SUMMARY

SUMMARY

IDENTIFICATION

SCIENTIFIC NAME(s)

Gadus morhua

SPECIES NAME(s)

Atlantic cod


ANALYSIS

Strengths

Scientific advice uses tried and true methodologies. Stock is showing some improvement as shown via the sentinel fishery; the spawning stock increased in 2013 probably to 2005 and 2006 strong year classes. Managers have set the directed fishery landings to zero as advised by scientists. In order to rebuild the stock, NAFO has developed a Conservation Plan and Rebuilding Strategy (CPRS) in 2007 to keep the cod stock in the “safe zone” and increasing the spawning stock to above the limit reference point. The same plan also includes a series of harvest control rules given the stock condition, as well as ecosystem considerations and bycatch specifications. Bycatch in other fisheries is being kept at low levels as advised by the scientific council. Impacts of the fishery on the ecosystem are considered as null considering that the directed fishery is closed and evaluation regards small portions of bycatch in other fisheries.

Weaknesses

Stock remains in a depleted state and is projected to remain below the limit reference point for biomass by 2016; most likely due to increased natural mortality or poor environmental factors for recruitment. Stock assessment shows some retrospective pattern.

FISHSOURCE SCORES

Management Quality:

Management Strategy:

≥ 6

Managers Compliance:

≥ 8

Fishers Compliance:

≥ 8

Stock Health:

Current
Health:

2.5

Future Health:

< 6


RECOMMENDATIONS

CATCHERS & REGULATORS

1. Continue to investigate why biomass is not rebuilding as quickly as anticipated.
2. Support implementation of the North Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) developed Conservation Plan and Rebuilding Strategy (CPRS).

RETAILERS & SUPPLY CHAIN

1. Companies sourcing from the stock should express support for implementation of the North Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) Conservation Plan and Rebuilding Strategy (CPRS).
2. Companies not currently sourcing should avoid doing so until sufficient recovery is seen in the stock and should express support for implementation of the NAFO Conservation Plan and Rebuilding Strategy (CPRS).
3. Supply chain should encourage NAFO and other relevant agencies to investigate why biomass is not rebuilding as quickly as anticipated.
4. Participate in SFP Northwest Atlantic Cod Supplier Roundtable (http://www.sustainablefish.org/fisheries-improvement/whitefish/nw-atlantic-cod-roundtable) and request suppliers to launch and operate FIPs.


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
S Grand Banks NAFO 3NO Canada Bottom trawls
Gillnets and entangling nets
Longlines

Analysis

OVERVIEW

Last updated on 27 June 2016

Strengths

Scientific advice uses tried and true methodologies. Stock is showing some improvement as shown via the sentinel fishery; the spawning stock increased in 2013 probably to 2005 and 2006 strong year classes. Managers have set the directed fishery landings to zero as advised by scientists. In order to rebuild the stock, NAFO has developed a Conservation Plan and Rebuilding Strategy (CPRS) in 2007 to keep the cod stock in the “safe zone” and increasing the spawning stock to above the limit reference point. The same plan also includes a series of harvest control rules given the stock condition, as well as ecosystem considerations and bycatch specifications. Bycatch in other fisheries is being kept at low levels as advised by the scientific council. Impacts of the fishery on the ecosystem are considered as null considering that the directed fishery is closed and evaluation regards small portions of bycatch in other fisheries.

Weaknesses

Stock remains in a depleted state and is projected to remain below the limit reference point for biomass by 2016; most likely due to increased natural mortality or poor environmental factors for recruitment. Stock assessment shows some retrospective pattern.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Last updated on 28 June 2016

Improvement Recommendations to Catchers & Regulators

1. Continue to investigate why biomass is not rebuilding as quickly as anticipated.
2. Support implementation of the North Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) developed Conservation Plan and Rebuilding Strategy (CPRS).

Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain

1. Companies sourcing from the stock should express support for implementation of the North Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) Conservation Plan and Rebuilding Strategy (CPRS).
2. Companies not currently sourcing should avoid doing so until sufficient recovery is seen in the stock and should express support for implementation of the NAFO Conservation Plan and Rebuilding Strategy (CPRS).
3. Supply chain should encourage NAFO and other relevant agencies to investigate why biomass is not rebuilding as quickly as anticipated.
4. Participate in SFP Northwest Atlantic Cod Supplier Roundtable (http://www.sustainablefish.org/fisheries-improvement/whitefish/nw-atlantic-cod-roundtable) and request suppliers to launch and operate FIPs.

