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Pacific herring 2023-2024: Integrated fisheries management plan summary

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The purpose of this Integrated Fisheries Management Plan (IFMP) summary is to provide a brief overview of the information found in the full IFMP. This document also serves to communicate the basic information on the fishery and its management to DFO staff, legislated co-management boards and other stakeholders. This IFMP provides a common understanding of the basic “rules” for the sustainable management of the fisheries resource. The full IFMP is available on request.

This IFMP summary is not a legally binding instrument which can form the basis of a legal challenge. The IFMP can be modified at any time and does not fetter the Minister's discretionary powers set out in the Fisheries Act. The Minister can, for reasons of conservation or for any other valid reasons, modify any provision of the IFMP in accordance with the powers granted pursuant to the Fisheries Act.

Where DFO is responsible for implementing obligations under land claims agreements, the IFMP will be implemented in a manner consistent with these obligations. In the event that an IFMP is inconsistent with obligations under land claims agreements, the provisions of the land claims agreements will prevail to the extent of the inconsistency.

Overview (Section 1)

The 2023/2024 Pacific Herring Integrated Fisheries Management Plan (IFMP) encompasses the period of November 7, 2023 to November 6, 2024. This IFMP provides a broad context to the management of the Pacific Herring fishery and the interrelationships of all fishing sectors involved in this fishery.

Pacific Herring (Clupea pallasii) is a pelagic species which occurs in inshore and offshore waters of the North Pacific (Figure 1). In the eastern Pacific waters, Pacific Herring are found from Baja California to the Beaufort Sea in Alaska. The Pacific Herring (Clupea pallasii) fishery started in British Columbia in the 19th century, and became the major pelagics fishery after the collapse of Pacific Sardine in the late 1940s. Today most Pacific Herring are fished for roe, which is sold in Japan. The remainder of the commercial fisheries are divided between spawn on kelp production and the food and bait markets.

Map of Pacific Herring major and minor stock and fishing areas
Figure 1: Map of Pacific Herring major and minor stock and fishing areas (IFMP Appendix 2)

Management of Pacific Herring is directed by the Fisheries Act and other acts and regulations including:

These documents are available on the Internet at:

In addition, the new national Sustainable Fisheries Framework contains policies for adopting an ecosystem based approach to fisheries management including:

Along with existing economic and shared stewardship policies, these will help the Department achieve and maintain sustainable fish stocks, protect biodiversity and fisheries habitats, and ensure productive fisheries. For more information on the Sustainable Fisheries Framework, please visit:

Herring science and stock assessment (Section 2)

Stock assessment

Pacific Herring are currently managed in five major and two minor stock areas (Figure 1). Accordingly, catch and survey information is collected independently for each of these seven areas, and DFO science advice is provided on the same scale.

Since the early 1980’s, a statistical catch-age model has been used to provide stock assessment advice for the major stock areas (Haist and Stocker 1984). In 2006, the catch-age model was updated in a Bayesian framework as the Herring Catch Age Model (HCAM, Haist and Schweigert 2006), used for the 2006 through 2010 stock assessments with additional modifications (Christensen et al. 2009, Cleary et al. 2010). A new version of the model was introduced in 2011. This Integrated Statistical Catch Age Model (ISCAM, Martell et al. 2011) has been used for stock assessment from 2011-2018. In 2017, the assessment included minor updates to the analytical procedures within ISCAM, bringing the assessment in line with best practices.

A management approach utilizing a 20% harvest rate for Pacific Herring was introduced in 1983 and commercial fishing thresholds or cut-off levels were added in 1986. The 20% harvest rate was based on an analysis of stock dynamics, which indicates this level would stabilize both catch and spawning biomass while foregoing minimum yield over the long term (Hall et al. 1988, Zheng et al. 1993). The commercial cut-off levels were established at 25% of the unfished spawning biomass, as determined by an analysis of stock-recruitment data from 1951-1996. The Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat (CSAS) reviewed the biological basis for target exploitation rate, considering both the priority of assuring conservation of the resource and allowing sustainable harvesting opportunities (Schweigert and Ware 1995).

