Questionnaire Report for Atlantic cod

(MERA version 4.1.6)


1 About this document

This is a prototype of an automatic report that documents how the user specified the operating model and their various justifications.

2 Introduction

  1. Describe the history and current status of the fishery, including fleets, sectors, vessel types and practices/gear by vessel type, landing ports, economics/markets, whether targeted/bycatch, other stocks caught in the fishery.

Atlantic cod is a bottom dwelling North Atlantic fish that ranges from Georges Bank (5Zjm) to Northern Labrador in the Canadian Atlantic. Eastern Georges Bank (eGB) Atlantic cod are a transboundary resource managed collaboratively with the United States (US), and the management unit is Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) Division 5Zjm. Tagging studies have shown some mixing between cod in 5Zjm and spawning components in adjacent management units (i.e. 4X5Y), but current management agreements between Canada and the US assume no significant exchange with adjacent stocks (DFO 2011). Historically, the 5Z Atlantic cod stock supported a significant directed fishery. Currently, as a result of substantial declines in stock biomass and consequent low quota levels, only a very small amount of directed fishing takes place, mainly conducted by the fixed gear fleet using longlines, gillnets and handlines. The majority of Atlantic cod in Divisions 5Z are caught as bycatch in a mixed species fishery that includes haddock, halibut, pollock, redfish and other species (4VWX5 Groundfish IFMP). In recent years, Eastern Georges Bank cod quotas have been set at low levels to promote rebuilding, while the Eastern Georges Bank haddock quota has increased since 2013 due to stock increases. As a result, cod quota availability for bycatch needs has been a potentially limiting factor in the haddock fishery in recent years. Under the Canada – US Transboundary Resources Understanding (2003) for groundfish stocks, both countries are responsible for accounting for all fishing mortality under the respective country quotas for yellowtail flounder, cod and haddock. Canada accounts for 3 sources of fishing mortality on 5Zjm: landings and estimated illegal discards from the directed groundfish fleet and estimated legal discards from the offshore Scallop fleet which catches these stocks as an incidental catch.

  1. Describe the stock’s ecosystem functions, dependencies, and habitat types.

  2. Provide all relevant reference materials, such as assessments, research, and other analysis. Andrushchenko, I., C.M. Legault, R. Martin, E.N. Brooks and Y. Wang. 2018. Assessment of Eastern Georges Bank Cod for 2018. TRAC Reference Document 2018/01

3 Fishery Characteristics

3.1 Longevity

Very short-lived (5 < maximum age < 7)
Short-lived (7 < maximum age < 10)
Moderate life span (10 < maximum age < 20)
Moderately long-lived (20 < maximum age < 40)
Long-lived (40 < maximum age < 80)
Very long-lived (80 < maximum age < 160)
For the VPA model uses natural mortality (M) was fixed at 0.2 for all the ages in all years,except for ages 6 and older in years after 1994, where M=0.8 (

3.2 Stock depletion

Crashed (D < 0.05)
Very depleted (0.05 < D < 0.1)
Depleted (0.1 < D < 0.15)
Moderately depleted (0.15 < D < 0.3)
Healthy (0.3 < D < 0.5)
Underexploited (0.5 < D)
see Figure 4. Biomass and recruitment for EGB cod from VPA model ( depletion 4/52 (biomass 3+ 000mt) =0.07692308
Survey biomass indices decreased for all three surveys and recruitment has been poor for the last 25 years

3.3 Resilence

Not resilient (steepness < 0.3)
Low resilience (0.3 < steepness < 0.5)
Moderate resilence (0.5 < steepness < 0.7)
Resilient (0.7 < steepness < 0.9)
Very Resilient (0.9 < steepness)
No justification was provided but 0.7 according to Rose and Walters (2019, p5)