Capelin (Mallotus villosus) Newfoundland & Labrador Region Divisions 2+3 (Capelin Fishing Areas 1-11)
This is the multi-year Integrated Fisheries Management Plan (IFMP) for the Newfoundland and Labrador Region’s Capelin fishery in NAFO Divisions 2J3KLPs (2+3) developed in consultation with capelin fish harvesters and other stakeholders. This is an evergreen IFMP.
The purpose of this Integrated Fisheries Management Plan (IFMP) is to identify the main objectives and requirements for the Newfoundland and Labrador Region capelin fishery in NAFO Division 2+3, as well as the management measures that will be used to achieve these objectives. This document also serves to communicate basic information on the fishery and its management to Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) staff, legislated co-management boards and committees, and other stakeholders. This IFMP provides a common understanding of the basic “rules” for the sustainable management of the fisheries resource.
This IFMP is not a legally binding instrument which can form the basis of a legal challenge. The IFMP can be modified at any time and does not fetter the Minister's discretionary powers set out in the Fisheries Act. The Minister can, for reasons of conservation or for any other valid reasons, modify any provision of the IFMP in accordance with the powers granted pursuant to the Fisheries Act.
Where DFO is responsible for implementing obligations under land claims agreements, the IFMP will be implemented in a manner consistent with these obligations. In the event that an IFMP is inconsistent with obligations under land claim agreements, the provisions of land claims agreements will prevail to the extent of the inconsistency.
As with any policy, the Minister retains the discretion to make exceptions to, or to change, this policy at any time. It is, however, DFO’s expectation and intention to follow the management process set out in this IFMP, with a view to contributing to increased certainty and direction for the capelin fishery in Newfoundland and Labrador.
This IFMP is in effect until it is replaced. While the elements of this plan will remain in effect indefinitely, quotas are subject to annual review and may be adjusted based on updated Science information. This could include changes to the Total Allowable Catch (TAC), as well as adjustments to annexes and website listings.
Regional Director General
Newfoundland and Labrador Region
Table of Contents
- 7.1 Capelin Total Allowable Catch (TAC)
- 7.2 Fishing Seasons/Areas
- 7.3 Control and Monitoring of Removals
- 7.4 Species at Risk Act (SARA) requirements
- 7.5 Licencing
- 7.6 Individual Quota (IQ) Regimes
- 7.7 Habitat protection measures
- 7.8 Logbooks
- 7.9 Sharing
- 7.10 Dockside monitoring program
- 7.11 By-Catch and interaction concerns
- 7.12 Concentration of Fishing Effort and Catches
- 7.13 Sub-division of Fixed Gear Quota
- 7.14 Modified bar seines
- 7.15 Trip limits
- 7.16 Oceans initiatives in marine conservation
9.0 Compliance plan
10.0 Performance review
11.0 Glossary of terms
- Appendix 1: Stock assessment results
- Appendix 2: Management measures for the duration of the plan
- Appendix 3: Membership of 2+3 capelin advisory committee
- Appendix 4: Capelin Fishing Areas around NL
- Appendix 5: Capelin quota reports for 2016-2018
- Appendix 6: Safety at sea
- Appendix 7: Allocations by area, gear type and fleet for 2+3
- Appendix 8: C&P enforcement data for 2+3 capelin
- Appendix 9: Departmental contacts
1.0 Overview of the fishery
1.1 History of the fishery
Historically, a domestic fishery with an estimated annual harvest of about 25,000 tonnes existed for spawning capelin on Newfoundland and Labrador beaches to provide food, bait and fertilizer for local residents.
In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s a very small number of fish harvesters prosecuted the capelin fishery for commercial purposes; however with the increased demand for roe in the Japanese capelin market from the mid to the late 1980’s, so too did the number of commercial fish harvesters participating in the fishery.
The inshore fishery for roe capelin began during the late 1970s with Japan being the primary market destination for roe-bearing females. In recent years, new markets are being developed for non-roe-bearing females and males. Meanwhile, difficulties with the capelin fisheries in Norway and Iceland have resulted in increased demand for capelin products from Newfoundland and Labrador resulting in improved market opportunities and prices.
1.2 Type of fishery
Note: for ease of reference, the Divisions 2J3KLPs capelin fishery will hence be referred to by the abbreviated reference of 2+3 capelin fishery.
Of the four capelin stocks around Newfoundland and Labrador, only 2J3KL and 3Ps capelin in eastern and southern Newfoundland and Labrador are covered by this IFMP. Although they are currently considered two separate stocks, both elements are managed under the same management plan.
The capelin stock in 3NO is managed by the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) and does not include a Canadian fishery. The 4RST capelin stock on the west coast of Newfoundland and Southern Labrador, and the Gulf of St. Lawrence is covered under a separate IFMP.
Capelin is fished using both fixed and mobile gear. The fixed gear capelin fishery uses traps and modified bar seines known as tuck seines. The mobile gear fleet uses purse seines.
The 2+3 capelin fishery is managed on the basis of a single Total Allowable Catch (TAC). The TAC is managed under the IFMP with a mix of competitive and Individual Quota (IQ) fisheries, depending on the Capelin Fishing Area (CFA) and gear type involved. IQ fisheries are implemented in portions of:
- White Bay (Bottom of White Bay to Cape St. John)
- Notre Dame Bay (Cape St. John to North Head)
- Southern Shore (Cape St. Francis to Long Point)
- Long Point to Cape Neddick
- Cape Neddick to Cape Pine (See Appendix 5)
There are approximately 50 active mobile gear participants and 309 active fixed gear participants in the 2+3 capelin fishery for a total of 359 active participants.
In 2018, capelin licenses were issued to 1,152 fixed gear fish harvesters and 193 mobile gear fish harvesters. There is limited entry in the 2+3 capelin fishery; no new licenses are available.
By way of comparison, there were 947 licenced capelin fish harvesters in 2+3 in 1984. This increased to a high of 2,693 in 1989 with most of the expansion in the fixed gear sector. Mobile gear licences increased from 190 licenses in 1984 to a peak of 233 licenses in 1988.
Included in the number of commercial licences are communal commercial capelin licences issued to Indigenous organizations in Newfoundland and Labrador.
1.4 Location of the fishery
The bulk of today's inshore capelin fishery occurs along the east and northeast coast of Newfoundland and Labrador where the major stock component is located (NAFO Division 3KL). [See Figures 1 and 2]
1.5 Fishery characteristics
The 2+3 capelin fishery is managed on the basis of an annual management plan. The current management cycle runs from January 1 to December 31. Science advice on the stock and subsequent advisory meetings with stakeholders and Indigenous groups occur every year. Additional meetings with stakeholders may be added to this schedule for any reason deemed appropriate by DFO.
Capelin is fished using both fixed and mobile gear. The fixed gear fishery in all areas uses traps and modified bar seines known as “tuck seines”. The fixed gear fishery occurs in specific areas or bays. The mobile gear fleet is made up of <65’ purse seine vessels. The mobile gear fishery occurs where the resource is available in Capelin Fishing Areas (CFAs) 1-11.
The 2+3 capelin fishery is governed by the Fisheries Act, regulations made pursuant to the Act; and departmental policies. The key regulations and policies that apply include, but are not limited to:
- Aboriginal Communal Fishing Licences Regulations
- Atlantic Fishery Regulations 1985
- Fishery (General) Regulations
- Fisheries Licencing Policy of Newfoundland and Labrador Region
- Commercial Fisheries Licencing Policy for Eastern Canada, 1996
The Department receives advice on the management of the capelin fishery through an advisory process. The advisory process solicits the opinions of stakeholders on past management practices and focuses on management measure recommendations for the upcoming season’s fishery. This includes recommendations on the TAC.
The last 2+3 capelin advisory meeting was held in Gander, NL on April 4, 2019. A list of advisory committee members is provided in (Appendix 3).
1.7 Approval process
The Integrated Fisheries Management Plan is approved by the Regional Director General of Newfoundland and Labrador Region. Opening and closing dates for specific areas and gear types are determined by DFO area staff in consultation with industry. Other issues that arise will be addressed through similar consultative processes. Any changes to licence conditions are tabled by DFO officials at the annual advisory meeting.
Unless there are conservation issues, the intent is to manage the fishery based on the measures outlined in this IFMP. Stakeholders seeking new management measures are required to table their requests at the next scheduled DFO-industry advisory meeting.
2.0 Stock assessment, science and traditional knowledge
2.1 Biological characteristics
Capelin are a short-lived (maximum 6 years), small (12-24 cm), schooling pelagic fish with a circumpolar distribution in sub-Arctic regions. Capelin are the linchpin of the Northwest Atlantic ecosystem, acting as a conduit of energy between lower trophic levels and top predators. Capelin, like other forage fish species, exhibit boom and bust population dynamics where population abundances change rapidly in response to environmental conditions. For capelin, environmental variability in onshore winds, temperature, and prey availability in the first few weeks of life can have a large impact on capelin larval survival and subsequent year class strength (Leggett et al. 1984, Murphy et al. 2018). Furthermore, timing of ice-mediated spring blooms, which is linked to the timing of zooplankton prey availability, is an important factor affecting adult capelin condition and survival (Buren et al. 2014).
