Understanding Values in Canada's North Pacific

Economic Values

photo by Chelsey Ellis

How have fisheries in the region changed over time?

Using data from Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), we summarized the economic value of commercial wild-capture fishing in the PNCIMA region.

These summaries showed that the PNCIMA region includes some of the most valuable fishing areas on Canada’s Pacific coast. In 2010, fishing areas in the PNCIMA region yielded $167 million in landed value, which ballooned to $415 million in wholesale value – just over half of the sector's province-wide wholesale value.

We also mapped these datasets to get a more complete picture of fishing activity. In doing so, a complex pattern emerged, revealing the shifting importance of different fishing areas over time. This complexity suggests that to fully understand the potential impacts of new regulations, decision-makers should consider the short- and long-term effects of planning options, both for individual areas and the entire coast.

Cumulative Landed Value for All Target Species

The graphs below show the total landed value for all commercial wild-capture fisheries, 1996-2010. Note that due to data irregularities, groundfish trawl and rockfish estimates are not included. Units are un-adjusted dollars normalized by the size (in hectares) of each fishery management area.

These graphs are interactive!

Click a management area in the map to view that region's productivity over time. Alternatively, click and drag a section of the line graph to focus on coastwide productivity for a specific period of time.

Landed Value per Hectare
DFO Pacific Fishery Management Areas

Despite fisheries' cyclical nature and the recent declines in landed weight and value in the PNCIMA region, wild-capture commercial fisheries remain vital economic fixtures in the PNCIMA region and the province as a whole.

By mapping landed value, we have shown that PNCIMA has some of the most valuable fishing areas in the province. In particular, the coasts of mainland Northern BC and Haida Gwaii consistently produce large amounts of fish and revenue. But this pattern does not hold true for all fisheries or years: some fisheries rely more on offshore areas, and the most valuable fishing area on the coast can change from year to year.

Although the graph above displays landed values for all fisheries on the coast, it should be noted that these patterns may be different for individual fisheries. Depending on target species, fisheries may rely more on nearshore or offshore areas, as well as changing management rules.