In 2016, DFO Fisheries Management requested science advice to inform the identification of Limit Reference Points (LRPs) for Pacific Herring. In response to this request, DFO Science Branch led the development of a peer reviewed paper on LRPs for Pacific Herring “The Selection and Role of Limit Reference Points for Pacific Herring (Clupea pallasii) in British Columbia, Canada” (Kronlund et al. 2018). A CSAS peer-review meeting occurred in February 2017. The outcome of the research and the CSAS process was support for the recommendation of a spawning biomass-based LRP of 0.3SB0 (unfished spawning biomass) for all five major stocks. Kronlund et al. (2018) recommended phasing-in of any new management procedure (i.e., changes to data collection, stock assessment models and/or harvest control rules) designed to avoid 0.3SB0 LRP and achieve targets in order to mitigate short-term consequences to resource users.

To advance work on Management Strategy Evaluation (MSE), part of a DFO commitment to a multi-year renewal of the management framework (Pacific Herring Renewal), DFO Science Branch led the development of a peer reviewed paper “Performance of management procedures for British Columbia Pacific Herring (Clupea pallasii) in the presence of model uncertainty: closing the gap between precautionary fisheries theory and practice (Benson et al., In press)”. This research uses closed-loop simulations to test the performance of various management procedures (specifically different harvest control rules) against conservation, biomass, and yield objectives under three natural mortality scenarios. This work was first applied to the SOG and WCVI stocks and reviewed by CSAS in July 2018 (DFO 2018). In 2019, a similar process was used to evaluate management procedures against conservation, biomass and yield objectives under the same three natural mortality scenarios for HG, PRD, and CC (DFO 2019). In 2020, the second round of management procedure evaluations were performed for the SOG and WCVI using similar methods (DFO 2021., In press), with 2018 and 2019 (and 2020 for SOG only) spawn survey and biological data added.

The first cycle of Pacific Herring MSE includes, as a starting point, four DFO proposed fisheries management objectives (DFO 2019) which reflect DFO policy, and were applied to each major stock:

  1. Avoid the LRP with at least 75% probability over three Pacific Herring generations (i.e., avoid a biomass limit; P(SBt > 0:3SB0) 0:75); this is referred to as the ‘conservation objective’;
  2. Maintain spawning biomass at or above the USR with at least 50% probability over three Pacific Herring generations (i.e., achieve a target biomass; P(SBt ≥ 0.6SB0) ≥ 0.5),
  3. Maintain average annual variability (AAV) in catch below 25% over three Pacific Herring generations (goal reflecting catch variability; AAV < 0.25), and
  4. Maximize average annual catch over three Pacific Herring generations (goal reflecting catch biomass).

In addition, some First Nations, the Herring Industry Advisory Board, the Marine Conservation Caucus, and the Sport Fish Advisory Board have proposed additional objectives or expressed support for existing ones.

To ensure consistency with the Sustainable Fisheries Framework and full implementation of the Precautionary Approach (PA) Policy to Pacific Herring, an Upper Stock Reference (USR) point for each major stock is required. Candidate USRs were considered by Cleary et al. (2019), and have appeared in stock assessments and MSE updates, however consultations around USR selection were incomplete. As a result, a Science-Resource Management Working Group was established to evaluate USR options for the major herring stock areas. This evaluation was presented in the Science Response “Management Strategy Evaluation Update and Evaluation of Upper Stock Reference Point Options for Pacific Herring (Clupea pallasii) in British Columbia Canada” (Cleary et al. 2022), in which the role of the USR for Pacific herring is described, USR options are documented and evaluated, and considerations for selection of USRs are described. This work was completed for PRD, CC, SOG and WCVI; Haida Gwaii herring reference points are developed in the draft rebuilding plan. The analysis also included simulation-evaluation to examine the probability of meeting USR options under different management procedures.

