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MEDIA RELEASE: Review Meeting Begins Process to Manage Shrimp in Context of Changing Marine Ecosystem

May 27, 2019

Review Meeting Begins Process to Manage Shrimp in Context of Changing Marine Ecosystem

May 27, 2019

Today, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) held a technical briefing on northern shrimp following a meeting held earlier this month on developing a new stock assessment model for the species. Progress was made at this review meeting that will address some of the key objections FFAW-Unifor has with the current PA framework for northern shrimp, notably including northern cod in the assessment model. However, a decision on a new Limit Reference Point (LRP) was not agreed to over the course of the three-day meeting.

“We are pleased that DFO has recognized that the amount of northern cod predation affects whether the shrimp population grows or declines, particularly in Shrimp Fishing Area (SFA) 6. Considering the substantial growth of northern cod in the assessment of shrimp is a step in the right direction,” says Keith Sullivan, FFAW-Unifor President.

“The current Limit Reference Point for northern shrimp is unattainable given the biomass growth of northern cod,” says Anchor Point Harvester, Rendell Genge, who participated in the review meeting along with FFAW-Unifor scientist Dr. Erin Carruthers and Dwight Russell, fish harvester from Mary’s Harbour.

“Northern shrimp cannot ever return to the levels set in the current PA given that we are also actively trying to rebuild northern cod,” Genge adds.

“It’s important to not only include seal abundance in the assessment of shrimp but also the distribution. It is clear that we are lacking information on the effect seals have on northern shrimp as well as many other important species,” says Russell.

More work must be done in order to come to consensus on various topics that will permit the development of a new LRP. Fish harvesters and other industry were key participants in the review meeting and these stakeholders must continue to be included going forward.

“It’s critical that the work done earlier this month continue through a dedicated working group that will quickly advance efforts to develop a new PA framework that more accurately reflects the marine ecosystem,” says Sullivan. “Discussions on the complex issues surrounding developing a new framework must happen without delay,” Sullivan concludes.


For media inquiries, please contact:
Courtney Glode
FFAW-Unifor Communications