Fact Checking Georges Bank Haddock

I noticed a letter from the FFAW in the June edition of The Navigator that used 5Z (Eastern Georges Bank) haddock as an example in an unrelated point.

The statement read “The last haddock assessment reported a spawning stock biomass (ssb) of 33,700 tonnes” and later that “they land nearly 15,000 tonnes.”

While stock assessments are publicly available online, I wanted to ensure Navigator readers are aware that the 2017 stock assessment showed the stock was extremely healthy with the estimated adult biomass for haddock at about 275,000 tonnes — second highest of the time series beginning in 1969 and more than eight times the number referenced in the June letter. For context, Canada harvested less than 13,000 tonnes in 2017.

Furthermore, the allowable catches for this stock are established through a rigorous scientific process that includes representatives from both Canada and the U.S. — one that has withstood the scrutiny of third party assessors against the Marine Stewardship Council standard for sustainability. As industry, we have consistently supported conservative catch limits with low exploitation rates to bring stability and confidence to the future.

Lastly, as a multi-generational active participant in all aspects of this stock, I am proud of the sustainable manner in which the resource is managed and harvested. This fishery continues to sustain many families and communities in Southwest Nova Scotia.


Shawn d’Entremont

Pubnico, N.S.


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