Consultations about defining a USR occurred throughout Spring and Summer of 2022. After considering the USR options proposed in the science response, as well as all feedback received during summer/fall consultations and from the comment period for the draft version of this IFMP, provisional USRs will be formalized in this final approved IFMP for 2022/2023. Based on feedback received to date, DFO Resource Management is setting the provisional USR based on a productive period (BMSY proxy) in each area. This approach is stable and repeatable in application, and year-to-year differences in productive period spawning biomass are unlikely to change with the addition of new survey and fishery data. A 10-year productive period is proposed for PRD (1983-1992), CC (1990-1999) and WCVI (1990-1999), and a 20-year period for SOG (1987-2007) as there was insufficient variability demonstrated in a 10-year only period.

In the SOG area, the identified productive period contains the highest biomass levels in the time series and represents a period of successful annual fisheries and continued positive productions and therefore is identified as a suitable proxy to recent estimates of Bmsy. As such, the USR for the SOG will be established at 80% of the average spawning biomass during the productive period. Productive periods in other areas yield average spawning biomass levels that are lower than historical highs and these areas have incurred recent low productively states and therefore the USR levels will be set at the average biomass levels of the productive periods.

As a fully specified set of objectives has not yet been developed for each management area, DFO will continue to collaborate with coastal First Nations to develop area-specific objectives specific to Food, Social and Ceremonial fisheries as well as commercial fisheries. In addition, DFO will continue to engage with the herring industry, government, and nongovernment organizations to describe broader objectives related to conservation, economics, and access.

Science Branch assessed the status of Pacific Herring stocks in 2023 and provided projections of potential herring abundance for 2024 to inform the development of the annual IFMP. The 2023 Science Response “Stock Status Update with Application of Management Procedures for Pacific Herring (Clupea pallasii) in British Columbia: Status in 2023 and Forecast for 2024” (September 2023) presents current estimates of spawning biomass for each major stock and integrates results from the 2019 and 2020 MSE simulations for all major stocks. Biomass estimates and forecasts implement the Assessment Model 2 (AM2) formulation of the assessment model only (DFO 2021).

Ecosystem interactions

Herring plays a critical, foundational role in the ecosystem, supporting numerous economically, ecologically, and culturally significant species. These species include seabirds, especially diving birds such as cormorants and murres, fish, including salmon, perch, and hake, and several marine mammals. The harvest rates used to set total allowable catch limits are based on mature spawning biomass forecasts, leaving juvenile fish and a significant proportion of the adult population available to support ecosystem processes.

Research indicates that the interplay of food supply and predation impacts on herring survival and production is complex and not readily predictable (Schweigert et al. 2010). Recent research to establish limit reference points for Pacific Herring, defining points of serious or slowly reversible harm to a stock, have been completed (Kronlund et al. 2018; DFO 2015), and further research is planned to more clearly define additional reference points. Furthermore, renewal of the management system is ongoing (discussed in more detail in section 2.6.1/2 and 8.3.5). In addition, DFO acknowledges that there are a variety of research initiatives undertaken by DFO and other organizations that may provide relevant and useful ecosystem information to inform management and Science decisions. Ongoing discussions within DFO and with partners and stakeholders will aim to improve coordination and communication of information.

Fisheries Act: Fish stock provisions

Amendments to the Fisheries Act (Bill C-68) were passed into legislation in 2019 and include new authorities to amend the Fishery (General) Regulations and requirements to maintain major fish stocks at sustainable levels, and to develop and implement rebuilding plans for stocks that have declined to their critical zone. Amendments are available at:

The associated regulatory amendment to the Fishery (General) Regulations to prescribe major fish stocks and describe requirements for rebuilding plans was registered and came into force on April 4, 2022, and published in Canada Gazette, Part II. Available at:

Haida Gwaii Pacific Herring was the first Pacific Herring stock to be listed in regulation, and to which the Fish Stocks Provisions (FSPs) in the Fisheries Act apply. Haida Gwaii Herring is subject to section 6.2 of the FSPs, requiring development of a rebuilding plan. More information on this plan can be found in section 2.5.3. The remaining major herring stocks are proposed to be listed in the next regulatory amendment process, during which there will be an opportunity to submit feedback on the proposed amendment once the draft regulation is published in Canada Gazette, Part I.

