Monitoring and Enforcement

Monitoring and Enforcement of Canada's tuna management measures is a key part in ensuring the sustainability of the tuna species.

All tuna fishing activities must:

  • Be recorded in DFO-approved logbooks and in the manner prescribed by the Department. This includes the provision of information on all discards, dead or alive. This measure helps to track the catch from ocean to market. This information is provided to RFMOs to meet Canada's reporting requirements.
  • Allow for catches to be closely monitored. Every fish caught in the Atlantic Canadian fishery is individually reported, tagged and tracked to market so that the end product is traceable

Harvesters must also abide by strict licence conditions, which include:

  • Areas closed to fishing to protect the tuna stocks being harvested, minimize bycatch and protect sensitive areas like the Gully Marine Protected Area;
  • Minimum fish size restrictions in Atlantic fisheries;
  • Requirements to provide information on their fishing activity, such as provide their boat number and departing and landing port, to allow Canada to monitor fishing activity.
  • Dockside monitoring of all Atlantic tuna landings;
  • Requirements for proper handling and release of identified species at risk including leatherback turtles.
  • A requirement for at-sea observer coverage for the Atlantic longline fleet at a target rate of five per cent coverage of the total fishing days.

Other measures:

  • For a number of years, the number of licenses issued in the Atlantic is limited;
  • Canada monitors and controls tuna fishing activity using at-sea and aerial patrols that are conducted by trained Fishery Officers, with the assistance of the Canadian Coast Guard and the Department of National Defence.
  • Illegal and unreported fishing is harshly penalized. Examples of penalties include seizure of catch, fines, and licence suspensions.