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Terms of Reference

Incidental Catch in Canadian Large Pelagic Fisheries

Maritimes Regional Science Advisory Process

11-12 July 2011
St. Andrews, NB

Chairperson: Kirsten J. Clark


Incidental by-catch and discarding of non-targeted species occur in many fisheries. Discarding of targeted species also occurs for a variety of regulatory reasons, e.g. undersized fish, licence restrictions, etc. An objective of an Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management is to control incidental mortality for non-targeted species and to manage discard mortality for targeted species. This requires a comprehensive plan for monitoring fishing activity, measuring the discard mortality and establishing suitable references to indicate when that mortality is unacceptable.

The Workplan to Address Incidental Catch in Canadian Large Pelagic Fisheries addresses concerns about by-catch and discard issues in Canadian large pelagic fisheries focusing on the swordfish/other tuna longline fishery at this time. The focus of this plan is directed toward six key species: bluefin tuna, porbeagle shark, shortfin mako, blue shark, leatherback turtle and loggerhead turtle as well as discarding of swordfish. The workplan is organized into projects under three main themes: 1) Level of observer coverage, 2) Manage discards for all targeted species and 3) Control incidental mortality for non-targeted species.

The Fisheries and Oceans Maritimes Region has moved forward with projects considered highest priority with respect to available resources. Three projects are to be reviewed in this RAP meeting:


Level of Observer Coverage: Estimates of Precision (Project 1A) [Hanke]
Discard Estimation (Project 2.1A) [Hanke, Neilson, Campana]
Survival of Released By-catch (Project 2.2A) [Neilson, Campana]

Expected Publications

CSAS Science Advisory Report
CSAS Proceedings
CSAS Research Document(s)


DFO Science
DFO Resource Management
Provincial government (NB and NS)
Large pelagic longline fishing industry
Aboriginal communities/organizations
Other stakeholders


Participation to CSAS peer review meetings is by invitation only.

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