Rebuilding Cod Fishery in Northern Gulf of St. Lawrence

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Cod is culturally, economically, and historically important for coastal communities throughout Eastern Canada, including in the Northern Gulf of St. Lawrence. Quebeckers and Newfoundlanders and Labradorians have been fishing Northern Gulf cod for centuries, and the Government of Canada is committed to ensuring this important tradition can be passed on to future generations.

Northern Gulf cod stocks are deep in the critical zone. This means the stock is at risk of serious harm, which could even further impact the livelihoods of coastal communities, now and into the future. To help rebuild this stock the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Joyce Murray, announced today there will be no directed commercial fishing of Northern Gulf cod this year in the Northern Gulf of St. Lawrence (NAFO division 3Pn4RS). This one-year management plan will allow young fish in the stock to reach maturity, providing an opportunity for the Northern Gulf cod stock to rebuild.

Recognizing the cultural significance of cod to Quebeckers and Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, the recreational (sport or food) fishery will continue within the regulated season and with daily possession limits. The science-based “sentinel” fishery, which provides important updates about stock health, and the food, social and ceremonial fisheries will also proceed this year.

This is a one-year management plan. This decision will be re-evaluated before the 2023 season, taking into consideration economic factors, stakeholder perspectives, and the best available science, including results from the next science assessment.

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