WWF-Canada and Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW-Unifor) released their action plan today for rebuilding northern cod in Newfoundland and Labrador.
The comprehensive action plan is a milestone in a fishery improvement project (FIP) run by WWF-Canada and FFAW-Unifor on the northern cod (NAFO divisions 2J3KL) stewardship fishery operating in the inshore, a press release stated. The FIP will implement improvement measures that will ensure continued sustainability once the stock has grown to levels that support a full commercial fishery.
The FIP action plan includes:
- The development of a rebuilding plan with timelines, biologically based reference points and harvest-control rules.
- An estimate of the recreational cod-fishery catch.
- Analysis of the type and amount of bait needed for the 2J3KL fishery.
- Regular monitoring of ecosystem impacts, including potential bycatch of endangered, threatened and protected species.
The action plan:
- Was prepared by an independent consultant to meet the guidelines for comprehensive FIPs of WWF and the Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions.
- Contains timelines and 17 improvement measures for the fishery.
- Will be implemented over the next five years with annual progress assessments.
The action plan is the result of a September stakeholders meeting that included:
- Harvesters operating vessels below 40-feet in length and longer than 40-feet
- Fogo Island Co-operative Society Ltd.
- Seafood Processors of Newfoundland and Labrador Inc.
- Newfoundland and Labrador Groundfish Industry Development Council
- Department of Fisheries, Forestry and Agrifoods of Newfoundland and Labrador
- Fisheries and Oceans Canada
- Marine Stewardship Council
- The Association of Seafood Producers