Cod comeback seen off Newfoundland
Too early to increase commercial quotas, fisheries scientist says
Posted: Aug 16, 2012 7:46 AM NT
Last Updated: Aug 16, 2012 3:57 PM NT
Northern cod appear to be in better shape than any time since Ottawa imposed a moratorium on the Newfoundland and Labrador fishery two decades ago, a leading fisheries scientist says.
But George Rose, a former federal fisheries scientist who has studied cod stocks for decades, says the improvement is not nearly strong enough or well documented to warrant an increase in cod quotas.
"I haven't seen that amount of fish or the size of the fish that we encountered this spring in, well, it's over 20 years," said Rose, director of the Centre for Fisheries Ecosystem Research at Memorial University.
"We really are at a new beginning, particularly with regards to caplin and the cod, which seem to be on the increase — at least in some areas," he told CBC News.
Rose said researchers, though, will not have hard numbers on cod stocks until next spring.
Without enough data, he warns against increasing quotas for a commercial cod fishery.
There are limited fisheries for cod around Newfoundland and Labrador, although it represents a tiny fraction of the overall seafood industry.
In 2011, cod had a landed value of just over $11 million, with fishermen pulling in 9,745 tonnes.
Nonetheless, Rose said there are clear signals that cod are in better health than in many years.
"We've seen considerable and significant changes to the better, particularly in the northern regions — that is from the Grand Banks north up to Labrador, particularly in the one area we call the Bonavista corridor, where the fish have increased in number and in size rather dramatically in the last few years," he said.
Latest Nfld. & Labrador News Headlines
- Gros Morne fracking plan on UNESCO radar
- UNESCO's World Heritage Committee is worried about proposed fracking near Gros Morne National Park, on Newfoundland's west coast. more »
- Tourette foundation tweets tics
- The Tourette Syndrome Foundation of Canada is using Twitter to help the public see first hand what it's like to have the condition. more »
- Black Spruce consolidates west coast energy plays
- An exploration firm says it has the expertise and resources required to successfully develop energy opportunities on Newfoundland's west coast where others have faltered. more »
- Strike drags on at St. John's airport
- The nine-month-old strike at St. John's International Airport continues to drag on. more »
Top News Headlines
- Sopranos star James Gandolfini dies in Italy
- James Gandolfini, whose portrayal of a brutal, emotionally delicate mob boss in HBO's 'The Sopranos' helped create one of TV's greatest drama series and turned the mobster stereotype on its head, died Wednesday in Italy. He was 51. more »
- B.C. First Nation sets fires to save bison
- A First Nation band is reviving the age-old practice of controlled burning in order to improve the health of forests and restore the population of the wood bison in a corner of northeastern B.C. more »
- Canada buys rare War of 1812 collection for $573K
- The government of Canada was the winning bidder for a large collection of letters, maps and other papers that once belonged to Sir John Sherbrooke, the lieutenant-governor of Nova Scotia who conquered Maine for the British during the War of 1812. The collection sold for $573,000 at auction in London. more »
- Bob Rae quits as MP in 'very emotional' decision
- Bob Rae, who has represented the Toronto Centre riding for the Liberals since 2008, is stepping down as a Member of Parliament to devote more time to his work as a negotiator for First Nations in Northern Ontario. more »
- Statoil makes 2nd find in new frontier off Newfoundland
- Dover woman's trial on sex charges to take place in January
- N.L. may release royalty info now blocked by Bill 29
- Judge considers new evidence in shaken-baby case
- 4-year prison sentence for pizza man, gas station robberies
- New park in Labrador City not scoring goals with everyone
- Peace and quiet costs about $4K for St. John's resident
- Strike drags on at St. John's airport
- EI reforms opposed in Atlantic Canada, poll finds