The Newfoundland and Labrador Groundfish Industry Development Council (NLGIDC) provides commentary on the latest scientific assessment for 3Ps Cod

St. John’s, NL, November 22. 2021 – On Friday, November 19, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) announced the results of the latest science assessment for the 3Ps cod stock, located off the south coast of Newfoundland. The stock is currently at a low level and growth of this important resource is being impeded by high natural mortality.

Jim Baird, The Chairman of the NLGIDC said, “The level of natural mortality has been at the highest levels ever recorded for this stock in the most recent time period.” Baird continued, “Having a better understanding of the processes related to natural mortality is important to provide scientists the ability to make accurate projections related to stock growth.”

It is clear that seals eat substantial quantities of cod and many industry representatives believe that seal consumption is likely contributing to this high natural mortality, however DFO scientists are not convinced this is the case.

This recent assessment also included some positive signs for 3Ps cod. The catch rates from the longline sentinel fishery have been increasing over the past 3 years and are now the highest in the past 12 years. In addition, DFO’s research vessel survey indicates the fish are in better condition than they have been for some years and there are also positive signs of incoming recruitment. DFO scientists also noted that the fishing mortality has been declining regularly and is now at the lowest level since the moratorium of the mid 1990’s.

Jim Baird, Chair, NLGIDC
(709) 749-2421
[email protected]