SUMMARY

SUMMARY

IDENTIFICATION

SCIENTIFIC NAME(s)

Gadus morhua

SPECIES NAME(s)

Atlantic cod


ANALYSIS

Strengths

Recent catches have been below the set TACs, although this is probably related with the very low abundances of the stock. In 2011, a Recovery Potential Assessment (RPA) for the cod in 4X5Yb was developed, providing different fishing scenarios to scientific advice.

Weaknesses

The stock is deemed to have declined by 59-64% in the past three generations, and was designated as “Endangered” by COSEWIC in 2010. The high fishing pressure has been considered one of the major threats to the stock recovery (COSEWIC, 2010). The survey biomass index estimate for 2013 is the lowest from the time-series (1970-2013) and represents a 37% reduction in relation to the previous year. An observer program exists but observer coverage is insufficient to provide reliable estimates of bycatch and discards (DFO, 2011).

FISHSOURCE SCORES

Management Quality:

Management Strategy:

< 6

Managers Compliance:

≥ 6

Fishers Compliance:

10

Stock Health:

Current
Health:

< 6

Future Health:

< 6


RECOMMENDATIONS

CATCHERS & REGULATORS

1. Develop a formal recovery plan with explicit actions to achieve recovery and reference points defining recovery targets.
2. Update the stock assessment. If data are inadequate, determine what information is needed and develop a research plan.
3. Improve the observer coverage program to provide more reliable estimates of bycatch and discards.

RETAILERS & SUPPLY CHAIN

1. Contact the Regional Director-General for the Maritimes Region and request that fishing mortality is maintained at or below the target reference point.


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 Scotian Shelf and Bay of Fundy Canada 4X5Y Canada Bottom trawls
Longlines

Analysis

OVERVIEW

Last updated on 31 August 2016

Strengths

Recent catches have been below the set TACs, although this is probably related with the very low abundances of the stock. In 2011, a Recovery Potential Assessment (RPA) for the cod in 4X5Yb was developed, providing different fishing scenarios to scientific advice.

Weaknesses

The stock is deemed to have declined by 59-64% in the past three generations, and was designated as “Endangered” by COSEWIC in 2010. The high fishing pressure has been considered one of the major threats to the stock recovery (COSEWIC, 2010). The survey biomass index estimate for 2013 is the lowest from the time-series (1970-2013) and represents a 37% reduction in relation to the previous year. An observer program exists but observer coverage is insufficient to provide reliable estimates of bycatch and discards (DFO, 2011).

RECOMMENDATIONS

Last updated on 31 August 2016

Improvement Recommendations to Catchers & Regulators

1. Develop a formal recovery plan with explicit actions to achieve recovery and reference points defining recovery targets.
2. Update the stock assessment. If data are inadequate, determine what information is needed and develop a research plan.
3. Improve the observer coverage program to provide more reliable estimates of bycatch and discards.

Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain

1. Contact the Regional Director-General for the Maritimes Region and request that fishing mortality is maintained at or below the target reference point.

1.STOCK STATUS

STOCK ASSESSMENT

Last updated on 31 August 2016

The last assessment was undertaken in 2011. Current assessment methodology has been in place since 2006. A virtual population analysis (VPA) model is currently used to assess the stock. Model performs well and trends are consistent with other information on the fishery, including; age/growth, size at age, abundance indexes, and others.

A recovery potential assessment (RPA) was introduced by DFO Science to provide the information and scientific advice required to meet various requirements of the Species at Risk Act (SARA) (DFO, 2011). In recent years, DFO has conducted summer research surveys to provide information on trends in abundance for most groundfish species in the Maritimes Region, including cod. However, a full assessment, including other sources of data, would be required to evaluate the impacts of management measures on population status (DFO, 2014a).

SCIENTIFIC ADVICE

Last updated on 31 August 2016

In 2011, a Recovery Potential Assessment (RPA) was undertaken, developing 3 fishing scenarios based on different fishing mortality(F) levels. Only F=0 and F=0.5Fref (corresponding a TAC 1,500 tons),were considered satisfactory to rebuild the stock in a reasonable timeframe (i.e. Spawning Stock Biomass (SSB) at Blim level in 10 and 23 years , respectively, with 95% probability) (DFO, 2011).

A harvest control strategy is reportedly in place (Morgan & DeAlteris, 2014; DFO, 2009a) and states that a rebuilding plan should be adopted for stocks in the critical zone, where this stock currently is. However, the 2011 Recovery Potential Assessment is not explicit as to ongoing actions to ensure recovery, no scientific advice is known to have been provided since then, recovery rates are not being determined so it’s unclear if the target F=0.1 is being met, and the stock continues to decline according to survey results.

