Last updated on 27 February 2016

SUMMARY

SUMMARY

IDENTIFICATION

SCIENTIFIC NAME(s)

Clupea harengus

SPECIES NAME(s)

Atlantic herring


ANALYSIS

Strengths

Stock is a candidate for MSC certification.
Managers have set precautionary control rules
Managers have set a precautionary interim quota given scientific uncertainty.
Managers have other measures in place to control effort and to protect small fish.
Compliance is high.
A benchmark assessment to address the assessment uncertainty has been completed and the results will be forthcoming.

Weaknesses

Assessment models give vastly different results depending on the assumptions and the treatment of the data.
Current status relative to reference points is not known.
A formal rebuilding plan should the stock fall below biomass reference points is not in use.

FISHSOURCE SCORES

Management Quality:

Management Strategy:

NOT YET SCORED

Managers Compliance:

≥ 8

Fishers Compliance:

10

Stock Health:

Current
Health:

NOT YET SCORED

Future Health:

NOT YET SCORED


RECOMMENDATIONS

RETAILERS & SUPPLY CHAIN
  • Monitor the progress in closing out conditions placed upon the MSC certification of the fishery and if agreed timelines are met. Offer assistance in closing conditions where possible.

FIPS

No related FIPs

CERTIFICATIONS

  • Gulf of St Lawrence fall herring gillnet fishery:

    MSC Certified

Fisheries

Within FishSource, the term "fishery" is used to indicate each unique combination of a flag country with a fishing gear, operating within a particular management unit, upon a resource. That resource may have a known biological stock structure and/or may be assessed at another level for practical or jurisdictional reasons. A fishery is the finest scale of resolution captured in FishSource profiles, as it is generally the scale at which sustainability can most fairly and practically be evaluated.

ASSESSMENT UNIT MANAGEMENT UNIT FLAG COUNTRY FISHING GEAR
S Gulf of St. Lawrence fall spawners S Gulf of St. Lawrence fall spawners Canada Gillnets and entangling nets

Analysis

OVERVIEW

Last updated on 14 June 2015

Strengths

Stock is a candidate for MSC certification.
Managers have set precautionary control rules
Managers have set a precautionary interim quota given scientific uncertainty.
Managers have other measures in place to control effort and to protect small fish.
Compliance is high.
A benchmark assessment to address the assessment uncertainty has been completed and the results will be forthcoming.

Weaknesses

Assessment models give vastly different results depending on the assumptions and the treatment of the data.
Current status relative to reference points is not known.
A formal rebuilding plan should the stock fall below biomass reference points is not in use.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Last updated on 13 December 2018

Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain
  • Monitor the progress in closing out conditions placed upon the MSC certification of the fishery and if agreed timelines are met. Offer assistance in closing conditions where possible.

1.STOCK STATUS

STOCK ASSESSMENT

Last updated on 14 June 2015

Stock assessments are performed annually and peer-reviewed by the Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat (CSAS). Virtual population analysis models are used to evaluate the status of the stock, calibrated with an age-disaggregated gillnet catch per unit effort and acoustic surveys(CPUE) index (DFO, 2009, 2010a, 2012, 2014).

The most recent assessments (DFO, 2014 and 2015) presented two two formulations based on catchablity trends in the fix gear fishery. Both diverge and Model 1 result in exploitation in the terminal year above reference level, with biomass between the biomass limit and the upper biomass reference point. Model 2 show the exact opposite result from Model 1 with the stock above it’s upper biomass reference point and exploitation below the reference level.

The assessment team was unable to choose which formulation was most appropriate. Because the models give very different advice and results, stock status is unknown.A formal review has been recommended. This review was conducted April 2015 and the results are expected by Summer/Fall 2015.

SCIENTIFIC ADVICE

Last updated on 14 June 2015

A full risk analysis is conducted which examines a number of potions for quota setting (DFO, 2012 and 2014). However without agreement in the status of the resource management advice cannot be given. A formal review was conducted in April 2015 to resolve these differences.Results from that review are currently pending publication.

