or 2008-2009).
  • The forecast of mature stock biomass for 2011 is 6,374 tonnes (assuming poor recruitment), which is below the fishing threshold (17,600 tonnes).

Strait of Georgia

  • All herring spawning in Statistical Areas 14 to 19, 28 and 29 (excluding Section 293), and part of 13 (Herring Sections 132 and 135, Deepwater Bay area south) are assumed to belong to the Strait of Georgia herring stock that migrates into the Strait in the late fall and leaves, after spawning, in March.
  • The roe herring seine total allowable catch in 2010 was 4,554 tonnes and the validated catch was 4,540 tonnes (approximately 50% of the total coast-wide catch). The roe herring gillnet total allowable catch in 2010 was 3,157 tonnes and the validated catch was 3,244 tonnes (approximately 33% of the total coast-wide catch).
  • The forecast of mature stock biomass for 2011 is 68,886 tonnes (assuming good recruitment), which is above the fishing threshold (21,200 tonnes). When applying a 20% harvest rate (see Management Framework), the maximum available yield for 2011 is 13,777 tonnes.

West Coast Vancouver Island

  • All herring spawning in Statistical Areas 23 to 25 are assumed to belong to the West Coast of Vancouver Island herring stock that migrates inshore in the late fall and leaves, after spawning, in late February through March.
  • No commercial fishery occurred on the west coast of Vancouver Island in 2010 (or 2006-2009).
  • The forecast of mature stock biomass for 2011 is 8,778 tonnes (assuming average recruitment), which is below the fishing threshold (18,800 tonnes).

Area 2W

  • All herring spawning in Statistical Area 2W (except Herring Section 006) are assumed to belong to this Haida Gwaii minor stock.
  • A small commercial spawn-on-kelp fishery occurred in this area in 2010.
  • No 2011 forecast of mature stock biomass for Area 2W is available from the stock assessment model. Given that there is no other currently available information to assess this stock, the 2010 spawn index can be used to estimate the 2011 pre-fishery mature stock biomass stock. When applying a 10% harvest rate to the 2010 spawn index estimate of 2,532 tonnes, the maximum available yield for 2011 is 253 tonnes.

Area 27

  • All herring spawning in Statistical Area 27 are assumed to belong to this West Coast of Vancouver Island minor stock.
  • A small commercial spawn-on-kelp fishery occurred in this area in 2010.
  • The forecasted mature stock biomass for 2011 is 935 tonnes (assuming average recruitment). When applying a 10% harvest rate (see Management Framework), the maximum available yield for 2011 is 94 tonnes.

This Science Advisory Report has resulted from the Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat Pacific Regional Advisory Meeting of September 1-2, 2010 on Pacific Herring Stock Assessment and Review of bio-sampling design.  Additional publications from this process will be posted as they become available on the DFO Science Advisory Schedule.

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