2J3KLPs Herring Management Plan 2019-2020

Species and area

Herring stocks are distributed along the eastern coasts of Newfoundland and Labrador and the southeast coast of Newfoundland.  These fisheries have historically supported commercial, food, and bait fisheries.

The herring fishing areas are Southern Labrador (Fishing Area 2), White Bay - Notre Dame Bay (Fishing Areas 3 & 4), Bonavista Bay - Trinity Bay (Fishing Areas 5 & 6), Conception Bay - Southern Shore (Fishing Areas 7 & 8), St. Mary's Bay-Placentia Bay (Fishing Areas 9 & 10), Fortune Bay and Pass Island to Cinq Cerf Bay (Fishing Area 11).

Season openings and closings (subject to change)

Season dates for the 2019-20 herring fishery are established for each fishing area through consultations with fishing industry representatives.

Total Allowable Catch (TAC) and Sharing Arrangements

The total allowable catch (TAC) for 2J3KLPs herring is set at 14,842 tonnes for 2019-20, representing Stat Quo from 2017-2018. The TAC will be allocated to the respective quota areas and fleets according to existing sharing arrangements.

2019 Allocations by area
Stock Area Quotas (Status Quo)
Labrador 600t
White Bay/Notre Dame Bay 3,068t
Bonavista Bay/Trinity Bay 6,290t
Conception Bay/Southern Shore 945t
St. Mary's Bay/Placentia Bay 2,250t
Fortune Bay 1,189t
Pass Island to Cinq Cerf Bay 500t

Commercial quotas are allocated by area and gear type taking into consideration bait requirements in other fisheries and fleet shares which have been established through the advisory process. Quotas within each gear sector and area are fished competitively.

Management measures

Based upon recommendation from Science L50 for 2J3KLPs herring, the minimum size limit for herring in 2019-2020 will be 9.75 inches (24.76 cm). 

Please note the following changes for the 2019 fishing season:

Management cycle for Herring Fishing Areas 1 to 11 will change to April 1 to March 31.

Fishing season dates: Herring Fishing Areas (HFA) 8 -11 for fixed and mobile gear fleets open March 1 to May 31 with a fall season if any quota remains, HFA 3 – 8 mobile gear spring season April 1 to May 31 and fall season August 15 to March 31 with a fifty –fifty quota split, HFA 3 – 8 fixed gear spring season April 1 to May 31 and fall season August 15 to March 31 if quota remains for the fall.

Bait Logbooks: It is mandatory for harvesters to return bait logbooks.

Fixed gear fishers are permitted to fish only in their Fishing Area of residence (any one area of Fishing Areas 1 to 11). Mobile gear operators who reside on the Northeast coast may fish in any of Fishing Areas 3 to 8 (Cape Bauld to Cape Race). Mobile gear fishers living on the Southeast coast may fish in Fishing Areas 9 and 10 (Cape Race to Point Crewe).

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 2 inches and less than 7 inches are prohibited

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

  • Bait nets are not authorized to be set during peak salmon run periods in most areas and all bait nets must be set parallel to the nearest shore.
  • Requirement for bait net to be set with the head ropes not less than one fathom below the surface.

All licensed herring fishers 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 and commercial fisheries will be requested to provide information on their activities specific to Science program requirements.

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