Tag Archives: cod

Federal Liberals continue to destroy BC fisheries… it’s starting to look like the NFLD fishing moratorium

There are about 2,000 licensed commercial fishing licenses held by BC fishermen (pc governments now call them harvesters). Using that figure and adding in 2 crewmen (many fishing boats have more) means over 2,500 harvesters will lose their jobs… The sad part is that reducing the wild salmon fishery has its precedence on the east coast. Some might remember back in 1992, the federal government of the day established the Newfoundland cod fishery moratorium. It was a cruel and duplicitous statement to call it a moratorium as 30 years later, and the commercial cod fishery remains closed. Cod have considerably recovered but are being caught by fisherman from Iceland, Greenland, Denmark, and a swarm of foreign-flagged fish factory trawlers just outside the 200-mile nautical limit. Codfish are also being consumed by a 5 million strong seal herd, which has quadrupled in size since the collapse of the seal fishery. >click to read< 18:38

Doomed to Extinction? Where have all the codfish in the Gulf of Maine gone?!!

The commercial fishermen have all been given a personal quota for cod. If they reach their quota, they need to purchase or lease more quota from someone who has extra. The price to “lease” these fish in order to catch them can be exorbitant. Cod has become a commodity on the market being bought or hoarded by non-fishermen to make money off the backs of the active fishermen,,, And then there are the seals. Yes, harbor seals, gray seals and harp seals. Seals would not normally be feeding on large amounts of cod, but we have protected the seal population for decades without regard to the rest of the environment. The result is unmistakably a huge explosion in the seal population within the Gulf of Maine. So, are the cod doomed to extinction?  >click to read< 07:50

The Faroe Bank Cod: How a ‘mythical’ Faroes delicacy has vanished

The head chef at Barbara Fish House, one of four restaurants located in tiny wooden houses in Tórshavn, the Faroe Islands’ capital, Christensen was hosting what has become known as a “Bank evening”, because of the main dish. The Faroe Bank cod’s reputation is partly built on its size. It is huge: a three-year-old specimen is already twice as large, on average, as the Atlantic cod. But it is also legendary because of its rarity. A genetically distinctive member of the cod family, it was once plentiful before being nearly fished to extinction. In 2008, all commercial fishing of Faroe Bank cod was banned. Only the Faroe Marine Research Institute (Famri) is now allowed to catch them, when its researchers survey the fish population twice a year. >click to read< 11:05

How Newfoundland’s wild fisheries have gone from plentiful to pitiful – How did we get here?

The headline in the daily paper at the end of January 2019 had said it all: Cod recovery still far off: DFO. In the case of cod, the same factors that had contributed to a hopeful comeback — thriving capelin and warming waters — had since swung in unfavourable directions. Fewer capelin prey and changing environmental conditions did not bode well for cod. Now, in 2021, the prognosis for the cod population, capelin and the environmental  conditions remains no better. How did we get here? DFO science shows several factors are predominantly to blame for declining cod and capelin populations, including: natural causes, especially lack of capelin prey in the case of cod; high predation, particularly from fish (more so than seals), in the case of capelin; and warming ocean waters, among other environmental factors. >click to read< 08:26

“DFO operates in denial of Reality”- Scientist says seal predation not having a significant impact on spawning cod stocks 

Instead, Karen Dwyer, weighing in on the contentious debate over the health of cod stocks, said Thursday that environmental factors and a limited supply of the cod’s primary food source — capelin — are more to blame.,, Trinity Bay fisherman Keith Smith said DFO continues to downplay the impact of seal predation on cod. “It’s like DFO operate in denial of reality,” Smith said. “Fishing mortality is at an all-time low while natural mortality, likely led by the growing seal population that consumes vast amounts of both capelin and cod, remains high,”,,, >click to read<  11:04

Nearly 30 years into the moratorium, Newfoundlanders look for ways to rebuild Cod

Atlantic cod, the species better known by its population name, Northern cod, is the fish of choice for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. On a day spent handlining cod on the North Atlantic off of Petty Harbour-Maddox Cove, a centuries-old fishing community just outside of St. John’s, it can be easy to forget cod has a storied history – and a still uncertain future. Northern cod survived near-decimation from overfishing three decades ago, leading the federal department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) to shutter the commercial cod fishery in 1992. Meant to last two years, the cod moratorium remains in effect, although DFO reopened an inshore commercial fishery, called the “stewardship fishery,” in 2006. >click to read< 11:00

Icelandic Cod Spray Bodes Well Against Coronavirus

While several countries across the globe are vying to create a vaccine against COVID-19, Iceland, a nation of fishermen, has come up with a possible solution of its own. PreCold, a mouth spray intended to be used against the first symptoms of a cold based on cod enzymes, has proven efficient during tests and managed to deactivate about 98.3% of the virus that causes COVID-19, national broadcaster RÚV reported. The spray creates a protective film in the pharynx where the viruses that cause the common cold tend to localise and replicate. The film using enzymes extracted from cod offal, weakens viruses so they fail to replicate to a degree that makes the host sick. >click to read< 07:27

