Herring - Newfoundland and Labrador Region 2+3 (Herring Fishing Areas 1-11) - Effective 2017
This is the multi-year Integrated Fisheries Management Plan (IFMP) for the Newfoundland and Labrador Region’s herring fishery in NAFO divisions 2J3KLPs (2+3) which was developed in consultation with herring fish harvesters and other stakeholders. This is an evergreen IFMP.
The purpose of this IFMP is to identify the main objectives and requirements for the Newfoundland and Labrador herring 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 2+3 herring fishery in Newfoundland and Labrador.
This IFMP 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.
A/Regional Director General
Newfoundland and Labrador Region
Table of Contents
- 4.1 Interaction with Atlantic Salmon
- 4.2 Catch Monitoring
- 4.3 Aquaculture Feed
- 4.4 By-catch Concerns
- 4.5 Concentration of Fishing Effort and Catches
- 4.6 Oceans Initiatives in Marine Conservation
- 4.7 Habitat Considerations
- 4.8 Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS)
- 4.9 Gear Impacts
- 4.10 Barging
- 4.11 International Issues
- 7.1 Herring Total Allowable Catch (TAC)
- 7.2 Fishing Seasons/Areas
- 7.3 Quota Sharing and Transfers
- 7.4 Quota Reserves
- 7.5 Dockside Monitoring Program
- 7.6 Modified Bar Seines
- 7.7 Atlantic Salmon Interactions and By-catch Concerns
- 7.8 Herring Bait Allocations
- 7.9 Control and Monitoring of Removals
- 7.10 Species at Risk Act (SARA) Requirements
- 7.11 Licensing
- 7.12 Regulatory Measures
- 7.13 Logbooks
- 7.14 Sharing
- 7.15 Habitat Protection Measures
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: 2017 2+3 Herring Advisory Committee Membership
- Appendix 4: Map of Herring Fishing Areas (HFAs) around Newfoundland and Labrador
- Appendix 5: 2+3 Herring Quota Reports
- Appendix 6: Safety at Sea
- Appendix 7: C&P Enforcement Data for 2+3 Herring
- Appendix 8: Departmental Contacts
1.0 Overview of the Fishery
1.1 History of the Fishery
Prior to the late 1970s, the east coast of Newfoundland (3KL) was not a major contributor to the Newfoundland commercial herring fishery. However there was a renewed interest in the east coast stocks in the early 1970s due to a decline in herring landings along southwest Newfoundland and increasing market demand for food herring. Consequently the east coast stocks were placed under quota regulation in 1976; however the regulations only applied to the purse seine and ring net fleets. New regulations were introduced in 1980 to bring all gear types under quota regulation.
Historically, the southeast coast of Newfoundland (3Ps) has been one of the primary herring fishing areas in Newfoundland. From 1945-1950, landings of herring averaged around 30,000 tonnes, but declined during the 1950s and early 1960s to less than 3,000 tonnes annually, largely due to market conditions. In the mid-1960s, an extensive purse seine fishery developed first along the southwest coast of Newfoundland and then extended along the southeast coast.
In 1973, the southeast stocks were placed under quota management; however inshore gears were not placed under quota management until 1980.
The herring stocks along the east and southeast coasts of Newfoundland support both commercial food and bait fisheries. [See table 1]
Source: Policy & Economics Branch, NL Region
Note: figures have been rounded. The TAC for 2017-2018 is 14,282. See Table 2 for breakdown of commercial quota and bait allocation.
1.2 Type of Fishery
Note: for ease of reference, the 2J3KLPs herring fishery will hence be referred to by the abbreviated reference of 2+3 herring fishery.
The herring fishery on the northeast and southeast coasts is a competitive fishery, with Total Allowable Catch (TAC) levels assigned for both fixed and mobile gear types. In the herring fishery, the TAC is further sub-divided into three allocation categories:
- mobile gear >55 feet
- mobile gear <55 feet
- fixed gear
The fixed and mobile gear fishery is fully competitive with separate quotas for each fleet and for each gear type. [See Appendix 5]
The 2+3 herring stock is also a bait fishery in which harvesters are permitted to use gillnets to catch herring for use in commercial fisheries requiring bait, such as lobster and snow crab. Fish harvesters are not permitted to sell herring caught in the bait fishery.
Historically, the commercial herring fishery has supported up to 2,500 fishing enterprises; however in 1995 a prohibition on new entrants was implemented.
In 2017, the total number of commercial licenses for 2+3 herring was approximately 1,423 with 1,199 fish harvesters licensed for fixed gear (gillnets, traps and bar seines) and 224 fish harvesters licensed for mobile gear (purse seines <65 feet).
Included in the number of commercial licenses are eight communal commercial herring licenses issued to Indigenous organizations in Newfoundland and Labrador. [See Section 6.3]
In addition, approximately 2,555 licenses were issued to fish harvesters to take herring for bait in other commercial fisheries in Newfoundland and Labrador region.
1.4 Location of the Fishery
This IFMP covers the herring fishery in NAFO divisions 2J, 3K and 3L, and subdivision 3Ps as indicated in [Figure 1]. These areas are commonly combined and represented as 2+3.
