THE NORTHERN COD
Political and Social Affairs Division
OVERFISHING OUTSIDE THE 200-MILE LIMIT
FISHERY IN 1992
TASK FORCE ON ATLANTIC FISHERIES 1982
NORTHERN COD REVIEW PANEL 1989
IMPLEMENTATION TASK FORCE ON NORTHERN COD 1990
1: THE HARRIS REPORT RECOMMENDATIONS
2: THE DUNNE REPORT RECOMMENDATIONS
THE NORTHERN COD CRISIS
The northern cod stock (cod
in NAFO statistical division 2J, 3K and 3L, commonly referred to as 2J3KL,
see Chart 1)(1) has been
exploited by fishermen through four centuries at least. By the opening
decade of the 16th century, the fishing ports of northern Europe were
rife with stories of fish here so abundant that they impeded the progress
of ships and could be caught by simply lowering a basket over the side
and drawing it up filled. The fishery was subsequently the economic foundation
for European settlement along the eastern coast of Newfoundland and Labrador.(2)
Though other marine species such as salmon, herring, seals and whales
were harvested, northern cod was the raison dętre for the
existence of Newfoundland as a colony and later as a Dominion, and contributed
to a lesser extent to the well-being of several Nova Scotian coastal communities.(3)
Prior to the June 1992 moratorium,
the northern cod fishery was the single most important fishery on Canadas
East Coast; it represented 46% of total available cod quotas and 21% of
all groundfish quotas. In 1991, a year when the Total Allowable Catch
(TAC) was at its lowest in a decade, the fishery had an estimated value
to the Canadian economy of over $700 million, and supported directly and
indirectly some 31,000 jobs in the region, 90% of which were based in
Newfoundland and Labrador.(4)
Although some economic diversification has taken plan in the last century,
most of the provinces coastal communities that were built upon the
northern cod fishery are still entirely dependent upon that resource for
The fishery has evolved
over this century. Beginning in the 1950s, new technologies were introduced;
among them were the more mobile and heavily powered vessels with otter
trawls capable of fishing in deeper waters and of harvesting the large
concentrations of fish assembled at the end of autumn for spawning in
the outer regions of the continental shelf. Subsequently, inshore (small
boat) fishermen(6) also
began to acquire larger diesel-powered vessels (e.g., the longliner fleet)
with extended range and seakeeping capacities, equipped with electronic
navigational and fish-finding instruments. Hydraulic net haulers permitted
the greater use of gillnets. The inshore effort was therefore extended
into deeper waters upwards of 50 miles from shore. Later came the development
of offshore technology and the notorious assault of European fleets on
the spawning stocks of the northern banks during the 1960s and 1970s.
In the century prior to
1950, northern cod yielded an annual production of some 250,000 tonnes.
In general, the harvest gradually moved upward in the late 1950s and early
1960s as the fishing effort increased. Except for some localized failures
in the fishery (which sometimes lasted for a number of years), the historical
record indicates that northern cod sustained the fishing pressures imposed
on it without showing any obvious sign of decline. However, with nominal
catches reaching 800,000 tonnes in the peak year of 1968, the result was
a collapse of the fishery and a gradual decline in the harvest to a low
of 139,000 tonnes in 1978. This has led one recent federal Commission
to conclude that "an annual harvest of 300,000 tonnes was a sustainable
figure in the years between 1902 and 1958, while harvests in excess of
600,000 could not be sustained during the later 1960s and early 1970s
as was clearly evident from the notable and rapid decline in both catches
and estimated stock size."(7)
Total Allowable Catches
for northern cod were introduced in 1973, but during the 1973-76 period
these did not result in the restriction of catches by any fleet sector.