Inadequate Assessment by DFO Leaves Harvesters with Rollover for 2020 Cod Catch Limits

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) announced the management plan for northern cod yesterday evening, revealing a rollover in the total allowable catch from last year. The rollover is a result of an inadequate assessment that failed to take into account important data as well as harvester observations – the result of which will have dire impacts on an already suffering inshore fishery. “ A rollover for this year’s quota is completely unacceptable and must be reconsidered by DFO before the season opens,” says Keith Sullivan, FFAW-Unifor President.>click to read< 13:29

DFO‘s Lack of a Full Assessment Leads to a Roll-over in the Allowable Harvest of the Stewardship Cod Fishery for 2020 – The Newfoundland and Labrador Groundfish Industry Development Council (NL-GIDC) believes that the rollover in the allowable harvest for the 2J3KL Cod Stewardship fishery is somewhat disappointing but not surprising. >click to read<

Can New England’s cod fishing industry survive? (How can the scientists and regulators ignore the ever increasing seal predation?!)

Gloucester, Massachusetts, grew up around cod. The waterfront teemed with boats and fishermen, heaps of fish thrashing in wire baskets. Boats were inherited from fathers and shipyards boasted of operating since 1684. As late as the 1980s, the cod were so abundant and large (30-50lb each) that the fishermen still brought in big hauls. Cod remains the state fish of Massachusetts., “We’ve been regulated out of existence,” former Gloucester fisherman Sam Sanfilippo said in 2017. “This used to be the biggest fishing community in the world. Ice companies, wharves, fish dealers, truckers, supermarkets … All through high school, I was always a fisherman. And here I am today: recycler, bike seller, furniture-maker. “I’m 50 years old and I don’t know what the hell I am.” >click to read< 07:30

Canada to ban ‘nuisance seals’ killing to keep access to U.S. market – Canada will abolish permits that allow the killing of “nuisance seals” by commercial fishermen and aquaculture in an effort to maintain access to the lucrative U.S. seafood market, Fishery management failure enacted for fish farmers >click to read<

Cod Cannibalism: With natural prey like capelin and shrimp in decline, cod are eating their young

Stalled. That’s how research scientist Karen Dwyer of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans describes the northern cod stock following this year’s assessment. Ecosystem conditions appear to be the main factor, said Dwyer — especially low stocks of capelin and shrimp. “Both of those prey are very important in driving the population dynamics for cod,” she said. While there’s been an increase in different types of zooplankton, Dwyer said, there’s been a decrease in fatty zooplankton. “There used to be large numbers of large fatty zooplankton, full of fat, which are really good for young fish to eat, young fish such as capelin or even young cod,” she said. “Over time they’ve seen a decline in these large fatty zooplankton.” >click to read< 07:18

2J3KL Cod Scientific Update was recently released. Important information was not included

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans released an update of the scientific assessment for 2J3KL Cod on Friday, April 17, 2020. While the Newfoundland and Labrador Groundfish Industry Development Council appreciates the effort by DFO-Science in completing this update in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, it appears that some important information was not included in the scientific deliberations. There is an internationally-accepted scientific model that has been used for this stock since 2016. This model provides information on overall stock biomass, fishing mortality, natural mortality and recruitment. All the data required to complete this analysis was available to scientists, but they chose not to run the model for this update. Contact: Jim Baird >click to read< 12:06

CLF says nothing short of an end to directed fishing – Another cut in cod fishing not enough for environmentalists

Fishing regulators are proposing another cutback to the catch limits for Atlantic cod, but some environmentalists say the move isn’t significant enough to slow the loss of the species. Atlantic cod fishing was once one of the biggest marine industries in New England, but the fishery has deteriorated after years of overfishing and environmental changes. Fishermen caught less than 2 million pounds of the fish in 2017, decades after routinely catching more than 100 million pounds annually in the early 1980s. It was the worst year for the fishery in its history. >click to read< 10:31

The Gulf of Maine cod fishery is in rough shape. The fishermen aren’t doing much better.

