Management Measures for Capelin Fisheries in Atlantic Canada Released

News release

June 3, 2022

Ottawa, ON - Capelin is essential to our ocean ecosystem as it is an important food source for many larger species, such as cod. It is also an important source of income for harvesters, plant workers, and coastal communities throughout parts of Atlantic Canada. When making fisheries management decisions, Fisheries and Oceans Canada consider the best available scientific advice, stakeholder input and socioeconomic factors.

Today, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Joyce Murray, announced that for the 2022 fishing season the total allowable catch (TAC) will increase by 10 per cent for the capelin fishery in the Gulf of St. Lawrence (4RST), to 10,225t. This decision recognizes the relatively positive outlook for the stock, helps secure the employment of local plant workers and recognizes the importance of capelin as a forage fish in the ocean ecosystem.

Starting in 2023, a 25t interim allocation from the 4RST capelin TAC will be set aside to allow the small weir fishery in the Saint-Lawrence estuary in subdivision 4Tp to open earlier than in previous years, dependent on the sustainability of the stock.

Minister Murray also announced that the TAC for the capelin fishery off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador (2J3KLPs) will be maintained at 14,533t.

A rollover is a balanced approach that recognizes the concerns with the 2J3KLPs stock status, after a 25 per cent TAC cut the previous year, while recognizing that a Precautionary Approach Framework and Limit Reference Points are under development for the stock with the objective to have them in place to inform the 2023 management decision.

These decisions aim to keep our oceans healthy, so we can grow our fisheries sustainably, and create more opportunities for our coastal communities.

Capelin 4RST and 2J3KLPs Quota Allocation:
2022 10,225t 14,533t
2021 9,295t 14,533t
2020 9,295t 19,377t
2019 9,295t 22,796t
2018 9,295t 19,823t
2017 14,300t 30,496t
2016 14,300t 30,496t


“I recognize the impacts that fisheries decisions have on the livelihoods of Canadians, but also our ocean ecosystem. These management measures aim to balance the importance of capelin as a forage species while at the same time understanding how important these stocks are to harvesters, and plant workers across many Atlantic communities. I would like to thank all stakeholders for their input and guidance throughout the capelin advisory processes.”

The Honourable Joyce Murray, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard


Claire Teichman                                   
Press Secretary 
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans
and the Canadian Coast Guard             

Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada



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