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October 25, 2023
Today, the Honourable Dr. Andrew Furey, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, along with the Honourable Elvis Loveless, Minister of Fisheries, Forestry and Agriculture, are issuing the enclosed statement in response to the Federal Government’s assessment of the status of Northern cod stocks:
“As we all know, in 1992 Fisheries and Oceans Canada imposed a moratorium on the Northern cod fishery to allow time for the species to rebuild. Work has been ongoing from all fisheries stakeholders since that time to recover the stock to levels where the stock can be fished sustainably.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s new assessment model, which many of our government’s experts have assisted in developing, has provided new historical data to inform how we look at the stocks – in the past and present. Scientists have found that Northern cod was in the cautious zone from 2016 to 2021, and not in the critical zone as had been previously determined.
Our government was pleased to play a part in developing the new assessment model. The outcomes from the model will provide us with a better understanding of the Northern cod population to make future management decisions. The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador will continue to monitor developments and participate in ongoing fishery management meetings for the 2J3KL Northern cod stock.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada has indicated that the next assessment will be in March 2024, and we are cautiously optimistic that it can be determined that the Northern cod will remain in the cautious zone and out of moratorium. The Federal Government has specified that decisions will be considered at that time using the best available science advice.
Our government continues to work with the Government of Canada, as well as Indigenous partners, harvesters, and other industry stakeholders. We are pleased with the excellent work of the experts in industry and the Federal and the Provincial Government, and we thank them for their dedication to improving the Northern cod stock for the benefit of all Newfoundlanders and Labradors.”