` Oceana Fishery Audit 2022


Oceana Canada’s first Fishery Audit revealed that only a small handful of stocks in the critical zone had rebuilding plans. Six years later, more than 80 per cent of critically depleted stocks still lack them. However, we expect both the pace and the quality of rebuilding plans to match the urgency for rebuilding thanks to the 2022 release of rebuilding regulations under the Fisheries Act.

As DFO fulfills its legal obligations under the regulations, there will be 14 new or revised rebuilding plans for critical stocks in the next two years. Looking ahead, the federal government must ensure that all critical stocks are given the best opportunity to rebuild by developing and implementing plans for the remaining 22 critical stocks.

REGION Total # of critical stocks Has a plan Delayed¤ legally required by 2024
Pacific҂ 10 0 1 1
Gulf 7 0 5 5
Maritimes 5 3 0 0
Quebec 2 0 1 1
National Capital Region 2 2 0 2
Newfoundland and Labrador 7 1 1 2
Arctic 0 0 0 0

¤ Delayed refers to the rebuilding plans identified by DFO in previous work plans (2021–2022) whose dates of completion have been revised in the latest work plan (2022–2023). In most cases, this is because these stocks have been listed in the new rebuilding regulations and legal requirements.

҂ Does not include critical salmon management units (three of which currently require rebuilding plans). Also note that two stocks with rebuilding plans (bocaccio rockfish and yelloweye rockfish, inside waters) have grown above their LRPs and out of the critical zone.

Includes two rebuilding plans that require revisions to comply with the regulations.

Includes one rebuilding plan that requires revisions to comply with the regulations.

There are currently no critical stocks identified in the Arctic region. However, climate change may shift stock distributions poleward and deeper. It will be important to continue monitoring Arctic fish populations and adapt with effective management as needed.