About the Sustainability Survey for Fisheries
Learn how we use the Sustainability Survey for Fisheries, select fish stocks and assign uncertain status.
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Framework and survey
The Sustainable Fisheries Framework sets national policies to guide the management of Canada’s fisheries. We conduct the Sustainable Survey for Fisheries to track our progress and gather other information about major fish stocks. Survey results help us set priorities to improve how we manages fisheries.
Once fishing seasons end, our scientists and resource managers complete the survey for the stocks in their regions. This results in a survey reporting on the previous year’s data. However, we use more recent data if it’s available.
We conduct and publish the survey annually.
Purpose of the survey
We use the survey to:
- collect information about major fish stocks
- track the status of these stocks
- track progress to implement fishery policies and measures for these stocks
Selection of fish stocks
A number of factors determine which fish stocks we select for the survey. Normally more than one factor applies to a selected stock. Stocks included in the survey include those that are:
- an important economic stock, which have an:
- annual landed value greater than $1 million
- annual landed weight greater than 2,000 tonnes
- an important stock for:
- cultural reasons
- iconic value
- ecosystem reasons
- an international stock, which is one that is:
- managed by or subject to an international agreement
- included in an integrated fisheries management plan
- targeted in a fishery
- caught as bycatch and are economically important
- in a depleted state, but were part of a significant commercial fishery and thus are a candidate for or subject to a rebuilding plan under the Precautionary Approach policy
Stocks in the survey represent key or major stocks harvested in federally-managed fisheries. They are referred to as the major stocks or the major stocks’ list. The list of stocks on the survey may change over time.
We give a stock ‘uncertain status’ if we don’t have enough information to assign it to a precautionary approach zones, such as:
In instances when we lack information on a fish stock, we factor this uncertainty into the decision to set the harvest level. Greater uncertainty leads us to set more precautionary harvest levels.
Our goal is always to manage fisheries sustainably for the long-term benefit of all Canadians.
- Fisheries sustainability survey glossary
- Survey data and summaries
- A Fishery Decision-Making Framework Incorporating the Precautionary Approach
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