HomeIndustryGeorges Bank Groundfish Quotas Increased

Georges Bank Groundfish Quotas Increased

There’s good news across the board for Georges Bank and 4X5 groundfish harvesters in 2024.

For the first time since 1997, the total allowable catch (TAC) for 4X5Y cod has been increased by nine per cent, from 594 metric tonnes (mt) to 660 mt. While it is still bycatch only, the modest increase allows for more flexibility in fishing of other groundfish species while keeping cod removals to a low level, said Lauren Sankey, Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) Communications.

In 1997, the TAC for 4X5Y cod was increased from 11,000 mt to 13,000 mt. According to the last assessment in 2022, the 4X cod stock was in the critical zone and was not projected to come out of the critical zone, said Sankey.

The Eastern Georges Bank haddock quota has been set at 6,900 mt for Canadian fishers of the joint TAC of 10,000 mt. In 2023, the Eastern Georges Bank haddock quota was cut by more than two-thirds in 2023, with a 2,320 mt TAC compared to 7,473 mt in 2022. It was the lowest the TAC has been in the 10 years.

Positive signals from the Eastern Georges Bank haddock stock assessment included the estimate of spawning stock biomass above the time series median, improvements in the growth and condition of haddock in the stock in recent years and evidence of large numbers of fish from the 2020- and 2021-year classes starting to enter the fishery (or fishable biomass), said Sankey.

“This is the largest recruitment event for this stock since 2013,” she said.

The TAC for Eastern Georges Bank cod has been set at 369 mt of the joint 520 mt, compared to 385 mt in 2023. The TAC for Georges Bank yellowtail flounder in 2024 is 97 mt of the joint 168 mt, compared to 94 mt of the joint 200 mt.

Recommendations for Eastern Georges Bank Atlantic cod, Georges Bank yellowtail flounder and Eastern Georges Bank haddock TACs are made by the joint Canada/U.S. Transboundary Management Guidance Committee (TMGC), after reviewing scientific advice provided by the Transboundary Resources Assessment Committee (TRAC) on the three jointly managed groundfish stocks.

The 2024 TACs for the primary other 4X groundfish commercial species are: 4X5Y haddock: 6,198 mt; 3NOPs4VWX5 halibut: 4,927 mt and 4X5 pollock: 3,768 mt.

“The last increase in TAC for 4X5 pollock was in 2023, when it increased from 4,107 mt to 4,309 mt,” said Lankey. “Increases in the western component pollock TAC is not unusual. The TAC increased by 20 per cent each year from 2017 to 2019, then decreased by 20 per cent each year until 2021. The TAC increased last year (2023), up by six per cent from the previous year. This is not a bycatch-only stock; meaning that there is directed fishing for pollock permitted.”

Advice for 3NOPs4VWX5Zc Atlantic halibut is based on the exploitable biomass index from the Stratified Random Halibut Survey, said Lankey. “The 2023 three-year mean biomass is 1.8 BMSY (where BMSY is the spawning biomass at maximum sustainable yield), above the upper stock reference and this stock is in the healthy zone. The TAC is a four per cent increase from last year.”


2023 4VWX Landings by Species

Landed Species

Landed Round Weight (Kg)Estimated Wharf Value (Cdn $)


Note: Data are preliminary and subject to change.


2023 Georges Bank Groundfish Landings by Species
SpeciesLanded Weight (MTs)Landed Value ($1000s)
HADDOCK                       2,491                           3,024
COD                          288                              839

Note: Data are preliminary and subject to change.


Previous TACs

Canadian Eastern Georges Bank Haddock Total Allowable Catch (TAC)
202013,800 mt
20217,614 mt
20227,473 mt
20232,320 mt


Canadian Eastern Georges Bank Cod Total Allowable Catch (TAC)
2020462 mt
2021444.5 mt
2022411 mt
2023385 mt


Canadian Georges Bank Yellowtail Flounder Total Allowable Catch (TAC)
202042 mt
202145 mt
202278 mt
202394 mt


4X5Y Cod Total Allowable Catch (TAC)
2020825 mt
2021825 mt
2022660 mt
2023594 mt


4X5 Pollock Total Allowable Catch (TAC)
20204,959 mt
20214,107 mt
20224,107 mt
20234,309 mt


4X5Y Haddock Total Allowable Catch (TAC)
20226,198 mt
20236,198 mt


3NOPs4VWX5 Halibut Total Allowable Catch (TAC)
20205,507 mt
20215,445 mt
20224,807 mt
20234,744 mt