The general purpose of the Canada witch flounder (stocks in NAFO divisions 2J3KL, 3NO & 3Ps) fishery improvement progam (FIP) process is to improve the likelihood that these Canadian offshore fisheries will pass a main assessment to receive MSC certification. Current markets for witch flounder include the USA for fillets and Asia for H&G, with future market opportunities in Europe. MSC certification will be key for future sales opportunities. The FIP endeavors to improve information about the stock assessment, recovery planning, and fishery information on both target and bycatch species. Additional key goals for this FIP include habitat impact identification and improving management objectives and tools for the fishery.
There are small directed quota fisheries for witch flounder in NAFO subareas 3NO and 3Ps. The fishery for the 2J3KL stock of witch flounder is currently in a moratorium.
The Groundfish Enterprise Allocation Council (GEAC) is an organization that represents the >100’ groundfish license holders in Atlantic Canada. The membership of GEAC holds significant portions of the Canadian quotas for each of the three stock management unit allocations. As the resource recovers from historic lows, the importance of a sustainable economic development of this expanding resource has never been higher. This FIP is a forum to plan for issues of sustainability to be resolved prior to assessment against the performance indicators of the MSC assessment framework.
The general purpose of the Canada witch flounder (stocks in NAFO divisions 2J3KL, 3NO & 3Ps) fishery improvement progam (FIP) process is to improve the likelihood that these Canadian offshore fisheries will pass a main assessment to receive MS
The overall objective for this FIP is successful MSC certification of the fishery - individual FIP objectives expected to be achieved by December 2020 are:
Establish LRPs for 3Ps stock.
Develop stock projection capability for all three stocks, confirm stock rebuilding times.
Develop stock assessment model for 3Ps stock.
Develop/ implement a formal harvest strategy for all stocks
Develop harvest control rules that are robust to main uncertainties.
Produce a fishery footprint relative to both sensitive and less sensitive benthic habitat.
Develop an integrated fishery management plan (IFMP) for the three witch flounder fisheries, addressing all elements for which PIs exist.
Develop fishery-specific objectives and incorporate them into IFMP.
FIP at a Glance