The five herring stock complexes have been divided into 7 quota areas or Herring Fishing Areas (HFA). Specifically:
- Southern Labrador (HFA 2)
- White Bay-Notre Dame Bay (HFAs 3 and 4)
- Bonavista Bay-Trinity Bay (HFAs 5 and 6)
- Conception Bay-Southern Shore (HFAS 7 and 8)
- St. Mary's Bay-Placentia Bay (HFAs 9 and 10)
- Fortune Bay and Pass Island to Cinq Cerf Bay (HFA 11) [See Appendix 4]
Note: Herring Fishing Area 1 is in Labrador, but there is currently no fishing activity in this HFA.
1.5 Fishery Characteristics
The 2+3 herring fishery is managed on a two-year management cycle. 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 occurs every two years. Additional review meetings with stakeholders and Indigenous groups may be added to this schedule for any reason deemed appropriate by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO).
Herring is fished using both fixed and mobile gear. The fixed gear herring fishery uses traps and modified bar seines known as “tuck seines” and occurs in specific areas or bays. Fixed gear fish harvesters are only permitted to fish in their Herring Fishing Area of residence (any one area of HFAs 1 to 11).
The mobile gear fleet is composed of <55’ and >55’ purse seine vessels. Mobile gear fish harvesters living on the northeast coast may fish in Herring Fishing Areas 3 to 8 (Cape Bauld to Cape Race), while mobile gear fish harvesters living on the southeast coast may only fish in Herring Fishing Areas 9 and 10 (Cape Race to Point Crewe).
The Newfoundland and Labrador herring 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
Herring management is conducted 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 recommendation on the TAC.
A 2+3 herring advisory meeting was held in Gander, NL on March 16, 2017. A list of the advisory meeting participants is provided in [Appendix 3].
1.7 Approval Process
This 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 stakeholders. Other issues that arise will be addressed through similar consultative processes.
Any changes to licence conditions are tabled by DFO officials at the biennial 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 new requests at the next scheduled DFO-industry advisory meeting.
2.0 Stock Assessment, Science and Traditional Knowledge
2.1 Biological Characteristics
Historically, east and southeast Newfoundland herring stocks had been characterized by the predominance of spring-spawning herring. However, during the 2000s, fall-spawning herring formed an increasing component of the catch and now dominate in all stock areas except Fortune Bay (DFO 2017); a similar trend has been observed in other Northwest Atlantic herring stocks and has been correlated with increasing temperature, though there are likely other environmental drivers (Melvin et al. 2009).
Growth rates of herring declined through the 1990s and have remained below average in all areas. There was also a downward trend in length at 50% maturity (L50) through the 1980s and 1990s, followed by an increase through the 2000s in both spring and fall spawning components. The mean (total length) for the 2011-2014 spring-spawning year classes was 267.2 mm and 278 mm for fall spawners, similar to what was observed in the early 1980s.
Herring within Newfoundland region are at the northern extent of their geographic range; ideal environmental conditions seldom exist and consequently strong recruitment is very sporadic. Large year classes of herring produced in 1968 and 1969 supported most of the stocks through the 1970s. The moderately large 1982 year class allowed stocks to rebuild in the 1980s. Since then the 1987, 1990, 2002, 2008, and 2009 year classes on the northeast coast, and the 1996 and 2002 year classes on the south coast have all been of moderate strength; however, all of these have been weak in relation to the large year classes of the 1960s. The 2008 and 2009 year classes currently account for a large proportion of the catch in all stock areas, with the exception of Fortune Bay, where there has been very poor recruitment since 2002.
Herring are important prey for many species including other fish, seabirds and marine mammals. While harp seal abundance has been stable at a high level since the mid-late 2000s, total finfish biomass in the Newfoundland and Labrador shelves bioregion increased from the mid-2000s to 2010s before levelling off, and over the last couple of years is showing signs of decline, especially in southern areas (3LNO and 3Ps). This coincides with a joint reduced availability of capelin and shrimp in the offshore since 2014. Consequently there is a potential for increased predation pressure on herring, particularly if predators increase their foraging/residence in inshore waters (DFO 2017).
2.2 Stock Assessment Process
Atlantic herring stock assessments are conducted bi-annually. Since 2002, performance reports, including evaluation of relative abundance indices and biological characteristics, have been used to assess the current status and future prospects. Stock status is reported using a system of red, yellow, and green lights to categorize indicators as ‘negative, ‘uncertain’ or ‘positive’ respectively. At the most recent assessment framework meeting in 2013 (Bourne et al. 2015), it was decided that stock status calculations would be based solely on the spring research gillnet program, which produces a standardized, industry-independent index of abundance. Other sources of information such as voluntary logbooks and telephone surveys were used to provide industry perspective but did not factor into stock status calculations. In addition, assessments conducted after this meeting included evaluations of both the spring and fall spawning components of each stock whenever possible, whereas previous assessments had focused solely on spring spawners.
The most recent regional peer review meeting was held January 31-February 1, 2017 in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador to assess the status of east and south coast herring stocks. Participants included DFO scientists, fisheries managers, and representatives from the provincial government, Memorial University, the Marine Institute, the Fish Food and Allied Workers Union, and local fish harvesters. Details of the most recent assessment of Newfoundland east and south coast herring to the spring of 2016 can be found in Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat (CSAS) Science Advisory Report 2017/028.
