Knowing how many fish are being caught every year is crucial to making good decisions about how to manage fisheries and rebuild critically depleted stocks. Most of Canada’s marine stocks have some level of catch monitoring in place, through logbooks, at-sea monitoring, dockside monitoring or a combination of these tools. Each monitoring tool has a different purpose, and not all fisheries require 100 per cent coverage with each tool. Combined, monitoring programs should provide dependable and timely data to support sustainable fisheries management. Today it is difficult to determine what proportion of the catch is monitored and whether it includes bycatch (unintended catch). If DFO’s new Fishery Monitoring Policy is implemented in a timely and rigorous way, it can help fill these gaps.
Stocks with fisheries that have catch monitoring in place
Purpose: Help prevent overfishing, control bycatch and collect scientific information for stock assessments.
Some level of at-sea or electronic monitoring
At-sea or electronic monitoring with 100% coverage
Some level of mandatory logbooks
Mandatory logbooks that record the entire catch
Independent dockside monitoring of 100% of landings