Strategic Framework for Fishery Monitoring and Catch Reporting in the Pacific Fisheries

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Appendix 1

Draft Policy Framework on Managing Bycatch and Discards Statement Summary (as of June 30, 2011)  

Scope and objectives

The scope of this Policy is national, and it applies to all commercial, recreational and Aboriginal fisheries licensed and/or managed by DFO under the Fisheries Act. It also applies to fisheries managed by DFO operating outside of Canada’s Exclusive Economic Zone.  

Reflecting Canada’s international commitments and its adoption domestically of an ecosystem approach to management, the objectives of the policy are to:

  1. Ensure that Canadian fisheries are managed in a manner that supports the sustainable harvesting of aquatic species and that minimizes the risk of fisheries causing serious or irreversible harm to bycatch and discard species;
  2. Account for total catch, including bycatch and discards.  

Guiding principles

Overarching principles used to guide the application of the policy were drawn from DFO policies and management frameworks developed in recent years - e.g., economic prosperity[1], transparency and accountability, ecosystem approach to fisheries management[2], integration of Aboriginal traditional knowledge and other local and traditional knowledge and shared stewardship.  

Core strategies to achieve the objectives  

Develop data collection and monitoring systems that will support timely, accurate, and aggregated reporting on retained and discarded bycatch species.  

Evaluate the impact of fishing on bycatch species, whether they are retained for use or discarded.  

Minimize the capture of discarded bycatch species and specimens, to the extent practicable.  

Where discarding of bycatch species and specimens is unavoidable, maximize the potential for live release and post-release survival.  

Manage the catch of retained bycatch species and specimens so as not to exceed established harvest levels for the species.  

Develop appropriate measures to manage bycatch and regularly evaluate their effectiveness.  

Implementation of the policy framework will be phased in over time, according to national and regional priorities and resource availability.


[1], [2]