For the Bonavista Bay-Trinity Bay and Fortune Bay stock areas, performance reports were updated with fishery information (e.g. landings, estimated bait removals and discards, commercial catch at age), relative abundance observations from fish harvesters contacted in telephone surveys, and results of the spring research gillnet program. In evaluating current stock status and future prospects, only information from the spring research gillnet program were considered (e.g. catch rates, catch at age, recruitment). Stock status was calculated for both spawning components and weighted according to the percentage of the catch each composed for Bonavista Bay-Trinity Bay and a final stock status value was calculated based on both. Fall spawners were not included in the stock status calculation for Fortune Bay as the stock is still heavily dominated by spring spawners (DFO 2017).
Without an index of abundance, the stock status index of the remaining three stock areas could not be calculated. However, the results of an opportunistic acoustic survey which took place in the winter of 2016 was used to derive an estimate of relative abundance for the St. Mary’s Bay-Placentia Bay stock area, and this information was used to provide an overall evaluation of current stock status. Without research gillnets or ongoing acoustic surveys going forward, stock status updates will not be provided for these areas.
2.3 Stock Assessment Results
For White Bay-Notre Dame Bay, reported landings increased from 1,872 tonnes in 2016 to almost 3,000 tonnes in 2017, and are the highest landings since 1997. The commercial catch at age was dominated by the 2008 year class in 2014, which remained strong in 2015, along with the 2013 spring year class. Fall spawners composed 68% of the catch in 2015. Stock status could not be updated for this stock area.
For Bonavista Bay-Trinity Bay, landings ranged between 3,000-4,000 tonnes from 2013-2016, but were down below 1,500 tonnes in 2017. The strong 2008 fall year class dominated the commercial and research gillnet catch at age in 2015 and fall spawners composed approximately 80% of landings. Recruitment of fall spawners remains high and was average for spring spawners for the most recent year class. The stock status index has shown an increasing trend over the past five years and current stock status for this area is positive.
In the Conception Bay-Southern Shore stock area, participation in the fishery and landings have generally increased over the past several years, reaching over 500 tonnes in 2016 and 2017. Conception Bay has been the site of all landings; with gillnet bait fishing as the only fishing activity in the Southern Shore portion of the stock area. The commercial catch at age was stable, but dominated by the 2008 fall year class. Fall spawners comprised 73% of the 2015 landings. Stock status could not be updated for this area.
In St. Mary’s Bay-Placentia Bay stock area, after a short period of no purse seine fishing activity, landings in Placentia Bay increased between 2013 and 2016 to a range of 200-300 tonnes. Samples taken from the commercial fishery and bait fish harvesters were dominated by fall spawners, varying from 59% to 95% of the catch. The results of an opportunistic acoustic survey which took place in Placentia Bay in the winter of 2016 using a chartered purse seine vessel, showed that relative biomass was slightly below the mean of similar surveys conducted between 1986 and 2000. Based on these results and the stable age distribution of commercial samples, the overall evaluation during the 2017 assessment of the current stock status for this area was positive.
For Fortune Bay, landings and TAC have been decreasing since 2006 and the stock status index has been declining since 2010. Less than 200 tonnes were caught in 2016 and 2017, less than 15% of the TAC. Spring spawners still comprise over 85% of this stock and the age distribution has been highly skewed toward age 11+ herring since 2013, with the 2002 year class largely sustaining the fishery. In 2016, age four and 11+ spring spawners each accounted for 40% of the catch, indicating potential recruitment of the incoming 2012 year class. However, based on the poor age distribution, research on gillnet catch rates, and overall recruitment, the stock status index for this area is negative.
2.4 Research Projects
The research gill net program provides standardized age disaggregated abundance indices independent of the commercial fishery. This program has been run in all stock areas at various times since 1982, but currently only takes place in Bonavista Bay-Trinity Bay and Fortune Bay. Each spring, commercial fish harvesters are contracted to provide catch rate data and biological samples of their catch using a standardized fleet of gillnets. In 2017, a dozen (12) fish harvesters participated in the program in the Bonavista Bay-Trinity Bay and Fortune Bay stock areas. Data is available from 1988 to 2017 for Bonavista Bay-Trinity Bay and from 1982 to 2017 for Fortune Bay. Catch rates at age for spring and fall spawning herring (e.g. numbers per nights fished) are available up to and including 2016. Catch rates only are available for 2017, as biological samples have not yet been processed.
The gillnet logbook program was initiated in 1996 and provides information about bait net fishing activity and by-catch. Until 2017, logbooks were sent by DFO Science to all licenced herring commercial gillnet licence and/or bait permit holders in Newfoundland and Labrador region. The return of logbooks was voluntary and the numbers returned were generally very low; in 2016, only 19 logbooks were returned. To address this issue, logbooks were made mandatory for bait fish harvesters in 2017 and included with online licence conditions.
The gillnet telephone survey was initiated in 2006 and provides observations from a larger sample of fish harvesters in comparison to the gillnet logbooks. In 2016, DFO Science contacted 356 fish harvesters of which 121 of had fished for bait that year. The information provided by these fish harvesters was used to derive the average number of active bait fish harvesters per stock area, and also to estimate the total bait removals. In addition, over the past several years, fish harvesters have been asked to provide information about by-catch.
Fish harvesters who complete logbooks and participate in the annual gillnet telephone survey are asked to provide their observations of herring abundance, which is subsequently used to update a cumulative change index. Specifically, they are asked “on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest, how abundant were Herring in your fishing area in the current (and previous) year?”
