Last updated on 5 July 2017

SUMMARY

SUMMARY

IDENTIFICATION

SCIENTIFIC NAME(s)

Gadus morhua

SPECIES NAME(s)

Atlantic cod

Cod on the entire Georges Bank is thought to be a single biological stock. On the Eastern Georges Bank, both Canada and the US have jurisdiction on either side of the Hague line, and collaborate in conducting an assessment of cod in this area, and in allocating catch shares. The US also conducts an overall assessment for the entire Georges Bank.


ANALYSIS

Strengths

 A new management system has been undertaken to reduce fishing mortality and increase the probability of rebuilding. Catches and fishing mortality have responded with a lowering of both over the last few years

Weaknesses

This stock is in a state of depletion. Current estimates place it at only 10% of its SSB MSY levels and slightly larger then 5% of carrying capacity. Understandably stock recruitment is also well below average and will continue to be so unless the current trend is reversed.
Fishery has some impacts to PET species and habitat structure, but managers from both countries have recently implemented measures to reduce these interactions. The results of these actions are unknown at this point.

FISHSOURCE SCORES

Management Quality:

Management Strategy:

0.4

Managers Compliance:

10

Fishers Compliance:

10

Stock Health:

Current
Health:

0.8

Future Health:

2.4


RECOMMENDATIONS

CATCHERS & REGULATORS

1. Support maintenance of existing closed areas to cod harvest as a tool to help rebuilding, including when decisions are expected at the US New England Fishery Management Council meetings.
2. If closed areas are opened, limit fishing to exempted gear types and require 100% observer coverage.
3. Conduct stock structure and population dynamic research to ensure stock boundaries between this stock and the Gulf of Maine stock are appropriate.

RETAILERS & SUPPLY CHAIN

1. Companies sourcing from the stock should communicate their support for maintaining closed areas to national and regional administrations.
2. Companies not currently sourcing from this fishery should avoid doing so until sufficient recovery is seen in the stock. Companies should however encourage regulators to maintain existing closed areas.


FIPS

No related FIPs

CERTIFICATIONS

No related MSC fisheries

Fisheries

Within FishSource, the term "fishery" is used to indicate each unique combination of a flag country with a fishing gear, operating within a particular management unit, upon a resource. That resource may have a known biological stock structure and/or may be assessed at another level for practical or jurisdictional reasons. A fishery is the finest scale of resolution captured in FishSource profiles, as it is generally the scale at which sustainability can most fairly and practically be evaluated.

ASSESSMENT UNIT MANAGEMENT UNIT FLAG COUNTRY FISHING GEAR
E. Georges Bank Canada 5Zc Canada Bottom trawls
US E. Georges Bank United States Bottom trawls
Georges Bank US W. Georges Bank United States Bottom trawls
Gillnets and entangling nets
Longlines

Analysis

OVERVIEW

Last updated on 6 August 2014

Strengths

 A new management system has been undertaken to reduce fishing mortality and increase the probability of rebuilding. Catches and fishing mortality have responded with a lowering of both over the last few years

Weaknesses

This stock is in a state of depletion. Current estimates place it at only 10% of its SSB MSY levels and slightly larger then 5% of carrying capacity. Understandably stock recruitment is also well below average and will continue to be so unless the current trend is reversed.
Fishery has some impacts to PET species and habitat structure, but managers from both countries have recently implemented measures to reduce these interactions. The results of these actions are unknown at this point.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Last updated on 28 June 2016

Improvement Recommendations to Catchers & Regulators

1. Support maintenance of existing closed areas to cod harvest as a tool to help rebuilding, including when decisions are expected at the US New England Fishery Management Council meetings.
2. If closed areas are opened, limit fishing to exempted gear types and require 100% observer coverage.
3. Conduct stock structure and population dynamic research to ensure stock boundaries between this stock and the Gulf of Maine stock are appropriate.

Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain

1. Companies sourcing from the stock should communicate their support for maintaining closed areas to national and regional administrations.
2. Companies not currently sourcing from this fishery should avoid doing so until sufficient recovery is seen in the stock. Companies should however encourage regulators to maintain existing closed areas.

