January 18, 2021
FRCCS RECOMMENDATIONS FOR GROUNDFISH STOCKS ON SCOTIAN SHELF, IN THE BAY OF FUNDY, IN SUB-AREAS 0. 2 + 3 (NEWFOUNDLAND), AND REDFISH FOR 2000/2001
Halifax, NS -- The Fisheries Resource Conservation Council (FRCC) released today its annual advice to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans for 2000/2001 conservation requirements for groundfish stocks on the Scotian Shelf and in the Bay of Fundy (4VWX), in sub-areas 0, 2 + 3 (Newfoundland), and redfish stocks.
The Council continues to be alarmed by the changes in assessments for certain groundfish stocks, and is concerned with the lack of rebuilding exhibited by some stocks which it had thought to be recovering.
"The rebuilding we thought was underway in the cod stock on the South Coast of Newfoundland is no longer apparent. We hope that the recommendations we have made for this stock will get ahead of the decline," said FRCC Chairman Fred Woodman. "The Council is concerned about the concentration of the fishery on two year classes: we have to give these fish time to spawn."
"In Southwest Nova Scotia, the Council has been concerned for the last few years about the continuing decline in 4X cod. The growth characteristics of this stock provide it with the best chance for recovery in Atlantic Canada, but we have to give it that chance. We hope our recommendation sets the stage for this recovery. In the long-term, this approach is in the best interests not only of the fish, but also of the industry".
The Council also notes in its report that resource constraints have led to a decline in the ability of scientists from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to adequately assess many groundfish stocks.
The Councils key recommendations for 2000/2001 are:
The FRCC notes that the decline which it has highlighted in the past continues, despite attempts to follow a rebuilding strategy. The Council's paramount objective for this stock is to rebuild a spawning stock biomass composed of a wide range of ages. For 2000/2001, the FRCC recommends a TAC of 4,000t.
The Council is concerned about the increasing concentration of the fishery in Placentia Bay, the shift toward untended gillnets, and the focus on the 1989 and 1990 year classes. There is a lack of older fish in this stock: these older fish are more effective spawners. The Council is also concerned about the timing of the scientific assessment of this stock, versus the availability of information, and the management year. For 2000/2001, the FRCC recommends a TAC of 20,000t.
Other groundfish stocks:
The Council recommends maintaining the TAC at 8,100t.
The most recent assessment for this stock is again at odds with past assessments. The Council hopes that new survey techniques applied to this stock will reduce this variability. For 2000/2001, the FRCC recommends a TAC of 10,000t.
Increasing mortality on this stock, combined with a decline in the information available, has led the Council to recommend a 2000/2001 TAC of 20,000t for this stock.
The Council recommends that DFO follow-up on recent scientific information by bringing together industry, scientists and fisheries managers to determine priorities.
The Council has recommended a 2000/2001 TAC of 10,000t for Unit 2 redfish: this reduction reflects its concern with the long-term outlook for this stock.
Michel G. Vermette
Executive Director, FRCC