NAFO Division 4R - Herring Fishing Areas 13 and 14 (Western Newfoundland and Southern Labrador) 2016-2017

Herring fishery in NAFO Division 4R, west coast of Newfoundland and the area south of Cape Charles, Labrador (Herring Fishing Areas 13 and 14).

Dates of season (subject to change)

The Herring fishing season for all fleet sectors (less than 65 feet fixed gear and purse seine) will open at the request of the fleet representatives through the FFAW.

Total Allowable Catches and Sharing Arrangements (if applicable)

The fleet quota sharing arrangements from 2015 are maintained for 2016-2017, with an annual total allowable catch (TAC) of 20,000 metric tonnes. However, as a means of rebuilding the spring spawner component, the commercial fishery inside the 50 fathom contour in Bay St. George and Port au Port Bay, prior to July 1, is limited to a total catch of 2,000 metric tonnes.

Total Allowable Catches and Sharing Arrangements
FLEET QUOTA (metric tonnes) SHARE (percentage)
Purse Seine greater than 65 feet 11,000 55
Purse Seine less than 65 feet 4,400 22
Fixed Gear 4,600 23

Management Measures

The current evergreen Integrated Fisheries Management Plan (IFMP) for Herring in NAFO Division 4R also incorporates management measures for fixed gear fisheries in NAFO sub-Division 3Pn, came into effect in 2011. Quota Reconciliation will be applied in this fishery in 2016.

Herring on the west coast of Newfoundland and the area south of Cape Charles in Labrador (4R) is comprised of two distinct stock components: spring and fall spawners. The fishery is managed on the basis of a combined TAC for both stock components. Specific management measures are in place in Herring Fishing Area 13 in order to afford protection to the spring spawner component.

A number of measures are in place to minimize potential salmon by-catch in the commercial fishery, including:

  • Monofilament netting material is prohibited in herring trap net leaders and gillnets.
  • Trap net leaders with a mesh size greater than two inches and less than seven inches are prohibited

Measures have also been taken in the Herring bait fishery to minimize the potential for salmon by-catch.

  • Bait nets must be set parallel to the shore and cannot be within 120 feet (20 fathoms) of any shoreline at the low water spring tide mark.
  • Bait nets must be set with the head ropes not less than one fathom below the surface.

All licenced Herring fish harvesters operating vessels greater than or equal to 35 feet length overall (LOA) and those operating mobile gear vessels, regardless of length, are required as a condition of licence to provide detailed logbook records of catch and fishing activity.

Purse seine licence holders will be required to carry an at-sea observer intermittently throughout the fishery at the request of the department.

Fishers participating in the bait (Herring Fishing Area 13 only) and commercial fisheries will be requested to provide information on their activities specific to science program requirements. Please note that commencing in 2017, all fishers in Herring Fishing Areas 12, 13, and 14 participating in bait fisheries will be required to complete a logbook.

Fixed gear fish harvesters participating in the commercial fishery in Herring Fishing Area 14, using vessels less than 35 in length overall (LOA) will be required, as a condition of licence, to provide detailed logbook records of catch and fishing activity.

The commercial fishery (all fleets & areas) is subject to a Dockside Monitoring Program.

In accordance with the Atlantic Fishery Regulations (AFR), no person shall fish for, sell, or have in their possession any Herring that is less than 26.5 centimetres fork length (10.5 inches); with the exception of up to 10 per cent of small herring (by count) per fishing trip when the taking of small herring is incidental to the capture of larger herring.

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