1.STOCK STATUS

STOCK ASSESSMENT

Last updated on 5 August 2014

An assessment is conducted by US scientists for the total stock and a separate Canadian assessment concerns the eastern portion of the stock. Currently the model is a forward projection statistical catch at age approach. Model suffers from a large retrospective bias that estimates a lower fishing mortality and higher SSB in the terminal year then likely (NEFSC, 2013).

Current F and SSB are adjusted for the retrospective bias.

SCIENTIFIC ADVICE

Last updated on 6 August 2014

Current advice is to set catches at less then 75% F MSY (SSC, 2011) for FY 2012-2014. Managers have only been recently following scientific advice however.F rebuild is highly circumspect given the uncertainties in the model, and likely lower than estimated (NEFSC, 2013).

Reference Points

Last updated on 06 Aug 2014

Current reference points are based on F msy proxies with rebuilding targets, time-frames, and translation to hard quotas by country and sector (NEFSC, 2013). Biomass target and limit reference points are in use and also based on MSY values.

CURRENT STATUS

Last updated on 5 August 2014

The latest benchmark assessment for Georges Bank Atlantic cod indicates that the stock is overfished and overfishing in occurring. Stock is highly depleted and a very low biomass. Recruitment is very low. Given the lower productivity stock is not likely to rebuild to the limit reference point in the near future (NEFSC, 2013).

Trends

Last updated on 05 Aug 2014

The stock is overfished and overfishing is occurring. Fishingmortality istwice the level sustainable and much higher then what is needed to rebuild the stock.Overall this stock is not expected to rebuild to sustainable levels over the next 20-30 years (NEFSC, 2013).

2.MANAGEMENT QUALITY

MANAGEMENT

Last updated on 6 August 2014

Management of cod from eastern Georges Bank is through a shared agreement between the US and Canada, with this management unit under hard quotas since 2004. US managers have since implemented a catch shares program and other measures to ensure quotas are not exceeded for the entire Georges Bank cod stock.It remains to be seen if these measure will reduce mortality, but they are projected to do so (NEFSC, 2013).

Currently recreational catches are not subject to in-year quotas and as such maybe a contributing factor in over exploitation of this stock.

Recovery Plans

Last updated on 06 Aug 2014

Currently this stock is in a low productivity state due to low biomass, increased natural mortality and overall historical poor management. To achieve rebuilding in any meaningful time frame F rates would have to be as close to zero as possible.Currently management is centered around decreasing fishing mortality to F MSY without any expectation of rebuilding in the short term (NEFSC, 2013).

COMPLIANCE

Last updated on 5 August 2014

Fishermen generally comply with regulations.Trip level reporting is required.Also, a vessel monitoring system (or VMS) is used to track vessels’ location to ensure area management is effective. Recreational catches are a major source of uncertainty in the management process as is discarding until the most recent years (NEFSC, 2013).

3.ENVIRONMENT AND BIODIVERSITY

BYCATCH
ETP Species

Last updated on 5 August 2014

The directedgill net fishery impacts Bottlenose dolphin, Common dolphin, Fin whale, Gray seal, Harbor porpoise, Harbor seal, Harp seal, Hooded seal, Humpback whale, Minke whale, North Atlantic right whale, Risso’s dolphin, White-sided dolphin, and Atlantic Sturgeon as a category 1 fishery (NMFS, 2014). Overall gillnet gear is responsible for over 50% Potential Biological Removal (PBR) level. However, gear modifications (weak links, pingers, and excluders), closed areas, and other management actions are in place to limit and reduce incidents of mortality. The most recent indications (NMFS, 2013) suggest that while target mortality rates for some PET species/stock are being exceeded,these PET populations are still rebuilding. TheBottom Trawl Fishery has little to no impact but is rated as a Category 2 fishery with associated management measures to prevent most interactions.

Georges Bank
US W. Georges Bank
United States
Bottom trawls

Last updated on 6 August 2014

The directed fishery impacts Bottlenose dolphin, Common dolphin, Fin whale, Gray seal, Harbor porpoise, Harbor seal, Harp seal, Hooded seal, Humpback whale, Minke whale, North Atlantic right whale, Risso’s dolphin, White-sided dolphin, and Atlantic Sturgeon as a category 1 fishery (NMFS, 2014).The most recent indications (NMFS, 2013) suggest that while target mortality rates for some PET species/stock are being exceeded,these PET populations are still rebuilding. Overall the trawl fishery has little to no impact but is rated as a Category 2 fishery with associated management measures to prevent most interactions (NEFMC, 2014).

