Notice - Public Consultation to gather information on
Georges Bank groundfish stocks

April 28, 2020

Dear Stakeholder:

On May 7, 1997, the Fisheries Resource Conservation Council (FRCC) will hold a public consultation at 9:30 A.M. in the Yarmouth Room of the RODD GRAND HOTEL in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia to gather information on Georges Bank groundfish stocks.

Stakeholders' views will assist the FRCC in providing advice to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans regarding conservation requirements for Georges Bank haddock, cod and Yellowtail Flounder, Subarea 5Zjm.

The FRCC is committed to the continued rebuilding of Georges Bank groundfish stocks in order to attain a sustainable yield, closer to the term average. We are optimistic about these stocks, given the favourable environmental conditions which exist there, along with strong conservation measures which exist in the management of the Georges Bank fishery such as mandatory hailing, use of square mesh gear for otter trawls, small fish protocol, observers, and the continued use of mandatory dockside monitoring.

Our recommendations for 1996 reflected the strong conservation ethic expressed by industry representatives at consultations on these stocks. The Council commends the participation of all stakeholders at last year's meeting.

The FRCC gave the following advice to the Minister for the 1996: the Council recommended that the Canadian quota for haddock on Georges Bank (5Zjm) be set at 4500t, which was expected to allow for a 10 percent increase in the biomass for ages 3+.

For yellowtail flounder (5Zhjmn), the FRCC recommended that the quota be set at 415t, which was expected to allow for an increase of approximately 32 percent in the biomass for ages four and older.

The Council recommended that the quota for Georges Bank cod (5Zjm) be set at 2000t, to allow for a 7 percent in the biomass for age 3+.

To help focus the discussion at the Yarmouth consultation, the FRCC has produced the following questions:

  1. Based on your knowledge of Georges Bank, are we at a comfortable level of biomass? What rebuilding threshold should we be seeking to reach?
  2. How can we best enhance rebuilding of the stocks, e.g., fish at F0.1 or less, ensuring more spawners and larger fish are left to produce adequate recruitment?
  3. Were last year’s FRCC recommendations appropriate to allow a clean fishery without dumping and discards? What should this year’s recommendation be with respect to the proper mix between cod and haddock?
  4. Given the complex ecosystem on Georges Bank, what effect do you think the proposed US herring bait fishery will have on Canadian groundfish stocks?

Stakeholders are invited to make public presentations by way of oral presentation or by providing us with a written brief. The Council has also asked the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to present new data from its 1997 Stock Status report at the meeting.

For further information, or if you are unable to attend and wish to submit a brief, please contact the FRCC:

Fisheries Resource Conservation Council
P.O. Box 2001 Station D
Ottawa, ON K1P 5W3
(613) 998-0433 voice
(613) 998-1146 fax

Your views are important to the Council, and we hope you will participate fully.


Fred Woodman