Reference Points

Last updated on 14 Jun 2015

Reference points were determined in 2005, aimed at ensuring consistency with the precautionary approach (DFO, 2005). An upper stock reference level (USR) of 172,000 t and a limit reference point (LRP) of 51,000 t were defined. At a spawning biomass level lower than LRP, removals should be minimized; between LRP and USR, removals should be lower than the removal rate reference level; and above USR, removals should be no higher than the removal rate reference (DFO, 2005).Removals from the fishery are determined by the fishing mortality rate and a reference level of F0.1, adopted as a generally safe rate for a healthy stock, has been determined as 0.32 for fully recruited age groups (ages 5+) (DFO, 2009). These reference points have been in place since 2005 and have remained unchanged (DFO, 2014 and 2015).

CURRENT STATUS

Last updated on 14 June 2015

Because of the divergent modeling, status cannot be determined at this time.It is hoped that this issue will be resolved as a benchmark was conducted in April 2015.The results of this benchmark are pending.

Trends

Last updated on 14 Jun 2015

The current trend in the stock is not certain given the uncertainties in the assessment.However both model agree that there has been a decline in the SSB from recent highs and that exploitation, while variable, has been below reference level 2008 to 2012 without trend.

2.MANAGEMENT QUALITY

MANAGEMENT

Last updated on 26 November 2009

Managers have set quotas in line with scientific advice and take a risk based approach which explicitly accounts for management exploitation objectives and accounts for some of the uncertainty (DFO, 2012 and 2014). Because of the lack of certainty given the two divergent assessment models, managers have reduced the quota for the 2014-2015 fishing year.

The fishery is also regulated by gear, and licenses, and seasonal/ area catch restrictions to protect juveniles(DFO, 2004, 2011a, 2015).

Recovery Plans

Last updated on 26 Nov 2009

Not applicable.

COMPLIANCE

Last updated on 14 June 2015

Compliance is strong in the fall spawning herring fishery, with landings well below harvest limits (DFO, 2014 and 2015).

The seine fleet is closely monitored through 100% dockside catch control, satellite tracking and at-sea observers. The gillnetfishery is also managed through a Dockside Monitoring Program (100% dockside verification), maximum allowable sizes and minimum mesh sizes for nets, and seasonal and area closures (DFO, 2011a). A small fish protocol was also implemented to protect the juvenile herring during the large seine fishery. This measure reduces the quota if a proportion of fish are smaller than 23.5 cm

3.ENVIRONMENT AND BIODIVERSITY

BYCATCH
ETP Species

Last updated on 15 June 2011

The St. Lawrence estuary (SLE) beluga whale population is classified as threatened by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) and shows no signs of recovery (DFO, 2007a). Among several factors threatening the population in this busy international waterway subject to input of industrial effluents, a parasite acquired from feeding on herring and other prey may be responsible for strandings and death (DFO, 2007a). Other whale species are not present year-round but both the North Atlantic right whale and the blue whale are designated as endangered and fin whale and harbour porpoise as species of concern. Habitat modification, accidental entanglement in fishing gears and water contamination, are some of the key ecosystem issues to these species (DFO, 2010c). Of the species of seals present, none has been listed by COSEWIC although there are indications that Gulf of St. Lawrence harbour seal may be at risk (DFO, 2010c). Many inshore birds such as gulls and terns have undergone population decreases in the past 20 years, while diving species have increased considerably, presumably as a result of human activities (DFO, 2010c).

Other Species

Last updated on 15 June 2011

No references to the incidental catch of other species could be located, but purse seine bycatch is thought to be minimal whereas gillnet bycatch may be significant in certain areas and conditions. Salmon bycatch is a concern in certain areas of eastern Canada (FRCC, 2009); in British Columbia there are reports of diving seabirds entangled in salmon and herring gillnets (BC Seafood Alliance, 2008).

In this management area, herring gillnet fisheries are managed through season and areas closures, maximum net sizes, minimum mesh sizes, and mandatory tagging of nets (DFO, 2011a).