1.STOCK STATUS

STOCK ASSESSMENT

Last updated on 27 June 2016

Stock assessment utilizes a standard methodology. A sequential population analysis was performed (ADAPT framework). Assessment has a retrospective pattern that underestimates the spawning stock biomass (SSB) and over estimates Fishing mortality (F) in the terminal year. Next assessment is scheduled for 2016 (NAFO, 2013c).

SCIENTIFIC ADVICE

Last updated on 27 June 2016

Bycatch of cod is recommended to be kept the lowest possible and no directed fishery is allowed for the stock recovery. The definition of reference points for F is advised (NAFO, 2013c).

Reference Points

Last updated on 27 Jun 2016

Currently, Blim is defined as 60,000 tons and Flim defined at 0.3 (NAFO, 2013a,b). BMSY has been recently estimated at 248,000 tons and an intermediate stock reference point (Bisr), or security margin between Blim and BMSY (estimated at twice Blim; i.e., 120,000 tonnes), was proposed to be considered for this stock (NAFO, 2013b). There are no other reference points for this fishery.

CURRENT STATUS

Last updated on 27 June 2016

Spawning biomass seems to be recovering. It has been increasing since 2008 and in 2013 was estimated at 25,160 tons, i.e., more than twice than the 2010 estimate. However, it still remains well below Blim. F is decreasing since 2003 and has been less than 0.1, well below Flim, in the last five years. Recruitment has been poor in the most recent years (NAFO, 2013a,c).

Catches represent bycatch in other fisheries and in 2013 a total of 0,247 tons was captured – 0,003 tons in fixed gears, 65’ to 100’ vessels + 0,244 tons in vessels > 100’ (DFO, 2014).

Trends

Last updated on 27 Jun 2016

Stock has shown some improvement over the recent time frame. It is below Blim from 1988, following the decreasing trend after the maximum high attained at 125,000 tons in 1965. F showed two maximum highs (1.077 in 1974; 1.065 in 1990); has been in a declining trend since 2003 and is below 0.1 in the last five years (NAFO, 2013a).

2.MANAGEMENT QUALITY

MANAGEMENT

Last updated on 27 June 2016

The Atlantic cod stock in the NAFO region 3NO is assessed and managed by the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO). Due to the very depleted condition of the stock, all directed fishing in this region was banned in 1994, and has been has been closed ever since. Managers have followed the scientific advice and set directed catch at zero over the past few years. Despite this, the stock is not rebuilding as fast as anticipated.

In order to rebuild the stock, NAFO has developed a Conservation Plan and Rebuilding Strategy (CPRS). The long term objective of the CPRS is to keep the cod stock in the “safe zone” (i.e., with a very low probability of fishing mortality exceeding Flim and SSB of dropping to below Blim). As an interim milestone, the CPRS aims increasing SSB to above Blim. Re-opening of the directed fishing is only to take place when there is a very high probability of SSB being above, in the year the fishery is expected to open. Total Allowable Catch (TAC) setting is also to consider the following rules: a) allow continued increase in SSB; b) low probability of SSB falling below Blim in the subsequent 3-year period; and c) F <F0.1 (NAFO, 2013b). The same plan also includes a series of harvest control rules given the stock condition, as well as ecosystem considerations and bycatch specifications. Currently, in the other 3NO fisheries, the cod bycatch per vessel is to be limited to a maximum of 1000 kg or 4% of total catch, whichever is greater (NAFO, 2013b).

Recovery Plans

Last updated on 27 Jun 2016

Target landings for the directed fishery have been set to zero to allow for stock rebuilding back to Blim like stated in the CPRS (see Managers’ decisions section for details).

COMPLIANCE

Last updated on 27 June 2016

Managers and harvesters have been following the scientific advice. Bycatch in other fisheries is being kept at low levels (NAFO, 2013a,c) as advised by the scientific council (Rideout et al., 2013).

