The NLGIDC are pleased with DFO’s revised assessment Model for Northern Cod

The Newfoundland and Labrador Groundfish Industry Development Council (NLGIDC) are pleased that The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) has implemented a revised model for assessing the 2J3KL cod stock. This model now utilizes data back to 1954 and shows that the 2J3KL cod stock is out of the critical zone and into the cautious zone of the Precautionary Approach (PA) Framework. In fact, the new model indicates the stock has been in the cautious zone since 2016. Previously the model only used data back to 1983.

“The NLGIDC and other groups have been seeking changes to the stock assessment model for a number of years,” says Jim Baird, the Chair of the NLGIDC. “The key feature of the revised model is that it now results in a Limit Reference Point (LRP) that is consistent with the full historic performance and productivity of the 2J3KL cod stock,” added Baird. The LRP is the dividing line between the critical and cautious zones of DFO’s PA framework.

The state-of-the-art model used by DFO scientists is quite complex and enables the inclusion of many sources of data to help in the understanding of the productivity for the iconic Northern Cod stock. In addition, to the long time series of cod catch and catch-at-age data the model also includes information from cod tagging studies, juvenile cod surveys, the sentinel fishery and capelin indices of abundance. Congratulations to the DFO science team, who worked hard to bring all this together.

With this stock now confirmed to be in the cautious zone, there are potential positive impacts for the 2024 Maximum Allowable Harvest of Northern cod that will directly benefit fish harvesters and processors as well as provide economic benefits to rural Newfoundland and Labrador communities in general. We now look forward to the new stock assessment of this cod stock that will occur in March, 2024.

J. Baird
[email protected]


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