This indicator corresponds to the Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators Harvest levels of key fish stocks.

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Headline data

Source: Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Geographical Area: Canada

Unit of Measurement: Percentage

The table below contains more information regarding the indicator.

Indicator name

Proportion of fish stocks that are sustainably harvested

Target

By 2023, major fish and invertebrate stocks are managed and harvested at levels considered to be sustainable, from a baseline of 96% in 2016

Indicator description

The indicator compares harvest rates with established harvest limits. These limits are based on scientific information, providing a direct measure of whether we are managing the use of these resources within ecosystem limits. It is one measure of fishing pressure on wild fish stocks. Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC)

Geographical coverage

Canada

Unit of measurement

Percentage

Calculations

The indicator compares harvest rates with harvest limits. These limits are based on scientific information and provide a direct measure of whether we are managing the use of these resources within ecosystem limits. The indicator is a simple tabulation of stocks based on whether harvest levels are within removal reference levels, within other harvest limits, or over harvest limits. (ECCC)

Comments and limitations

Overharvest in a single year does not mean that a stock is harvested unsustainably. Rather, it leads to a management response. Stocks managed through quotas, for example, are subject to quota reconciliation, meaning that any overharvest of a stock in one year is deducted from the harvest limit established for the following year.

The Sustainability Survey for Fisheries is completed with the best available information. Since the oceans are wide and deep, and fish move between habitats, their populations are difficult to monitor.

The survey summarizes information across a wide variety of species, management regimes, types of fisheries, geographic regions, and socio-economic contexts. Small changes in the set of surveyed stocks occur due to changes in the way stocks are assessed or managed. Results should be interpreted with this in mind.

The indicator does not account for fished stocks that do not meet the criteria for major stocks. Seaweeds and other aquatic plants are also excluded. (ECCC)

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