There have been increasing reports of small mackerel, or pencil mackerel, along the Northeast Coast, with reports of 4 inch mackerel found in cod bellies.
Small mackerel are young of the year. If mackerel are less than 20 cm and found along the Northeast coast in the fall, they were likely born on the Northeast coast. Having evidence of additional spawning areas could change the understanding of the mackerel and its status.
We are asking fish harvesters to provide samples of SMALL MACKEREL (less than 20 cm in length) collected along the Northeast coast this fall.
These samples are important because the current mackerel stock assessment assumes that the vast majority of mackerel in our region spawn in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence and that the Southern Gulf egg survey is sufficient for estimating the size of the mackerel stock. The egg survey index is steadily declining while catches on the Northeast coast are increasing
Please collect up to 30 small mackerel per sampling event and record the following:
3) Fish harvester
4) Capture method
Samples should be labeled and frozen. Please contact the St. John’s office (709-576-7276) to arrange for pickup. Samples need to be collect by the end of December