Other Species

Last updated on 21 August 2014

The incidental fishery is part of the of the NE US multi-species groundfish fishery. Whilemuch of the incidental catch is now retained and counted against the individual species quota, discards in this fishery are still substantial. Both directed and non directed fisheries are subject to closure should these others stock achieve their yearly quota. At-sea monitoring has increased substantial in recent years. Seasonal closures and effort controls are also used to minimize impacts (NEFMC, 2014).

Stocks encountered in the fishery include dogfish, haddock, window pane flounder, yellowtail flounder and skate.

Georges Bank
US W. Georges Bank
United States
Bottom trawls

Last updated on 7 August 2014

The incidental fishery is part of the of the NE US multi-species groundfish fishery. While bycatch in this fishery is substantial, much of this incidental catch is now retained and counted against the individual species quota. Both directed and non directed fisheries are subject to closure should these others stock achieve their yearly quota. At-sea monitoring has increased substantial in recent years. Seasonal closures are effort controls are also used to minimize impacts (NEFMC, 2014).
Stocks encountered in the fishery include dogfish, haddock, window pane flounder, yellowtail flounder and skate.

HABITAT

Last updated on 5 August 2014

The directed gillnet fishery has little bottom impact with the possible exception of deep-water coral.However managers have recently implemented area closures to protect this vital habitat.
The trawl fishery has some bottom impact, particularly in the areas of hard substrate. However a lengthy management process is currently underway to close very sensitive areas.Seasonal closures, gear modifications, and other management measures are also in place (NEFMC, 2014).

Marine Reserves

Last updated on 05 Aug 2014

Numerous closed area and protected areas are within this region some of which include a completeclosure to all gear types. There is a network of areas closed to all fishing gears through the region, to protect habitats, reduce fishing mortality on juvenile fishes, and to conserve discreet spawning units (NEFMC, 2014) some of these are permanent, others seasonal.

Georges Bank
US W. Georges Bank
United States
Bottom trawls

Last updated on 5 August 2014

The trawl fishery has some bottom impact, particularly in the areas of hard substrate. However a lengthy management process is currently underway to close very sensitive areas.Seasonal closures, gear modifications, and other management measures are also in place (NEFMC, 2014).

Marine Reserves

Last updated on 05 Aug 2014

Numerous closed area and protected areas are within this region. There is a network of areas closed to all fishing gears through the region, to protect habitats, reduce fishing mortality on juvenile fishes, and to conserve discreet spawning units (NEFMC, 2014).

FishSource Scores

MANAGEMENT QUALITY

As calculated for 2011 data.

The score is 0.4.

This measures the F as a percentage of the F management target.

The F is 0.430 (age-averaged). The F management target is 0.180 .

The underlying F/F management target for this index is 239%.

As calculated for 2013 data.

The score is 10.0.

This measures the Set TAC as a percentage of the ABC.

The Set TAC is 2.30 ('000 t). The ABC is 2.50 ('000 t) .

The underlying Set TAC/ABC for this index is 92.0%.

As calculated for 2012 data.

The score is 10.0.

This measures the Catch as a percentage of the Set TAC.

The Catch is 2.15 ('000 t). The Set TAC is 5.11 ('000 t) .

The underlying Catch/Set TAC for this index is 42.0%.

STOCK HEALTH:

As calculated for 2011 data.

The score is 0.8.

This measures the SSB as a percentage of the Blim.

The SSB is 13.2 ('000 t). The Blim is 93.3 ('000 t) .

The underlying SSB/Blim for this index is 14.2%.

As calculated for 2011 data.

The score is 2.4.

This measures the F as a percentage of the F management target.

The F is 0.430 (age-averaged). The F management target is 0.180 .

The underlying F/F management target for this index is 239%.

