VANCOUVER — Fisheries and Oceans Canada is taking too much risk in managing Pacific herring with its plan to implement a 20 per cent harvest rate for the Strait of Georgia. Fisheries management is inherently complex, and allowing such a harvest rate on an important ecosystem component is a not a risk-averse strategy. It places too much confidence in the ability to accurately forecast highly variable herring returns based on a limited number of indicators and lacks the ability to adjust the quota in-season.
“DFO’s harvest strategy for herring continues to be a gamble,” said David Suzuki Foundation senior research scientist Scott Wallace. “DFO is managing this species solely as a fisheries resource while largely ignoring its other roles. The important role of herring in maintaining ecosystem, cultural, commercial and public values warrants a harvest strategy that greatly reduces the risk profile of this fishery.”
As a representative on the Integrated Herring Harvest Planning Committee for 15 years, the David Suzuki Foundation has advised that a lower harvest rate of 10 per cent would accurately reflect the important role of herring in the ecosystem and reduce the risks associated with forecasting the annual quotas while still maintaining access for commercial interests.
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For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Olga Shuvalova, David Suzuki Foundation: email@example.com, 514-569-6496