Science Advisory Report 2017/027
Assessment of the Quebec North Shore (Division 4S) herring stocks in 2016
- Herring landings on the North Shore of Quebec have increased significantly since 2011, reaching the TAC of 4,000 t. In 2016, preliminary landings were 4,022 t.
- Unlike the period prior to 2011 dominated by fixed gear fishery in the western part of the area, the majority of landings are now from the purse seine fishery practised in unit area 4Sw.
- Spring and fall herring spawner catches are currently dominated by fish aged 10 years and older. No significant recruitment has been observed since 2005 in both spawning stocks.
- A first acoustic survey, which covers the entire 4S coastal area, was conducted in fall 2016. The total biomass index is estimated at 830t for spring spawners and 21,477 t for fall spawners.
- Five acoustic surveys were conducted between 2009 and 2016 in unit area 4Sw located in the eastern part of the Lower North Shore of Quebec. The stock biomass index for spring and fall spawners in unit area 4Sw has dropped significantly since 2010.
- Given the lack of significant recruitment, the older age of fish in catches and the decrease in the 4Sw biomass index, the current 4Sw catch level may lead to a local depletion of the resource. The fishing effort should be more dispersed all along the coast and less concentrated in 4Sw.
- Given the total biomass index in 4S, the TAC of 4,000 t should not be increased. If measures are not implemented to reduce fishing effort in 4Sw, the TAC should be reduced.
This science advisory report is from the April 12, 2017, meeting on the Assessment of the Quebec North Shore (4S) herring stocks in 2016. Additional publications from this meeting will be posted on the Fisheries and Oceans Canada Science Advisory Schedule as they become available.
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