Federal Fisheries Minister Gail Shea says she is open to looking at extending the season of the recreational fishery or reverting to a tagging system, but warns that the sustainability of cod stocks remain paramount. 

While speaking with reporters in St. John's on Wednesday, Shea was asked whether the food fishery could be extended beyond a few weeks in the summer. 

The current food fishery opened last Saturday and will close Aug. 10. On the opening day, Gordon Reid, 72, died off Bell Island when a small boat capsized. 

While RCMP confirmed that Reid and two others were not wearing life-jackets, there have been calls to extend the length of the food fishery so that participants will not feel rushed.

Other provinces allow recreational fishing for a much longer period. 

"We're certainly willing to look at anything, but there has to be some control on how much fish are coming out of the water as well," said Shea.

"This is the species we're trying to rebuild so we can't just have a fishery where anybody can go fish any amount of fish that they want."

Shea said that at one time there was a tagging system that allowed people to catch a certain number of fish, but this was abandoned in 2007 in favour of controlling the number of weeks fishing was allowed. 

"If people want to look at going back to a tagged fishery, we're certainly willing to sit down and look at all the options."