Capelin in SA2 + Divs. 3KL spend the majority of their life offshore. Capelin nursery areas are located on the northern Grand Bank and the Northeast Newfoundland Shelf although juveniles can also be found in the major northeastern bays of Newfoundland. In the summer (June-August), schools of spawning adults migrate inshore to spawn on Newfoundland and Labrador beaches and at deep-water (‘demersal’, < 40 m) spawning sites close to beaches. Choice of spawning location appears to be based on temperature rather than genetics, whereas beach spawning stops when the beach gets too hot (> 12°C). After spawning, adults experience high mortality rates with up to 100% of males and 50-75% of females dying. Fertilized capelin eggs adhere to sediment at beach and demersal sites and hatch approximately 2 weeks after fertilization, depending on temperature. Upon hatch, the capelin larvae emerge from sediments at beach and demersal sites and mix in the nearshore area. Capelin larvae spend up to a month in the northeastern bays of Newfoundland before being advected from the bays on surface currents. The larval stage lasts for approximately 8 months before capelin metamorphose into juveniles.
Profound changes in capelin distribution and abundance in SA2 + Divs. 3KL were first observed in 1990-1991 concominant with other major changes in the ecosystem, namely the collapse of the groundfish stocks and a shift to cold oceanographic conditions (Carscadden et al. 2001; Carscadden et al. 2013). Fundamental changes in capelin biology occurred at the same time, including maturation shifting from ages 3-4 to ages 2-3, delayed and protracted spawning, changes in geographical and vertical distribution, and declines in somatic condition (Frank et al. 1996, Carscadden and Nakashima 1997, Mowbray 2002, Nakashima and Wheeler 2002). Anomalous meteorological and oceanographic conditions were hypothesized to have driven the collapse in capelin with colder temperatures associated with southerly excursions of capelin (Frank et al. 1996); decreased or changed prey availability (Carscadden et al. 2001); and delayed spawning times and smaller size at maturity (Carscadden et al. 1997). While there has been a general warming in oceanographic conditions from 1995-2010 (Colbourne et al. 2016), capelin abundance has not yet recovered to pre-1991 levels.
2.2 Ecosystem interactions
Capelin is an integral component of the ecosystem and interacts with both lower and higher trophic levels in marine food webs. Since 2015, primary and secondary production indices (phytoplankton and zooplankton) in the NL Shelf have been below the 1999-2015 average and zooplankton community structure has changed, with a shift to smaller species. These changes have potential negative impacts on energy transfer to higher trophic levels, including pelagic planktivorous species. Calanus finmarchicus, a large copepod, is an important prey item for juvenile and adult capelin, and abundance of C. finmarchicus has been below average for the last 4 years.
2.3 Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge
Aboriginal traditional knowledge and traditional ecological knowledge in the form of observations and comments provided by Aboriginal groups are considered in management decisions when provided.
2.4 Stock assessment process
Details of the most recent assessment of NAFO sub-area 2 + Division 3KL Capelin in March 2018 can be found in Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat (CSAS) Science Advisory Report 2018/030.
2.5 Stock scenarios or stock assessment results
The capelin stock assessment is primarily based on two indices: the annual spring offshore acoustic survey of southern Div. 3K and all of Div. 3L including an inshore acoustic survey of Trinity Bay, and the annual larval monitoring program in Trinity Bay. The annual spring acoustic survey produces an index of abundance for the immature portion of the stock as it surveys the main capelin nursery area. The acoustic survey does not provide an estimate of the capelin spawning stock biomass. The spring acoustic abundance index in 2018 increased relative to 2017 but is still only approximately 25% of the post-collapse (post-1990) high in 2014 (Fig. 3). In 2018, the distribution of capelin during the spring acoustic survey was more concentrated inshore and shifted towards the northwest portion of NAFO Division 3L compared to recent years. The age structure of the stock has truncated with few age 4s and no older age classes in recent years. In 2018, approximately 35% of age-2 fish were maturing in the offshore and were expected to spawn in summer 2018. The condition of capelin was above average in 2018 and the proportion of fish with empty stomachs was low, potentially indicating good feeding conditions and/or low density/abundance of capelin which reduced competition for food resources.
Spawning in 2018 was more broadly distributed and approximately 5 days earlier than previous years (2016-2017), but overall spawning times since 2015 have been delayed by up to four weeks. Productivity (i.e. emergent larvae) at monitored spawning sites in both Divs. 3K and 3L in 2018 was at a time series low. Later spawning times have been related to lower capelin larval survival, which may be related to a mismatch between larval emergence and onshore wind events (Murphy et al. 2018). The capelin larval abundance index has been low for 5 consecutive years, similar to the early 2000s (Fig. x). The larval abundance index and larval emergence patterns suggest that the 2018 year class may be small.
A capelin forecast model (Lewis et al. in press) which incorporates the capelin larval abundance index, adult fall capelin condition, and the timing of sea ice retreat (as a proxy for the spring bloom) predicts that the spring acoustic abundance index will increase in 2019, but decrease in 2020 (Fig. x). The results of the forecast model, in conjunction with the results of the spring 2018 acoustic survey, suggest that the amount of capelin available to the fishery in 2019 should be similar to that of 2018.
Other data considered in the capelin stock assessment are biological samples from the commercial inshore capelin fishery in Div. 3KL and capelin presence/absence data from the fall bottom trawl surveys. The size of capelin landed in 2018 in Div. 3KLfwas larger than in 2017 but still smaller than the recent time series high in 2013-2015. The presence/absence data of capelin from the fall bottom trawl surveys (1983-2018) were used in a center of gravity analysis. This analysis found that capelin generally exhibits a northern distribution when abundance is high and a southward distribution when abundance is low. In 2017-2018, the centre of gravity was inshore and centred in Div. 3K. This is similar to the capelin centre of gravity distribution in the 2000s.
In summary, the current low values of the two main capelin indices are likely attributable to environmental conditions (e.g., bottom-up processes) including poor prey availability during the past 5 years and a mismatch in larval emergence and onshore wind events. Capelin abundance is also affected by the earlier age of maturation which reduces the total number of older aged individuals in the population due to high post-spawning mortality. DFO Science continues to be concerned about the status of this stock.
Figure 3. Spring (May) offshore acoustic abundance index of capelin in NAFO Div. 3L and southern NAFO Div. 3K (solid line) with 95% confidence intervals (grey shading). The inset figure includes the entire dataset (1988-2018) while the main figure only shows the data from 1991-2018 (i.e. the post-collapse period). There were no spring acoustic surveys in 1993-1995, 1997-1998, 2006, 2016. Source: 2019 SAR
|Year||Age 1||Age 2||Age 3||Age 4||Age 5||Age 6||Capelin
Figure 4. Standardized capelin larval abundance index from Trinity Bay. Positive numbers are considered above average years and negative numbers are considered below average years. Standardized index was based on the average larval abundance from 2002-2017. Source: Capelin SAR2019
|Year||Annual Larval Production||Standardized Figure|
Figure 5. A graph displaying the 2+3 capelin biomass spring acoustic forecast model results from 2003 to 2020. Prior to 2019, the results are represented in light grey and are 95% credible. After 2019, the results are represented in dark grey and are 80% credible as they are predictions. From 2003 to 2005, there was not much change in biomass. From 2005 to 2010, there was a slight increase to approximately 5.5 ktonnes and then a steep decrease to approximately 3.7 ktonnes. From 2010 to 2015, there was a gradual increase from approximately 3.7 to 6.8 ktonnes. From 2015 to 2019, there was a steep decrease approximately 4.5 ktonnes and an increase to 5.7 ktonnes. From 2019 to 2020, there is a predicted decrease.
2.6 Precautionary approach
The Precautionary Approach in fisheries management is about being cautious when scientific knowledge is uncertain and not using the absence of adequate scientific information as a reason to postpone or fail to take action to avoid serious harm to fish stocks or their ecosystems. This approach is widely accepted as an essential part of sustainable fisheries management. Applying the Precautionary Approach to fisheries management decisions entails establishing a harvest strategy that:
- identifies three stocks status zones (healthy, cautious, and critical) according to upper stock reference points and limit reference points
- sets the removal rate at which fish may be harvested within each stock status zone, and
- adjusts the removal rate according to fish stock status variations (i.e. spawning stock biomass or another index/metric relevant to population productivity) based on decision rules
A primary goal of the DFO Science branch is to provide high quality knowledge, products and scientific advice on Canadian aquatic ecosystems and living resources, with a vision of safe, healthy, productive waters and aquatic ecosystems. DFO conducts research activities both independently and in collaboration with other organizations. Current research projects on capelin include the development limit reference points for capelin, identifying the drivers of recruitment variability in capelin, and comparative capelin diet studies.
3.0 Economic, social and cultural importance of the fishery
3.1 Socio-economic profile
Since 2009, capelin landings in NAFO Divisions 2+3 ranged from a low of about 15,470 tonnes (t) in 2010 to a high of about 27,390 t in 2016. Landings for 2017 and 2018 were lower than the previous five years at about 19,914 tonnes and 19,756 tonnes respectively.
