Press Release

January 18, 2021


Halifax, NS -- The Fisheries Resource Conservation Council (FRCC) released today its annual advice to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans for 2001/2002 conservation requirements for groundfish stocks on the Scotian Shelf and in the Bay of Fundy (4VWX), and redfish stocks.

The report sees little improvement in the status of groundfish stocks off Nova Scotia, and highlights ongoing declines in some stocks.

"In Southwest Nova Scotia, the Council has been concerned for the last few years about the decline in 4X cod", said FRCC Chairman Fred Woodman. "The decline in this stock may have been arrested at a very low level. Time will tell whether a turnaround will occur. The Council continues to be concerned."

The Council notes that two significant events will have to occur if the 4X cod stock is to recover: older cod which are not caught but which are thought by scientists to be present in the stock will indeed have to be present, and cod born in 1998 and 1999 will have to be more numerous than those born in the five previous years, which were the lowest recorded.

"The Council is unable to predict whether these events will occur, or whether the Minister’s decision to set a three-year TAC last year will allow him to reach his target in 2003", said Mr. Woodman.

The Council’s key recommendations for 2001/2002 are:

4X cod

Last year, the Minister set a 6,000t TAC for this stock for each of the next three years, and asked the FRCC to monitor progress toward achieving a target spawning stock biomass by the end of that time period. The Council is unable to determine whether the target will be achieved since this will depend on continued improvements in recruitment over the next two years and confirmation of the presence of older cod in the population.

4X haddock

The Council recommends maintaining the TAC at 8,100t for 2001/2002.

4VWX5Zc pollock

For 2001/2002, the FRCC recommends maintaining the TAC at 10,000t.

Silver hake

For 2001/2002, the FRCC recommends maintaining the TAC at 10,000t.

4Vn cod

The Council recommends a commercial index fishery, for which total removals, including the sentinel fishery and bycatches in other fisheries, should not exceed 500t. This recognizes the industry’s view that the stock is healthier than current data reveal. The Council has also recommended that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans evaluate measures to protect juvenile groundfish in the Bird Islands area, including measures to exclude seals.

Atlantic halibut

The Council anticipates a new assessment of this stock in 2001, but in the meantime recommends an increase in the TAC to 1,150t for 2001/2002, an increase of 150t over 2000/2001, in recognition of the overwhelming views of the fishermen that the stock is healthy.


The Council is disappointed that follow-up work on recent scientific information has not been conducted as it recommended last year. This work is especially important in understanding whether the Unit 1 & 2 management units are appropriate.

The Council has recommended a 2001/2002 TAC of 8,000t for Unit 2 redfish: this 2,000t reduction reflects its significant concern with fishing the 1980 year class. These fish must support the fishery until another year class is available to the fishery.

Included in the report is a letter on priorities for DFO Science which the Council provided to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans in December 2000. This letter sets out the Council’s views on the needs which it has identified to improve DFO’s scientific capacities.

The full text of the report is available on the FRCC’s website at:



For information:
Michel G. Vermette
Executive Director, FRCC
(613) 998-0433