MCC’s Recommendations for Monitoring in SC Rec Fisheries

The MCC Salmon Subcommittee has released a letter to Fisheries and Oceans Canada with recommendations for monitoring in SC recreational fisheries. In summary, with management measures moving to non-retention of chinook in many areas, there are concerns around the Fisheries Related Incidental Mortality (FRIM) still being high and impacting stocks of concern like Fraser River 42/52 chinook. As the non-retention of chinook increases, total mortalities will decrease (e.g. some fish that would have been kept are now released) however FRIM will increase. Our recent discussion paper illustrates that new guidance for the derivation of FRIM suggests that estimates using current methodology from DFO and PSC managers may underestimate the actual FRIM in these fisheries, and likely by a large margin.

This letter calls for increased monitoring in recreational fisheries specifically in regards to genetic sampling of released fish, as well as kept chinook, so that managers can determine the stock composition of both released and kept chinook. Additionally the MCC is requesting that DFO incorporate the guidance provided by Patterson et al. (2017) in future FRIM and total mortality estimates.

Read the letter.

The following figure shows that the median estimate of FRIM in the full non-retention scenario (bottom-left panel – based on 2018 catch and release data) is about 9000 using guidance from Patterson et al. (2017) – nearly 4-fold higher than DFO’s estimate and double that using PSC methods.

Discussion Paper on FRIM in South Coast Recreational Fisheries

The MCC has produced a discussion paper titled: Incorporating Fisheries Related Incidental Mortality (FRIM) of Fraser River Spring/Summer 42/52 Chinook in the Estimation of Total Mortalities in Marine Recreational Fisheries (DFO Management Areas 18,19,20,29,121,123).

The intent of this discussion paper is to stimulate conversation and engage with technical experts around the application of guidance provided in Patterson et al. 2017 (Guidance to Derive and Update Fishing-Related Incidental Mortality Rates for Pacific Salmon) in the marine recreational fishery. The goal of this is to provide more robust FRIM and total mortality estimates to inform fisheries management in the context of both salmon recovery and conservation and Southern Resident Killer Whale recovery.

The discussion paper follows the guidance in Patterson et al. 2017 to examine if the potential Fisheries Related Incidental Mortality is currently being underestimated by DFO and the Pacific Salmon Commission. It is focused on Fraser River Spring and Summer 42/52 chinook that are subject to a recreational fishery in the Juan de Fuca, Port Renfrew, Victoria and marine Fraser River areas.

The paper provides strong evidence that the guidance in Patterson et al. 2017, when applied to this fishery, will increase the FRIM and total mortality estimates. This has many important implications.

Fraser Chinook FRIM Discussion Paper_6 March 2019

Patterson, D.A., Robinson, K.A., Raby, G.D., Bass, A.L., Houtman, R., Hinch, S.G., and Cooke, S.J. 2017. Guidance to Derive and Update Fishing-Related Incidental Mortality Rates for Pacific Salmon. DFO Can. Sci. Advis. Sec. Res. Doc. 2017/011. vii + 56 p.

Available online at: https://waves-vagues.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/Library/40602758.pdf