Figure 6. 2+3 Capelin TAC and Landings from 2009-2018. Source: Policy and Economics. TAC source: Fisheries Management. Data is preliminary and subject to revision.
|Year||Landings (t)||TAC (t)|
In 2018, the fixed gear sector accounted for approximately 69% of total capelin landings, while mobile gear accounted for approximately 31%. This proportion was similar to 2017, with fixed gear accounting for about 63% and mobile gear for 37% of landings.
In 2018, capelin landings occurred in 38 ports within NAFO Divisions 2+3, seven of which accounted for over half of the total landings. The top capelin landing ports (in terms of volume) were Port De Grave, Hickman’s Harbour, Twillingate, Cupids, Englee, Musgrave Harbour, and Bridgeport. Port De Grave and Hickman’s Harbour were also the top two ports for capelin landings in both 2017 and 2016.
3.2 Landings and landed value
The landed value of 2+3 capelin has fluctuated in the last decade, from a low of about $1.9 million in 2010 to a high of about $10.1 million in 2016. In 2018, the landed value was about $7.4 million, which was an increase from about $6.3 million in 2017 (see Figure 7 below).
Figure 7. 2+3 Capelin Landed Value (in millions) from 2009-2018. Source: Policy and Economics. Data is preliminary and subject to revision.
|Year||Landed value ($Millions)|
Over the 10-year time period from 2009 to 2018, the average price per pound of 2+3 has increased from a low of $0.06 in 2010 to a high of $0.17 in both 2016 and 2018 (see Figure 3 below). Capelin fisheries in other countries can influence the level of demand and price for Newfoundland and Labrador capelin. The capelin fishery in the Barents Sea typically peaks during the months of January to March, much earlier than the capelin season in Newfoundland and Labrador. Of note, the capelin fishery in the Barents Sea re-opened in 2018 after two years of no fishing. The 2018 quota was shared between Norway and Russia and was set at 205,000 tonnes; however, in 2019, the Norwegian-Russian Fishery Commission once again stopped the capelin fishery. Similarly, no capelin quota was issued in Iceland for 2019.
Figure 8. 2+3 Capelin Average Landed Price per Pound from 2009-2018. Source: Policy and Economics. Data is preliminary and subject to revision.
|Year||Price per pound ($/lb)|
3.3 Dependence on capelin
This section of the report provides an overview of capelin dependence based solely on inshore and nearshore enterprises that harvested 2+3 capelin in 2018. “Dependence” in this instance is considered to be the percentage contribution of capelin to the total landed value of all species harvested by these enterprises.
In 2018, there were 280 active <40’ enterprises with capelin landings. Capelin accounted for 16% of the total landed value of all species harvested by these enterprises. Snow crab accounted for 59% of the total landed value, while cod accounted for 11%. The remaining proportion of the landed value was comprised of other shellfish (9%), mackerel (1%), other pelagics (1%), other groundfish (1%), and miscellaneous (2%).
There were 79 active 40-89’ enterprises with capelin landings in 2+3 in 2018. Capelin accounted for only about 9% of total landed value for these enterprises. Snow crab was the most significant species, accounting for approximately 73% of the total landed value. The remaining proportion of the landed value was comprised of mackerel (8%), cod (2%), shrimp (2%), other groundfish (4%), other shellfish (1%), and other pelagics (1%).
Preliminary 2018 data from the provincial Department of Fisheries and Land Resources indicates that approximately 21,446 tonnes of capelin were processed by 23 plants. This includes capelin fisheries based in NAFO Divisions 2+3 and 4R3Pn.
According to Statistics Canada, in 2018 Newfoundland and Labrador exported approximately 13,100 tonnes of capelin, with a total export value of approximately $24.9 million. China was the largest export destination for capelin products, accounting for about 38% of export value. Other top export destinations included: the United States (25%), Taiwan (19%) and Japan (7%).
4.0 Management issues
4.1 Interaction with Atlantic salmon
The interaction of Atlantic salmon in the capelin fishery has been discussed with industry at capelin advisory meetings and measures have been taken in the commercial capelin fishery to mitigate the by-catch of Atlantic salmon and to protect their migration. See also By-catch and Interaction Concerns (Section 7.11)
4.2 By-catch concerns
One notable concern is by-catch of salmon and cod taken by pelagic traps. This issue has been discussed with industry and measures were implemented to minimize the potential for salmon by-catch in the commercial fishery. See also By-Catch Concerns (Section 7.11)
4.3 Oceans initiatives in marine conservation
The Government of Canada has achieved its target of protecting 5% of Canada’s marine and coastal areas by the end of 2017 and remains committed to protecting 10% by 2020. The 2020 target is both a domestic target (Canada’s Biodiversity Target 1) and an international target as reflected in the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Aichi Target 11 and the United Nations General Assembly’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development under Goal 14. The 2017 and 2020 targets are collectively referred to as Canada’s Marine Conservation Targets. More information on the background and drivers for Canada’s Marine Conservation Targets can be found here.
To meet these targets, Canada is establishing Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and “other effective area-based conservation measures” (Other Measures), in consultation with industry, non-governmental organizations, and other interested parties. An overview of these tools, including a description of the fisheries management measures that qualify as Other Measures is available in the Marine Protected Areas, Areas of Interest and Other Measures section. Some existing Fisheries Act closures have met the criteria for “other measures”.
In recognition of the need to sustainably manage Canada’s fisheries and oceans using an ecosystem approach with a focus on conserving biodiversity, DFO is leading initiatives in marine conservation planning in the Newfoundland and Labrador Region. A network of Marine Protected Areas (Oceans Act MPAs and other protected areas) and Other Measures (e.g. Fisheries Act closures) is currently being developed in the NL Shelves and the Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence (EGSL) Bioregions.
The NL Shelves Bioregion covers approximately one million km2, extending from Cape Chidley at the northern tip of Labrador to the southern Grand Banks and the south coast of Newfoundland. The EGSL Bioregion covers 231,193 km2, bounded to the east by a jagged line that stretches from approximately Bay St. Lawrence, Nova Scotia to Port-aux-Basques, NL, and to the north by a line drawn south of Henley Harbour, NL to approximately Raleigh, NL and along Quebec’s southern coast to the west.
Ecologically and Biologically Significant Areas (EBSAs) which have been identified within the two Bioregions will play an important role in the MPA Network.
The primary goal of MPA networks is to provide long-term protection of marine biodiversity, ecosystem function and special natural features. In addition, there are three Other Measures established under the Fisheries Act that also provide biodiversity conservation benefits in the EGSL within 4R: the Bay of Islands salmon closure area (212 km2) is closed to all fixed pelagic gear to protect Atlantic salmon migration but pot fishing, purse seining and herring bait net fishing are permitted; Shoal Point (0.65 km2) and Trout River (0.65 km2) are also closed to lobster fishing with a stock management objective of increasing lobster egg production.
4.4 Habitat considerations
DFO seeks to conserve and protect fish habitat that supports Canada’s fisheries resource through application of the fisheries protection provisions of the Fisheries Act. A key provision of the Fisheries Act is subsection 35 which prohibits the carrying on of a work, undertaking or activity that results in serious harm to fish that are part of or support a commercial, recreational or Aboriginal fishery without an authorization from the Minister.
The Fisheries Protection Program provides advice to proponents to enable them to proactively avoid and mitigate the effects of projects on fish and fish habitat, undertakes the review of proposed works, undertakings and activities that may affect fish and fish habitat, and ensures compliance with the Fisheries Act and the Species at Risk Act by issuing authorizations and permits, when appropriate, with conditions for offsetting, monitoring, and reporting.
4.5 Gear impacts
Modified bar seines, or tuck seines as they are commonly referred to, are bar seines fitted with rings that allow the bottom and sides of the seine to be brought or hauled together. The use of these seines have been authorized in the fixed gear herring, capelin and mackerel fisheries in Divisions 2+3 and 4R following consultations with stakeholders at advisory committee meetings.
Capelin fishing gear used in DFO Newfoundland and Labrador region are considered to have an insignificant to low impact to the ecosystem. Although some seine nets do touch the bottom from time to time, the impact on benthic species and habitats is minimal.
4.6 Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS)
The south coast of Newfoundland (NAFO 3Ps) has the highest concentration of invasive European green crab, with infestations in the northern and western areas of Placentia Bay and have spread in Fortune Bay. Currently (in 2018) no green crab has been reported from coastal areas of 3L, 3K or 2J. Green crab have also been found in large numbers in coastal areas of 4R, particularly near Bonne Bay and in Bay St. George, as far north as Port Saunders.
In NAFO divisions 3P, 3L and 4R some invasive tunicates have been detected in coastal areas, with invasive populations of concern located in Burin, Little Bay and Marystown (vase tunicate) and Belleoram harbours (violet tunicate).
Best practices to prevent the introduction and spread of AIS include:
- annual routine vessel maintenance (i.e. cleaning the hull and using anti-fouling paint to prevent bio-fouling)
- cleaning and airing dry gear and ropes to prevent movement between areas by gear
- avoiding transportation of large amounts of water from one location to another
- and recognizing and reporting any AIS to DFO for early detection
More information and maps of aquatic invasive species in Newfoundland and Labrador can be found in the Identify an Aquatic Invasive Species section.
4.7 Catch monitoring
Return of logbooks and catch reporting are mandatory in this fishery. These are important tools for the overall management of the fishery, including quota monitoring and the Science assessment process. Failure to return logbooks may impact in-season quota monitoring.