During the 2017 assessment meeting, DFO Science decided that this time series could not continue as bait nets had to be set parallel to shore as of 2016, which could potentially change perceptions of abundance. This issue will be addressed at the 2019 assessment meeting.
The purse seine fishery questionnaire was initiated in 1996 and provides a qualitative evaluation of biological and fishery related information from herring purse seine fish harvesters. Each year DFO Science attempts to contact all active fish harvesters by phone after the purse seine fishery in the spring and fall. Response rates are high (90% or above) for most areas and years. Purse seine fish harvesters are also asked to rate their observations of herring abundance, on a ten point scale, similar to gillnet fish harvesters. Results are available until the spring of 2016.
Although there is not a purse seine fishery in Fortune Bay, a bar seine survey was implemented in 2015 to capture similar information.
2.5 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.
2.6 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 stock 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
- 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
Although there is currently no Blim for 2+3 herring, all stock assessments will be written in a manner consistent with DFO’s Precautionary Approach.
3.0 Economic, Social and Cultural Importance of the Fishery
3.1 Socio-economic Profile
Herring landings have fluctuated throughout the past decade from a high of about 7,557 tonnes in 2009 to a low of about 3,702 tonnes in 2011. Landings decreased from approximately 6,469 tonnes in 2016 to about 5,793 tonnes in 2017.
From 2008 to 2011, Fortune Bay generally accounted for the largest share of herring landings. Bonavista and Trinity Bay also contributed significant landings, while smaller amounts were landed in St. Mary’s Bay-Placentia Bay, and White Bay-Labrador-Notre Dame Bay.
In the 2012 to 2016 time period, Bonavista and Trinity Bay had the majority of landings. The White Bay-Labrador-Notre Dame Bay area has seen a steady increase in landings since 2014, and was the largest area in terms of herring landings in 2017. [See figures 3 and 4]
Legend: Fortune Bay (FB); Bonavista and Trinity Bays (BB/TB); St. Mary’s Bay-Placentia Bay (SMB-PB); White Bay-Labrador-Notre Dame Bay (WB-L-NDB)
3.2 Dependence on Herring
In 2016, there were 62 active enterprises in 2+3 which landed herring. Herring accounted for about 10% of the total landed value of all species harvested by these enterprises. Snow crab was the most significant species in terms of the overall landed value with 60% of the total landed value, followed by herring. Capelin was the third most valuable species at just under 10%. Other significant species included shrimp (5%), cod (2.5%) and turbot (2.5%).
According to the provincial Department of Fisheries and Land Resources, in 2016 there were 36 plants licenced to process herring in Newfoundland and Labrador, of which 24 actually reported herring production. Total herring production for these plants was approximately 16,093 tonnes for all areas, including the west coast (NAFO division 4R3Pn).
3.3 Viability and Market Trends
Over the past 10 years, the average price paid to fish harvesters has generally ranged from $.08 to $0.15 per pound for herring. In 2016 and 2017, the average price held steady at $0.14 per pound (preliminary).
The landed value of 2+3 herring has fluctuated significantly since 2008, with a low of about $1 million in 2011 to close to $2 million in 2016. Landed value declined slightly in 2017 to about $1.7 million.
According to Statistics Canada, total Newfoundland and Labrador herring exports in 2016 were approximately 6,683 tonnes with an export value of about $15 million. The United States was the largest export destination for the majority of Newfoundland and Labrador herring products, importing about 5,200 tonnes with an export value of approximately $12 million. Other significant export destinations included Poland ($1.9M), Ukraine ($306K) and Japan ($250K).
4.0 Management Issues
4.1 Interaction with Atlantic Salmon
The interaction of Atlantic salmon and the herring fishery has been discussed with stakeholders at herring advisory meetings. Measures have been taken in the commercial herring fishery to mitigate the by-catch of Atlantic salmon and to protect their migration. See also By-catch concerns (Section 4.4).
4.2 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.
4.3 Aquaculture Feed
Herring has been identified as a possible feed source for aquaculture. Herring for this purpose must be sourced through existing commercial licence holders within existing quotas. In the event of an increased demand for herring in aquaculture and cod grow-out projects, measures may have to be considered to ensure all landings for such projects are reflected in the commercial landing statistics.
4.4 By-catch Concerns
One notable concern is by-catch of salmon and cod taken by pelagic traps. This issue has been discussed with stakeholders over the past several years and measures were taken to minimize the potential for salmon and cod by-catch in the commercial fishery.
4.5 Concentration of Fishing Effort and Catches
Fixed gear fish harvesters are permitted to fish only in their Herring Fishing Area of residence (any one area of HFAs 1 to 11). Mobile gear fish harvesters resident on the northeast coast may fish in any of HFAs 3 to 8 (Cape Bauld to Cape Race). Mobile gear fish harvesters living on the southeast coast may fish in HFAs 9 and 10 (Cape Race to Point Crewe).
The extent to which the concentration of fishing effort and catches in a relatively small part of a stock area, especially in the case of the purse seine fishery, 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.
4.6 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.
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. 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 Newfoundland and Labrador Shelves and the Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence (EGSL) Bioregions.