To see data for biomass, please view this site on a desktop.
To see data for catch and tac, please view this site on a desktop.
To see data for fishing mortality, please view this site on a desktop.
No data available for recruitment
No data available for recruitment
To see data for management quality, please view this site on a desktop.
To see data for stock status, please view this site on a desktop.
DATA NOTES

Catch and quotas are based on the fishing rather then the calendar year. Terminal estimates of SSB and F are adjusted for retrospective bias. Catch and landings for FY 2012 are preliminary. FY 2013 is not yet available.

Download Source Data

Registered users can download the original data file for calculating the scores after logging in. If you wish, you can Register now.

Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs)

No related FIPs

Certifications

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)

No related MSC certifications

Sources

Credits
  1. DFO, 2006. Impacts of Trawl Gears and Scallop Dredges on Benthic Habitats, Populations and Communities. DFO Can. Sci. Advis. Sec. Sci. Advis. Rep. 2006/025.http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/csas/Csas/status/2006/SAR-AS2006_025_E.pdf
  2. Mayo, R. and O'Brien, L. 2006. Atlantic Cod. Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank stocks; Status of Fishery Resources off the Northeastern US NEFSC - Resource Evaluation and Assessment Division.http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/sos/spsyn/pg/cod/
  3. Mayo, R.K. and M.Terceiro eds. 2005. Assessment of 19 Northeast groundfish stocks through 2004. 2005 Groundfish Assessment Review Meeting (2005 GARM), Northeast Fisheries Science Center, Woods Hole, Massachusetts, August 15-19,2005. Northeast Fish. Sci. Cent. Ref. Doc. 05-13, 508 p.http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/nefsc/publications/crd/crd0513/index.htm
  4. National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), 2010. Endangered Species Act Section 7 Consultation Biological Opinion. http://www.nero.noaa.gov/prot_res/section7/NMFS-signedBOs/MULTISPECIES%20BIOP%202010.pdf
  5. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 2009. Federal Register Monday, April 13, 2009 Part III. 50 CFR Part 648; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Multispecies Fishery; Secretarial Interim Action; Final Rule.http://frwebgate1.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/PDFgate.cgi?WAISdocID=8V9rlv/3/2/0&WAISaction=retrieve
  6. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 2010a. Federal Register Vol. 75, No. 68. 15 CFR Part 902; 50 CFR Part 648; Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast (NE) Multispecies Fishery; Amendement 16; Final Rule.http://www.nero.noaa.gov/nero/regs/frdoc/10/10MultiAmend16FR.pdf
  7. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 2010b. Federal Register Vol. 75, No. 68. 50 CFR Part 648. Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Multispecies Fishery; Framework Adjustment 44.http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2010-04-09/pdf/2010-7235.pdf
  8. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 2011. Federal Register Vol.76, Monday, April 25, 2011. 50 CFR Part 648; Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast (NE) Multispecies Fishery; Framework Adjustment 45.http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-04-25/pdf/2011-9705.pdf
  9. NEFMC, 2014. Omnibus Essential Fish Habitat Amendment 2, New England Fishery Management Council. Volumes 1-5.http://www.nefmc.org/habitat/index.html
  10. NEFSC (Northeast Fisheries Science Center) 1993. Report of the 15th Northeast Regional Stock Assessment Workshop (15th SAW): The Plenary and Advisory Report. Northeast Fish. Sci. Cent. Ref. Doc. 93-07, 66p.http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/nefsc/publications/crd/crd9307.pdf
  11. NEFSC (Northeast Fisheries Science Center) 1997. Report of the 24th Northeast Regional Stock Assessment Workshop (24th SAW): Public Review Workshop. Northeast Fish. Sci. Cent. Ref. Doc. 97-11, 67p.http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/nefsc/publications/crd/crd9711.pdf
  12. NEFSC (Northeast Fisheries Science Center) 1998. Report of the 27th Northeast Regional Stock Assessment Workshop (27th SAW): Public Review Workshop. Northeast Fish. Sci. Cent. Ref. Doc. 98-14, 78p. http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/nefsc/publications/crd/crd9814.pdf
