Canada announces Atlantic mackerel quota for 2021
To help ensure all fleets have some fishing opportunities, the quota will be released in two equal amounts with one release now and one release later in the summer. The science shows that by applying this TAC level, the biomass has a 64% chance that it will increase by the time of the next stock assessment in 2023.
In making her decision, the Minister considered findings of the 2021 Atlantic mackerel stock assessment, which described the lowest level ever observed for spawning fish.
She also considered the economic importance of the stock, which in 2018, had a the total landed value of $10.7 million. Reducing commercial fishing will help support stock growth over time, while also allowing harvesters and communities to generate income from this important fishery.
The Minister also announced that new regulations on Atlantic mackerel recreational fishery will be coming into effect on May 26, 2021 to further protect the stock. The new regulations will – for the first time – place limits on the number of mackerel being fished, and establish opening and closing dates for the recreational fishery.
In recent years, Fisheries and Oceans Canada has introduced a number of management measures to support Atlantic mackerel stock rebuilding. The Department brought in measures to protect spawning fish and improved catch monitoring and reporting. In 2019, the Department implemented a 20 per cent reduction in total allowable catch. ■