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Proceedings 2008/031

Proceedings of the Precautionary Approach Workshop on Canadian Shrimp and Prawn Stocks and Fisheries; November 26-27, 2008

Co-Chairs: G. Chouinard and B. Rashotte
Editor: J. Landry


A two day National workshop, co-lead by DFO Science and Fisheries and Aquaculture Management (FAM), was held in Ottawa, November 26-27, 2008, on the development of Precautionary Approach (PA) frameworks for Canadian shrimp and prawn stocks/fisheries. The objective was to discuss the essential elements of a PA framework for each stock/fishery according to the new DFO PA policy (“A Fishery Decision-Making Framework Incorporating the Precautionary Approach”) in a forum with DFO resource managers and scientists, fishing industry representatives and co-management partners. The intent was not to finalize the PA frameworks specific to each fishery but rather to establish the status of the knowledge on the key elements (e.g., reference points, harvest decision rules, etc.) that should be part of these frameworks and further work that may be required to complete their development and implementation. A total of 37 participants attended the meeting, including DFO scientists and managers from all regions and 14 experts from industry and co-management bodies.

The group examined the information available on the PA framework elements for each stock/fishery based on the preparatory work completed up to now by a National Working Group, which includes two industry experts, that was established in May 2008 in the context of this PA initiative. Various options were explored, including approaches currently in use internationally to define reference points (upper stock reference and limit reference point) and PA compliant harvest decision rules. The values of provisional reference points using some of these options were examined. The group identified further work and analysis that may be required to complete the development of provisional frameworks or to improve them in the long-term. Finally, preliminary implementation timelines were also discussed for the various stocks/fisheries.

The outcomes of the workshop should contribute to the completion and the implementation of individual PA frameworks within the regions, according to the regional priorities identified for each fishery and established in collaboration with stakeholders. Those frameworks should represent a comprehensive set of reference points and management measures, based on the best scientific information available, and adhering to minimum national and international PA requirements.

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