On occasion fish harvesters were known to undertake the practice of “barging” in pelagic fisheries. The practice of barging involves one vessel actively fishing and supplying one or more inactive participants with catch. The inactive participants were not geared up to actively participate in fishing operations. Fish harvesters are encouraged to review their license conditions for details as this practice is not permitted, i.e. all participants must be geared-up. See also Sharing (section 7.9).
4.9 International issues
The United States (US) is implementing the import provisions of the Marine Mammal Protection Act following court direction. The import rule requires countries exporting fish and fish products to the US to demonstrate that they have regulatory measures in place that are comparable in effectiveness to those of the US for reducing marine mammal incidental mortality and serious injury in commercial fisheries. Countries who fail to obtain such comparability measures to the US for their export fisheries by January 1, 2022, will be prohibited from entering the US market.
Canada is currently working towards demonstrating appropriate measures are in place in all Canadian fisheries.
DFO strives to manage the 2+3 capelin fishery based on the principles of stock conservation and sustainable harvest, as well as ecosystem health and sustainability. Using the following short and long-term objectives as guideposts, various management measures have been implemented, or are being developed that will maximize the benefit of this resource.
5.1 Stock conservation and sustainable harvest
Given the importance of capelin in the food web and for the ecosystem, conservation and the long-term sustainability of capelin is one of DFO’s most important objectives. It is vital that the stock grow and provide benefits for all stakeholders in the short and long-term. As such, DFO will work with all stakeholders to ensure this objective is achieved and that the capelin stock allows for an economically viable and self-reliant fishery.
Harvest levels will be set that allow the stock to grow and achieve a higher TAC than current levels. Consideration will be given to the level of recruitment in this stock. Furthermore, the capelin fishery will be managed such that catches are not concentrated in a manner that would result in high exploitation rates on any of the stock components.
DFO will also work with industry to ensure adequate monitoring of all capelin catches, while minimizing by-catch of other species and small fish.
The shared stewardship management objective recognizes that industry participants and all stakeholders must become involved in fisheries management policy development and the decision-making process. It also recognizes that achievement of the conservation objective requires that governments, resource users and other stakeholders share responsibility for the implementation of fisheries management decisions and for their outcomes.
5.3 Stock conservation
Harvest levels will be set at cautious levels in keeping with the Precautionary Approach.
5.4 Ecosystem health and sustainability
Ecosystem health is essential for effective fisheries management. The sustainability of capelin as a species within the food web (as both a prey species and consumer) will strengthen the long-term health of the ecosystem.
6.0 Access and allocation
At this time, access to this fishery is considered to be limited (i.e. no new licenses are available) and allocations are considered to be stable. However, the Minister can, for reasons of conservation or for any other valid reasons, modify access, allocations and sharing arrangements as outlined in this IFMP in accordance with the powers granted pursuant to the Fisheries Act.
6.1 Sharing arrangements
Commercial quotas are allocated by area, gear type and fleet shares which have been established through the advisory committee process. Quotas within each gear sector and area are fished competitively with the exception of a few defined IQ areas. The traditional fleet shares have recently stabilized.
6.2 Quotas and allocations
DFO is committed to economically prosperous fisheries and works with industry to ensure that fisheries are managed in such a way to achieve this goal. As such, DFO will consider, at the request of industry, the overrun of quotas in a particular Capelin Fishing Area (CFA), provided that there is sufficient uncaught quota in another CFA to ensure that the TAC will not be exceeded. In evaluating such a request, DFO will take the following points into consideration when forming a decision:
- potential value of capelin
- the expected pattern of capelin migration
- any impact on adjacent harvesters and the fleet
- recommendations from industry
These decisions are made through direct consultation with industry as the fishery is occurring and require daily assessments of the condition and migration of capelin. As with all Resource Management decisions, conservation of the resource forms the foundation by which any decision to exceed the quota in a management area is made.
With the exception of Conception Bay, flexibility can be applied to the management of the mobile gear quotas to allow the removal of up to 2,300 tonnes by the purse seine fleet in any of the purse seine fleet areas subject to the constraints of the fleets overall quota. Unless participation levels exceed projected levels, this flexibility, combined with the seasonal and daily limits, should allow fish harvesters to catch their share of capelin without having to move beyond an adjacent bay.
The Quota Reconciliation Policy will continue to apply should an overrun occur in the competitive fishery TAC. The same process is also in place for the IQ fisheries in White Bay and Notre Dame Bay. Overruns in the competitive and IQ fishery will be reconciled each year on a kilogram-for-kilogram basis. A review process will be established to verify catches before reconciliation is applied. This review process will occur within 30-60 days after the end of the season, after all data sources are received and have been analyzed.
Capelin Quota Reports for 2016-2018 are available in Appendix 5).
6.3 Communal commercial fisheries
Fisheries and Oceans Canada supports the participation of adjacent Indigenous organizations in commercial fisheries. The Aboriginal Fisheries Strategy Program (AFS) is designed to encourage Indigenous involvement in commercial fisheries and related economic opportunities. The Allocation Transfer Program (ATP) component of the AFS has been the primary instrument used to voluntarily retire licences from commercial harvesters and subsequently reissue them to Indigenous organizations on a communal basis.
A subsequent program, Aboriginal Aquatic Resource and Oceans Management (AAROM) Program, was designed for Indigenous groups to collaboratively develop capacity and expertise to facilitate their participation in aquatic resource and oceans management.
Fishing licences issued to Indigenous organizations are done so under the authority of the Aboriginal Communal Fishing Licenses Regulations.
The Innu Nation, Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band, Miawpukek First Nation and the AAROM body Mi’kmaq Alsumk Mowimsikik Koqoey Association (MAMKA) are issued capelin licenses for 2+3 and participate in this fishery.
7.0 Management measures
7.1 Capelin Total Allowable Catch (TAC)
The Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for 2019 was set at 22,796 tonnes. The TAC was established based on the "Performance Report Approach" used to describe current stock status and future prospects, and the outcome of consultations with industry. See also 2019 Divisions 2J3KLPs Capelin Management Plan
7.2 Fishing Seasons/Areas
Throughout the 1980’s, the inshore fishery on the east coast usually started by mid-June in the south and finished about mid-July in the north. Throughout the 1990’s, the fishery was delayed by up to four weeks because of the late arrival of capelin, but in recent years the timing of the fishery has edged back toward the historic period, although still two weeks later than in comparison to the 1980’s.
Seasons are an important consideration in the capelin fishery since there is a relatively small window of opportunity to harvest capelin, especially for the roe-bearing market. There are a number of factors DFO takes into consideration when establishing the season for the capelin fishery, including:
- weather conditions
- presence of small fish
- stakeholder input at the advisory meetings
Season dates are regularly discussed in detail as part of the industry consultation process and recommendations are noted during the advisory meeting on all management measures. In the case of capelin, season dates are established according to bay or fishing area, and input from local fish harvesters is a key consideration.
An industry monitoring committee process is used for the fixed and mobile gear fleets. The Committee organizes calls during the season and invites participation from the FFAW, processors, fleet representatives for fixed and mobile gear, DFO Resource Management, area statistics officers and Conservation and Protection. The industry monitoring committee was established in each quota area to conduct sampling and to recommend opening dates based on sampling results, i.e. percentage of females, size and roe content, the percentage of red feed and distribution of capelin in a quota area. Fish harvesters may request capelin test permits from DFO which provide them with an opportunity to sample capelin.
The season for each gear sector and area will remain open provided there are commercial quantities available and there is quota remaining to be harvested. Quotas will be monitored and closures will be based on reported landings and projected catch. The fishery may close if there is no fishing activity.
Due to the rate at which harvesting can occur, closure times may be specified in conjunction with the announcement of fishery openings in order to limit the potential for significant quota over-runs. If there is evidence of dumping or wastage at sea, catches may be adjusted upward to reflect the estimated amounts and the fishery may be closed.
Fishery openings and closings will be communicated through DFO’s Notice to Fish Harvesters system. Fishery openings may be delayed due to weather conditions. These decisions will be made in consultation with industry and openings will occur at 0600 hours whenever possible. Opening and closing dates for specific areas and gear types are determined by DFO Area staff in consultation with industry.
7.3 Control and monitoring of removals
In Newfoundland and Labrador Region, all licenced capelin fish harvesters operating vessels greater than or equal to 40 feet length overall, and all purse seine operators regardless of vessel length must, as a condition of licence, provide detailed logbook records of catch and fishing activity, and may be required intermittently throughout the fishery to carry an industry-funded at-sea observer at DFO’s request. Electronic vessel monitoring is required for all mobile and fixed gear tuck seine vessels.
7.4 Species at Risk Act (SARA) requirements
In accordance with the recovery strategies for the northern wolffish (Anarchichas denticulatus), spotted wolffish (Anarchichas minor), leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), and white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) the licence holder is permitted to carry out commercial fishing activities authorized under the Fisheries Act that may incidentally kill, harm, harass, capture or take the northern wolffish and/or spotted wolffish as per subsection 83(4) of the Species at Risk Act, and the license holder is permitted to carry out commercial fishing activities authorized under the Fisheries Actthat are known to incidentally capture leatherback sea turtles.
