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Management Plan Released for Atlantic Herring

Atlantic herring is a vital species in Atlantic Canada. As one of the largest commercial fisheries in Atlantic Canada, the Southwest Nova Scotia / Bay of Fundy herring stock directly or indirectly employs more than 1,000 people in rural Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, and contributes over $140 million to the local economy. Atlantic herring is also an important source of bait for other commercial fisheries, such as lobster and snow crab.

Despite a number of measures taken in recent years to encourage rebuilding, the Southwest Nova Scotia / Bay of Fundy Atlantic herring stock remains in the critical zone. Stronger sustainable management actions are needed to protect this important species and return it to abundance.

The Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Joyce Murray, announced that the 2022 total allowable catch (TAC) for the Southwest Nova Scotia / Bay of Fundy Atlantic herring stock will be 23,450 tonnes. This is a 33% decrease from last year’s TAC, which was 35,000 tonnes.

This decision reduces pressure on this stock, while recognizing the needs of communities that depend on this fishery for jobs and bait.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) will closely monitor the status of this stock and will continue to work with harvesters, Indigenous communities and other partners to responsibly rebuild this stock to the healthy zone over time.

Joyce Murray said: “The Atlantic herring stock in Southwest Nova Scotia and the Bay of Fundy is in critical condition and we must take action to regenerate the stock. I want to thank stakeholders, including the Herring Science Council, for acknowledging that a TAC reduction was required this year. Over the next year, DFO will work closely with harvesters, rights-holders, and scientists as we take measured steps to support the long-term sustainability of this stock.”

Quick facts

  • In 2021, the landed value of the Southwest Nova Scotia / Bay of Fundy Atlantic herring commercial fishery was $21.4M.
  • Food, social and ceremonial fisheries for First Nations communities for Atlantic herring in the Southwest Nova Scotia / Bay of Fundy stock area will not be impacted by this decision. Neither will other herring fishing areas in DFO’s Maritimes Region (Coastal Nova Scotia, Offshore Scotian Shelf, Georges Bank and Southwest New Brunswick).
  • Southwest Nova Scotia / Bay of Fundy Atlantic herring has been in the critical zone since 2018. To promote stock recovery, DFO reduced the TAC from 42,500 tonnes in 2018 to 35,000 tonnes in 2019, where it remained through 2021.

Source: https://www.canada.ca/en/fisheries-oceans/news/2022/06/management-plan-released-for-atlantic-herring-in-southwest-nova-scotia-and-the-bay-of-fundy.html