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Improvements to Northern Cod Fishery are a Step in the Right Direction

August 8, 2016

ST. JOHN’S – The one-year management approach for the 2016 2J3KL Stewardship Cod fishery signals a new chapter in rebuilding the cod fishery in Newfoundland and Labrador. The improvements in the approach for the 2016 fishery, announced by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) last week, includes a lengthened season with opportunities to harvest more cod. According to data from DFO, the Northern cod spawning stock biomass has increased from 20,000 tonnes in 1997 to 300,000 tonnes today.

“Rebuilding the cod fishery will bring with it many challenges and opportunities,” said Keith Sullivan, President of the Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union. “This new approach will provide harvesters with an increased opportunity to harvest and will give the processing sector opportunities to market more sustainable, high quality cod.”

The 2016 fishery will move away from the condensed, three-week fishery to a regime that includes an extended season, weekly landing limits, and the removal of bay-by-bay restrictions. Previous conservation and management measures such as gear restrictions, small fish protocol, monitoring of landings, and logbook completion will continue.

“A revitalized cod fishery will have significant impacts on the future of coastal communities in Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Tony Doyle, Vice President of the FFAW-Unifor Inshore Council. “Increased opportunities to harvest will improve the long-term sustainability of owner-operator enterprises, processing plants and the communities built around them.”

“The federal minister’s recent confirmation that the first 115,000 tonnes of Northern cod will be allocated to the inshore fleet, combined with this new management approach, is very positive news for the future of the cod fishery,” continued Sullivan. “Harvesters, processors and coastal communities are eager to take the next steps in rebuilding the cod fishery and are looking forward to seeing a harvesting plan finalized as soon as possible.”

Other management plan details, such as the opening date and season duration, are expected to be announced by DFO in the coming days.


For media inquiries, please contact:

Jessica McCormick, FFAW-Unifor Communications Officer