In the year ahead, Oceana Canada urges DFO to address the most critical fisheries management gaps, including:
DFO should also continue to add to, update and publicly release its fiscal-year work plans, developed in response to the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development’s 2016 audit. These work plans should use the best available science to inform the completion of deliverables.
In addition to addressing the priorities laid out on the previous page, Oceana Canada calls on DFO to complete the following actions within the next year in order to accelerate the implementation of the department’s Sustainable Fisheries Framework. This includes fulfilling ongoing commitments or those that have been delayed from previous work plans, as well as those scheduled to be completed this fiscal year:
Invest resources in timely stock assessments that include estimates of mortality from all sources, prioritizing stocks that do not have assessments or that have assessments that are more than five years old.
Address the causes of delays in publishing science information and improve publication timeliness.
Prioritize establishing reference points to define health status zones and develop harvest control rules for each zone.
Implement the Fishery Monitoring Policy to ensure all commercial fisheries have sufficient monitoring to provide accurate estimates of all retained and discarded catches.
Prioritize completing and publishing management plans.
Set priorities and timelines for completing rebuilding plans for all stocks in the critical zone and those in the cautious zone that are declining toward, or have declined to, half of their USR.