Pacific Marine Conservation Caucus response to draft 2020-21 Pacific herring IFMP
David Suzuki Foundation and partners
Authored by: Scott Wallace, Karen Wristen, Misty MacDuffee, Aaron Hill
Partners: Integrated Herring Harvest Planning Committee, Pacific Marine Conservation Caucus
Oceans and fresh water fisheries and aquaculture
The Marine Conservation Caucus has submitted a response to the annual Pacific Herring Integrated Fisheries Management Plan draft.
The Strait of Georgia management procedure adopted and presented in the draft 2020-21 IFMP is a continuation of long-standing conventional fisheries management approaches. It does not consider ecosystem-based objectives, reduced risk profiles or selection of management procedures to grow and maintain the population into the healthy zone.
The MCC recommends an intentional transition of Pacific herring management toward an ecosystem-based fishery through lowering the harvest rate and implementing operational control points to maintain the biomass at a higher level (healthy zone). This approach will reduce risk to herring and to predators that rely on herring to survive, acknowledge uncertainties in population structure and maintain fishing opportunities within the context of an ecosystem-based fishery. DFO should consider other conservation objectives and transition the Strait of Georgia herring fishery toward Canada’s first ecosystem-based fishery.