Public Consultations on Newfoundland Groundfish Stocks Other than Cod

August 15, 2020

To Stakeholders:

The Fisheries Resource Conservation Council (FRCC) will hold public consultations to gather information on Newfoundland groundfish stocks other than cod. This will assist the FRCC in making recommendations to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans for 1998 conservation requirements for Atlantic groundfish. We will also hold a second round of public consultations in February 1998 to discuss Newfoundland cod stocks.

The consultations will begin at 10:00 AM on September 12 at the Deer Lake Motel, Gate House Room and September 13 at the Lion’s Club in Clarenville to discuss and provide advice to the Minister on the following stocks:

REDFISH (2 + 3K)

Please note that the FRCC will provide advice to the Minister on cod stocks in early 1998. DFO Science will be conducting a full zonal assessment of cod stocks in January 1998. This assessment will include the results of sentinel fisheries and fall and winter research surveys. Once we have received the scientific assessments, the FRCC will hold a more extensive round of consultations to hear your views on cod stocks.

The challenge for groundfish conservation and sustainability is great for all species. The Council bases its advice on sound conservation principles, and advocates a precautionary approach: when we proceed, we must do so with caution. What we have learned from stakeholders is invaluable in helping us form recommendations.

Stakeholders are invited to make public presentations by way of oral presentation or by providing us with a written brief: FRCC, P.O. Box 2001, Station D, Ottawa,ON K1P 5W3, phone (613) 998-0433, fax (613) 998-1146, Internet

The success of these consultations is of interest to all Newfoundland stakeholders. Your views are important and we hope you will participate fully.

Fred Woodman

The FRCC has prepared the following questions to help focus the discussion:


Greenland Halibut - 0B + IB-F

There has been increased effort in the deep water turbot fishery. Has catch rate per net increased or decreased? Is gear loss a problem, if so how can it be avoided e.g. transponders, and should these devices be mandatory? Float out and soak time on nets is a problem. Does establishing a limit on soak time address the problem, and if so, what is an appropriate limit on soak time? Should the limit on the number of nets be reduced from 500 in order to reduce soak times? Should a minimum mesh size be increased from 7 inches? What other conservation problems do you see in the deep water gill net fishery?

Greenland Halibut - 2 + 3K

Throughout the late eighties and early nineties the turbot fishery in this area declined dramatically, with the bulk of the fishery concentrating in water depths greater than 400 fathoms. In 1996 and again in 1997 there were signs of some rebuilding in shallower depths as a result of incoming recruitment in the stock. Do you think the 7000 tonne quota currently in place in 2 + 3K will allow continued rebuilding in this area? What effect do you think the deep water fishery is having on the turbot stock overall? Is gear loss in this fishery a conservation concern? If so, what measures do you recommend to minimize the problem e.g. gear detection devices? Should net limits and soak time be established? Should mesh size be increased beyond 6 inches?

Greenland Halibut - 4RST

In your experience what is the status of this stock in comparison to the fishery in the past ten years? How do catch rates per net compare in 1997 to past years when the fishery was conducted with 5.5 inch mesh as opposed to the current 6 inch mesh size? Should the mesh size be increased beyond 6 inches?


Over the past few years there have been significant changes made to reduce effort and thereby improve the health of this stock. In 1997 there appears to have been an increase in the landings along the south, southwest and some parts of the west coast. Has this increase been as a result of improved catch per unit of effort or is it due to increasing effort in this fishery? Do you think that the effort control measures introduced in this fishery are adequate to rebuild and maintain a sustainable fishery?

Skates - 3LNOPs

The FRCC in its 1996 report recommended that this stock be treated as separate management areas 3LN, 30 and 3Ps - have you found concentrations of skate in all areas? Have you found concentrations of skate in other areas? Has your effort increased or decreased in 1997?

Flatfish and Flounders

Should a minimum mesh size be established for all deep water flounder fisheries?