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Sustainable fish harvest
Target 7.1: Sustainable fisheries – Improve the management and conservation of major stocks.
Of the 155 major stocks assessed in 2011, 137 (88%) were harvested at or below approved levels while 18 (12%) were harvested above approved levels. Stocks harvested above approved levels are recovered using quota reconciliation, where overharvest of a stock in one year is deducted from the harvest limit established for the following year.
The goal of fisheries management is to conserve Canada's fisheries resources through close collaboration with resource users and stakeholders. As part of this objective, the federal government conducts scientific research on factors that affect marine ecosystems and migratory fish species. This information is shared widely through publications and presentations, through networks such as the Canadian Capture Fisheries Research Network, through Regional Fisheries Management Organizations, and through programs such as the International Fisheries Conservation Program and Conservation and Protection programs.
Since 2009, the Sustainable Fisheries Framework has provided a foundation for an ecosystem-based and precautionary approach to fisheries management in Canada to support conservation and sustainable use. It incorporates existing fisheries management policies with new and evolving ones. The framework also includes tools to monitor and assess initiatives, and identifies areas that may need improvement.
The framework's science-based policies and tools are applied through Integrated Fisheries Management Plans that identify goals related to conservation, management, enforcement and science for individual fisheries. They define access and allocations among various fish harvesters and fleet areas, incorporate biological and socio-economic considerations that are factored into harvest decisions, and include a requirement to conduct a regular review of the fishery against the plan's objectives. In addition, self-diagnostic tools like the Fishery Checklist (a tool for internal use) helps the government monitor improvements that support sustainable fisheries, and identify areas of weakness that require further work.
For additional information on the implementation strategies that support this target, please consult the following website: Fisheries and Oceans Canada.
Progress towards Target 7.1: Percentage of major fish stocks where the harvest rate or level is at or below approved levels
Of the 155 major stocks assessed in 2011, 137 (88%) were harvested at or below approved levels, while 18 (12%) were harvested above approved levels, as shown in Figure 4.13. Stocks harvested above approved levels are recovered using quota reconciliation, where overharvest of a stock in one year is deducted from the harvest limit established for the following year.
Canada establishes harvest limits for wild fish stocks to protect stocks for the future.
For the most up-to-date information on this indicator, please visit CESI.
Figure 4.13: Number of major fish stocks harvested relative to approved levels, Canada, 2011
The pie chart shows the number of major fish stocks harvested relative to approved levels: 43% (67 stocks) are at or below removal reference; 45% (70 stocks) are at or below other approved levels and 12% (18 stocks) are above approved levels.
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