Licence holders are required to return northern wolffish, spotted wolffish, leatherback sea turtle or white shark to the place from which it was taken, and where it is alive, in a manner that causes the least harm.
Licence holders are required to report in their logbook any interaction with northern wolffish, spotted wolffish, leatherback sea turtles or white shark.
The Newfoundland and Labrador 2+3 capelin fishery is governed by the Fisheries Act, and regulations and departmental policies made pursuant to the Act. Applicable regulations and policies include, but are not limited to:
- Aboriginal Communal Fishing Licences Regulations
- Atlantic Fishery Regulations 1985
- Fishery (General) Regulations
- Fisheries Licencing Policy for Newfoundland and Labrador Region
- Commercial Fisheries Licencing Policy for Eastern Canada, 1996
The Fisheries Licensing Policy provides details on the various licensing policies that govern the commercial fishing industry in Newfoundland and Labrador Region, including species-specific policies applicable to the capelin fishery.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) Resource Management should be consulted for all purposes of interpreting and applying this document.
7.6 Individual Quota (IQ) Regimes
In 2+3, portions of White Bay and Notre Dame Bay have IQ fisheries. The main elements of any IQ regime for consideration include:
- IQ's are not transferable
- IQ's are subject to an industry-funded dockside monitoring program. Capelin must be landed in a sea-run state and dockside monitored before any sorting can occur
- Each licence holder is required to use their own registered vessel, have onboard all required fishing gear, and participate in the harvesting of their own IQ (i.e. one licence holder cannot catch, transport or land IQ for another licence holder)
- Fish harvesters in a quota area and fleet sector may share catch from the same trap for the purposes of harvesting their IQs
- When an individual fish harvester’s IQ has been taken, the harvester must immediately remove their gear from the water, unless the gear is being used by another fish harvester. In the latter case, the gear must be marked with the Fishing Vessel Registration number (CFV#) of the licensed fish harvester using the trap.
- The Quota Reconciliation Policy applies to all overruns in the IQ fishery on a kilogram for kilogram basis.
7.7 Habitat protection measures
Due to the low impact of the capelin fishery on habitat in 2+3, no specific habitat protection measures have been identified.
Completing a logbook is mandatory under Section 61 of the Fisheries Act. Fish harvesters are required to record information about fishing catch and effort, and submit this data as specified in the conditions of licence. Fish harvesters are responsible for obtaining their own logbooks. Information that should be in your logbook includes location, date, time, sets, gear type, weight of fish caught and by-catch.
Include information on anything else you think may be useful to you or DFO. Note that marine mammal mitigation measures are now mandatory and you must report all interactions. Failure to submit a logbook may result in enforcement action.
In order to prosecute an orderly harvest and prevent unfair competition, licence conditions provide a definition of “geared up” and the requirements to “share” excess catch by both receiving and providing vessels. To be considered geared up when fishing purse seine, bar seine or modified bar seine, a vessel must be equipped with a purse seine, bar seine or modified bar seine, an operational power block and a tow off vessel.
In order to share excess fish, a harvester must be fully loaded and then share excess catch with a vessel in the same fleet sector that is “geared up”. In order to receive excess fish, a harvester must be fully geared up and receive catch from a vessel in the same fleet sector.
Note that the practice of barging (or supplying one or more inactive participants with catch) is not permitted in this fishery (see section 4.8).
7.10 Dockside monitoring program
Dockside monitoring is a mechanism to accurately capture the amount of fish being landed to apply against the assigned quotas. It is a management tool used to prevent overruns and with quota reconciliation, it is a vital management tool to ensure accurate accounting.
In CFAs 1-11 (Divisions 2+3), it is a mandatory requirement for all commercial licence holders to have all capelin catches monitored at dockside. The cost for this monitoring is the responsibility of the fishing industry. Capelin that is landed by non-commercial harvesters but is caught for personal use or recreational purposes is not subject to dockside monitoring.
Fish can only be offloaded in the presence of an individual who is a certified dockside observer. Specific procedures for the monitoring of catch weights at dockside have been developed through consultation with industry and Dockside Monitoring Program (DMP) companies. DFO’s accepted method of verification of landings at dockside is a direct weigh-out using certified weight scales.
In 2008, a water deduction of 3% for capelin was adopted following negotiations with industry and subsequent testing. DFO continues to recognize 3% as the accepted water tolerance for weighing of capelin.
7.11 By-catch and interaction concerns
One notable concern is by-catch of and interaction with salmon and cod in pelagic fisheries including capelin. This issue has been discussed with industry and measures were taken to minimize the potential for salmon by-catch in the commercial fishery:
- in 1996, monofilament netting material was banned from use in capelin trap leaders
- in 1998, the use of trap net leaders with a mesh size between 76.2 mm and 177.8 mm was prohibited
- in 2007, the use of trap net leaders with a mesh greater than 50.8 mm to less than 177.8 mm was prohibited
Any incidental catch must be immediately returned to the water, and where it is alive in a manner that causes the least harm.
7.12 Concentration of fishing effort and catches
The majority of the fishing effort and catch occurs in a relatively small part of the overall stock area (especially in the case of the purse seine fishery). How this may impact on local stock components or the stock as a whole is unclear. In view of this uncertainty, it is preferable for the fishery to take place throughout a stock area or over as wide a geographic area as possible.
7.13 Sub-division of fixed gear quota
The current management regime allows fully competitive gear quotas to be applied over geographically large management areas. As a result, fish harvesters in one sector of a quota area may be advantaged by the early arrival of harvestable capelin and therefore have an opportunity to land a greater share of the quota. Conversely, fish harvesters in other locations of the quota area may not see harvestable capelin until later in the season and possibly not until after the entire quota has been taken and the commercial fishery closed.
Proponents of management area sub-divisions argue that this approach promotes a more equitable harvesting opportunity for all licence holders in those cases where there is no industry consensus to implement Individual Quotas. Fixed gear area sub-divisions under the current management plan are listed in (Appendix 5).
7.14 Modified bar seines
Modified bar seines (or tuck seines as they are more commonly known) are bar seines fitted with rings that allow the bottom and sides of the seine to be brought or hauled together. In recent years, the use of these seines has been authorized in the fixed gear herring, capelin and mackerel fishery in 2+3 based on consultations with the appropriate advisory committee.
The maximum tuck seine length allowed in the capelin fishery is 80 fathoms. Fixed gear capelin fish harvesters are authorized by way of licence conditions to use modified bar seines during the 2019 season.
7.15 Trip limits
In 1990, at the request of industry, a 22,680 kg (50,000 pound) trip limit was implemented in the purse seine fishery in 2J3KL and 3Ps. This measure was introduced as a measure to slow the rate of harvesting and provide equitable harvesting opportunities for small capacity seiners. In 2005, in consultation with industry, trip limits were discontinued for the purse seine fleet in 2J3KL and 3Ps and replaced with a daily limit of 31,780 kg (70,000 lbs).
For the purse seine fleet in 2019, a daily limit is set at 22,690 kg (50,000 lbs) with a seasonal cap of 190,680 kgs (420,000 lbs). These management measures for the capelin fishery in 2J3KL and 3Ps will continue in order to slow the harvest rate and improve quota monitoring. These measures should improve the quality and value of fish landed, while allowing for maximum utilization of available harvest.
For fixed gear in all bays in 2019, a 15,890 kgs (35,000 lbs) daily limit applies.
7.16 Oceans initiatives in marine conservation
The Government of Canada has achieved its target of protecting 5% of Canada’s marine and coastal areas by the end of 2017 and remains committed to protecting 10% by 2020. The 2020 target is both a domestic target (Canada’s Biodiversity Target 1) and an international target as reflected in the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Aichi Target 11 and the United Nations General Assembly’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development under Goal 14. The 2017 and 2020 targets are collectively referred to as Canada’s Marine Conservation Targets. More information on the background and drivers for Canada’s Marine Conservation Targets.
As part of ongoing efforts to protect 10% of Canada’s marine and coastal area, Fisheries and Oceans Canada recently established the Laurentian Channel Marine Protected Area (MPA) within 3Ps. It represents 11,580 km2 of protected ocean space off the southwest coast of Newfoundland and Labrador (figure 11), in which all commercial and recreational fishing is prohibited (figure 11). The MPA varies in depth from 100 to 500 m, with the basin of the Laurentian Channel being the deepest.
There are currently no formal marine conservation areas established in 3Ps which have conservation objectives directly relevant to sea cucumbers, or which affect sea cucumber fishing activities other than the Laurentian Channel MPA. It is possible marine conservation initiatives such as the establishment of marine refuges or conservation areas could be implemented in the future in areas in which sea cucumbers are found or fished. However no areas in 3Ps are currently being actively considered for formal marine protection or conservation measures by DFO.
8.0 Shared stewardship arrangements
DFO will work with industry to strengthen the participation of stakeholders in the advisory process. The 2+3 capelin advisory committee was established to provide industry with a formal and direct mechanism for input into the management of the fishery. This committee is now the principle advisory body for the management of 2+3 capelin within Newfoundland and Labrador region.