3.ENVIRONMENT AND BIODIVERSITY

BYCATCH
ETP Species

Last updated on 27 June 2016

Note Because the directed fishery for Cod is closed evaluation is on principle fisheries which catch Cod as bycatch.

Interactions with Protected marine mammals, birds, and turtles are rare but do sometimes occur. Gillnets can have significant interactions with some dolphin species. Overall risk is low however (Cascorbi & Stevenes, 2010).

Other Species

Last updated on 27 June 2016

Note Because the directed fishery for Cod is closed evaluation is on principle fisheries which catch Cod as bycatch.

Bycatch of species other then cod can be high in trawl fisheries to low for longline fisheries with gillnets in the middle of this range. (Cascorbi & Stevenes, 2010)

HABITAT

Last updated on 27 June 2016

Note Because the directed fishery for Cod is closed evaluation is on principle fisheries which catch Cod as bycatch.

Trawling can have significant and severe impacts on bottom structure if deployed in sensitive habitats.Longlines and gill nets have low habitat impact overall but can impact some deep water coral communities (Cascorbi & Stevenes, 2010).

Marine Reserves

Last updated on 27 Jun 2016

Note Because the directed fishery for Cod is closed evaluation is on principle fisheries which catch Cod as bycatch.

Canada has some full Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) as well as other closures to protect important habitats, spawning and nursery areas for cod as well as other important fish species.

FishSource Scores

MANAGEMENT QUALITY

As calculated for 2013 data.

The score is ≥ 6.

In 2007 NAFO has developed a Conservation Plan and Rebuilding Strategy (CPRS) based on the Precautionary Approach. The long term objective of the CPRS is to keep the cod stock in the “safe zone” and a series of harvest control rules given the stock condition is also included. No directed fishery is to occur while the spawning stock remains below respective limit reference point and measures to reduce bycatch are being considered (NAFO, 2013a,b,c). Incidental catches have been decreasing.

As calculated for 2013 data.

The score is ≥ 8.

Bycatch of cod is recommended to be kept the lowest possible and no directed fishery is allowed for the stock recovery (Rideout et al., 2013). Currently, in the other 3NO fisheries, the cod bycatch per vessel is to be limited to a maximum of 1000 kg or 4% of total catch (NAFO, 2013b).

As calculated for 2013 data.

The score is ≥ 8.

Catches from 1994 refer to incidental catches or bycatch, as directed fishing for cod is closed since then. Harvesters comply with regulations. Bycatch is at low levels in other fisheries (NAFO, 2013a,c) as advised by the scientific council (Rideout et al., 2013). Fishing mortality has been very low, at the lowest levels in the time-series, and contributing to the stock recovery (NAFO, 2013a,c).

STOCK HEALTH:

As calculated for 2013 data.

The score is 2.5.

This measures the SSB as a percentage of the Blim.

The SSB is 25.2 ('000 t). The Blim is 60.0 ('000 t) .

The underlying SSB/Blim for this index is 41.9%.

As calculated for 2013 data.

The score is < 6.

The directed fishery has been closed since 1994; the spawning stock started to recover and has been increasing since 2008. However, despite the expected continued increasing trend, stochastic projections over the short term suggest a high probability (>95%) of the stock remaining below the limit reference point by 2016 (NAFO, 2013a,c).

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

1) Catches from 1994 refer to incidental catches or bycatch, as directed fishing for cod is closed since that year.
2) Advice provided in June 2013 regards the 2014-2016 fishing season (NAFO, 2013a,c).
3) Based on the available information, qualitative scores were assigned to scores #1, #2 and #3 (please mouse-over for further details). A bycatch allowance is defined for other fisheries operating in NAFO area 3NO to a maximum of 1000 kg or 4% of total catch (NAFO, 2013b). In 2007 NAFO has developed a Conservation Plan and Rebuilding Strategy (CPRS) based on the Precautionary Approach (NAFO, 2013a,b,c).