The Newfoundland and Labrador 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, Newfoundland and Labrador, and to the north by a line drawn south of Henley Harbour, Newfoundland and Labrador to approximately Raleigh, Newfoundland and Labrador and along Quebec’s southern coast to the west.
The EGSL includes NAFO 4RST and involves three DFO regions: Quebec, Gulf and Newfoundland and Labrador. 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 a MPA Network is to provide long-term protection of marine biodiversity, ecosystem function and special natural features. Herring are included in the Conservation Priorities for the Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence MPA Network.
4.7 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.
4.8 Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS)
The south coast of Newfoundland (NAFO 3P) has the highest concentration of invasive European green crab (shore crab) with infestations particularly found in the northern and western areas of Placentia Bay and more recently in Fortune Bay. Currently (2017) no green crab have been reported from coastal areas of 3L, 3K or 2J.
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 (violet tunicate) harbours.
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.
4.9 Gear Impacts
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. Following consultations with appropriate advisories, the use of these seines have been authorized in the fixed gear herring, capelin and mackerel fisheries in 2+3 in recent years.
The maximum tuck seine length allowed in the herring fishery is 80 fathoms; however, after August 1 each year, 20 fathom nets may be used. Fixed gear herring fish harvesters in 2+3 are authorized to use modified bar seines by way of licence conditions.
Purse seine (large and small), tuck seine, gillnet and trap gear used in the 2+3 herring fishery are not considered to have high impact on the ecosystem. Although some seine nets do touch the bottom from time to time, the impact on benthic species and habitats is minimal.
On occasion fish harvesters have been 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.
4.11 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 working towards demonstrating appropriate measures are in place in all Canadian fisheries.
DFO strives to manage the 2+3 herring fishery based on the principles of stock conservation and sustainable harvest and 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
Conservation and the long-term sustainability of the herring stock 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 herring stock supports an economically viable and self-reliant fishery.
Harvesting levels will be set that allow for the stock to grow and the mature biomass to increase. Consideration will be given to the level of recruitment in this stock. Furthermore, the herring 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 stakeholders to ensure adequate monitoring of all herring catches, while minimizing by-catch of other species and small fish. They will also work with stakeholders to ensure migrating and spawning herring are not adversely impacted. This may necessitate additional closed areas and times.
5.2 Ecosystem Health and Sustainability
Ecosystem health is essential for effective fisheries management. The sustainability of herring as a species within the food web as both a prey species and a predator will strengthen the long-term health of the ecosystem.
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.
5.4 Stock Conservation
Harvest levels will be set at cautious levels in keeping with the Precautionary Approach.
6.0 Access and Allocation
At this time, access to this fishery is considered to be limited 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. The TAC for 2+3 herring takes into consideration bait requirements in other fisheries and gear sector shares in the commercial fishery as established through the advisory committee process.
Quotas within each gear sector and area are fished competitively with the exception of a few defined Individual Quota areas. The traditional fleet shares have recently stabilized through consultation efforts with stakeholders.
6.2 Quotas and Allocations
Current commercial quotas and sharing arrangements by fleet, area and gear type are outlined in [Table 2]. The breakdown of TAC, commercial quota and bait allocations for each stock area is outlined in [Table 3].
|Stock Area||2017-2018 Quota||Gillnets/
|Bar Seines||Bar Seine Quota||Purse Seine||Purse Seine Quota||Reserve||Reserve Quota||Total|
|Notre Dame Bay||12.50%||321||4.20%||108||33.30%||855|
|St. Mary’s Bay||2100||8.70%||183||4.30%||45||19.60%||412||39.10%||821||2,100|
|Pass Island to Cinq Cerf||400||50.00%||200||25.00||100||0.00%||0||25.00%||100||400|
|Total Commercial Quotas||13,242||13,242|
|Total Bait Allocation||1,600||1,600|
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 Miawpukek First Nation Band, NunatuKavut Community Council, Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band, and the Mi’kmaq Alsumk Mowimsikik Koqoey Association (MAMKA) have communal commercial herring licenses for 2+3.
7.0 Management Measures for the Duration of the Plan
7.1 Herring Total Allowable Catch (TAC)
The Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for 2017 and 2018 was set at 14,842 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 stakeholders.
For the purpose of a multi-year management plan approach, the TAC (and therefore the commercial fishing quotas) may either increase or decrease based on a significant change in the estimated mature biomass for any one of the herring stocks assessed. An increase or decrease resulting from a significant change in estimated mature stock biomass would be applied based on the current quota sharing arrangement.
[Table 3] outlines the TAC, commercial quota and bait allocations for each stock area.
7.2 Fishing Seasons/Areas
DFO’s primary objective is to ensure that the majority of fish harvesters are provided an opportunity to earn a living and benefit from their adjacent fishing resources.
There are a number of factors DFO takes into consideration when establishing the season for the 2+3 herring 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 stakeholder consultation process and recommendations are noted on all management measures during the advisory meeting. In the case of herring, season dates are established according to bay or fishing area, and input from local fish harvesters is a key consideration.
Where it is challenging to reach a consensus in specific areas, further discussions with stakeholders and fleet representatives may be required. For example, in a situation where many fish harvesters hold multi-species fishing enterprises and wish to maximize revenues and benefits from each commercial fishery, DFO may be required to conduct a survey of all eligible licence holders in consultation with fleet representatives to ensure a fair and transparent approach is undertaken.
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 stakeholders 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 stakeholders.