8.1 Oceans management initiatives promoting Shared Stewardship
DFO is leading initiatives in integrated oceans management, including MPA network planning, within the Newfoundland and Labrador Shelves and Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence Bioregions. This provides a collaborative governance model founded on principles of shared responsibility. As a result, stewardship is promoted by providing a forum for consultation with stakeholders who want to be engaged in marine resource or activity management decisions that affect them.
Aligning integrated oceans management with fisheries management plans will support evidence based resource use and fisheries management decisions. These decisions will be made with input from multiple interests, including commercial fisheries and other stakeholder groups.
8.2 Working arrangements - Existing agreements
There has been a Contribution Agreement between DFO and the FFAW that supports the Fisheries Stewardship Program, which enabled fish harvesters province-wide to share and expand their knowledge and to develop tools necessary to adopt sustainable fishing practices as part of shared stewardship and to implement a broader fisheries conservation ethic. While DFO has not contributed financially toward this year’s program, it does recognize the progress being made on the stewardship front and continues to collaborate in those efforts where possible.
9.0 Compliance plan
9.1 Conservation and Protection Program description
The deployment of Conversation and Protection (C&P) resources in the Newfoundland and Labrador capelin fishery is conducted in conjunction with the management plan objectives as well as in response to emerging issues. The mix of enforcement options available and over-riding conservation objectives determine the level and type of enforcement activity.
Work plans at the area, detachment and regional levels are designed to establish priorities based on management objectives and conservation concerns. The monitoring and evaluation elements of enforcement work plans facilitate in-season adjustments should conservation concerns and/or occurrences of significant non-compliance emerge.
9.2 Compliance program delivery
The Conservation and Protection program promotes and maintains compliance with legislation, regulations and management measures. The program is delivered through a balanced regulatory management and enforcement approach, including:
- promotion of compliance through education and shared stewardship
- monitoring, control and surveillance activities
- management of major cases/special investigations in relation to complex compliance issues,
- use of intelligence data supplied through the National Fisheries Intelligence Service (NFIS)
Pillar 1: Education and Shared Stewardship
Conservation and Protection officers actively participate in consultation processes with the fishing industry and Indigenous groups to address compliance issues. Informal meetings with stakeholders also occur on an ad-hoc basis to resolve in-season matters, in addition to regular interaction with fish harvesters. The consultative process may include C&P membership on area integrated management planning committees, which are composed of fish harvesters, representatives from the provincial and federal governments, and other community groups with an interest in fishery conservation issues.
Fishery officers also visit local schools and educational institutions to present and discuss fisheries conservation issues and use this information as part of the C&P planning process.
Pillar 2: Monitoring, control and surveillance
C&P promotes compliance with management measures governing the fishery through:
- routine patrols
- dockside inspections
- at-sea inspections
- aerial surveillance
- Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) review
- through at-sea observer deployments
- National Fisheries Intelligence Service (NFIS)
Patrols by vehicle, vessel and fixed-wing aircraft are conducted in accordance with operational plans which are developed based on available intelligence.
Each C&P Detachment ensures that monitoring and inspections of fish landing activity are carried out on a routine basis. Where a vessel is selected for comprehensive inspection, C&P ensures that catch composition, weight verification and size variation sampling is conducted. C&P also ensures that surveillance flights are conducted on a routine basis.
The VMS system provides real-time data on the location of vessels within portions of this fleet. C&P uses this resource to help determine where the enterprise is fishing, the port of destination and the estimated time of arrival to port. VMS data will also be relied upon for future analysis and comparisons of fishing activity.
At-sea observers are randomly deployed to observe, record and report aspects of the fishing activity. The resulting data is used to compare catch composition of vessels on observed trips vs. non-observed trips. C&P also reviews quota monitoring reports to ensure individual quotas are not exceeded.
C&P supplies best-known available local information to the National Fisheries Intelligence Service for processing and uses this intelligence to combat all types of illegal fishing activity.
Notice of closure will be provided on very short notice in some instances and closures will be strictly enforced by all available patrol vessels. Capelin will not be permitted to be brought on board a vessel after the time of closure. Air surveillance will be arranged as available and where appropriate.
C&P reviews quota monitoring reports to ensure individual quotas are not exceeded. Infractions involving exceeding the daily limits may not be identified until after the closure of the fishery due to other priorities during the fishery.
C&P supplies information to NFIS on a regular basis. This information is documented and analyzed to strategically direct efforts towards combatting illegal activity in the capelin fishery.
DFO conducts post-season analysis sessions to review issues encountered during the previous season and to make recommendations on improving management measures. The initial sessions are conducted at the area level, followed by a regional session with other DFO sectors.
In the past five years, C&P has averaged approximately 4,149 hours annually of monitoring, control and surveillance activities in the 2+3 capelin fishery. (see Appendix 8).
Pillar 3: Major case
C&P recognizes the need to focus attention on high-risk illegal activities that pose significant threat to the achievement of conservation objectives, which usually cannot be addressed through education or routine monitoring. Some individuals motivated by financial gain persist through various complex and well-coordinated means in hiding illegal activities which put Canada’s aquatic resources at risk.
Detailed analysis of license holders and processing companies will be completed using:
- fishery profiling
- targeting of high-risk violators
- conducting forensic investigations
- accessing the resources of the National Fisheries Intelligence Service
Targeting of high-risk violators and/or processing facilities will also be a primary focus should gathered intelligence warrant such action. Any resulting operations will be conducted in conjunction with NFIS staff, field staff and area resources as required.
Current compliance issues
The focus of C&P efforts for the duration of this IFMP is on the following areas:
- catch reporting/discarding
- fishing beyond quotas or daily limits
- fishing during a closed time
- use of illegal tuck seines
- salmon by-catch in capelin trap leaders
- leader mesh requirements
- discarding – in port and at sea
- fishing the quotas of other fish harvesters (trading/impersonating)
Special attention will be given to inspecting tuck seines (including pre-season inspections), barging and quota monitoring, as well as by-catch of salmon and enforcing closures.
9.3 Compliance strategy
C&P has developed an operational plan which outlines monitoring and compliance activities that will be carried out by C&P personnel adjacent to capelin management areas. The plan will provide guidance for C&P, promote effective monitoring of the fishery, and enable C&P personnel to effectively maintain compliance with management measures governing this fishery.
The objective is to collect information for ensuring compliance and conducting investigations. Sources of information used by C&P include:
- vessel positioning data
- officer inspection data
- fishing logs
- DMP records
- at-sea observer records
- purchase transactions
10.0 Performance review
A review of the short-term and long-term objectives during the annual planning cycle is an integral part of reviewing the performance of the fishery. During the regional assessment process on the status of the stock, DFO Science may consider the applicable objectives in providing its advice. For fisheries management, the advisory meeting with industry is a formal setting to review both short and long-term objectives. In addition to these formal reviews, DFO and industry representatives have an on-going dialogue on the fishery on a year-round basis. These informal discussions provide opportunities to review objectives and identify issues for discussion at the annual advisory meeting.
DFO NL Region completes an annual internal post-season review with participation from Resource Management, Conservation and Protection, and Science staff. Regional headquarters and area-based staff participate in this process to identify local, area and regional fishery performance issues. DFO undertakes every effort to outline steps to address these issues, including assigning responsibility and setting timelines for completion. Those items not resolved during the post-season review are carried forward to the following year to be addressed.
The Performance Review outlines the activities and controls that are used in achieving fisheries management objectives. Table 1 identifies the specific strategies that are used to achieve fisheries management objectives.
|Objectives||Fisheries management strategies|
|Conservation and Sustainable Harvest|
|To conserve the capelin resource to provide commercial sustainability to fish harvesters||
|To mitigate the impacts on other species, habitat and the ecosystem where capelin fishing occurs, protecting biodiversity and ecosystem structure and function||
|To promote the development of sustainable fishing practices||
|To employ effective monitoring and surveillance tools and mechanisms that ensure compliance with conservation measures and provide scientists with appropriate information and basic data required to manage the capelin fishery||
|Benefits to Stakeholders|
|To promote the continued development of a commercially viable and self-sustaining fishery||
|To provide fish harvesters with increased opportunity for long-term business stability||
|To promote a co-management approach, providing stakeholders with an effective sharing of responsibility, accountability and decision making, within the constraints of the Fisheries Act||
Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) measures the performance of the fisheries that it manages through the Sustainability Survey for Fisheries (SFF). The survey is published every year and currently includes 170 fish stocks, with more added each year. The fish stocks were selected because of their economic or cultural importance; they represent the majority of total catch of fisheries managed by DFO.
The Sustainability Survey for Fisheries reports on the status of each fish stock and DFO’s progress to implement its Sustainable Fisheries Framework policies, a set of national policies to guide the sustainable management of Canada’s fisheries.
11.0 Glossary of terms
- Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge:
knowledge that is held by and unique to Aboriginal peoples. It is a living body of knowledge that is cumulative and dynamic, and adapted over time to reflect changes in the social, economic, environmental, spiritual and political spheres of the Aboriginal knowledge holders. It often includes knowledge about the land and its resources, spiritual beliefs, language, mythology, culture, laws, customs and medicines.
