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2J3KL Cod Management Plan

August 19, 2019

This afternoon, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) released the management plan for the 2019 2J3KL northern cod fishery. While fish harvesters and plant workers are pleased with the conservative increase to the Total Allowable Catch (TAC), given that the stock continues to grow with the lowest harvest rates in history, FFAW-Unifor maintains that modestly higher removals would have virtually no impact on spawning stock biomass growth, according to scientific calculations.

The TAC for the northern cod stewardship fishery is set at 12,350 tonnes for 2019.

This year’s plan from DFO is as follows:

2019 2J3KL Cod Stewardship Fishery: Season Dates and Catch Limits

Season dates and catch limits for the 2019 2J3KL cod Stewardship fishery are as indicated below.

Season Dates

In NAFO division 2J, the fishery will open on Sunday, August 4 and is scheduled to close on Saturday November 9, 2019.
In NAFO divisions 3KL, the fishery will open Sunday August 11 and is scheduled to close on Saturday November 16, 2019.

Catch Limits (all weights are round weight)

NAFO Division 2J:

August 4 – August 31: 4,000 lbs / week
September 1 – September 28: 7,000 lbs / week
September 29 – October 31: 28,000 lbs in total for the period specified
November 1 – November 9: 28,000 lbs in total for the period specified

NAFO Divisions 3KL:

August 11 – August 31: 2,000 lbs / week
September 1 – September 28: 3,000 lbs / week
September 29 – November 16: 3,500 lbs / week

For fish harvesters that have acquired additional cod shares through enterprise combining adjusted catch limits will be identified in their licence conditions.

Fall-only Fishery Option (applicable to NAFO Divisions 3KL only):

Fish harvesters have the option of fishing the entire season at the weekly catch limits identified above, or they may opt to fish only during the fall from September 29 to November 16, with a base weekly limit of 7,000 lbs / week. Fish harvesters that choose the Fall-only fishery option will not be able to fish prior to September 29.

To ensure a harvest opportunity for those that select the fall-only fishery option, the total catch up to September 28 will be limited to approximately 75% of the maximum authorized harvest level.

Fish harvesters that want to avail of the Fall-only fishery option MUST indicate their intention in writing via e-mail to no later than Sunday July 28, 2019.  Harvesters are to provide their full name, FIN and homeport in the email.

Additional Information:

Should in-season adjustments to catch limits or seasons be required, updates will be communicated to harvesters via a Notice to Fishers.

The Conservation Harvesting Plan (CHP) for the 2J3KL Stewardship cod fishery will be posted online soon and will include further details on the 2019 management approach.

“Notices to Fish Harvesters” for all commercial fisheries are now available online under the Fishery Notices link on the DFO NL Region webpage at

If you would like to have all “Notices to Fish Harvesters” for commercial fisheries sent directly to you by email please contact: