THE SITUATION

Most of Canada’s commercial fish stocks are depleted. Since 1970, an estimated 52 per cent* of their biomass has disappeared; half of this incredible resource that has sustained so many for so long, gone in one lifetime.

UNHEALTHY FISHERIES

MISSING
DATA

REBUILDING NEEDED

The federal government has allocated funding to update the Sustainability Survey for Fisheries each year. It has also committed new resources to science and fisheries management. As a result, Oceana Canada expects that Canadians will have an increasingly clear picture in the coming years of how Canada is managing our fisheries and how healthy our fish stocks really are.

* Hutchings, J.A., Côté, I.M., Dodson, J.J., Fleming, I.A., Jennings, S., Mantua, N.J., Peterman, R.M., Riddell, B.E., Weaver, A.J. and VanderZwaag, D.L. 2012. Sustaining Canadian marine biodiversity: responding to the challenges posed by climate change, fisheries, and aquaculture. Expert panel report prepared for the Royal Society of Canada, Ottawa.

THE PROOF IS IN
THE NUMBERS

When Oceana Canada published Here’s the Catch in 2016, limited public information meant we could only assess 125 stocks. Since then, Fisheries and Oceans Canada has released data on 159 stocks.

Oceana Canada pooled those two data sets, eliminated overlap and searched for newly available data to arrive at a more complete picture of the state of Canada’s fisheries. This current assessment is based on data from 194 stocks, representing all major Canadian marine fisheries.

STOCKS WITH REFERENCE POINTS ESTABLISHED

Lower Reference Point:

54%

Upper Reference Point:

43%

STOCKS WITH SOME LEVEL OF CATCH MONITORING

71%

at-sea MONITORING


81%

LOGBOOK MONITORING


73%

dock-side MONITORING

STOCKS WITH ENOUGH DATA TO ASSIGN A HEALTH STATUS

STOCKS WITH RECENT BIOMASS ESTIMATES (within the last 5 years)

CRITICAL STOCKS WITH REBUILDING PLANS IN PLACE

STOCKS INCLUDED IN INTEGRATED FISHERIES MANAGEMENT PLAN

STOCKS WITH FISHING MORTALITY ESTIMATES

21%

REBUILDING:
WHERE'S THE PLAN?

As this map shows, the greatest need for rebuilding plans lies in the Gulf and Newfoundland regions, where there are the highest numbers of stocks in critical health and the fewest plans in place.

  • Pacific region

    Yelloweye rockfish (outside waters population)


    Boccaccio rockfish (B.C. waters)


    Yelloweye rockfish (inside waters population)


    Pink shrimp (SMA18-19)

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  • National capital region

    Atlantic mackerel (Sub area 3 and 4)^

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  • Quebec region

    Atlantic cod (3Pn, 4RS)


    Deepwater redfish (Unit 1 and 2)*


    White hake (4RS)

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  • Gulf region

    Atlantic herring (4T, spring spawners)


    Yellowtail flounder (4T)


    Winter skate (4T)


    White hake (4T)


    American plaice (4T)


    Atlantic cod (4TVn)


    Witch flounder (4RST)

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  • Maritimes region

    Atlantic cod (4X5Y)


    Atlantic cod (5Zjm)†


    White hake (4VW)

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  • Newfoundland region

    Acadian redfish (Unit 1 and 2)*


    Atlantic cod (2J3KL)


    American plaice (3LNO)†


    American plaice (3Ps)


    Deepwater redfish (2+3K)


    Acadian redfish (2+3K)


    Atlantic cod (3NO)†


    American plaice (23K)

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  • PLAN IN PLACE
  • COMMITMENT TO DEVELOP PLAN
  • NO PLAN
* Redfish in Units 1 and 2 are co-managed by a number of regions and the National Capital Region is leading the development of these rebuilding plans.
† These stocks are co-managed with other jurisdictions and will require collaboration for rebuilding plan development.
^ Mackerel has Atlantic-wide distribution and is managed in Ottawa.

WE CAN DO BETTER
HERE’S HOW

By fully implementing its commitments to sustainable management tools, Fisheries and Oceans Canada can restore the health of Canada’s oceans and fisheries and ensure they contribute to the economy of coastal communities and provide a vital source of protein for future generations.

Oceana Canada recommends Fisheries and Oceans Canada complete the following priorities by the end of 2018:

OCEANA CANADA:

SAVING THE OCEANS TO FEED THE WORLD

Oceana Canada was established as an independent charity in 2015 and is part of the largest international advocacy group dedicated solely to ocean conservation.

oceana.ca

Canada has the longest coastline in the world, with an ocean surface area of 7.1 million square kilometres, or 70 per cent of its landmass. Oceana Canada believes that Canada has a national and global obligation to manage our natural resources responsibly and help ensure a sustainable source of protein for the world’s growing population.

Oceana Canada works with civil society, academics, fishers, Indigenous Peoples and the federal government to return Canada’s formerly vibrant oceans to health and abundance. By restoring Canada’s oceans, we can strengthen our communities, reap greater economic and nutritional benefits, and protect our future.