Government of Canada takes critical step to rebuilding fish stocks
April 28, 2022
Ottawa, Ontario - The Government of Canada is committed to regenerating Canada’s fish stocks so they can continue to provide Canadians with food, income, and employment opportunities for generations to come. Under Canada’s Fisheries Act, modernized in 2019, the Government of Canada has taken steps to promote healthier marine ecosystems and more sustainable fish stocks across the country.
Today, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Joyce Murray announced the coming into force of additional regulatory changes that aim to rebuild vulnerable fish stocks.
The Fish Stocks provisions are now in force under the Fisheries Act. This places binding obligations on Fisheries and Oceans Canada to manage certain fish stocks sustainably, and to put rebuilding plans in place when stocks become depleted; requirements are also now in place to ensure that rebuilding plans are developed in a timely and consistent manner.
The Fish Stocks provisions and corresponding regulatory changes were developed in part with feedback from Indigenous groups, harvesters, non-government environmental organizations, other fisheries stakeholders, and over 400 Canadians.
“It is absolutely critical that Canada’s fish stocks be restored, and Canada has made it a legal requirement. Fishing is essential to Canada’s food security and is a key driver of jobs and economic opportunities. It is also a way of life and for many Indigenous people a matter of social and ceremonial necessity, and it is critical that Canada take steps to ensure the long term sustainability of our fish stocks. These regulatory changes under the Fisheries Act build on the work that Fisheries and Oceans Canada and partners have been doing to rebuild fish stocks, and places greater accountability on the responsible management of fisheries for generations to come.”
The Honourable Joyce Murray, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
The Fish Stocks provisions currently apply to 30 major fish stocks, 16 of which require rebuilding. Fisheries and Oceans Canada is required to develop and implement the rebuilding plans for these 16 stocks within the next 24-36 months, under the criteria set out in the new regulations. The Department is well-positioned to meet this deadline.
Five of the prescribed fish stocks currently have rebuilding plans: Atlantic cod (NAFO 2J3KL), Atlantic mackerel, Bocaccio rockfish, Northern shrimp (SFA 6), and Yelloweye rockfish (inside waters).
Under the Fish Stocks provisions, Fisheries and Oceans Canada is required to develop and implement rebuilding plans for the following depleted stocks within the next 24-36 months: Atlantic cod (3 stocks), Atlantic herring, Chinook salmon (2 stocks), Coho salmon, Pacific Herring, American Plaice, Winter flounder, and White hake.
Under the Fish Stocks provisions, Fisheries and Oceans Canada is obligated to put measures in place to maintain the following healthier stocks at sustainable levels: Atlantic Halibut, Lobster, Northern Shrimp (4 stocks), Pacific Hake, Acadian Redfish, Sablefish, Silver Hake, Snow crab (3 stocks), and Yelloweye rockfish (outside waters).
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
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