The Canadian Centre for Fisheries Innovation (CCFI) has announced it will host a conference called Cod — Building the Fishery of the Future, on November 22-23, 2017 at the Quality Hotel & Suites (formerly Hotel Gander).
The conference is being held to provide industry with information it will need to launch a new cod fishery based on the recovering fish stocks off the Island and Labrador. The ultimate aim is to help create a sustainable, viable, globally competitive cod fishery that will be particularly attractive to the province’s youth.
Cod was king in the Newfoundland and Labrador economy for centuries. However, after the moratorium on fishing cod announced 25 years ago, the commercial importance of the species plummeted. Now, the stocks are rebuilding and can offer sustainable fishing opportunities for the foreseeable future. This will be especially important since crab and shrimp are declining as the environment has shifted to warmer temperatures that are more conducive to finfish.
Getting back into a significant cod fishery will not be as simple as returning to what we did in the 1980s. Markets, competition and technologies have all changed. As harvesters and plant operators contemplate investments in vessels, gear, plants, processing equipment and market development, they will need sound information on which to base their decisions.
The conference in November is intended to provide that information. It will look at N.L. cod in the global context of market demand and supply, as well as cod product buyers’ needs and expectations.
It will also examine what others — in Iceland, Norway and Alaska — are doing to harvest cod and similar species and turn them into products for world markets. And it will look at our current industry and its readiness to take on the challenge of positioning our cod and to achieve optimum prices in international markets.
“This will be an important event for anyone interested in the development of a new provincial fishery based on cod, and particularly for younger people in the industry. It is those individuals whose intellects, energy and investments must shape the future cod fishery,” according to Alastair O’Rielly, the Chair of CCFI. Gabe Gregory, the Chair of the steering committee for the conference added “The event speakers will be experts in their fields and fully equipped to provide participants, whether harvesters or processors, with information to plan careers, invest in the fishery and provide attractive and stable incomes for themselves, their families and their communities.”
More details about the event will be released by CCFI over the next couple of months.