Sunday, July 21, 2024

Canadian Government Goes Against Scientific Advice On Herring Fishery


In what can only be seen as a blow to the Canadian herring population, Fisheries and Oceans Canada DFO announced a much larger herring quota than anticipated.

Scientists and environmental groups had recommended a quota of no more than 14,000 tons to enable the herring population to recover and reach sustainable population levels. However, the DFO announced a massive quota of 21,000 tons, a whopping 50% more than recommended.

Sadly, the herring stocks have been declining for decades and calls to rebuild them stretch back to 2001. Commenting on the appalling decision, Sebastian Pardo, the Sustainable Fisheries Coordinator at the Ecology Action Centre, stated:

“For a second year in a row, the Minister has chosen to bypass the multi-year stakeholder process that developed harvest rules to rebuild the stock out of the critical zone within 10 years. The Minister seems to only be listening to industry and ignoring other stakeholders, particularly when it comes to rebuilding this depleted stock. It begs the question as to why DFO is spending so much public money on science and management frameworks that do not get adopted. Sadly, this decision is yet another example of ministerial discretion hindering recovery and hurting our marine ecosystems.”

While Katie Schleit, the Fisheries Director at Oceans North, added:

“This year’s decision also ignores the larger long-term benefits that would come from rebuilding the herring stock. A recent cost-benefit analysis shows that the value of leaving forage fish in the water to rebuild, support ecosystem function, and provide food for other organisms is approximately $1.6 billion. DFO must take seriously its duty to rebuild populations and to consider scientific advice, ecosystem management, and the views of other stakeholders.”

You can find out more information here.

Sam Helmy
Sam Helmy
Sam Helmy is a TDI/SDI Instructor Trainer, and PADI Staff and Trimix Instructor. Diving for 28 years, a dive pro for 14, I have traveled extensively chasing my passion for diving. I am passionate about everything diving, with a keen interest in exploration, Sharks and big stuff, Photography and Decompression theory. Diving is definitely the one and only passion that has stayed with me my whole life! Sam is a Staff Writer for