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2022 Management Plan for Turbot and Atlantic Halibut

May 20, 2022

The Gulf Groundfish Advisory was held on March 10th, 2022, and decisions regarding Atlantic Halibut were finally released this week. A new Precautionary Approach (PA) enabled a 19 per cent increase of total allowable catch (TAC) for Turbot.

The Atlantic halibut stock in the Gulf of St. Lawrence has shown a dramatic increase in the past decade and this has continued in recent years. Requests were made by Newfoundland and Labrador and Quebec for a modest 15 per cent increase and, unfortunately, DFO’s decision was to maintain status quo.

“Harvesters have put considerable work into a comprehensive Gulf-wide tagging and abundance surveys in the past several years and it is disappointing to see reasonable requests for an increase be denied”, remarked Loomis Way, a halibut harvester from the Northern Peninsula and member of the FFAW Inshore Council and Executive Board. “Harvesters and DFO acknowledge there has been an increase in the resource, and commensurate increases in TAC levels are long overdue.”

“Fishery management policies must be more reflective of historical attachment and economic dependence. A number of years ago when the stock and TAC began to dramatically increase, FFAW proposed that inshore harvesters see fairer benefits from any additional increases to the TAC. This continues to be the position of the FFAW, and we will continue to lobby for a more equitable share for our members”, added FFAW Staff Representative Jason Spingle.

Harvesters in 4R3Pn still await decisions on Northern Gulf Cod and FFAW will provide more information to members when it is available.

The Management Plan for Atlantic Halibut in the Gulf of St. Lawrence can be viewed HERE.