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DFO announces increased access to gulf cod

May 10, 2017

Today, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) announced the multi-year management plan for gulf groundfish in Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) divisions 3Pn and 4RST.

The quota for gulf cod has increased from 1500t to 3185t for the 2017 and 2018 fishing seasons. This increase is a positive step for the industry and is in line with the species’ rebuilding plan that was developed by DFO in consultation with industry.

“FFAW has been at the forefront of building a new cod fishing economy. For the fishery to rebuild, harvesters need access to the resource. The announcement today that more than doubled the gulf cod quota will provide some stability for harvesters while effectively managing the stock,” said Keith Sullivan, FFAW-Unifor President.

Gulf cod has seen significant growth in recent years, and the new rebuilding plan now directly aligns the total allowable catch (TAC) to the species’ biomass.

“We can’t go back to the cod fishery of the past. We need to focus on a premium product that can compete in the international market for quality seafood. This news is a good step towards rebuilding a cod fishing industry that will benefit our coastal communities,” said Loomis Way, fish harvester from Green Island Cove.

The TAC for witch flounder has also increased from 300t to 500t, which is welcomed news to harvesters who fish that species.

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Courtney Glode