UPDATED: Northern Shrimp Biomass in SFA 6 at Critical Level

It looks as though the Northern shrimp fishery off Newfoundland’s northeast coast will soon be receiving another hit.

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans held a technical briefing today regarding the 2017 Northern Shrimp Stock Assessment and the news was not good — particularly in the beleaguered Shrimp Fishing Area (SFA) 6.

DFO scientists announced that in the all-important SFA 6, the fishable biomass index declined from 785,000 tonnes in 2006 to 104,000 tonnes in 2016. There was a 25 per cent decline between 2015 and 2016.

This continued decrease now places the SFA 6 biomass in the critical zone — with a DFO recommended harvest or exploitation rate of only 10 per cent.

Last year, the total allowable catch in SFA 6 was reduced by 42.3 per cent from 2015/16 level of 48,196 tonnes to 27,825 tonnes.

DFO science also released the biomass totals for SFA 4 and 5 — results not near as detrimental as in area 6.

In SFA 5, the fishable biomass index has decreased by 27 per cent, from 149,000 tonnes in 2015 to 110,000 tonnes in 2016.

In the more northerly SFA 4, between 2005 and 2012, the fishable biomass index ranged between 76,600 tonnes and 164,000 tonnes and in 2016 was 95,300 tonnes.

The recent Northern Shrimp stock assessment results will be presented and discussed at the next Northern Shrimp Advisory Committee (NSAC) meeting, scheduled for March 9, 2017. The stock assessment results, advice from both DFO Fisheries Management and industry, and recommendations from NSAC will be considered by the Minister in developing future Total Allowable Catch (TAC) and other management actions.


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Stock levels of the beleaguered Northern shrimp are expected later today.

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans is holding a technical briefing today regarding the 2017 Northern Shrimp Stock Assessment. The assessment was held February 16 and 17, with participation of DFO Science and industry partners.

There is speculation that shrimp quotas, particularly in Shrimp Fishing Area (SFA) 6, will be hit with another cut.

Last year, the total allowable catch in SFA 6 was reduced by 42.3 per cent from 2015/16 level of 48,196 tonnes to 27,825 tonnes.

The Navigator will provide more details as they become available.

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