Mr. Speaker, the response is as follows:
a) Krill or euphasiids have been extensively studied by acoustic and trawl methods both in the Strait of Georgia and the west coast of Vancouver Island. These studies have confirmed that the existing fishery is a small percentage of the krill biomass and is not believed to compromise the use of krill as a food by salmon and other species, but that harvests should not be increased.
b) and c) Bycatch of other species in this fishery is low. However, to further minimize the chance of interaction of the fishery with juvenile salmonids, the season was truncated and now takes place from January to March 31 rather than ending in May. In keeping with research conclusions the fishery is also capped at 500 metric tones to ensure that krill are available as a prey species as per the forage species policy. The krill management plan further states that no increase in quota will be entertained without a sound scientific basis, which is in accordance with scientific advice.