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Sustainability survey results comparison

Tables comparing some of the major results from the 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 surveys.

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Precautionary approach and fish stocks

Section 1 of the framework on fisheries decision making looks at the implementation of the precautionary approach policy and its impact on fish stocks.

Reference points and harvest control rules

The following table shows the status of the precautionary approach reference points and harvest control rules for the stocks tracked by the survey. The 2020 survey results show, compared to 2015, an increase in the number of stocks surveyed that have reference points and harvest control rules. This reflects our commitment to developing these reference points through the annual Sustainable Fisheries Framework work plan.

  Total number of stocks in survey Number of limit reference points  Number of upper stock reference points Number of removal reference points  Number of harvest control rules
2015 survey results 159 87 75 72 90
2016 survey results 170 103 81 79 102
2017 survey results 179 105 80 90 117
2018 survey results 177 104 79 98 106
2019 survey results 176 106 80 103 106
2020 survey results 180 112 83 99 116
Difference between 2015 and 2020 survey results Increased by 21 Increased by 25 Increased by 8 Increased by 27 Increased by 26

Fish stock status

The following table shows the status of the fish stocks in the survey. 

The 2020 survey results show some changes in the number of stocks in the different status categories. The number of stocks with uncertain status showed as an increase as a result of:

“Uncertain” does not mean that there is no data for this stock. DFO has sufficient information to manage the fisheries on these stocks.

  Total number of stocks in survey Number of stocks in the healthy zone Number of stocks in the cautious zone Number of stocks in the critical zone Number of stocks with uncertain status Number of stocks with uncertain status where conservation risk to the stock is likely or possible
2015 survey results 159 78 28 19 34 10
2016 survey results 170 76 31 21 42 14
2017 survey results 179 63 25 18 73 22
2018 survey results 177 58 27 19 73 25
2019 survey results 176 52 29 25 70 26
2020 survey results 180 56 23 23 78 32
Difference between 2015 and 2020 survey results Increased by 21 Decreased by 22 Decreased by 5 Increased by 4 Increased by 44 Increased by 22

Management plans and species at risk

Section 2 of the framework looks at the status of integrated fishery management plans (IMFPs) and the number of stocks whose fisheries interact with species at risk.

Fishery management plans

The following table shows the status of IFMPs. The 2020 survey results show an increase in the number of stocks in the survey which are a part of a fishery plan.

  Total number of stocks in survey Number of management plans developed Number of management plans posted
2015 survey results 159 57 plans covering 116 stocks 35
2016 survey results 170 59 plans covering 122 stocks 39
2017 survey results 179 64 plans covering 137 stocks 52
2018 survey results 177 65 plans covering 158 stocks 56
2019 survey results 176 64 plans covering 154 stocks 55
2020 survey results 180 61 plans covering 160 stocks 59
Difference between 2015 and 2020 survey results Increased by 21 Increased by 4 plans covering 44 stocks Increased by 24

Species at risk

The following table shows the number of stocks on the survey whose fisheries interact with species listed ‘at risk.’ It also shows the number that have management measures in place to mitigate threats to species at risk. The 2020 results show no significant change between years.

The decrease in stocks with management measures to mitigate risks to species covered by the Species at Risk Act (SARA) was largely a result of a change in definitions. Previously, if a stock had handled SARA species “in a manner that causes the least amount of harm,” we included it as a mitigation measure.

However, handling with minimal harm is no longer considered a mitigation measure by the survey. This is because it’s now a requirement under the licence conditions of harvesters and not an optional mitigation measure.

  Total number of stocks in the survey Number of stocks that have interactions with species at risk Number of stocks that have management measures in place to mitigate risk to species at risk
2015 survey results 159 112 109
2016 survey results 170 106 101
2017 survey results 179 92 65
2018 survey results 177 114 79
2019 survey results 176 115 105
2020 survey results 180 120 111
Difference between 2015 and 2020 survey results Increased by 21 Increased by 8 Increased by 2

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