As directed fishing (along with discards, bycatch) is still one of the threats to the recovery of this stock, further mitigation measures of fishing mortality should be implemented, e.g., adoption of the precautionary approach (PA), implementation of harvest control rules and decisions in line with the PA, closed areas and seasons to protect stock during spawning period, fishing effort restrictions (DFO, 2011). In recent years is not completely clear what is the scientific advice for this stock.

Reference Points

Last updated on 31 Aug 2016

A fishing mortality of 0.2 (Fref) and a limit biomass reference point (Blim or LRP, Limit reference point) of 24,000 tons were defined as the precautionary reference points for the cod stock in Southern Scotian Shelf and Bay of Fundy (Div. 4X5Yb) (Clark et al., 2011; DFO, 2011). In 2011 a recovery plan for the cod in 4X5Yb was developed and Blim and Fref have been used to assess status of the stock and provide scientific advice (DFO, 2011). In 2012, a Upper Stock Reference (USR) was proposed (48,000 tons) as the double of the LRP value (DFO, 2012).

CURRENT STATUS

Last updated on 31 August 2016

Despite the low landings in recent years, the biomass survey indices estimates for the 4X5Y cod have been continuously declining. The stock is deemed to have declined by 59-64% in the past generations, and was designated as “Endangered” by COSEWIC in 2010 (COSEWIC, 2010). The survey biomass index estimate for 2013 (2,058 tons) is the lowest from the time-series (1970-2013), representing a 37% reduction in relation to the previous year. This value is well below short-term average 2007-2011 (6,413 tons), medium-term average 1997-2011 (11,202 tons) and long-term average (20,963 tons) (DFO, 2014a). Fishing mortality (F) remains above the reference level (0.2), and was estimated at 0.3 in 2008 (DFO, 2011). Recent, information on F is not available.

Trends

Last updated on 31 Aug 2016

The Stock biomass and abundance has been in continuous decline.Declines could be due to environmental factors, but principally over harvest is the key cause.Stock is experiencing lower recruitment. Although fishing mortality has experienced a considerable drop in the mid-90s, it has remained above the reference level (F=0.2) since 1948. Projections suggest a possible increase in SSB, if fishing mortality drops to at least the reference F, but uncertainty is high (DFO, 2011).

2.MANAGEMENT QUALITY

MANAGEMENT

Last updated on 31 August 2016

Despite scientific projections suggesting that removals of 1,450 tons (i.e. following fishing management target of F=0.2) would allow some stock growth, a TAC of 3,000 tons was agreed for 2009. However, a Recovery Potential Assessment for the southern designatable unit of Atlantic cod was established in 2011. The estimated fishing mortality correspondent to the set TAC=1,650 tons in 2011 was F=0.11, only slight above the 0.5Fref.

A harvest control strategy is reportedly in place (Morgan and DeAlteris, 2014; DFO, 2009a) and states that a rebuilding plan should be adopted for stocks in the critical zone, where this stock currently is. The harvest strategy also establish that stocks above the Limit Reference point (LRP) should be rebuilt in 1.5-2 generations (11-15 years)). Management measures have been considered partially implemented and set consistent with the strategies established for this stock (DFO, 2011; Morgan and DeAlteris, 2014).

Some mitigation measures to reduce and discourage bycatch and discards have been put in place (e.g. gear restrictions, increase monitoring and control of bycatch, at-sea observer coverage, limits on allowable incidental catches per trip, logbooks, Vessel Monitoring System, area and season closures) (DFO, 2014b).

Recovery Plans

Last updated on 31 Aug 2016

DFO has conducted a recovery potential assessment for the southern designatable unit of Atlantic cod and determined that at 0.5 Fref (F=0.1) would provide a 95% certainty that the stock will reach the Limit Reference Point (LRP) within 23 years while with no fishing (F=0) the stock will reach LRP in 10 years (DFO, 2011).

A harvest control strategy is reportedly in place (Morgan & DeAlteris, 2014; DFO, 2009a) and states that a rebuilding plan should be adopted for stocks in the critical zone, where this stock currently is. However the 2011 Recovery Potential Assessment is not explicit as to ongoing actions to ensure recovery, no scientific advice is known to have been provided since then, recovery rates are not being determined so it’s unclear if the target F=0.1 is being met, and the stock continues to decline according to survey results.

COMPLIANCE

Last updated on 31 August 2016

Harvesters comply with set quotas, but quotas have not been met due to low abundance. In 2012/2013, a total 1,201 tons were landed, representing 73% of the set quota of 1,650 tons (DFO, 2013). IUU fishing is considered one of the threats to the recovery of Atlantic cod stocks in Canada (COSEWIC, 2010). Misreporting of catches may have some contribution to the total mortality, but deemed to have decreased since 2002. Stock is part of a mixed groundfish fishery, so removals are incidental in nature and direct targeting of the stock is discouraged. Measures to reduce bycatch and discards (e.g. gear restrictions, increase monitoring and control of bycatch, at-sea observer coverage) are also in place (DFO, 2011).