Indigenous knowledge (Section 3)

Indigenous traditional knowledge / traditional ecological knowledge

Indigenous nations provide information to DFO on Pacific Herring behavior, spawn timing, abundance, ecosystem relationships, and fishing methods, based on their historic and cultural knowledge of the species and of their local areas. This information sharing contributes to the base of knowledge regarding fish behavior, spawn timing, and abundance.

Traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) in the form of observations and comments provided by members of the public, and DFO staff contribute to the base of knowledge regarding Pacific Herring behavior, spawn timing, and abundance. Fishery participants provide information to DFO on herring behaviour, spawn timing, abundance, ecosystem relationships and fishing methods, based on their historic and cultural knowledge of the species and of the areas harvested.

Social, cultural, and economic importance (Section 4)

Pacific Herring has been an important species for British Columbia’s commercial fisheries for over 100 years. Herring are harvested in the Roe, Spawn-on-Kelp, Food and Bait, and Special Use fisheries, creating employment and contributing significantly to revenue generated from fisheries in BC.

BC herring products are predominantly sold to Japan. Other markets of notable significance are China and the US. In recent years, some harvesters have experienced a challenging business environment due to increased competition for export markets and waning international demand. The remainder of section 4 of the IFMP is a brief socioeconomic profile that provides a snapshot of recent viability and market trends, processing and exporting, as well as employment capacity related to herring.

Herring fisheries have also been extremely important to BC First Nations since time immemorial (500 generations) and continue to be important, both commercially and as traditional food. Herring are the foundation of the marine ecosystem which coastal Indigenous people have respected and honoured since time immemorial. This is illustrated by the significant role that herring play in the culture and society of coastal communities. Traditional harvest, knowledge and handling methods, passed down through the generations, varied from families and language groups.

Management issues (Section 5)

This section highlights a number of ongoing, longer-term issues identified with respect to the management of Pacific Herring. Shorter-term and/or annual management issues are identified in the commercial fishing plans for each fishery (Appendices 7-10).

First Nations

DFO has received reports that some Indigenous nations have been unable to successfully harvest FSC and treaty allocations in their traditional areas. In addition to pre-season and post-season consultation, catch monitoring and co-management programs are developed in collaboration with some Indigenous communities and organizations to improve DFO’s understanding of these fisheries and potential barriers to successful FSC and treaty related fisheries.

Some Indigenous nations have expressed concern regarding the status of herring stocks in some areas. In particular, concern that stocks may not be able to support FSC access and commercial fisheries while ensuring long-term conservation and sustainability. In that context, continued efforts to consult and collaborate with First Nations (and others) regarding the management approach for Pacific Herring, as well as a broad renewal of the management framework, remain a priority for DFO.

DFO has also proposed in-season management measures to address concerns identified by First Nations regarding levels of herring spawn or herring abundance observed in some areas. These measures are outlined in the applicable fishing plans for Roe (Appendix 7), Spawn on Kelp (Appendix 8), Food and Bait (Appendix 9), and Special Use (Appendix 10).


There is limited catch information available for the recreational herring sector, however catch is estimated to be very low.


Roe Herring: Commercial licence holders and the Herring Industry Advisory Board (HIAB) have identified lowering commercial licence fees as an urgent issue for the fishery. Specifically, licence holders have recommended licence fees for BC herring fisheries be adjusted to a more equitable fee structure that aligns with fishing revenue.

Additionally, the Roe herring sector requires relatively stable allocation of herring in order to preserve the market from year to year. Global economics and herring catch fluctuations in other countries impact market considerations, and the profitability of the Roe fishery. The Roe herring sector also requires access to as many fishing areas as possible in order to minimize risk of fishery failure due to timing of spawn events or stock distribution.

Ensuring that fisheries are timed to optimize roe quality and that product arrives at processing facilities in a time frame that the offloading and processing of catch does not impact the roe quality is challenging for both industry and DFO Fisheries Management, requiring on-grounds roe quality testing.