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Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs)

No related FIPs

Certifications

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)

No related MSC certifications

Sources

Credits
  1. Cascorbi, A. & Stevens, M. 2010. Atlantic Cod Gadus morhua .Monterey Bay Aquarium. http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/cr/cr_seafoodwatch/content/media/MBA_SeafoodWatch_AtlanticCodReport.pdf
  2. DFO, 2014. Species Quota Report, Newfoundland and Labrador Region - Preliminary Data - Subject to revision. Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Government of Canada [Accessed 18 July 2014]http://www.nfl.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/publications/reports_rapports/Cod_Morue_2013_eng.htm
  3. Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), 2011. Commercial Fisheries: Quota Reports.http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/stats/commercial/qr-rc/2010/cod-eng.htm
  4. González-Troncoso, D., C. Gonzalez and X. PazHealey. 2003. Atlantic cod and Yellowtail flounder indices from the Spanish Survey conducted in Divisions 3NO of the NAFO Regulatory Area. NAFO SCR Doc. 09/009, no. N5635.http://archive.nafo.int/open/sc/2009/scr09-009.pdf
  5. Healey, B.P., Murphy, E.F., Stansbury, D.E., and Brattey., J., 2003. An Assessment of the Cod Stock in NAFO Divisions 3NO. NAFO SCR Doc. 03/59, no. N4878.http://archive.nafo.int/open/sc/2003/scr03-059.pdf
  6. Morgan, M.J.,Murphy, E.F., and Brattey J., 2007. An Assessment of the Cod Stock in NAFO Divisions 3NO. NAFO SCR Doc. 07/40, no. N5392.http://archive.nafo.int/open/sc/2007/scr07-040.pdf
  7. NAFO, 2007. Scientific Council Reports 2007. SC 7-21 Jun 2007. Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO). Nova Scotia, Canada.188 pp.http://archive.nafo.int/open/sc/2007/parta.pdf
  8. NAFO, 2008. Report of Scientific Council Meeting, 5-19 June 2008. SC 5-19 Jun 2008. Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO). Nova Scotia, Canada.222 pp.http://archive.nafo.int/open/rb/2008/parta-08.pdf
  9. NAFO, 2010. NAFO Conservation and Enforcement Measures – 2010. NAFO/FC Doc. 10/1. Article 9 - 3NO Cod Conservation Plan and Rebuilding Strategy. Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO). Nova Scotia, Canada.95 pp.http://www.nafo.int/fisheries/frames/fishery.html
  10. NAFO, 2011. NAFO Conservation and Enforcement Measures – 2011. NAFO/FC Doc. 11/1. Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO). Nova Scotia, Canada.98 pp.http://www.nafo.int/fisheries/frames/fishery.html
  11. NAFO, 2012. NAFO Conservation and Enforcement Measures – 2012. NAFO/FC Doc. 12/1. Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO). Nova Scotia, Canada.100 pp.http://www.nafo.int/fisheries/frames/fishery.html
  12. NAFO, 2013a. Cod in Division 3NO: Advice June 2013 for 2014-16. SC 7-20 Jun 2013. Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO). Nova Scotia, Canada. 2 pp.http://www.nafo.int/science/advice/2013/cod3NO.pdf
  13. NAFO, 2013b. NAFO Conservation and Enforcement Measures - 2013. NAFO/FC Doc. 13/1. Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO). Nova Scotia, Canada.103 pp.http://www.nafo.int/fisheries/frames/fishery.html
  14. NAFO, 2013c. Cod in Division 3NO, Advice June 2013 for 2014-16NAFO SCS Doc. 13/17. Scientific Council June meeting 2013, Serial No. N6208, 252 pp.http://archive.nafo.int/open/sc/2013/scs13-17.pdf
  15. Power, D., J. Morgan, E.F. Murphy, J. Brattey, B. Healey, 2010. An Assessment of the Cod Stock in NAFO Divisions 3NO. NAFO SCR Doc. No. 10/42. Serial No. N5801.http://archive.nafo.int/open/sc/2010/scr10-042.pdf
  16. Rideout, R.M., Murphy, E.F., Brattey, J., Power, D. 2013. An Assessment of the Cod Stock in NAFO Divisions 3NO, NAFO SCR Doc. No. 13/044, Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization, 47 pp.http://archive.nafo.int/open/sc/2013/scr13-044.pdf
References

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