On-board observer coverage in 4X5Y was historically low but was increased in 2011 and in 2012 (Morgan and DeAlteris, 2014).

3.ENVIRONMENT AND BIODIVERSITY

BYCATCH
ETP Species

Last updated on 31 August 2016

Marine mammals listed as at risk in the region by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) are: blue whale Balaenoptera musculus (“Endangered”), grey whale Eschrichtius robustus (“Extirpated”), harbour porpoise Phocoena phocoena (“Special Concern”), north Atlantic right whale Eubalaena glacialis (“Endangered”) and Sowery’s beaked whale Mesoplodon bidens (“Special Concern”). Of these, harbour porpoise is the most susceptible to become caught in fishing nets and is recorded as bycatch in gillnets (COSEWIC, 2013). Roseway Basin and the Grand Manan Basin areas have been designated as a conservation area for right whales (Cox et al., 2010). The Atlantic cod stock of division 4X5Y was also considered “Endangered” in 2010, and excessive fishing pressure remains one of the major threats to its recovery (COSEWIC, 2010).

Other Species

Last updated on 31 August 2016

Cod in in this division are captured in a mixed species fishery, thus there is some degree bycatch and discards of several species, including cod. There is an observer program in place to monitor discards, but observer coverage has been generally low (< 1%), which prevents accurate calculations of bycatch and discard levels (DFO, 2011).

Since 2013, all thorny skate bycatch should be release (Morgan and DeAlteris, 2014).

HABITAT

Last updated on 31 August 2016

Impacts on the seafloor and benthic communities are likely to occur, particularly due to the bottom trawling. The degree of the impact is probably not uniform and will depend upon a series of factors such as the structure of the bottom habitat, species present, gear used, deployment method, and frequency of fishing in a given area (DFO, 2011).

Log-books information on fishing locations and frequency in which an area is impacted is compiled to indicate impacts on sensitive areas . DFO’s Ecological Risk Assessment Framework (ERAF) for Coldwater Corals and Sponge Dominated Communities came into effect in 2013 (Morgan and DeAlteris, 2014).

Marine Reserves

Last updated on 31 Aug 2016

Seasonal closures are in place for the scallop fishery on Georges Bank and Browns Bank to protect spawning cod (DFO, 2011).

There are also several closed areas the region, in order to protect important habitats (e.g. Lophelia Coral Conservation Area and Gully Marine Protected Area) (Cox et al., 2010).

FishSource Scores

SELECT SCORES

MANAGEMENT QUALITY

As calculated for 2014 data.

The score is < 6.

A harvest control strategy is reportedly in place (Morgan and DeAlteris, 2014; DFO, 2009a) and states that a rebuilding plan should be adopted for stocks in the critical zone, where this stock currently is. However the 2011 Recovery Potential Assessment is not explicit as to ongoing actions to ensure recovery, no scientific advice is known to have been provided since then, recovery rates are not being determined so it’s unclear if the target F=0.1 is being met, and the stock continues to decline according to survey results.

As calculated for 2014 data.

The score is ≥ 6.

Management measures have been partial implemented and set consistent with the strategies establish for this stock (Morgan and DeAlteris, 2014).

As calculated for 2012 data.

The score is 10.0.

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

The Landings is 1.20 ('000 t). The Set TAC is 1.65 ('000 t) .

The underlying Landings/Set TAC for this index is 72.8%.

STOCK HEALTH:

As calculated for 2014 data.

The score is < 6.

There is not a full assessment of the stock status in recent years. However, biomass surveys indices obtained by DFO indicate that the stock is at the lowest value of the time-series (1970-2013) (DFO, 2014a).

As calculated for 2014 data.

The score is < 6.

The Recovery Potential Assessment (RPA) determined that the fishing scenario at 0.5F[~ref~] (F=0.1) the stock will take at least 23 years to recovery to B[~lim~] level (at 95% probability)(DFO, 2011). Additionally, according to the biomass surveys indices, the stock continues to decrease since 2011 (DFO, 2011; DFO, 2014a).

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.