Lastly, the dynamic nature of the Roe fishery requires extensive in-season management and cooperation from industry to provide opportunity for quotas to be met and not exceeded. Additionally, the Department has no obligation and provides no assurance or guarantee that the maximum or any amount of fish specified in a licence will be harvested and openings will not be maintained for an indefinite time period. Fishery openings may be spatially and temporally separated to avoid gear conflicts or closed to avoid sensitive areas, for navigational purposes, or to provide access to First Nations to harvest fish or spawn.

Spawn-on-Kelp: The restriction on licence nomination (non-transferability) in this fishery has been identified as an issue, as some individual fishery participants are no longer able or do not wish to continue to participate in the fishery.

Additionally, the amount of herring used in a herring enclosure, number of enclosures, disease impacts, mortality estimates, and general enclosure management practices for this fishery, require further examination to improve understanding stock and ecosystem impacts.

Food and Bait: The ability to harvest the vessel quotas may be difficult in a given year, due to the timing of this fishery (November to February) to harvest food and bait quality fish.

Based on the scale of the fishery, the Department has implemented enhanced management measures for proper management and control of harvest. The management controls and measures for this fishery will continue to be assessed, and future management adjustments may be made to address emerging fishery developments.

Special Use: The amount of herring used in a herring enclosure, number of enclosures, disease impacts, and mortality estimates, and general enclosure management practices for this fishery require further examination to ensure that stock and ecosystem impacts are better understood.

Gear impacts

Under responsible operation, there are minimal environmental impacts from gear types used in the Pacific Herring fisheries. During the Roe fishery, efforts are made to conduct fisheries in areas which avoid impact to sensitive spawning habitat, such as eelgrass beds. In the Spawn-on-Kelp fishery, participants are encouraged to avoid local impacts. There is potential for impacts to the benthic habitat in this fishery if poor enclosure husbandry is exercised or if there is large mortality of ponded herring.

There are some ecological impacts with respect to marine mammal and sea bird encounters, specifically with herring enclosures. Mitigation measures, including use of predator netting, regular enclosure inspections, and post-season release of ponded herring, are in place.

Sea lions and other abundant marine mammals continue to be a significant issue in the Roe, Food and Bait, and Special Use seine fisheries. Sea lions (South Coast) and humpback whales (North Coast) are increasingly abundant in important fishing areas. There may be safety concerns in regards to contact with marine mammals. Presence of sea lions also impacts vessel stability and leads to longer set (when the fishing gear is in the water) times which may result in increased chances of herring dying and increases wear on gear. Some fishing areas experience this issue more than others.

Lost, abandoned or otherwise discarded fishing gear (ghost gear) can cause large-scale damage to marine ecosystems through habitat disturbance and causes direct harm to the welfare and conservation of marine animals via entanglement and/or ingestion. It is estimated that between 5% - 30% of harvestable fish stocks are impacted by ghost gear across the world, posing a major threat to human health and livelihoods as well as to global food security. Additionally, ghost gear can cause large-scale damage to marine ecosystems through habitat disturbance and causes direct harm to the welfare and conservation of marine animals via entanglement and/or ingestion.

DFO is committed to showing leadership in the management of ghost gear by developing an action plan that will focus efforts on science, prevention, mitigation, as well as recovery and management. We are also working with others to advance this initiative internationally such as in regional fisheries bodies and through the Global Ghost Gear Initiative. DFO has expanded mandatory reporting requirements for lost gear to additional commercial fisheries as well as introduce a new requirement to report any retrieved gear previously reported lost has been introduced in commercial fisheries. This information will allow for targeted retrieval efforts and more robust analysis of the ghost gear issue in Canada. Reporting forms can be found at: or by googling “Reporting Requirements for Commercial Fisheries.”

Species at Risk Act

Encounters with SARA-listed species (e.g. Steller Sea Lion) and other marine mammals and seabirds may occur in herring fisheries. The Department and the fishing industry collect information on these encounters on behalf of the Species at Risk program and Marine Mammal Unit of DFO and Canadian Wildlife Service of Environment Canada.

Access and allocation (Section 6)

The Minister can, for reasons of conservation or for any other valid reason, modify access, allocations, and sharing arrangements as outlined in this IFMP in accordance with the powers granted pursuant to the Fisheries Act.

