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Northern cod growth off NL stalled, latest science indicates

You could say Newfoundland and Labrador exists because of cod fish. So many cod that at one time that you could literally dip your bucket over the side of your boat and fill a pail with fish. Come with The Rooms staff on a tour of two exhibitions that include “From This Place: Our Lives on Land and Sea”, and “Here, We Made a Home”, to learn about the salt cod trade in the province. These tours are included with general admission. Free for Rooms members. Visit therooms.ca for more information.
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The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) on Friday released it’s latest stock status assessment information on northern cod.

“We continue to be concerned about the status of the northern cod stock, which remains in the critical zone,” a technical briefing document states.

“Survey indices suggest that recently observed stock growth (2012-2016) may have stalled. Ecosystem conditions indicated limited productivity and reduced food availability may be limiting growth of cod. “The precautionary approach requires that removals be kept at lowest possible levels.”

The Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW-Unifor) said the assessment information comes without stakeholder input and a lack of key information concerning the stock.

The union is calling upon the federal government to take immediate action on seal predation and to implement consistent stock rebuilding plans.

“We understand that the worldwide pandemic has certainly impacted many things, including the way DFO conducts its science assessments,” Keith Sullivan, FFAW-Unifor president, said in a news release. “The traditional roundtable was understandably unable to take place this year, however, stakeholders were not given any opportunity to provide input or feedback into this science report which is certainly unacceptable. There are other available avenues to be able to contribute without meeting face to face.

“DFO science has suggested that stock growth for northern cod has stalled, but this is not what harvesters are seeing on the water.”

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