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1-year moratorium called on northern Gulf cod, 30 years after 2-year shut down of northern cod

It's a job not to snicker at Fisheries and Oceans calling a one-year moratorium on cod fishing in the northern Gulf of St. Lawrence, when the northern cod moratorium that was supposed to last 2 years has stretched to three decades with no end in sight.

The food fishery and FFAW sentinel fishery will continue during the one-year moratorium on cod fishing in the northern Gulf. In 2021, the total allowable catch (TAC) for the commercial cod fishery there was 1,000 tonnes, with an estimated 510 tonnes taken.



All three cod stocks adjacent to Newfoundland and Labrador are in what DFO scientists refer to as the "critical zone", meaning fishing is to be kept to a minimum.


Northern cod off Labrador and Newfoundland's east coast is in the 30th year of what was initially supposed to be a two-year moratorium, but has a small-scale "stewardship fishery" with a 12,999-tonne quota this year.


The 3Ps cod fishery was shut down in 1993, but reopened in 1997 with a quota of 10,000 tonnes. Since then the quota has jumped to as high as 30,000 tonnes in 1999 to this year's low of 1,345 tonnes, half of the 2020 allocation.


In 2019, DFO issued a stark warning linking the demise of codfish in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence to a rapidly increasing seal population.


Ryan Cleary,

Executive Director, SEA-NL

To read more about SEA-NL, or to join the non-profit organization please visit sea-nl.ca



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