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Southwest Nova Scotia/Bay of Fundy Herring Framework: Part 3 – Management Strategy Evaluation

Regional Advisory Meeting – Maritimes Region

February 16-17, 2022
Virtual Meeting

Chairperson: Kent Smedbol


The Southwest Nova Scotia/Bay of Fundy (SWNS/BoF) management component of the 4VWX Atlantic Herring (Clupea harengus) stock has been without a modeling framework for about two decades and management decisions have been based on trends in an acoustic index of spawning stock biomass. The SWNS/BoF Herring management component was last assessed in 2018 (DFO 2018) as part of the assessment of 4VWX Herring. Stock status updates for SWNS/BoF Herring were provided in 2019, 2020, and 2021 (DFO 2020a; 2020b; 2021) and the status was determined to be in the critical zone of the Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) Precautionary Approach Policy (“A Fisheries Decision-Making Framework Incorporating the Precautionary Approach”; DFO 2009) in 2018, 2019, and 2020. DFO Maritimes Region began a Management Strategy Evaluation (MSE) process as the modelling framework for SWNS/BoF Herring in 2019. This meeting is the final meeting of four Science Advisory Process meetings to develop this MSE framework. The first meeting was in February 2019 and addressed the data inputs. The second set of meetings were in January 2020 and May 2020 and were a review of the conditioning of the operating models to be used in the MSE. This final meeting will summarize the progress that has been made since the last meeting and will involve a review of the framework used to evaluate candidate Management Procedures (MPs) against objectives in DFO’s PA Policy and objectives defined by stakeholders. This meeting will also include review of the situations under which the advice from an MP may be over-ridden (exceptional circumstances).

The general framework for conditioning operating models for this MSE has already been peer-reviewed in a Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat (CSAS) Regional peer review process in May 2020 and forms the basis for the MSE framework. The working paper from the May 2020 meeting is:

An MP will not be selected for the fishery during this meeting. The advice arising from this CSAS peer review process, will be an MP testing framework that can be used to identify MPs that meet the objectives of DFO’s PA Policy and that can be used to evaluate trade-offs in performance among MPs relative to other stakeholder defined objectives.


The specific objectives of this meeting are to review the Science components of the MSE framework:

Note: the MSE framework will be presented at this meeting using some candidate MPs and additional candidate MPs can be evaluated before the advisory committee meeting during which trade-offs among objectives will be discussed. A robustness set of OMs will be presented at this meeting and additional scenarios can be added to the robustness set following review of the framework. The risk tolerance for the conservation objective (i.e., probability of being above the Limit Reference Point in 1.5 to 2 generations) is not determined by Science and will not be part of this peer review process.

Expected Publications

Expected Participation



Participation to CSAS peer review meetings is by invitation only.

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