2+3KLMNO Groundfish Advisory Meeting Reviews 2019 Cod Management Approach Proposals
Earlier today the 2+3KLMNO Groundfish Advisory Meeting took place in St. John’s. The meeting reviewed various aspects of the 2018 2J3KL Cod Stewardship Fishery, discussed the recent science assessment and reviewed stakeholder perspectives and proposals for the 2019 management approach for 2J3KL Cod.
The Newfoundland and Labrador Groundfish Industry Development Council, of which FFAW-Unifor is a member, presented its recommendations for the 2019 management approach. The NLGIDC proposal included a recommendation that total removals for 2019 increase by 30%, to 17,936 tonnes. The recommendation is consistent with previous years in maintaining very low fishing mortality with virtually no impact on the growth of the stock.
What was clear from the discussion at the Advisory Meeting is that inshore fish harvesters are facing significant opposition to the development of the fishery coming from offshore interests. Recommendations made by the Atlantic Groundfish Council, which represents the offshore fleet in Newfoundland and Labrador, included calls for a TAC below 10,000 tonnes, a management approach that would result in limited opportunity for many inshore harvesters in 2019 and the re-introduction of the offshore fleet in the stewardship fishery.
Other issues raised by stakeholders included the need for fairness and adjacency for harvesters in Labrador to be reflected in the management approach; the need for further examination of the impact of seals on cod; and the need for better tracking and understanding of removals in the recreational fishery.
FFAW will provide further updates on the 2019 management approach for 2J3KL Cod once a decision is made by DFO in the coming weeks.