The fishing seasons for each area under this IFMP are outlined in [Table 4].
|FISHING AREA||GEAR TYPE||SPRING||FALL|
|White Bay and Labrador||Fixed Gear||May 10 – Jun 14||Aug 18 – Dec 31|
|Notre Dame Bay||Fixed Gear||Apr 14 – May 31||Sep 15 – Dec 31|
|White Bay and Notre Dame Bay||Purse Seine||Closed||Sep 15 – Dec 31|
|Bonavista Bay||Fixed Gear||Apr 10 – May 31||Sep 15 – Dec 31|
|Trinity Bay||Fixed Gear||Apr 1 – May 31||Sep 15 – Dec 31|
|Bonavista Bay and Trinity Bay||Purse Seine||Closed||Oct 1 – Dec 31|
|Conception Bay and Southern Shore||Fixed Gear||Apr 1 – May 31||Oct 1 – Dec 31|
|Purse Seine||Closed||Oct 1 – Dec 31|
|St. Mary’s Bay and Placentia Bay||Purse Seine < 55’ - SMB||Mar 11 – May 31||Oct 1 – Dec 31|
|Purse Seine < 55’ - PB||Mar 2 – May 31||Oct 1 – Dec 31|
|Purse Seine > 55’||Jan 22 – May 31||Nov 10 – Dec 31|
|Gillnets and Traps||Feb 17 – May 31||Oct 1 – Dec 31|
|Bar Seine||Mar 18 – May 31||Oct 1 – Dec 31|
|Fortune Bay||Gillnets and Bar Seine||Apr 1 – May 31||Oct 1 – Dec 31|
|Traps||Apr 1 – May 31||Oct 1 – Dec 31|
|Pass Island to Cinq Cerf||Gillnets and Bar Seines||Apr 20 – Jun 7||Oct 1 – Dec 31|
|Traps||Apr 20 – Jun 7||Oct 1 – Dec 31|
7.3 Quota Sharing and Transfers
Requests for changes in fleet sector shares may be brought forward for consideration through the 2+3 herring advisory committee process. In-season quota transfers between fleet sectors and bays within a stock area may be considered upon recommendation by the affected gear sectors. Quota transfers across stock areas will not be permitted.
7.4 Quota Reserves
In some areas, industry supports quota reserves as a means to achieve a greater utilization of a TAC within conservation parameters. In those stock areas where there is industry support, reserves will be continued to be used as a means of providing more flexibility to all gear sectors in order to maximize utilization of the resource (i.e. herring).
7.5 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 Herring Fishing Areas 1-11 (2+3), it is a mandatory requirement for all commercial licence holders to have all herring catches monitored at dockside. The cost for this monitoring is the responsibility of the fishing industry. Herring 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 2007, following negotiations with industry, an initial water deduction of 3.5% for herring was adopted and narrowed down to 1% in 2008 based on further testing. DFO will continue to recognize 1% as the accepted water tolerance for weighing of herring.
7.6 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 appropriate advisory committees.
The maximum tuck seine length allowed in the herring fishery is 80 fathoms. However after August 1 each year, a 120-fathom length is also permitted for herring; this coincides with the 120-fathom length allowed for tuck seines in the mackerel fishery. Fixed gear herring fish harvesters in 2+3 are authorized by way of licence conditions to use modified bar seines.
7.7 Atlantic Salmon Interactions and By-catch Concerns
The by-catch of salmon and cod taken by pelagic traps has been discussed with stakeholders over the past several years 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 herring trap leaders
- in 1998, the use of trap net leaders with a mesh size between three and 5/8 and seven inches (76.2 mm and 177.8 mm) was prohibited
- in 2007, the use of trap net leaders with a mesh size between two and seven inches (50.8 mm to less than 177.8 mm) was prohibited
In addition, other measures have been taken in the herring bait fishery to minimize the potential for salmon by-catch: Bait nets are not authorized to be set at peak salmon run periods in most areas and must be set parallel to the nearest shore. Other measures have also been implemented, including the requirement for bait nets to be set with the head ropes not less than one fathom below the surface. Any incidental catch of cod or salmon must be immediately returned to the water, and where it is alive in a manner that causes the least harm.
7.8 Herring Bait Allocations
Bait allocations have been identified as a component of the TAC for each herring stock area in order to satisfy bait requirements in other fisheries. Both commercial herring licence holders and bait-fishing licence holders may access stock area allocations to obtain herring for use as bait. Bait allocations within each stock area have been established on the basis of historic annual bait catches, and adjustments may be made to reflect changes in bait requirement. Fish harvesters are required to keep bait logbooks and DFO will track landings in the future.
1,600 tonnes of herring is allocated for bait fish harvesters. [See section 7.1, Table 3]
7.9 Control and Monitoring of Removals
All licenced herring fish harvesters operating vessels greater than or equal to 35-feet length overall (LOA), and all harvesters operating mobile gear vessels, regardless of length, are required as a condition of licence to provide detailed logbook records of catch and fishing activity. Those holding mobile gear licences may be required to carry an at-sea observer intermittently throughout the fishery at DFO’s request.
Fish harvesters participating in the bait and commercial fisheries are requested to provide information on their activities specific to Science program requirements.
VMS is required for all mobile and fixed gear tuck seine vessels.