In December of 2011, five days before Christmas, cod fishermen in the Gulf of Maine received a letter from government regulators.,,, Over the next four years, catch limits would decrease by more than 95 percent, disrupting the lives and livelihoods of fishermen across New England.  Since 2013, researchers from Northeastern have been working with these fishing communities to understand how the failure of the cod fishery affected the fishermen’s well-being. >click to read< 09:24

Bruce Tarr: Ground Fishing rules don’t match industry realities

The federal government on Wednesday released data showing that cod stocks in the area remain overfished and are not on target to be rebuilt by 2024. “Abundance is very low, not the way it used to be, so that’s obviously of great concern to us,” said Division of Marine Fisheries Director David Pierce,,, Calling the report “concerning,” Sen. Bruce Tarr, “I’m still reading through the details  but I think it points to the fact that we should be doing things differently than we are today.” Tarr said there’s “too much regulatory discard” of cod “and there’s mortality that’s being caused by a set of rules that don’t recognize the practical reality of groundfishing.” >click to read< 19:32

North Sea cod loses Marine Stewardship Council label as population halves in just two years

North Sea cod, a staple for the UK’s fishing industry, has lost its sustainable status, after stocks were found to have almost halved in the last two years. Cod caught around the UK received the “blue tick” sustainability label in 2017, when stocks of the fish were put at around 152,207 tonnes – its highest level since 1982. However, new advice from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) puts the stocks at only 81,224 tonnes – more than 100 tonnes less than predicted. >click to read< 16:51

Outside buyers allowed in cod market as fishermen protest in St. John’s, Old Perlican

Buyers from outside the province will have a 14-day window to purchase cod from Newfoundland and Labrador harvesters, Gerry Byrne’s announcement comes as members of the The Fish Food And Allied Workers Union set up on the waterfront in St. John’s Monday morning, giving their cod catches away for free to protest what they say is a processors’ refusal to buy it. Union members are also protesting outside the Royal Greenland plant in Old Perlican, and the FFAW said it submitted an official request to Byrne Monday morning, asking that outside buyers be allowed into the market. >click to read< 16:48

A cod quality experiment in Bonavista: From 1984, how longliners were trying to improve fish quality

In 1985, Newfoundland and Labrador’s government brought in fish quality regulations that applied across the province. But a year earlier, those regulations were being put into place in Bonavista — sometimes successfully, sometimes controversially. That experiment was the focus of this 1984 archival episode of Land & Sea, which you can view below.  Those rules — which included stipulations on how fish would be processed at sea and a grading system — were meant to improve the quality, and therefore the price, of fish caught off the province’s shores. Similar quality regulations had been in place in Iceland and Norway in the 1920s. Video’s, >click to read< 13:19

Cod Populations Might be Losing a Migration ‘Supergene’

North Atlantic cod populations haven’t just decreased in number during the last century — their genetic diversity has plunged, too, which could ultimately impede cod from traveling long distances, according to a new study published in the June 26 issue of Science Advances. In particular, overfishing, climate change or a combination of factors may have led to the loss of a closely-linked group of genes — a “supergene” — associated with migratory behavior. Absence of this supergene may interfere with the cod’s ecological niche and could make populations more vulnerable to future collapse. Researchers investigated genetic variation in Northern cod around the Canadian province of Newfoundl,,, >click to read<15:23

This discovery could be the key to managing New England’s cod population

Although the species is managed as a single population, cod in the Gulf of Maine can be divided into two genetically-distinct groups. And according to a new study, understanding the unique behavior and lifecycles of these two groups may be the key to creating a better management strategy. “The current stock assessments for Gulf of Maine cod assume that the population is one single, homogeneous unit,” Dean says. “All stock assessment models have to make gross oversimplifications. But sometimes those simplifications can create inaccuracies.” click to read<21:39

Small rebound for N.L.’s northern cod, but stock still in critical zone

A federal report released Tuesday said northern cod’s spawning stock biomass — fish that can reproduce — was higher than predicted last year, representing a four-per-cent bump from 2018. The stock is currently assessed at 48 per cent of the limit reference point, meaning it is about halfway out of the fisheries department’s “critical” zone. Biologist Karen Dwyer of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) said this year’s rise surpassed negative projections after further study of 2017’s mortality numbers. (she’s wrong about the seals) >click to read<19:04

Cod fishery plummets to least valuable year since 1960s

Maine’s cod fishery, once one of the most lucrative in the Northeast, has declined to the point that it had its least valuable year in more than a half-century in 2018. The state’s industry harvesting the fish-and-chips staple goes back centuries, and it once brought millions of pounds of the fish to land year after year. But data from the state Department of Marine Resources indicate the state’s cod were worth just over $200,000 at the docks last year — less than the median price of a single-family home in Maine. >click to read<09:56

EDITORIAL: Ocean imbalance

Fisheries scientists, writing in the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, suggest that the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence cod stock may be extinct by 2050, because cod five years old and older now face an annual mortality rate of 50 per cent. The stock was already hit hard by the fishery, and collapsed in the 1990s. But it’s still not rebounding, even after years of limited fishing, and the scientists suggest that could be because the cod congregate to spawn, and are easy targets for the Gulf grey seal population, whose numbers have grown from around 6,000 in the 1960s to 100,000 in 2014. >click to read<08:20