HABITAT

Last updated on 15 June 2011

Gears employed in the fishery are limited to gillnets in inshore spawning grounds and purse seines in deeper water (DFO, 2009, 2010a) and disputes have arisen between fishers from these fleets. Impact on the seafloor is assumed to be minimal in both midwater gillnet and purse seine fisheries (Fuller at al., 2008). Potential negative impacts of purse seining on lobster habitats have however been raised as a concern by inshore fishers (Surette, 2004), but monitoring indicated lobster bycatch was not an issue (DFO, 2004). “Ghost fishing” is an issue for lost gillnets as they continue to actively fish at a rate of approximately 15% the commercial rate of capture. Besides fish stocks, “Ghost fishing” also endanger marine mammals and birds (Surette, 2004). Currently, tagging of all gillnet gears is mandatory (DFO, 2011a).

Marine Reserves

Last updated on 15 Jun 2011

The gillnet spring fishery is currently closed in the spawning beds of all herring fishery areas, except Île Verte and Western Prince Edward Island, south-eastern NB and northern GNS. Closures include an exclusion zone near Cape Egmont, the Grande-Entrée channel, spawning beds in New Mills, Carleton, St-Omer, near Point Escuminac and Cape Jourimain, and an area off Northeast Prince Edward Island, which is also closed to large seiners on a year-round basis (DFO, 2011a). Additionally, large vessels are not allowed to fish any species in a restriction zone in the Northumberland Strait (Surette, 2004). The fall fishery also includes temporal and area closures and catch quota restrictions (DFO, 2011a).

Numerous marine protected areas are designated along the coast and islands of the gulf, ranging from National Historic Parks to waterfowl gathering areas (Wood, 2007). The Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park and the proposed St. Lawrence Estuary Marine Protected Area were both established to protect the endangered St. Lawrence estuary beluga and its habitat (DFO, 2007b).

FishSource Scores

MANAGEMENT QUALITY

As calculated for 2014 data.

The score is ≥ 8.

There is no formal advised TAC; however, stock assessment is integrated in management decisions and managers set a quota based on exploitation goals. Given the assessment uncertainty managers have recently reduced the quota for FY 2014/2015.

As calculated for 2013 data.

The score is 10.0.

This measures the Catch as a percentage of the Set TAC.

The Catch is 34.4 ('000 t). The Set TAC is 43.5 ('000 t) .

The underlying Catch/Set TAC for this index is 79.0%.

STOCK HEALTH:

To see data for biomass, please view this site on a desktop.
To see data for catch and tac, please view this site on a desktop.
To see data for fishing mortality, please view this site on a desktop.
No data available for recruitment
No data available for recruitment
To see data for management quality, please view this site on a desktop.
No data available for stock status
No data available for stock status
DATA NOTES

Note: While there is no formal scientific advice, Managers do set an overall quota however no formal fishing mortality rate at low biomass has been set. Currently there are two divergent assessments which give very different statuses of the stock based on the reference points. As such Scores for 1, 2, 4 and 5 could not be calculated. Catches and quotas are based on the fishing rather than the calendar year.

Download Source Data

Registered users can download the original data file for calculating the scores after logging in. If you wish, you can Register now.

Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs)

No related FIPs

Certifications

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)

SELECT MSC

NAME

Gulf of St Lawrence fall herring gillnet fishery

STATUS

MSC Certified on 5 November 2015

SCORES

Principle Level Scores:

Principle Score
Principle 1 – Target Species 84.4
Principle 2 – Ecosystem 83.7
Principle 3 – Management System 85.5