7.10 Species at Risk Act (SARA) Requirements
In accordance with the recovery strategies for the northern wolffish (Anarchichas denticulatus), spotted wolffish (Anarchichas minor), and leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), 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 Act that are known to incidentally capture leatherback sea turtles.
Licence holders are required to return northern wolffish, spotted wolffish or leatherback sea turtle 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 or leatherback sea turtles.
The Newfoundland and Labrador herring 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 herring fishery.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) Resource Management should be consulted for all purposes of interpreting and applying this document.
7.12 Regulatory Measures
In accordance with the Atlantic Fishery Regulations 1985, no person shall fish for, sell, or have in their possession any herring that is less than 26.5 cm fork length (10.5 inches); with the exception of up to 20% of small herring (by count) per fishing trip when the taking of small herring is incidental to the capture of larger herring. The minimum size provision does not apply to herring caught by gillnets.
Herring may be retained as a by-catch in a directed mackerel fishery when the quantity of Herring is no more than 10% of the weight of mackerel caught and retained during a fishing trip.
Herring caught as by-catch in a directed mackerel fishery in quantities greater than 10% is permitted only to a person who is licenced for commercial herring, in an area and at a time that is permitted for the capture of herring. See mackerel licence conditions.
A herring licence holder shall only fish in the area(s) and with the type and quantity of gear permitted under the licence.
In accordance with the Fisheries Act, DFO will strictly enforce requirements relative to data that must be provided by fish harvesters and processors/buyers. True information must be provided on quantity and value of all Herring caught, bought, transported and processed.
Completion of 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:
- gear type
- weight of fish caught
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.
7.15 Habitat Protection Measures
Specific habitat protection measures have not been identified for the herring fishery in area 2+3 due to the low impact of the fishing activity on habitat.
8.0 Shared Stewardship Arrangements
There are no formal shared stewardship arrangements in the 2+3 herring fishery. However as noted throughout the IFMP, DFO officials work closely with the harvesting and processing sector in all aspects of fisheries management, science, and conservation and protection. The advisory committee has been established to provide stakeholders with an informal and direct mechanism for input into the management of this fishery.
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 fish harvesters and other stakeholder groups.
8.2 Working Arrangements: Existing Agreements
The DFO-World Wildlife Fund Canada (WWF-Canada) collaborative agreement brings together both parties to work toward a common goal: the conservation, protection, and sustainable development of Canada’s oceans as mandated by the Oceans Act. It is agreed that DFO and WWF-Canada will work jointly to promote long-term and sustainable use of oceans resources.
9.0 Compliance Plan
9.1 Conservation and Protection Program Description
The deployment of Conversation and Protection (C&P) resources in the 2+3 herring fishery is conducted in accordance with 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 regional, area and detachment 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 significant occurrences of non-compliance emerge.
9.2 Compliance Program Delivery
The Conservation and Protection program promotes and maintains compliance with legislation, regulations and management measures implemented to achieve the conservation and sustainable use of Canada’s aquatic resources, and the protection of species at risk, fish habitat and oceans.
The program is delivered through a balanced regulatory management and enforcement approach. Specifically:
- promotion of compliance through education and shared stewardship
- monitoring, control and surveillance activities
- management of major cases and 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, stakeholders 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
- 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. Herring 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 herring 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.
Over the past five years, C&P has averaged approximately 2,142 hours annually of monitoring, control and surveillance activities in the 2+3 herring fishery. [See Appendix 7]
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, and 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.
9.3 Current Compliance Issues
The focus of C&P efforts for the duration of this IFMP is on the following issues:
- tuck seining (modified bar seines) sharing of catches
- transporting of fish (barging), which currently is not permitted via conditions of license
- by-catch of salmonids
- length limits on tucks seines
- undersize herring
- catch reporting / discarding
- quota monitoring
9.4 Compliance Strategy
C&P has developed an operational plan that outlines monitoring and compliance activities that will be carried out by C&P personnel adjacent to the herring fishery management areas. The plan provides guidance for C&P, promotes effective monitoring of the fishery, and enables C&P personnel to effectively maintain compliance with management measures governing this fishery.
The objective of the plan 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 two-year 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 stakeholders is a formal setting to review both short and long-term objectives. In addition to these formal reviews, DFO officials and industry representatives have an on-going dialogue on the fishery on a year-round basis. These informal discussions are opportunities to review the objectives outlined in the fishery for a discussion at the biennial advisory meeting.
DFO Newfoundland and Labrador 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 the 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 5] identifies the specific strategies that are used to achieve fisheries management objectives.
|OBJECTIVES||FISHERIES MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES|
|Conservation and Sustainable Harvest|
|To conserve the herring resource to provide commercial sustainability to fish harvesters||
|To mitigate the impacts on other species, habitat and the ecosystem where herring 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 herring fishery||
|Benefits to Stakeholders|
|To promote the continued development of a
commercially viable and self-sustaining fishery
|To provide fish harvesters with increased
opportunity to develop 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 SFF 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.
Abundance: number of individuals in a stock or a population
Age Composition: proportion of individuals of different ages in a stock or in the catches
Anadromous: 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
Area/Subarea: 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
Biomass: total weight of all individuals in a stock or a population
Bioregion: 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.
