` Oceana Fishery Audit 2021

In 2021, DFO published new rebuilding plans for two critically depleted stocks: Atlantic mackerel and the iconic northern cod. But, just like the other plans that were released from 2017–2021, the new plans lack adequate timelines and the targets required to help these populations recover to healthy levels. In fact, prominent scientists said the cod recovery plan was so riddled with scientific and policy weaknesses, it wasn’t clear whether it will help or hinder recovery. Meanwhile, no rebuilding plans have been developed for 26 of the 33 stocks currently in the critical zone.


  Jeffrey A. Hutchings, George A. Rose and Peter A. Shelton (2021). “The Flawed New Plan to Rebuild Canada’s Iconic Northern Cod.” Policy Options, March 22, 2021. https://policyoptions.irpp.org/magazines/march-2021/the-flawed-new-plan-to-rebuild-canadas-iconic-northern-cod/

  • plan in placePLAN IN PLACE
  • commitment to develop planCOMMITMENT TO DEVELOP PLAN
  • no planNO PLAN

* These stocks are co-managed with other jurisdictions.

These stocks do not have rebuilding plans compliant with DFO's Precautionary Approach but do have interim rebuilding strategies developed by the North Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO).

^ Rebuilding plan development for these stocks are being led by management in Ottawa.

++ Atlantic herring in 4VWX was included in a rebuilding plan in 2013/14 to rebuild the largest spawning component from the cautious to healthy zone, but the plan requires updating

PACIFIC REGION
  • plan in placeBocaccio rockfish (B.C. waters)   Completed in 2013/2014
  • plan in placeIntertidal clam (North Coast Haida Gwaii Razor)
  • commitment to develop planPink shrimp (Fraser River SMA)
  • no planPink shrimp (Georgia Strait East SMA)
  • no planPink shrimp (SMA 16)
  • no planPink shrimp (SMA 18-19)
  • no planSidestripe shrimp (Georgia Strait East SMA)
  • no planSidestripe shrimp (SMA 14)
  • no planSidestripe shrimp (SMA 16)
  • no planSidestripe shrimp (SMA 18–19)
QUEBEC REGION
  • commitment to develop planAtlantic cod (3Pn, 4RS)  Delayed (was to be completed in 2020/21))
  • no planWhite hake (4RS)
MARITIMES REGION
  • plan in placeAtlantic cod (4X5Y)  Completed in 2019/20
  • plan in placeAtlantic cod (5Zjm)*  Completed in 2019/20
  • plan in placeAtlantic herring (4VWX)++  Completed in 2013/14
  • no planSnow Crab (4X)
  • no planWhite hake (4VW)
GULF REGION
  • commitment to develop planAmerican plaice (4T) Delayed (was to be completed in 2020/21)
  • commitment to develop planAtlantic cod (4T & 4Vn (Nov–April))  Delayed (was to be completed in 2020/21)
  • commitment to develop planAtlantic herring (4T, spring spawner)  Delayed (was to be completed in 2020/21)
  • commitment to develop planWhite hake (4T)  Delayed (was to be completed in 2020/21)
  • commitment to develop planWinter flounder (4T)  Delayed (was to be completed in 2020/21)
  • no planWinter skate (4T)
  • no planYellowtail flounder (4T)
NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR REGION
  • commitment to develop planAtlantic cod (2J3KL)  Completed in 2020/21
  • commitment to develop planAtlantic cod (3Ps)  Delayed (was to be completed in 2020/21)
  • no planAmerican plaice (2+3K)
  • no planAmerican plaice (3LNO)*†
  • no planAmerican plaice (3Ps)
  • no planAtlantic cod (3NO)*†
  • no planHaddock (3Ps)
NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION  (stocks are in Atlantic)
  • plan in placeNorthern shrimp (SFA 6)^  Completed in 2018/19
  • commitment to develop planAtlantic mackerel (subareas 3 and 4)^  Completed in 2020/21