For Immediate Release
Monday, November 21, 2016
Fish Harvesters Recognize the Return of Northern Cod on World Fisheries Day
St. John’s – Fish harvesters throughout Newfoundland and Labrador are marking World Fisheries Day by reflecting on a successful season for the northern cod stewardship fishery. This year’s fishery was another step in the transition to a new northern cod fishery that included a longer season resulting in more opportunity to harvest cod.
“We’ve heard from harvesters around the province who have benefitted from the improvements to this year’s fishery,” said Keith Sullivan, President of the Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union (FFAW-Unifor). “While this is only the first step, it is clear that there is a bright future for the next generation of fish harvesters with the return of northern cod.”
With a management plan focused on quality and a grading system in place that rewards for quality and holds the processors accountable, many harvesters are reporting a successful season with 75%-80% of the cod landed being grade A, up 10% from last year.
“We can’t expect to have a fishery start up again after 30 years and have everything be perfect, but we are well on our way,” said Robert Robinson, a fish harvester from Baie Verte. “We need to learn from this season and continue to improve for next year.”
The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans has committed to FFAW-Unifor that the first 250 million pounds of northern cod will be allocated to the inshore. FFAW-Unifor will continue to consult with harvesters to review this year’s stewardship fishery in order to prepare for the coming year.
“Even though our bay isn’t a traditional place for cod, we had a very good year,” continued Robinson. “There is a future in this industry and I plan on fishing for another 30 years.”