The MCC recently submitted comments on the 2019/2020 Pacific Herring Integrated Fisheries and Management Plan, recommending considerations towards a “low risk” ecosystem based management fishery.
The growing public concern reflects a perspective that the fishery imposes too large a risk to herring populations and the associated ecosystem linkages than what is deemed appropriate through the lens of an ecosystem based fishery. Many of these concerns are the same ones that were raised over a decade ago.
The following recommendations are included in the letter:
- Increase the lower reference point to reflect an ecosystem based conservation objective.
- Lower the exploitation rate.
- Plan for a lower biomass and harvest rate until validated with in-season management.
- Assume there is a mechanism for persistent geographic population structure.
- Consider ecosystem and economy trade-offs.