THE SITUATION

Canada’s fish populations are declining. The government must urgently enforce Canada’s new Fisheries Act and get serious about rebuilding fisheries.

Declining Fisheries

Less than a third, 29.4 per cent, of Canada’s marine stocks can confidently be considered healthy and 17 per cent are in the critical zone, where conservation actions are crucial.

Failing to Rebuild

Progress on implementing rebuilding plans remains slow, there are plans in place for just 18 per cent of critically depleted stocks.

MISSED COMMITMENTS

Commercial fisheries in Canada still lack sufficient levels of monitoring with accurate total catch estimates.

THE PROOF IS IN
THE NUMBERS

The state of Canada’s marine fish and invertebrate stocks continues to be a serious concern, with less than one-third that can be confidently considered healthy.

HEALTH STATUS

HEALTHY
Biomass > 80 per cent
CAUTIOUS
Biomass between 40 - 80 per cent
CRITICAL
Biomass < 40 per cent
UNCERTAIN

*Per cent indicated of maximum sustainable yield or equivalent proxy.

SCIENCE

STOCKS WITH SUFFICIENT DATA TO ASSESS THEIR HEALTH STATUS

2017
63.9%
2018
62.9%
2019

STOCKS WITH FISHING MORTALITY ESTIMATES:

2017
20.6%
2018
18%
2019

MONITORING

SOME LEVEL OF AT-SEA OR ELECTRONIC MONITORING:

2017
71.1%
2018
71.1%
2019

SOME LEVEL OF MANDATORY LOGBOOKS:

2017
82.5%
2018
83%
2019

MANAGEMENT

STOCKS INCLUDED IN
IFMPS:

2017
70.6%
2018
74.2%
2019

CRITICAL STOCKS WITH REBUILDING PLANS:

2017
11.5%
2018
11.5%
2019

SCIENCE

Assesses Canada’s progress in improving fish stock health

MONITORING

Determines how many fish are removed and if harvesters are obeying the rules

MANAGEMENT

Helps maintain and restore fish stocks to a healthy level of abundance

FROM COAST TO COAST:
MORE STOCKS ARE
CRITICALLY DEPLETED

There are now 33 critically depleted stocks across the country. Most are in Atlantic Canada, but the number on the Pacific coast is growing. Currently, Fisheries and Oceans Canada has published rebuilding plans for only six of them.

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  • PLAN IN PLACE
  • COMMITMENT TO DEVELOP PLAN
  • NO PLAN

PROGRESS REPORT

Fisheries and Oceans Canada continues to make uneven progress in the key management indicators assessed in this Fishery Audit.

Getting serious about getting results

There is a rare opportunity for ambitious progress in 2020 and beyond to create change on the water, increasing the number of stocks in the healthy zone and building resilience to climate change. To address the issues identified in this report, Oceana Canada has developed the following recommendations for action in the next year.

SCIENCE

MONITORING

MANAGEMENT

Supplementary report materials including methodology and full scientific analysis.

WE CAN SAVE THE OCEANS
AND FEED THE WORLD.

Oceana Canada works with civil society, academics, fishers, Indigenous Peoples and the 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.

oceana.ca