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Int'l - Oceana: Cod Quota a Recipe for Disaster for the Future of Canada's Most Iconic Fish

For three decades, Atlantic cod has been deep in the critical zone. The population is not growing, and individuals are in poor condition – smaller and skinnier. Yet, on Friday, May 28, 2021, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) announced that the quota for this year has been increased from 12,350 to 12,999 tonnes.

HALIFAX — For three decades, Atlantic cod has been deep in the critical zone. The population is not growing, and individuals are in poor condition – smaller and skinnier. Yet, on Friday, May 28, 2021, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) announced that the quota for this year has been increased from 12,350 to 12,999 tonnes.

Oceana Canada believes this decision is deeply flawed and will not benefit the coastal communities that rely on this historically important fishery, or our global reputation as a source for sustainable seafood. Economic studies show that being patient and adopting precautionary harvest levels that would give this formally abundant fishery an opportunity to rebound could result in a fishery worth five times more than its current value.

“DFO’s decision to increase the northern cod quota is, frankly, baffling,” said Oceana Canada Science Director, Dr. Robert Rangeley. “It does not follow the science or good fishery management practices and unwisely trades off long-term prosperity for our coastal communities for short-term, meagre gains. DFO has itself stated that to successfully rebuild this fragile fish population to a healthy level, fishing mortality needs to be kept at the lowest possible level, yet the quota has been increased once again. Today’s decision is not consistent with the federal government’s policies, nor the intent of the recently amended Fisheries Act.”


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