Certification Type: Silver

Sources

Credits
  1. Assessment of the NAFO Division 4T southern Gulf of St. Lawrence Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus) stocks in 2013. DFO Can. Sci. Advis. Sec. Sci. Advis. Rep. 2015/025.http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/csas-sccs/Publications/ResDocs-DocRech/2015/2015_025-eng.html
  2. BC Seafood Alliance, 2008. The Impact of Longline and Gillnet Fishing on Seabirds. Sustainable Fishing Issues. BC Seafood Alliance. 2 pp.http://www.bcseafoodalliance.com/documents/SeabirdsJan08.pdf
  3. DFO, 2004. Facts on the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence Herring Fishery. Fisheries and Oceans Canada.http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/media/back-fiche/2004/20041112-eng.htm
  4. DFO, 2005. Spawning stock biomass reference points for spring and fall spawning herring in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence. Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat Research Document 2005/082. Fisheries and Oceans Canada.http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/csas/Csas/DocREC/2005/RES2005_082_e.pdf
  5. DFO, 2007a. Proceedings of the workshop on the St. Lawrence Estuary beluga – review of carcass program. Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat, Proceedings Series 2007/005. Fisheries and Oceans Canada.http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/csas/Csas/Proceedings/2007/PRO2007_005_E.pdf
  6. DFO, 2007b. The Gulf of St. Lawrence – a unique ecosystem. Fisheries and Oceans Canada.http://www.glf.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/os/goslim-gigsl/index-e.php
  7. DFO, 2007c. 2007 Harvesting Plan for Herring in the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence (Herring Fishing Areas 16A-16G). Fisheries and Oceans Canada.http://www.glf.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fam-gpa/herring-hareng/fmi-igp/2007-detail_notice_herring-avis_hareng-e.php
  8. DFO, 2009. Assessment of Herring in the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence (NAFO Div. 4T). Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat Science Advisory Report 2009/032. Fisheries and Oceans Canadahttp://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/CSAS/Csas/Publications/SAR-AS/2009/2009_032_E.pdf
  9. DFO, 2009. Herring - Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence (Fall Fishery). Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO).http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/decisions/fm-2009-gp/herring-hareng-0728-eng.htm
  10. DFO, 2010a. Assessment of Atlantic herring in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence (NAFO Div. 4T). Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat Science Advisory Report 2010/023. Fisheries and Oceans Canada http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/CSAS/Csas/publications/sar-as/2010/2010_023_e.pdf
  11. DFO, 2010b. 2010 Notice to Fish Harvesters. Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO).http://www.glf.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/e0010679
  12. DFO, 2010c. The Gulf of St. Lawrence – a unique ecosystem. Fisheries and Oceans Canada Website. [Accessed on April 8, 2011].http://www.glf.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/e0006090
  13. DFO, 2011a. Notice to Fish Harvesters: 2010-2011 Total Allowable Catch (TAC) and Harvesting Plan for the Spring Inshore Herring fishery in the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence (herring fishing areas 16A-16G). March 23, 2011. Fisheries and Oceans Canada. 20 pp.http://www.peifa.org/userfiles/2011-Notice%20to%20fishers-Herring%20Harvesting%20Plan.pdf
  14. DFO, 2012. Assessment of Atlantic herring in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence (NAFO Div. 4T). Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat Science Advisory Report 2012/014. Fisheries and Oceans Canada http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/csas-sccs/Publications/SAR-AS/2012/2012_014-eng.pdf
  15. DFO. 2014. Assessment of Atlantic herring in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence (NAFO Div. 4T) to 2013. DFO Can. Sci. Advis. Sec. Sci. Advis. Rep. 2014/040.http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/csas-sccs/publications/sar-as/2014/2014_040-eng.pdf
  16. FRCC, 2009. Fishing into the future: the herring fishery in eastern Canada. A report to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. Fisheries Resource Conservation Council.http://www.frcc-ccrh.ca/2009/herring_2009.pdf
  17. Fuller, S.D. , Picco, C., Ford, J., Tsao, C.-F., Morgan, L.E., Hangaard, D. and Chuenpagdee, R., 2008. How we fish matters: Addressing the Ecological Impacts of Canadian Fishing Gear. Living Oceans Society Ecology Action Centre, and Marine Conservation Biology Institute. 28 pp.http://www.mcbi.org/what/what_pdfs/HowWeFish.pdf
  18. Surette A, 2004. Conflict between mobile and fixed gear herring fishers in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence: an independent process identifying the issues surrounding the herring fishery, the positions of parties, and options for conflict resolution. Report submitted to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/surette/index-eng.htm
  19. Wood LJ, 2007. MPA Global: A database of the world's marine protected areas. Sea Around Us Project, UNEP-WCMC & WWF.http://www.mpaglobal.org
References

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