Management measures for the duration of the plan (Section 7)

This year's stock assessment advice, in the form of a Science Response, includes results from Management Strategy Evaluation (MSE) simulations for all areas. Catch calculations are informed by the management procedures that met the conservation objective of avoiding the limit reference point of 30% of the unfished herring biomass with a high (>75%) probability over 15 years of application. Details on this work is included in section 2 and Appendix 3.

Indigenous groups will continue to have priority access for Food, Social, and Ceremonial (FSC) fisheries in all stock areas.

Recommendations for each area are as follows:

HG: Closed to commercial harvest. No MSE tested management procedures could meet the conservation objective of avoiding the LRP, even in the absence of fishing. Stock biomass and growth have been low for almost 20 years. Spawning biomass in 2024 is forecast to be 4,699 short tons (range: 1,796-12,509 tons) and to be below the LRP with an 77% probability in the absence of fishing. As HG herring is now subject to s. 6.2 of the Fish Stocks Provisions, a rebuilding plan is required. The draft rebuilding plan is currently in the approval process; final publication of the plan is anticipated in early 2024. To support this work, and in accordance with 70(5) of the Fishery (General) Regulations, this area will continue to be closed for the 2023/24 fishing season.

PRD: FSC, Spawn on Kelp, and Roe herring opportunities (5% harvest rate) to a maximum of 2,271 tons. In this area, stock biomass and growth has remained low but steady, fluctuating around the LRP from around 2005 to 2018 and has recently increased in abundance. Spawning biomass in 2024 is forecast to be 46,843 short tons (range: 24,446-85,484 tons) and to be below the LRP with an 2% probability in the absence of fishing. MSE results show that harvest control rules with harvest rates up to and including 20% will meet the conservation objective over the fifteen year simulation period, with a high degree of certainty. The median forecast of biomass for this stock in 2024 is projected to be above the USR.

CC: FSC, and Spawn on Kelp herring opportunities (4% harvest rate) to a maximum of 200 tons. This stock has shown an increase in spawning biomass since a low in the late 2000’s through to 2019, and has since decreased for the last three years. Spawning biomass in 2024 is forecast to be 17,889 short tons (range: 9,287-36,232 tons) and to be below the LRP with a 41% probability in the absence of fishing. In the CC area, harvest rates up to 10% meet the conservation objective in the MSE analysis over the 15 year simulation period. Harvest control rules with higher harvest rates have not been tested in the CC area. The median forecast for the CC stock in 2024 is projected to be below the USR.

SOG: FSC, Food and Bait, Special Use, and Roe herring opportunities (10% harvest rate) to a maximum of 8,058 tons. Spawning biomass in the SOG for 2024 is forecast to be 80,882 tons (range: 44,040-146,621 tons) and below the LRP with an 8% probability in the absence of fishing. The SOG area has the largest biomass of all the major stock assessment areas. The median forecast of 2024 biomass is projected to be above the USR. Harvest control rules using harvest rates up to 15% continue to meet the conservation objective in the updated MSE analysis over the 15 year simulation period. Performance of harvest control rules in MSE simulations has been shown to be significantly influenced by natural mortality and spawn index values in the last 3 to 5 years. In the SOG, the most recent model estimates of natural mortality suggest an increasing trend while spawn index values have been variable which results in reduced performance of all harvest control rules in the simulation analysis. SOK commercial fisheries do not occur in the SOG.

WCVI: Closed to commercial harvest. The WCVI stock persisted in a low biomass, low productivity state from approximately 2004 to 2014. In recent years there has been a slow increasing trend, with a large increase in spawning biomass in 2023, as well as improved performance in the MSE simulations. The spawning biomass in 2024 is forecast to be 41,244 short tons (range: 22,119-75,185 tons) and below the LRP with a 0.4% probability in the absence of fishing. MSE results show that harvest control rules with harvest rates up to and including 15% meet the conservation objective over the fifteen year simulation period, with a high degree of certainty. The median forecast of biomass for this stock in 2024 is projected to be above the USR.

Minor Stock Areas: Closed to commercial harvest, FSC fishing opportunities only.

