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Redfish Rollover: DFO Extends Experimental Fishery in Gulf

May 1, 2023

Today, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans announced renewal of the Unit 1 Redfish experimental fishery, delaying the decision to extend commercial status to the stock.

“FFAW-Unifor has put significant effort into ensuring a commercial Unit 1 redfish fishery will be prosecuted sustainably for the health of the growing stock and without harming the important Atlantic halibut fishery through proven reduction of bycatch,” says FFAW-Unifor Secretary-Treasurer Jason Spingle. “Harvesters in this region are struggling due to declines in species such as shrimp and cod in the gulf. Expanding redfish to commercial status will be a lifeline for continued existence,” Spingle says.

“Without a doubt, this decision is another blow to coastal Newfoundland and Labrador. Instead of diversification and hope, it’s another year of status quo. Our federal government must do better when it comes to protecting and promoting rural sustainability,” Spingle concludes.

Click here for the letter submitted by FFAW-Unifor during the consultation process.


[Français à suivre/ French to Follow]

Sent on behalf of Todd Williams, Chair of the Redfish Advisory Committee (RAC) – Envoyé au nom de Todd Williams directeur du Comité consultatif sur le sébaste (CCS)


Please be advised that the Unit 1 Redfish management plan has been established for the 2023/24 fishing season.

The management plan includes the continuation of the index fishery with a quota of 2,000t, and the experimental fishery with a total experimental quota of up to 5,000t.

The application for the experimental fishery can be found attached below, and online : Experimental Fishing Plan Unit 1 Redfish (2023 season) ( Applications to the Unit 1 experimental fishery are due by May 15th, 2023Please send your application to

I would also like to take this opportunity to inform you that Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) is proposing to prescribe a second batch of 62 major stocks to the Fish Stock provisions (FSP) in the amended Fisheries Act, which would include Unit 1 and 2 Redfish (S. faciatus and S. mentella). There will be an opportunity to provide feedback on the proposed list of stocks included in Batch 2 when the proposed regulation is published in Canada Gazette, Part 1 (CG1). Currently, there is no timeline to publish the proposed regulation in CG1, but DFO will notify RAC members when it is published and the consultation opens.

A decision on access and allocation for a future Unit 1 Redfish commercial fishery has not yet been taken. Following this decision, the RAC will be convened to discuss next steps towards operationalizing a commercial fishery for Unit 1 redfish.

Thank you,

Todd Williams
Chair Redfish Advisory Committee