By-catch: 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
Discards: 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
Gillnet: 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
Groundfish: species of fish living near the bottom such as cod, haddock, halibut and flatfish
Handlining: fishing using a line with usually one baited hook and moving it up and down in a series of short movements; also called "jigging"
Landings: quantity of a species caught and landed
Longlining: 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
Otolith: 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
Pelagic: fish that lives in the water column or close to the surface
Population: 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.
Quota: 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
Recruitment: 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.
Spawner: sexually mature individual
Spawning Stock: sexually mature individuals in a stock
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
Tonne: metric tonne, 1000kg or 2204.6 lbs
Trawl: 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
Validation: the verification by an observer of the weight of fish landed
Vessel Size: length overall
Year-class: 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: 2017 2+3 Herring Advisory Meeting Participants
|Chris Pilgrim||Barry Group|
|Jim Payne||Barry Group|
|Pearce Perry||Beothic Fish Processing Ltd.|
|Nancy Pond||Department of Fisheries and Land Resources|
|Frank Corbett||DFO-NL Policy and Economics|
|Chad Ward||DFO-NL Conservation and Protection|
|David Small||DFO-NL Resource Management (Eastern & Central)|
|Wayne King||DFO-NL Resource Management (Labrador)|
|Laurie Hawkins||DFO-NL Resource Management (Southern & Western)|
|Erin Dunne||DFO-NL Resource Management (Regional HQ)|
|Christina Bourne||DFO-NL Science|
|Ralph Pynn||P. Janes and Sons|
|Ray Dalton||Quinlan Group|
|Robbie Green||Fish harvester|
|Ivan Batten||Fish harvester|
|Eldred Woodford||Fish harvester|
|Shelley White||Fish harvester|
|Neil Stuckless||Fish harvester|
|Wayne Hicks||Fish harvester|
|Trevor Jones||Fish harvester|
|Michael Simmonds||Fish harvester|
|Doug Wells||Fish harvester|
|Brad Rideout||Fish harvester|
|Jason Burton||Fish harvester|
|Albert Wells||Fish harvester|
|Everett Roberts||Fish harvester|
|Gord Rice||Fish harvester|
|Dennis Chaulk||Fish harvester|
Appendix 4: Map of Herring Fishing Areas (HFAs) around Newfoundland and Labrador
Appendix 5: 2+3 Herring Quota Reports
|2J||LAB - Gillnets/Traps||500||*||*||*||500||*||*||*|
|3K||WB - Gillnet/Traps||268||*||*||*||321||*||*||*|
|WB - Bar Seines||89||*||*||*||108||*||*||*|
|WB - Purse Seine||713||*||*||*||855||857||100||-2|
|NDB - Gillnets/Traps||268||*||*||*||321||*||*||*|
|NDB - Bar Seines||89||*||*||*||108||*||*||*|
|NDB - Purse Seine||713||*||*||*||855||*||*||*|
|3L||BB - Gillnets/Traps||500||*||*||*||515||*||*||*|
|BB - Bar Seines||953||*||*||*||982||*||*||*|
|BB - Purse Seine||1453||616||42||837||1498||*||*||*|
|TB - Gillnets/Traps||320||*||*||*||329||*||*||*|
|TB - Bar Seines||1133||*||*||*||1168||*||*||*|
|TB - Purse Seines||1453||1528||105||-75||1498||*||*||*|
|CB - Gillnets/Traps||125||*||*||*||133||*||*||*|
|CB/SS - Bar Seines||38||*||*||*||159||*||*||*|
|CB/SS - Purse Seines||400||*||*||*||520||*||*||*|
|SS - Gillnets/Traps||125||*||*||*||133||*||*||*|
|SMB - Gillnets/Traps||183||*||*||*||183||*||*||*|
|SMB - Bar Seines||45||*||*||*||45||*||*||*|
|SMB - Purse Seine < 55'||206||*||*||*||206||*||*||*|
|SMB - Purse Seine > 55'||206||*||*||*||206||*||*||*|
|3Ps||PB - Gillnets/Traps||183||*||*||*||183||*||*||*|
|PB - Bar Seines||45||*||*||45||45||*||*||45|
|PB - Purse Seine < 55'||206||*||*||*||206||*||*||*|
|PB - Purse Seine > 55'||206||*||*||*||206||*||*||*|
|FB - Gillnets/Traps||286||*||*||*||216||*||*||*|
|FB - Bar Seines||574||*||*||*||431||*||*||*|
|PI/CF - Gillnets/Traps||200||*||*||200||200||*||*||200|
|PI/CF - Bar Seines||100||*||*||100||100||*||*||100|
* 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.
** Reserve quotas are allocated to three areas only: St. Mary’s Bay-Placentia Bay, Fortune Bay, and Pass Islands to Cinq Cerf Bay. [See section 7.4]
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
- abandoning ship
- 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
- 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.
|Year||Fishery officer patrol hours||Non-patrol enforcement hours||Program hours - other||Total fishery officer hours||Number of vessels checked||Number of persons checked||Number of gear checks||Number of sites checked|
|DFO NL Regional Headquarters
P.O. Box 5667, St. John’s, NL A1C 5X1
Resource Manager, Pelagics
|(709) 772-4680||(709) firstname.lastname@example.org|
Conservation & Protection
|(709) 772-6423||(709) email@example.com|
|(709) 772-6935||(709) firstname.lastname@example.org|
|(709) 772-6578||(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 and 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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