With the exception of a slight increase of 42 metric tonnes for yellowtail flounder, it’s status quo for groundfish quotas on Georges Bank (5Z) in 2020.
The combined Canada/U.S. total allowable catch (TAC) for Atlantic cod in 2020 remains at 650 metric tonnes (mt). The haddock TAC has been maintained at 30,000 mt, while the yellowtail flounder TAC increases from 140 mt to 162 mt.
The TACs are as recommended by the Transboundary Management Guidance Committee. Made up of Canadian and U.S. representatives, the committee met in September 2019 to review data provided by the Transboundary Resources Assessment Committee (TRAC) on the three jointly managed stocks and provide the non-binding recommendations, said DFO spokesperson Debra Buott-Matheson.
The 2020-2021 quotas for the Bay of Fundy and Scotian Shelf groundfish fisheries will be announced in the spring following scientific review and recommendations and consultation with industry, said Buott-Matheson.
For the 2019/20 season in 4X and 5Y, the haddock TAC was 9,000 mt and the Atlantic cod TAC was set at 825 mt with no directed fishing. The Atlantic halibut TAC for fishing zones 3NOPs4VWX5Zc was 4,789 mt; winter flounder (4X), 1,600 mt and pollock (4X5), 6,024 mt.
According to DFO statistics, the Georges Bank groundfish fishery had a landed value of just over $13.8 million in 2018. There are 46 active licences in the fishery.
The Atlantic halibut fishery for the season ending March 31, 2019 had a landed value of $41.5 million, with 603 active licenses, while landings in the haddock, cod, pollock and winter flounder fisheries in 4X and 5Y totalled $10.8 million.