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Northern cod stock continues on upwards trend

March 27, 2017

ST. JOHN’S, NL – Today, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) held a technical briefing on the 2017 stock status for northern cod in 2J3KL. The biomass of northern cod continued to increase, and shows that fishing levels remained low.

“The three year stock assessment average is showing a 20 per cent growth in the stock, which is substantial growth relative to 5 or 10 years ago,” says FFAW-Unifor President Keith Sullivan.

Inshore harvesters are working very hard to prepare themselves for a return to a groundfish-focused fishery, making investments in their enterprises and changing the way fish is handled.

“We have to make this new groundfish fishery work. We have to make it work for our enterprises and make it work for our communities. If we don’t do it right, someone else will. If we don’t take the initiative, the offshore, which is mostly owned and controlled by foreign investments, will take control of this fishery, and our communities will get very little in return,” said harvester Jamie Goodyear of Lumsden.

A recent report from the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans set recommendations for the province’s northern cod fishery.

“It is imperative that federal government follow through with the standing committee’s recent recommendations to aid in the rebounding of cod, including controlling the seal population and investing in more science to assess cod and capelin stocks,” adds Sullivan.

Harvesters continue to innovate from the cod fishery of the past. By bringing in a large percentage of Grade A product, harvesters are able to compete in today’s demanding market for a high quality product.

“The FFAW is at the forefront of modernizing a new cod fishery. We are working closely with harvesters on projects such as cod quality and a Fisheries Improvement Process (FIP) to ensure our fish is certified sustainable. Cod is rebounding and we are working to ensure the inshore is prepared once a full fishery resumes,” Sullivan added.

For media inquiries, please contact Courtney Glode at or 709-743-4445.