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Event planned to mark 30th anniversary of northern cod moratorium

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 24th, 2022


An event to mark the 30th anniversary of the announced shutdown of Newfoundland and Labrador’s most iconic fishery is scheduled for next week, with an open invitation to the public to support and share in the historic milestone.


“The impact of the moratorium has had a deep and profound impact on the province’s psyche, culture, and economy,” says Ryan Cleary, one of the organizers of the non-partisan event — Moratorium Story, Northern Cod 30 Years On. “It must be recognized for the good of past and future generations.”

The event is scheduled for Thursday, June 30th, 1:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m., in Salon B at the Delta Hotel in downtown St. John’s — the same room where the late John Crosbie, then-federal minister of Fisheries and Oceans, made the announcement on July 2, 1992.

A number of speakers are scheduled, together with music by Jim Payne. Organizers will also launch a petition in a bid to have northern cod declared the provincial fish. There will also be an open microphone for comments from the floor.

“This lack of recognition of our legendary fish highlights just how under-appreciated it is by our decision-makers, which must change,” said Cleary.

The northern cod shutdown threw upwards of 30,000 people out of work, and remains the largest layoff in Canadian history. Northern cod — once one of the world’s largest groundfish stocks — remains under moratorium to this day, although there is a small-scale stewardship fishery.

Indeed, all three cod stocks adjacent to Newfoundland and Labrador are under moratorium, and are classified by DFO scientists as in the “critical zone,” meaning fishing is to be kept to a minimum.

Merv Wiseman, another event organizer, said the 30th anniversary of the northern cod moratorium is both a monumental and shameful event.

“What is underscored after three decades is how little priority has been given to advance the recovery of a fish so important to the province’s very makeup, and to the country’s food security.”

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Contact Ryan Cleary: 682 4862

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