No related analysis

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. Clark, D.S., Clark, K.J. and Andrushchenko, I.V. 2011. Precautionary Approach Limit Reference Points for Atlantic Cod (Gadus morhua) in NAFO Divisions 4X5Yb and 5Zjm. DFO Can. Sci. Advis. Sec. Advis. Rep. 2011/085. 12 pp.http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/Csas-sccs/publications/resdocs-docrech/2011/2011_085-eng.pdf
  2. COSEWIC, 2010. COSEWIC Assessment and Status Report on the Atlantic cod Gadus morhua in Canada. Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. Ottawa. Xiii + 105 pp.http://publications.gc.ca/collections/collection_2011/ec/CW69-14-311-2010-eng.pdf
  3. COSEWIC, 2013. COSEWIC (Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada): wildlife species database. Assessed online 5th February 2013.http://www.cosewic.gc.ca/eng/sct0/index_e.cfm
  4. Cox, Sean, Huntington, Tim, Knapman, Paul and Scott, Ian, 2010. Public Certification Report for the Canada Scotia - Fundy Fishery for Haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) in NAFO Sea Areas 5Zjm, 4X5Y. Moody Marine Ltd. October 2010. 241 pp.http://www.msc.org/track-a-fishery/certified/north-west-atlantic/canadian_scotia_fundy_haddock/assessment-downloads-1/15.10.2010-scotia-fundy-haddock-pcr-V5.pdf
  5. DFO, 2005. Cod on the Southern Scotian Shelf and in the Bay of Fundy (Div. 4X/5Y). DFO Can. Sci. Advis. Sec. Sci. Advis. Rep. 2005/057.http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/csas/Csas/status/2005/SAR-AS2005_057_E.pdf
  6. DFO, 2006a. Cod on the Southern Scotian Shelf and in the Bay of Fundy (Div. 4X/5Y). DFOCan. Sci. Advis. Sec. Sci. Advis. Rep. 2006/046.http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/csas/Csas/status/2006/SAR-AS2006_046_E.pdf
  7. DFO, 2006b. Assessment of Cod in Division 4X in 2006. DFO Can. Sci. Advis. Sec., Res. Doc. 2006/087.http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/csas/Csas/DocREC/2006/RES2006_087_e.pdf
  8. DFO, 2009a. A Fishery Decision-Making Framework Incorporating the Precautionary Approach. Fisheries and Oceans Canada. http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fm-gp/peches-fisheries/fish-ren-peche/sff-cpd/precaution-eng.htm
  9. DFO, 2009b. Cod on the Southern Scotian Shelf and in the Bay of Fundy (Div. 4X/5Y). DFO Can. Sci. Advis. Sec. Sci. Advis. Rep. 2009/015.http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/CSAS/Csas/Publications/SAR-AS/2009/2009_015_e.pdf
  10. DFO, 2009c. Assessment of Cod in Division 4X in 2008. DFO Can. Sci. Advis. Sec., Res. Doc. 2009/018.http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/CSAS/Csas/publications/resdocs-docrech/2009/2009_018_e.pdf
  11. DFO, 2010. Information on TAC levels for fishing seasons 2008/09 and 2009/10.http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/decisions/fm-2009-gp/groundfish-poissondefond-0624-01-eng.htm
  12. DFO, 2011. Recovery Potential Assessment (RPA) for the Southern Designatable Unit (NAFO Divs. 4X5Yb and 5Zjm) of Atlantic Cod (Gadus morhua). DFO Can. Sci. Advis. Sec. Advis. Rep. 2011/034., 25 pages.http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/Csas-sccs/publications/sar-as/2011/2011_034-eng.pdf
  13. DFO, 2012. Reference points consistent with the precautionary approach for a variety of stocks in the Maritimes Region. DFO Can. Sci. Advis. Sec. Sci. Advis. Rep. 2012/035. http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/Library/347513.pdf
  14. DFO, 2013. Commercial Fisheries, Quota Reports. Canadian Atlantic Quota Reports - Catch to Date. Assessed online 5th February 2013.http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/stats/commercial/yrlist-eng.htm
  15. DFO, 2014a. Maritimes Research Vessel Summer Survey trends. Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat Science Response 2014/017. 54pphttp://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/csas-sccs/publications/scr-rs/2014/2014_017-eng.pdf
  16. DFO, 2014b. Groundfish - Mixed (including cod) Maritimes Region.http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/decisions/fm-2014-gp/atl-004-eng.htm
  17. Morgan, S., DeAlteris, J., 2014. Canada Scotia Fundy Haddock Fishery.2013 Third Annual MSC Surveillance Visit Report. February 2014. 93pp http://www.msc.org/track-a-fishery/fisheries-in-the-program/certified/north-west-atlantic/canadian_scotia_fundy_haddock/assessment-downloads-1/20140403_SR_HAD28.pdf
References

    Comments

    This tab will disappear in 5 seconds.

    Comments on:

    Atlantic cod - S Scotian Shelf and Bay of Fundy

    comments powered by Disqus