Oceanographers produce first-ever images of entire cod shoals

For the most part, the mature Atlantic cod is a solitary creature that spends most of its time far below the ocean’s surface, grazing on bony fish, squid, crab, shrimp, and lobster—unless it’s spawning season, when the fish flock to each other by the millions,forming enormous shoals that resemble frenzied, teeming islands in the sea. >click to read<14:33

Canada, U.S. agree on quota cuts on Georges Bank, “significant concerns” with assessment methods

Canada and the United States have agreed to sharply reduce quotas for two key groundfish stocks on their shared Georges Bank fishing grounds off southern Nova Scotia. A joint transboundary government and industry panel is recommending a 25 per cent cut in haddock and a 32 per cent cut for cod in 2019. Co-chair Alain d’Entremont of Scotia Harvest Inc. in Nova Scotia, says there are concerns the huge numbers of haddock hatched in 2013 did not survive or were overestimated in the first place.,,, D’Entremont says predictions based on models have proven inaccurate when later checked against what actually occurred in the fishery. >click to read<08:55

New England: Centuries-old cod fishery had worst year in history in 2017

One of the most historic fisheries in the country hit an all-time low last year as cod fishermen continued to struggle with choking quotas and low abundance of the fish. Maine’s cod fishery has existed since at least the early 17th century, and it was once one of the strongest in the country. The fishery peaked at more than 21 million pounds of cod, a fish often used with the fish and chips dish, in 1991.,,, One reason for the collapse is that federal quotas for cod are so low many fishermen are just avoiding them altogether, said Terry Alexander, a veteran fisherman out of Portland and Boston. Cod fishermen typically also seek other species, such as haddock and flounder, and they must stop fishing altogether once they reach quota for cod, per the rules. >click to read<11:15

How Iceland Beat the British in the Four Cod Wars

In Icelandic, they were known as Þorskastríðin, “the cod strife,” or Landhelgisstríðin, “the wars for the territorial waters.” In English, they were simply “the Cod Wars.” Between the late 1940s and 1976, the two island nations of Iceland and the United Kingdom all but declared war—despite the fact that there were almost no casualties, and the former had no army. In the frigid waters between these two nations, four confrontations took place between Great Britain, a world superpower, and Iceland, a microstate of just a few hundred thousand people. Each time, Iceland won. And it all happened because of cod—and the right to fish it. These were the Cod Wars. >click to read<08:56

For the Love of Cod – the fight over fish stocks may well spell the end of cod fishers—or cod

A hard exhale escapes Sherrylynn Rowe before she can help herself. “It was so disappointing,” she says. A Canadian federal government report, released in March 2018, showed that the number of northern cod of spawning age in the Canadian North Atlantic was down 30 percent from just last year. It was a devastating turn. Northern cod had been fished to near extinction in the early 1990s and it had started to look like they were finally beginning to rebound. But now the population—which had been expected to increase again this year—was shrinking fast, brought on by an unexpectedly high rate of natural deaths. >click to read<07:53

DFO scientists clarify the decline of cod

In a province where the fishery is foundational to its survival, the decline in cod stocks has many worried and searching for clear answers. This announcement was a particular shock as the same assessment in 2016 predicted a considerable increase in cod numbers for this year. But scientists and harvesters who had noted the declines in the cod’s food source, and the many starving fish of last year’s cod fishery, were not as surprised. Research scientist with the department of Fisheries and Oceans Dr. Mariano Koen-Alonso says the sudden and sharp decline in cod stock is something being seen across the ecosystem. >click to read<11:30

Could a seal cull help cod recover? It’s not so simple, scientist says

The equation seems simple: seals eat fish, fish are declining, kill the seals, fish recover. But experts warn that many factors need to be considered before drastic measures are taken. With talk revived about ending the recreational fishery, some believe a seal would be a more effective way to help cod stocks recover. But is a cull the answer to our fish stock problem? (HELL YEAH!) Eldred Woodford of the Canadian Sealers Association is taking an even stronger stance, and calling for an all-out seal cull.,, Alejandro Buren, a research scientist at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, says many factors are at play when looking at food web relationships. >click to read<20:28

Northern cod stock declined over last year; scientists urge minimum fishing effort

Those in the province’s fishing industry hoping the northern cod would be ready for a commercial fishery in a few years’ time — a saviour to an industry suffering repeated blows from declining crab and shrimp stocks — better hold on to their hooks and nets. Northern cod this year are in the same leaky boat, having declined significantly over the past year. And that has come as a surprise to many because the northern cod stocks off the province’s east and northeast coast showed promising growth since 2012 — the first real glint of light since the dark and uncertain days of the northern cod stock collapse of the late 1980s and early 1990s. >click to read<10:10