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Total allowable catch for Atlantic mackerel could compromise long-term health of population, WWF-Canada says

The reduction does not allow for the population to rebuild its dwindling numbers

/EIN News/ -- ST. JOHN’S, May 24, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- World Wildlife Fund Canada welcomes the decision by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) to reduce the total allowable catch (TAC) of Atlantic mackerel, an important forage fish species in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the coast of Nova Scotia, the Bay of Fundy and the waters surrounding Newfoundland. However, this reduction is not low enough to ensure the long-term health of the population. The 2019 total allowable catch is a reduction of 20 per cent from 2018, but DFO scientists state that the spawning stock biomass of Atlantic mackerel has gone down significantly over the past 20 years. In April of this year, WWF-Canada recommended that the TAC of Atlantic mackerel be set at zero for the 2019 fishing season because a low spawning stock biomass, low recruitment and catches reliant on one year class highlight the vulnerable state of the Atlantic mackerel stock.



Sigrid Kuehnemund, WWF-Canada vice-president of ocean conservation, said:

“The decision to reduce the total allowable catch for Atlantic mackerel by 2,000 tonnes is a step in the right direction but does not go far enough to promote the rebuilding of this precarious stock. In the most recent stock assessment, DFO’s own scientists clearly indicated that strong action is needed to reduce fishing mortality to rebuild the stock. This decision leaves both the Atlantic mackerel population and their predators – important species like Atlantic bluefin tuna and Atlantic cod – vulnerable to serious harm, which can result in long-term loss of fishing opportunities throughout Atlantic Canada and Quebec.”


About Atlantic mackerel

About World Wildlife Fund Canada

WWF-Canada creates solutions to the environmental challenges that matter most for Canadians. We work in places that are unique and ecologically important, so that nature, wildlife and people thrive together. Because we are all wildlife. For more information, visit

Tina Knezevic

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