Area 2 West: FSC and limited Spawn on Kelp herring opportunities to a maximum of 100 tons (1 licence maximum). The spawn index for 2023 is 1,313 tons. The 2024 harvest rate is consistent with the recommended Haida Gwaii Rebuilding Plan management actions for this area.

Area 27: FSC and Spawn on Kelp herring opportunities to a maximum of 105 tons. The spawn index for 2023 is 14,893 tons. There are three SOK licences assigned to the area in total.

Area 10: Closed to commercial harvest. On-grounds observations indicate very little spawn was observed in 2023. There are three SOK licences assigned to the area in total.

Area 12: FSC and Spawn on Kelp herring opportunities to a maximum of 100 tons. On-grounds observations indicate higher than average spawn in portions of area 12 was observed in 2023. There is one SOK licence assigned to the area in total.

See Appendix 5 to 10 for information regarding the Aboriginal Fishing Plan, Recreational Fishing Plan, and Commercial Fishing Plans for each commercial herring fishery, including:

Shared stewardship arrangements (Section 8)

Indigenous groups and stakeholders work closely with Fisheries Management staff in pre-season, in-season, and post-season processes, providing expert knowledge and specialized experience to inform management decisions and cooperatively develop solutions to management issues.

Indigenous people of British Columbia

The Gwaii-Haanas Land-Sea-People Management Plan has been under development since 2014 and the final plan was signed and approved in November, 2018. Gwaii Haanas is managed cooperatively by the Haida Nation and the Government of Canada through the Archipelago Management Board (AMB). This one-of-a-kind management plan includes a single integrated vision for Gwaii Haanas, as well as principles to guide the AMB in how they manage this globally renowned protected area. More information on this plan can be found at:

Additionally, development of a rebuilding plan for Haida Gwaii herring has been undertaken by a DFO-Haida-Parks Canada technical working group. The draft rebuilding plan was released for consultation in Fall, 2022, and is expected to be finalized in 2024.

On March 31, 2015, Heiltsuk and DFO signed a Letter of Understanding (LOU) committing to the development of a Joint Management Plan (JMP) for each herring fishery season in the Central Coast, which, if agreed to, reflects management decisions for that season. When developed, a 2023-24 JMP may be provided by representatives.

Objectives (Section 9)

Objectives for Pacific Herring Resource Management include stock conservation, First Nations access to FSC fish, monitoring and research of ecosystem processes, sustainable harvest and economic considerations, renewal of the management framework, and transparent and open consultation processes. More detail is outlined in this section.

Performance/evaluation criteria (Section 10)

Assessment of the 2022/23 fishery objectives against the stated Performance Measures is available in the Post-Season Review (Appendix 1 of the IFMP).

The fishery is evaluated in the areas of stock conservation and ecosystem processes, consultation, and social, cultural, and economic considerations. The review also includes catch, quota, and license summaries for the 2023/24 season.

Commercial herring fisheries compliance plan - IFMP appendix 11

Fish harvesters are responsible for compliance with all federal and provincial laws and regulations pertaining to fishing operations. DFO Conservation and Protection staff will monitor and enforce issues and problems related to the herring fishery in conjunction with the monitoring and enforcement activities dedicated to the identified priority fisheries in the Pacific Region.

Fishery Officers conduct a range of activities to promote compliance during herring fisheries. These activities include attending industry and herring working group meetings, defining key enforcement concerns with Fisheries Management prior to the commercial fishery, conducting patrols, at sea boardings and plant inspections during the fishery and detailed post season reporting.

Stock Assessment Results (Appendix 3), Aboriginal Fishing Plan (Appendix 5), Recreational Fishing Plan (Appendix 6), Commercial Fishing Plan for Roe Herring (Appendix 7), Commercial Fishing Plan for Spawn on Kelp (Appendix 8), Commercial Fishing Plan for Food and Bait Herring (Appendix 9), and Commercial Fishing Plan for Special Use Herring (Appendix 10) are also available in the full IFMP.

Fisheries And Oceans contact

For additional information on this IFMP Summary, please contact Marisa Keefe at or to view an electronic version of the full IFMP please visit:

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