This afternoon, DFO announced that the 2J3KL mackerel fishery will be closing On Tuesday, October 9, 2018 at 12 noon due to 8,920t of the 10,000t TAC being landed as of today. FFAW-Unifor is immediately requesting an extension to this closure date and is also urgently calling for DFO to conduct further science to better understand the mackerel stocks in 2J3KL.
A conference call was held this morning with DFO and FFAW staff and members. Harvesters once again reiterated the desperate need for additional science on the northeast coast to better understand the stock and spawning patterns. Harvesters also expressed their willingness to participate in assisting DFO to collect data in order to better understand the mackerel stock in the region.
While the fishery may reopen after October 9 if it is determined the entire 10,000t have not been landed, fish harvesters in our province are being shortchanged the opportunity to harvest at reasonable levels when observations imply the stock is abundant.
Stakeholders believe that the science is underestimating the biomass and consequently the TAC has been at an unacceptably low level for the last two years. Harvester observations from the past number of a years have been consistently brought forward in an objective manner to all science and management meetings, yet these valuable observations were ignored.