DFO announces the closure of Atlantic mackerel and bait fishing
The Department of Fisheries has announced the closure of commercial mackerel and commercial bait fishing on the East Coast, citing concerns that declining stocks have entered a “critical zone”.
The department said in a statement Wednesday that it is taking urgent action to help preserve the stock of southern Gulf spring herring and Atlantic mackerel with the closures in Atlantic Canada and Quebec, allowing them to to re-establish.
Fisheries Minister Joyce Murray says she recognizes that many fishermen depend on fishing and has promised to work with them and others in the industry to preserve stocks.
The ministry had previously put management measures in place, including halving the total allowable catch of mackerel last year, but now says the measures have not worked and fishing from all sources must be kept as low as possible.
Martin Mallet of the Maritime Fishermen’s Union said the news came as a complete surprise to the industry and will have a huge impact on the region’s lobster and crab fisheries, which use the most small fish as bait.
The ministry says it is now focusing on investing in projects that support other forms of bait.
This report from The Canadian Press was first published on March 30, 2022.
This story was produced with the financial assistance of Meta and the Canadian Press News Fellowship.