NEWS RELEASE

November 13, 2020


FRCC PROVIDES 1999 ADVICE TO MINISTER OF FISHERIES AND OCEANS
FOR GROUNDFISH STOCKS OTHER THAN COD IN SUB AREA O AND AREA 2+3

Ottawa -- The Fisheries Resource Conservation Council (FRCC) released today its annual advice to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans for 1999 conservation requirements for groundfish stocks other than cod in Sub area O and Area 2+3 (except 3ps).

Stakeholders in Grand Falls and Clarenville noted that many concerns were raised about the state and health of the stocks. In particular, as was the case during last year’s FRCC consultations in Newfoundland, fishers discussed the problems associated with deepwater gillnet fishing for 0B+1B-F Greenland halibut. The Council is pleased to note DFO’s implementation of last year’s recommendations for the gillnet fishery, which included the use of at-sea observers for data gathering. The FRCC recommends for 1999 that the TAC for this fishery be set at 11,000 t.

However, the FRCC remains concerned about long-term conservation of Greenland halibut. "In our 1996 report, Building the Bridge, the FRCC recommended that deepwater gillnetting be carefully monitored. 1997’s Report on Gear Technology highlighted fishers’ concerns with the practices associated with this gear. Last year the FRCC called for an immediate remedy to the situation through the establishment of protocols to limit the amount of gear, restricting soak times, and the mandatory tagging of nets," remarked Mr. Woodman. These protocols should be continued and expanded for future years.

While remaining concerned about the long-term health of 2+3KLMNO Greenland halibut, and the evolving by-catch of juvenile Greenland halibut in the shrimp fishery, the Council is encouraged by signs of good recruitment. "Conservation improvements must be adopted to allow good incoming year-classes to grow, thus contributing to the spawning biomass," stated Mr. Woodman.

"Juveniles must be adequately protected -- and Canada must lead the way," stated Mr. Woodman. He further noted that the Council is dismayed at the continued targeting of juvenile Greenland halibut outside our 200-mile limit and the Council is disappointed that the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) has not made changes to existing measures to improve conservation.

 The Council continues to recommend that no fishing take place for all stocks currently under moratoria. In light of the difficulty in determining appropriate by-catch levels which minimize risks to stocks under moratoria while allowing for a directed fishery in stocks currently not under moratoria, the Council recommends the application of by-catch protocols to stocks under moratoria. DFO, in conjunction with industry, should continue to determine appropriate by-catch levels.

 The Council feels that the conservation measures recommended for 1998 for Newfoundland groundfish stocks will allow for continued rebuilding of these stocks. The FRCC will consult again with stakeholders and provide separate advice to the Minister on cod stocks in April 1999.

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For information:

Lisa Tenace
Client and Public Relations
FRCC Secretariat
(613) 998-1144
lisa.tenace@frcc.x400.gc.ca