  13. NEFSC (Northeast Fisheries Science Center) 2002. Working group on re-evaluation of biological reference points for New England groundfish. Northeast Fish. Sci. Cent. Ref. Doc. 02-04, 254 p.http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/nefsc/publications/crd/crd0204/index.htm
  14. NEFSC (Northeast Fisheries Science Center) 2008. Panel Summary Report of the Groundfish Assessment Review Meeting (GARM III). Part 3. Biological Reference Points. Northeast Fish. Sci. Cent., Woods Hole, Massachusetts.http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/saw/GARMIII/Garm%20III_BRPs_report_6%20june%202008_final%20corrected.pdf
  15. New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC), 2009. Acceptable Biological Catch (ABC) Recommendations for the Northeast Multispecies Fishery. To: Paul J. Howard, Executive Director; From: Dr. Steve Cadrin, Chairman, Scientific and Statistical Committee; Date: September 23, 2009.http://www.nefmc.org/tech/Reports/Reports%20to%20Council%202009/Groundfish/SSCSep09%20groundfish%20_5_.pdf
  16. New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC), 2011. Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) Omnibus Amendment “The Swept Area Seabed Impact (SASI) Model: A Tool for Analyzing the Effects of Fishing on Essential Fish Habitat.http://www.nefmc.org/habitat/index.html
  17. NMFS, 2014. List of Fisheries (LOF) National Marine Fisheries Service, Office of Protected Resources http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/interactions/lof/final2014.htm
  18. NMFS, 2013. U.S. Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico Marine Mammal Stock Assessments – 2012 http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/sars/pdf/ao2012.pdf
  19. Northeast Fisheries Science Center. 2008. Assessment of 19 Northeast Groundfish Stocks through 2007: Report of the 3rd Groundfish Assessment Review Meeting (GARM III), Northeast Fisheries Science Center, Woods Hole, Massachusetts, August 4-8, 2008. US Dept Commer, Northeast Fish Sci Cent Ref Doc. 08-15; 884 p + xvii. Available from: National Marine Fisheries Service, 166 Water Street, Woods Hole, MA 02543-1026.http://nefsc.noaa.gov/nefsc/publications/crd/crd0815/
  20. Northeast Fisheries Science Center. 2013. 56th Northeast Regional Stock Assessment Workshop (55th SAW) Assessment Summary Report. US Dept Commer, Northeast Fish Sci Cent Ref Doc. ; 42 p. Available from: National Marine Fisheries Service, 166 Water Street, Woods Hole, MA 02543-1026.http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/saw/saw55/crd1301.pdf
  21. O'Brien, L. and N.J. Munroe 2001. Assessment of the Georges Bank Atlantic cod stock for 2001. Northeast Fish. Sci. Cent. Ref. Doc. 01-10; 126 p.http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/nefsc/publications/crd/crd0110/0110.htm
  22. O’Brien, L, N. Shepherd, and L.A. Col 2006. Assessment of the Georges Bank Atlantic cod stock for 2005. Northeast Fish. Sci. Cent. Ref. Doc. 06-10; 148 p.http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/nefsc/publications/crd/crd0610/index.htm
  23. O’Brien, L., Shepherd, N., Wang, Y. 2012. Groundfish Assessment Updates Chapter II. Species Chapters. A. Georges Bank Atlantic Cod. National Marine Fisheries Service, Northeast Fisheries Science Center. Accessed 30 January 2013 online at http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/publications/crd/crd1206/gbcod.pdf.http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/publications/crd/crd1206/gbcod.pdf
  24. SARA (Government of Canada), 2014 Species at Risk Public Registry. Accessed: July 2014.http://www.sararegistry.gc.ca/sar/index/default_e.cfm?stype=species&lng=e&index=1&common=&scientific=&population=&taxid=5&locid=0&desid=0&schid=0&desid2=0&
  25. SSC. 2011. Memo to Paul Howard, NEFMC from the Science and Staticitcal Committe, Groundfish ABC's.http://www.nefmc.org/tech/Reports/Reports%20to%20Council%202011/Groundfish/SSCrept_Sept2011_GF.pdf
  26. Transboundary Resources Assessment Committee (TRAC), 2011. Eastern Georges Bank Cod. TRAC Status Report 2011/02. Fisheries and Oceans Canada.http://www2.mar.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/science/trac/TSRs/TSR_2011_02_E.pdf
References

    Comments

    This tab will disappear in 5 seconds.

    Comments on:

    Atlantic cod - Georges Bank, Georges Bank, US W. Georges Bank, United States, Bottom trawls

    comments powered by Disqus