- number of individuals in a stock or a population
- Age Composition:
- proportion of individuals of different ages in a stock or in the catches
a species such as Atlantic salmon that spends most of its life at sea but returns to fresh water grounds to spawn in the river it comes from
an area defined by the Convention on Future Multilateral Cooperation in the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries by NAFO, and as described in the Atlantic Fishery Regulations, 1985
- total weight of all individuals in a stock or a population
a biogeographic division of Canada's marine waters out to the edge of the Exclusive Economic Zone, and including the Great Lakes, based on attributes such as bathymetry, influence of freshwater inflows, distribution of multi-year ice, and species distribution. Canada’s marine protected areas network is being advanced in five priority marine bioregions: the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the Scotian Shelf, the Newfoundland-Labrador Shelves, the Western Arctic, and the Northern Shelf
- the unintentional catch of one species when the target is another species
- Catch per Unit Effort (CPUE):
the amount caught for a given fishing effort, e.g. tonnes of shrimp per tow or kilograms of fish per hundred longline hooks
- Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC):
committee of experts who assess and designate which wild species are in some danger of disappearing from Canada
- Communal Commercial Licence:
- licence issued to Aboriginal organizations pursuant to the Aboriginal Communal Fishing Licences Regulations for participation in the general commercial fishery
- portion of a catch thrown back into the water after it is caught in fishing gear
- Dockside Monitoring Program (DMP):
a monitoring program conducted by a company that has been designated by DFO to verify the species composition and landed weight of all fish landed from a commercial fishing vessel
- Ecosystem-Based Management:
taking into account species interactions and the interdependencies between species and their habitats when making resource management decisions
- Fishing Effort:
quantity of effort using a given fishing gear over a given period of time
- Fishing Mortality:
- death caused by fishing, often symbolized by the mathematical symbol F
- Fixed Gear:
- a type of fishing gear that is set in a stationary position. This includes traps, weirs, gillnets, longlines, handlines, bar/beach seines and modified bar seines (known as tuck seines)
- Food, Social and Ceremonial (FSC):
- a fishery conducted by Aboriginal groups for food, social and ceremonial purposes
fishing gear: netting with weights on the bottom and floats at the top used to catch fish. Gillnets can be set at different depths and are anchored to the seabed
species of fish living near the bottom such as cod, haddock, halibut and flatfish
- fishing using a line with usually one baited hook and moving it up and down in a series of short movements; also called "jigging"
- quantity of a species caught and landed
using long lines with a series of baited hooks to catch fish
- Maximum Sustainable Yield:
largest average catch that can continuously be taken from a stock
- Mesh Size:
- size of the mesh of a net. Different fisheries have different minimum mesh size regulations
- Mobile Gear:
- any type of fishing gear that is drawn through the water by a vessel to entrap fish, including purse seines
- Natural Mortality:
- mortality due to natural causes, represented by the mathematical symbol M
- Observer Coverage:
carrying a certified at-sea observer onboard a fishing vessel for a specific period of time to verify the amount of fish caught, the area in which it was caught and the method by which it was caught
- structure of the inner ear of fish, made of calcium carbonate. Also called "ear bone" or "ear stone". Otoliths are examined to determine the age of fish as annual rings can be observed and counted. Daily increments are also visible on larval otoliths
fish that lives in the water column or close to the surface
- group of individuals of the same species, forming a breeding unit, and sharing a habitat
- Precautionary Approach:
- set of agreed cost-effective measures and actions, including future courses of action, which ensures prudent foresight, reduces or avoids risk to the resource, the environment, and the people, to the extent possible, taking explicitly into account existing uncertainties and the potential consequences of being wrong
- Purse Seine:
- large net used to encircle fish and equipped with a wire rope on the bottom to draw the net together. A small boat, called a "skiff", participates in manoeuvring the net.
- portion of the Total Allowable Catch that a fleet, vessel class, association, country, etc. is permitted to take from a stock in a given period of time
- the number of individuals growing large enough to become part of the exploitable stock, e.g. that can be caught in a fishery
- Research Survey:
- survey at sea, on a research vessel, allowing scientists to obtain information on the abundance and distribution of various species and/or collect oceanographic data (e.g., bottom trawl survey, plankton survey, hydroacoustic survey, etc.)
- Species at Risk Act (SARA):
- a federal law enabling the Government to take action to prevent wildlife species from becoming extinct and secure the necessary actions for their recovery. It provides the legal protection of wildlife species and the conservation of their biological diversity.
- sexually mature individual
- Spawning Stock:
sexually mature individuals in a stock
- a population of individuals of one species found in a particular area, and used as a unit for fisheries management, e.g. NAFO area 4R Herring
- Stock Assessment:
- scientific evaluation of the status of a fish stock within a particular area in a given time period
- Total Allowable Catch (TAC):
- the amount of catch that may be taken from a stock
- Traditional Ecological Knowledge:
- a cumulative body of knowledge and beliefs, handed down through generations by cultural transmission, about the relationship of living beings (including humans) with one another and with their environment
- metric tonne, 1000kg or 2204.6 lbs
fishing gear; a cone-shaped net towed in the water by a boat called a "trawler". Bottom trawls are towed along the ocean floor to catch species such as groundfish, while mid-water trawls are towed through the water column
- the verification by an observer of the weight of fish landed
- Vessel Size:
- length overall
- individuals of a same stock born in a particular year, also called "cohort"
Appendix 1: Stock assessment results
Science advice, proceedings and stocks assessments/scientific evaluations resulting from Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat (CSAS) meetings are available in the CSAS publications section.
Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) research documents and associated reports are available on the NAFO website.
Appendix 2: Management measures for the duration of the plan
This Integrated Fisheries Management Plan, combined with responsible fishing practices, should ensure that the conservation goals are met. However, if the fishery is not conducted in an orderly manner, DFO may implement additional management measures or controls in these fisheries.
Appendix 3: Membership of 2+3 capelin advisory committee
|Floyd Stockley||Notre Dame Seafoods||Erin Dunne||Resource Management|
|Karl Sullivan||Barry Group||Derek Tobin||Resource Management|
|Pearce Perry||Beothuk||David Small||Area Resource Mgt|
|Edgar Coffey||Quinsea||Laurie Hawkins||Area Resource Mgt|
|John Boland||FFAW||Wayne King||Area Resource Mgt|
|Roland Hedderson||FFAW||Chad Ward||Conservation & Protection|
|Monty Way||FFAW||Paul Glavine||Policy & Economics|
|Nancy Pond||Province of Newfoundland and Labrador||Christina Bourne||Science|
|Robbie Green||Fish Harvester||Hannah Murphy||Science|
|Ivan Batten||Fish Harvester||Jason Burton||Fish Harvester|
|Eldred Woodford||Fish Harvester||Albert Wells||Fish Harvester|
|Shelley White||Fish Harvester||Dennis Chaulk||Fish Harvester|
|Neil Stuckless||Fish Harvester||Everett Roberts||Fish Harvester|
|Wayne Hicks||Fish Harvester||Gord Rice||Fish Harvester|
|Trevor Jones||Fish Harvester||Doug Wells||Fish Harvester|
|Michael Simmonds||Fish Harvester||Brad Rideout||Fish Harvester|
Appendix 4: Capelin fishing areas around NL
Appendix 5: Capelin quota reports for 2016-2018
* To ensure that private information cannot be extracted from fishery landings and catch information, DFO does not provide landings and catch information for a specific fishery when the fishery has fewer than five fishing enterprises, five fishing vessels or five buyers participating in a fishery. This measure protects the privacy and economic interests of participants in the fishery.
Note: totals and sub-totals reflect actual amounts landed
|2J||Labrador - Fixed Gear < 65'||120||*||*||*|
|3K||White Bay - Mobile Gear < 65'||1200||3032||*||*|
|Notre Dame Bay - Mobile Gear < 65'||1200||*||1214||1640|
|Cape Bauld to Fishott Island - Fixed Gear < 65'||772||*||*||*|
|Fishott Island to Cape Fox - Fixed Gear < 65'||260||*||*||*|
|Cape Fox to Hampton, Inclusive - Fixed Gear < 65'||1020||1614||*||1413|
|Bottom of White Bay to Cape St. John - Fixed Gear < 65'||1528||*||*||1077|
|Cape St. John to North Head - Fixed Gear < 65'||1340||1798||1204||1490|
|North Head to Dog Bay Point - Fixed Gear < 65'||2776||2446||1204||2583|
|Dog Bay Point to Cape Freels - Fixed Gear <65'||624||*||*||*|
|3L||Bonavista Bay - Mobile Gear < 65'||1140||2195||1410||405|
|Trinity Bay - Mobile Gear < 65'||1496||1211||1697||717|
|Conception Bay - Mobile Gear < 65'||2848||2619||3000||2821|
|St. Mary's Bay Mobile < 65'||1344||*||*||*|
|Bonavista Bay - Fixed Gear < 65'||1996||3429||3489||1857|
|Trinity Bay - Fixed Gear < 65'||3592||3913||3589||3090|
|Conception Bay - Fixed Gear < 65'||2968||3252||2971||1882|
|Cape St. Francis to Long Point - Fixed Gear < 65'||480||*||*||*|
|Long Point to Cape Neddick - Fixed Gear < 65'||320||*||*||*|
|Cape Neddick to Cape Pine - Fixed Gear < 65’||91||*||*||*|
|Cape Neddick to Cape Pine – Competitive Fixed Gear < 65’||949||*||*||*|
|St. Mary's Bay Fixed Gear < 65'||400||*||*||*|
|3Ps||Placentia Bay Mobile Gear||208||*||*||*|
|Fortune Bay and West Mobile Gear||24||*||*||*|
|Placentia Bay Fixed Gear||1392||*||*||*|
|Fortune Bay and West||408||*||*||*|
Appendix 6: Safety at sea
Vessel owners and masters have a duty to ensure the safety of their crew and vessel. Adherence to safety regulations and good practices by owners, masters and crew of fishing vessels will help save lives, protect the vessel from damage and protect the environment. All fishing vessels must be in a seaworthy condition and maintained as required by Transport Canada and other applicable agencies. Vessels subject to inspection should have a certificate of inspection valid for the area of intended operation.
