Certifier : 
SAI Global
Certified status : 
Certified since : 
05 Nov 2015
Certificate expires : 
04 Nov 2020


This fishery is located in the southern Gulf of St Lawrence in waters between the northern shore of Novia Scotia and the south-eastern shore of Prince Edward Island, and achieved certification in November 2015. It is the first herring gillnet fishery in the world to reach this standard.

There are two kinds of fishing in the two herring seasons in the Gulf as the fish migrate. Spring herring are mostly caught in shallow water at depths of less than 7 metres; whereas the herring caught in this fall (autumn) fishery tend to be in much deeper water from 10 to 25 metres. Spawning grounds are located at night using fish sounders, and nets are deployed only when a school of sufficient size is found. The gillnets are set on the bottom, usually anchored at one end.

The fishery is managed by Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans, using sustainability strategies including quotas, seasonal and area closures; along with monitoring and regulation.

Some 400 vessels participate in the limited fall season, during September and October, and several aboriginal communities are represented in their number. In 2015 boats in the fishery landed 5,630 tonnes of herring, worth almost $2.6 million. The industry helps support nearly 2,000 jobs in around 35 processing plants in the region.

Atlantic Herring (Clupea harengus) image © Scandinavian Fishing Year Book