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Data Sources and Methods for the Sustainable Fish Harvest Indicator

1. Introduction

The Sustainable Fish Harvest indicator is part of the Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators (CESI) program, which provides data and information to track Canada's performance on key environmental sustainability issues. This indicator is also used to measure progress towards the goals and targets of the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy.

The long-term maintenance of the ecological, social and economic value of fish stocks requires controlling harvest to avoid overexploitation. In partnership with industry, Fisheries and Oceans Canada implements plans, policies and programs to protect stocks, assist in long-term sustainability, and provide for the fair allocation and distribution of harvestable surpluses among those dependent on the resource, in accordance with the precautionary approach. The Sustainable Fish Harvest indicator measures compliance with harvest limits as a measure of pressures on wild fish stocks.

Established harvest limits can be exceeded due to a number of factors, including short-time-frame competitive fisheries and unforeseen bycatch. Fishing is monitored by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and corrective actions are taken to address situations as they arise. Actions include implementing moratoria on fishing when necessary and adjusting harvest limits, to ensure conservation is not compromised.

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