Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

January 16, 2008 07:30 ET

The Fisheries Resource Conservation Council to Study the Herring Fishery in Atlantic Canada

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 16, 2008) - The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Honourable Loyola Hearn, today announced that he has requested the Fisheries Resource Conservation Council (FRCC) to develop a long-term strategic approach to Atlantic herring conservation.

"Considering the importance of the Atlantic herring in Atlantic Canada, I have asked the FRCC to consult widely with all stakeholders in order to understand and consider all the issues related to conservation of this key resource and sustainability of the fishery," said Minister Hearn. "I have asked them to develop an Atlantic-wide Strategic Sustainability Framework to help ensure that the herring fishery continues on a sustainable basis."

The Atlantic herring fishery is the most important pelagic species in Atlantic Canada with annual landings of 160,000 t with a landed value of almost $40M. This is divided among a number of uses, including food products and bait, and many users. In total, more than 7,700 harvesters participate in this fishery. As well as supporting an important commercial resource, this species is also an important component of the ecosystem, being a key prey item in the diet of many other fish and mammals and, in turn, a predator of other fish species.

The FRCC will be expected to focus on herring science, management measures, harvesting practices, and the roles of all the stakeholders in the fishery, in mapping out recommendations to promote a sustainable fishery. As with previous similar reports directed at American lobster and snow crab in Atlantic Canada, the Council will reflect the increasing emphasis being brought to ecosystem considerations in the understanding and management of exploited marine species. The preliminary work will start this month with the full terms of reference to be finalized after a full appraisal of the fishery. The report is expected to be similar in nature to earlier such reports dealing with snow crab (2005) and Atlantic lobster (2007). A report is expected by June 2009.

Minister Hearn also took the opportunity to announce the appointment or re-appointment of five members to the Council. The new members are Mr. Walter Bruce from PEI, Mr. Greg Thompson from New Brunswick, and Mr. Martin Sullivan from Newfoundland and Labrador. Dr. Jean-Jacques Maguire from Quebec and Mr. Gerard J. Chidley from Newfoundland and Labrador have been re-appointed.

"I am certain that these new and re-appointed members will make tremendous contributions to the Council and to the important work that lies ahead," said Minister Hearn. I also wish to thank Mr. Douglas Johnston from PEI, Mr. Guy Cormier from New Brunswick, and Mr. Gabe Gregory from Newfoundland and Labrador for their contributions to the work of the Council during their terms.

The FRCC, an arm's length advisory body, was created in 1993, as a partnership between scientists, academics and all sectors of the fishing industry. Their role is to provide advice on measures which will assist the government to achieve its conservation, economic and social objectives for the fishery. There are 12 core members on the FRCC representing the scientific community and industry; in addition there are representatives from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, as well as provincial governments of the Atlantic provinces, Quebec and Nunavut.
For general information on the FRCC or to learn more about its members, please visit its website at

Contact Information

  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa
    Phil Jenkins
    Media Relations
    Office of the Minister
    Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa
    Joshua Zanin, Special Assistant, Communications