Monday, July 22, 2024

Oceana Canada Warns Of Reopening Redfish Fishing


Oceana Canada has urged Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) to exercise caution over the reintroduction of redfish fishing in Canadian waters.

The moratorium has been in place since 1995 and was lifted earlier this year in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. This was primarily due to the great comeback the fish has been able to make, although many questions remain about redfish management if fishing is allowed to resume.

While the DFO has indicated a phased approach to fishing quotas, Oceana Canada has urged it to be more carful, not to undo all the good work of the last 30 years.

In a written response to the DFO, Oceana Canada Fishery Scientist Rebecca Schijns stated:

“Oceana Canada urges Fisheries Minister Lebouthillier and DFO to take a cautious approach. We call on the Canadian government to develop a redfish management plan to prevent the same overfishing that led to its collapse 30 years ago. It must include rigorous monitoring requirements in line with DFO’s Fishery Monitoring Policy.

“Careful monitoring is essential because there are two species of redfish in the Gulf of St. Lawrence that look identical to the untrained eye. Deepwater redfish (Sebastes mentella) are healthy and flourishing, while Acadian redfish (Sebastes fasciatus) are in the cautious zone. A sustainable fishery may be able to target Deepwater redfish, however, it would also need to prevent the incidental catch (or bycatch) of undersized fish and less abundant Acadian redfish, along with other species that are depleted or commercially valuable.

“With the rebound of redfish, DFO has an opportunity to demonstrate how a fishery can be re-opened successfully. By following modern policies and management practices, redfish can provide an economic boost to coastal communities for years to come.”

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