Redfish Unit 1 and 2 (2018 and 2019)

Species and area

The redfish fishery in Unit 1 and 2 is concentrated on two redfish species that occur in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Laurentian Channel areas, Deepwater redfish (Sebastes mentella) and Acadian redfish (Sebastes fasciatus). Both species of redfish have morphological similarities, and overlap in distribution area; the movement between stock areas is unclear. As such, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) currently allocates quota for the two species combined, but within two independent management units (Unit 1 and Unit 2).

Unit 1 consists of Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) Divisions 4RST and 3Pn + 4Vn (January 1- May 31), and Unit 2 consists of Divisions 3Ps, 4Vs, a portion of 4W, and 3Pn + 4Vn (June 1- December 31).

Dates of season (subject to change)

The management cycle for Unit 1 is May 15 until May 14 of the following year and April 1 to March 31 of the following year for Unit 2.

Specific dates for openings and closings will be maintained as per existing conservation harvest plans (CHPs) and any modifications will be determined in consultation with the various fleets through the advisory process.

Total allowable catch and sharing arrangements

For the 2018 and 2019 seasons, 4,500t of redfish quota will be available in Unit 1 annually under two separate programs; a 2,000 index fishery program and an experimental redfish quota of 2,500t.

The 2,000t index fishery quota and allocation scheme for Unit 1 will remain as per the index fishery program. The 2,500t experimental quota will be accessible to existing Gulf groundfish mobile gear licence holders and Gulf based Indigenous groups with a groundfish licence via an online application process. Further details on the experimental redfish plan will be available once the program is ready for implementation.

For Unit 2, the TAC will be maintained at 8,500 t with 1500t of the Canadian commercial quota set aside under Section 10 of the Fisheries Act for an industry led biennial scientific survey. Canadian fleet shares will also be maintained. Negotiations were also held with France (in respect of Saint Pierre and Miquelon) on a TAC for Unit 2 redfish, who agreed to the rollover for 2018. Negotiations with France are required annually for all 3Ps shared species. 

Management measures

Existing management measures will be maintained for the 2,000t index fishery and for Unit 2, including seasonal and area opening and closing dates.

Further details on the experimental redfish fishing plan will be available once the program is ready for implementation.

A post-season review of the Unit 1 and 2 fisheries will be conducted and modifications to management measures for the 2019 season will be discussed through the advisory processes.

Links to other information