NL Gazette

Cod stocks in southern Newfoundland are expected to enter the “critical zone” by early 2024.

Take away Keys:

  • There is less chance that stock could grow in the near future is assumed by DFO biologists.
  • According to Dwyer, there are very few improvements that could escalate the stock in the future.

Earlier this month, the department of Federal Fisheries and Oceans Canada assessment showed that the natural mortality of cod stocks off the south coast of Newfoundland is increasing and that the stock remains in the “critical zone” until early 2024.

On Friday, in a presentation of the assessment results, resource assessment biologist Karen Dwyer stated that the cod born in 2011 has supported the 3PS stock between southern Newfoundland and St-Pierre-Miquelon and the fishery from the last few years.

She said “joining” (fish under the age of two) had dropped to historically low levels. She said very few fish were born in the year 2011.

Some fishermen have pointed to abundant fishing in the 3P zone, but Mr. Dwyer said this is not evidence of stock recovery.

She said that their concern is that nothing coming behind that.

It was noted in the presentation that since the cod moratorium from 1994 to 1996 the actual fishing mortality rate was the lowest.

The reported fishing was 1,780 tonnes in 2021, compared to 3,500 tonnes in 1920.

Dwyer forecasted suggest that stocks may rise moderately in the short term with a moderate to high probability, but it is unlikely that stocks will rise significantly in the near future.

Dwyer said there were “small improvements”, but nothing suggests that there were many improvements from a single source.

Further, she commented in fact, all their indicators show that inventories are still in poor condition.

Several factors affecting the health of cod stock could be changes in the ecosystem, Dwyer said.

Ocean warming continues in threesomes, with early signs suggesting that 2021 is becoming one of the warmest years in the last half-century on the Newfoundland and Labrador shelves.

Read More: Southern Newfoundland cod stocks expected to be in ‘critical zone’ until early 2024 | CBC News

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