In the federal government, responsibility for regulating shipping, navigation, and vessel safety lies with Transport Canada, while emergency response is the responsibility of the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG). DFO has responsibility for the management of fisheries resources, and in Newfoundland and Labrador, the provincial Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission (WHSCC) has jurisdiction over health and safety issues in the workplace.
Before leaving on a voyage the owner, master or operator must ensure that the fishing vessel is capable of safely making the passage. Critical factors for a safe voyage include the seaworthiness of the vessel, vessel stability, having the required safety equipment in good working order, crew training, and knowledge of current and forecasted weather conditions.
Useful publications include Transport Canada’s Small Fishing Vessel Safety Manual which can be obtained from TC or printed from their website.
Fishing vessel safety includes three priority areas:
- vessel stability
- emergency drills
- cold water immersion
Fishing vessel stability
Vessel stability is paramount for safety. Care must be given to the stowage and securing of all cargo, skiffs, equipment, fuel containers and supplies, and also to correct ballasting. Fish harvesters must be familiar with their vessel’s centre of gravity, the effect of free surface liquids on stability, loose water or fish on deck, loading and unloading operations and the vessel’s freeboard. Fish harvesters should know the limitations of their vessels. If unsure, the vessel operator should contact a qualified naval architect, marine surveyor or the local Transport Canada Marine Safety office.
Fishing vessel owners are required to develop detailed instructions addressing the limits of stability for each of their vessels. The instructions must be based on a formal assessment of the vessel by a qualified naval architect and include detailed safe operation documentation. Instructions should be kept on board the vessel at all times.
Fishing vessel owners should also keep on-board detailed documentation on engine room procedures, maintenance schedules to ensure watertight integrity, and instructions for regular practice of emergency drills.
Emergency drill requirements
The vessel master must establish procedures and assign responsibilities to each crew member for emergencies such as crew member overboard, fire, flooding, abandoning ship and calling for help.
Since July 30, 2003 all crew members with more than six months at sea are required to have taken minimum Marine Emergency Duties (MED) training or be registered for such training. MED provides a basic understanding of the hazards associated with the marine environment, the prevention of shipboard incidents (including fires), raising and reacting to alarms, fire and abandonment situations, and the skills necessary for survival and rescue.
Cold water immersion
Drowning is the number one cause of death in the fishing industry. Cold water is defined as water below 25 degrees Celsius, but the greatest effects occur below 15 degrees Celsius. Newfoundland and Labrador waters are usually below 15 degrees.
The effects of cold water on the body occur in four stages: cold shock, swimming failure, hypothermia and post-rescue collapse. Vessel masters should know what to do to prevent themselves or their crew from falling into the water and what to do if that occurs.
Vessel owners and masters are reminded of the importance of paying close attention to current weather trends and forecasts during the voyage. Marine weather information and forecasts can be obtained from Environment Canada’s website.
Emergency radio procedures
Vessel owners and masters should ensure that all crew are able to activate the Search and Rescue (SAR) system by contacting the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) early rather than later. It is strongly recommended that all fish harvesters carry a registered 406 MHz Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB). These beacons should be registered with Coast Guard’s National Search and Rescue secretariat. When activated, an EPIRB transmits a distress call that is picked up or relayed by satellites and transmitted via land earth stations to the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre (JRCC), which will task and co-ordinate rescue resources.
All crew members should know how to make a distress call and should obtain their restricted operator certificate from Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (formerly Industry Canada). Whenever possible, masters should contact the nearest Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) Marine Communications and Traffic Services (MCTS) station prior to a distress situation developing. Correct radio procedures are important for communications in an emergency. Incorrect or misunderstood communications may hinder a rescue response.
Since August 1, 2003 all commercial vessels greater than 20 metres in length are required to carry a Class D VHF Digital Selective Calling (DSC) radio. A registered DSC VHF radio has the capability to alert other DSC equipped vessels in the immediate area and advise Coast Guard MCTS that the vessel is in distress. Masters should be aware that they should register their DSC radios with ISED Canada to obtain a Marine Mobile Services Identity (MMSI) number; otherwise the automatic distress calling feature of the radio may not work.
A DSC radio that is connected to a GPS unit will also automatically include the vessel’s current position in the distress message. More detailed information on MCTS and DSC can be obtained by contacting a local MCTS center or from the Canadian Coast Guard.
Fish harvesters should have a thorough knowledge of the Collision Regulations and the responsibilities between vessels where risk of collision exists. Navigation lights must be kept in good working order and must be displayed from sunset to sunrise and during all times of restricted visibility. To help reduce the potential for collision or close quarters situations that may also result in the loss of fishing gear, fish harvesters are encouraged to monitor the appropriate local Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) VHF channel, when travelling or fishing near shipping lanes or other areas frequented by large commercial vessels.
Vessels required to participate in VTS include:
- every ship 20 metres or more in length
- every ship engaged in towing or pushing any vessel or object, other than fishing gear
- where the combined length of the ship and any vessel or object towed or pushed by the ship is 45 metres or more in length, or
- where the length of the vessel or object being towed or pushed by the ship is 20 metres or more in length
- a ship towing or pushing inside a log booming ground
- a pleasure yacht less than 30 metres in length, and
- a fishing vessel that is less than 24 metres in length and not more than 150 tonnes gross
Additional information can be found on the Collision Regulations page.
An important trip consideration is the use of a sail plan which includes the particulars of the vessel, crew and voyage. The sail plan should be left with a responsible person on shore or filed with the local MCTS centre. After leaving port the fish harvester should contact the holder of the sail plan daily or as per another schedule. The sail plan should ensure notification to JRCC when communication is not maintained which might indicate your vessel is in distress. Be sure to cancel the sail plan upon completion of the voyage.
Appendix 7: Allocations by area, gear type and fleet for 2+3
|NAFO||FLEET||QUOTA AREA||2019 QUOTA|
|3K||Mobile gear||White Bay||897|
|Notre Dame Bay||897|
|Fixed gear||Cape Bauld to Fishott Island||577|
|Fishott Island to Cape Fox||194|
|Cape Fox to Hampton, Inclusive||762|
|Bottom of White Bay to Cape St. John - IQ||1,142|
|Cape St. John to North Head - IQ||1,002|
|North Head to Dog Bay Point||2,075|
|Dog Bay Point to Cape Freels||467|
|3L||Mobile gear||Bonavista Bay||852|
|St. Mary's Bay||1,005|
|Fixed gear||Bonavista Bay||1,493|
|Cape St. Francis to Long Point - IQ||358|
|Long Point to Cape Neddick - IQ||239|
|Cape Neddick to Cape Pine - IQ||69|
|Cape Neddick to Cape Pine - Competitive||709|
|St. Mary's Bay||299|
|3Ps||Mobile gear||Placentia Bay||155|
|Fortune Bay and West||18|
|Fixed gear||Placentia Bay||1,041|
|Fortune Bay and West||305|
Appendix 8: C&P enforcement data for 2+3 capelin
Figure 12. 2J3KLPs Capelin Enforcement Hours from 2014-2018. Source: Conservation & Protection
|Year||Patrol hours||Fishery officer hours|
Figure 13. 2J3KLPs Capelin Fishery Checks from 2014-2018. Source: Conservation & Protection.
|Year||Vessels checked||Persons checked||Gear checks||Sites checked|
Figure 14. 2J3KLPs Capelin Departmental Violation System (DVS) Data from 2014-2018. Source: Conservation & Protection.
|Year||Occurrences||Charges laid||Warnings issued||Charges pending|
Appendix 9: Departmental contacts
|DFO-NL Regional Headquarters
P.O. Box 5667, St. John’s, NL A1C 5X1
Senior Resource Manager
|(709) 772-4680||(709) email@example.com|
Conservation & Protection
|(709) 772-6423||(709) firstname.lastname@example.org|
|(709) 772-6935||(709) email@example.com|
|DFO-NL Area Offices – Resource Management|
Area Chief (3KL)
|(709) 292-5167||(709) firstname.lastname@example.org|
Area Chief (2J)
Happy Valley–Goose Bay
|(709) 896-6157||(709) email@example.com|
Area Chief (3P, 4R)
|(709) 637-4310||(709) firstname.lastname@example.org|
|DFO-NL Area Offices – Conservation & Protection|
Area Chief (3KLPs)
|(709) 772-5857||(709) email@example.com|
(2GHJ, 3K, 4R3Pn)
|(709) 637-4334||(709) firstname.lastname@example.org|
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