Earlier management measures were limited to minimum mesh size regulations.(8)
Although the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)
was still unratified, a steep decline in the resource prompted Canada
to declare (unilaterally) a 200-nautical mile fisheries management zone
on 1 January 1977.(9) This
provided Canada with the opportunity to begin the process of rebuilding
depleted stocks and establishing fishing strategies that would ensure
the long-term viability of both the inshore and offshore fishery. Since
1984, the core of the Canadian management effort has been the strategy
known as the FO.1 level of fishing effort,(10)
which implied annual fish landings of approximately 16% of the exploitable
The extension of Canadas
fisheries limit also resulted in a change in the share of the catch: prior
to 1977, most of the fish within 200 miles were taken by foreign trawlers,
but since then, the fishery has mainly been a Canadian endeavour.(12)
Although extended jurisdiction did not include the edges of the continental
shelf (with important fishing grounds on the "Nose" and "Tail"
outside the maritime boundary subject to largely unregulated foreign fishing),
the euphoria engendered among Canadian fishermen and processors by the
establishment of the 200-mile zone was reinforced by a steady growth of
the stock, by improved catches, and by the belief that the FO.1 objective
was, indeed, being met. In short, it was widely believed that the management
strategy was resulting in the recovery of the stock that had been shamelessly
overexploited in the decades of the 1960s and 1970s. The TAC increased
progressively from 135,000 tonnes in 1978 to 266,000 tonnes between 1984-88,
during which time a major restructuring of the industry had been carried
out. With renewed confidence, investors and fishermen alike began to believe
that the resource could be so managed as to represent an illimitable future.(13)
Beginning in early 1989,
however, it became clear that the stock was no longer growing, and TACs
were set at progressively lower levels.
The reasons for this
altered view were variously ascribed but principally to the introduction
of new and more sophisticated statistical modelling techniques and
to the availability of data in an increasingly longer time series.
The revised position was that while the stock had not declined relative
to previous years, it had not grown at a sufficiently rapid rate to
justify the TAC of a year earlier, i.e, 266,000 tonnes. In essence,
the new calculations indicated that the previous estimate of fishing
mortality had been too low with the consequence of offering a brighter
view of stock growth than had been warranted. Consequently, it was
recommended that if the FO.1 strategy were indeed to be realized so
as to encourage an increased growth rate in the spawning stock, the
TAC would have to be reduced by one-half.(14)
The TAC was set at 235,000
tonnes in 1989, at 199,262 tonnes in 1990 and at 190,000 tonnes in 1991.
It was later lowered to 185,000 tonnes in December 1991 and cut again
in February 1992 to 120,000 tonnes (Table 1). This effectively shut down
the offshore fishery, affecting as many as 8,000 jobs.
From 1982 to 1990, the total
catch (Canadian and foreign) was in the range of 219,000 to 269,000 tonnes.
Canadas share increased from a low of about 36,000 tonnes in 1974
to 214,000 in 1983. The harvest then declined to 190,000 tonnes in 1986,
but increased to a high of 242,000 in 1988. Since then, Canadian catches
have decreased and in 1991, the harvest was approximately 120,000 tonnes.(15)
It is noteworthy that the TAC of 235,000 tonnes for 1989 was exceeded
because of foreign fishing on the Nose of the Grand Bank (NAFO area 3L)
despite a moratorium on the fishery set by the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries
In recent years, Canadian
catches have been less than allocations, with major discrepancies being
mainly for the fixed gears (traps, gillnets, hardlines and longlines).
The inshore declined considerably for successive years in the mid-1980s,
during which time the state of the stock came under severe questioning
by the coastal (small boat) fleet in particular. In 1991, the sectors
harvest was about 50% lower than its allowance, the largest discrepancy
since an allowance was first introduced in 1978.(16)
Catches of Cod in NAFO Divisions 2J3KL, 1974-1992
(in 000 tonnes)
(Canadian and Foreign)
(Canadian and Foreign)
** Canadian surveillance estimated at 111,000 tonnes.
Source: Northwest Atlantic
Fisheries Organization, Report of the Special Meeting Scientific
Council, 1-4 June 1992, p. 6.
OVERFISHING OUTSIDE THE 200-MILE LIMIT
When Canada extended jurisdiction
over fisheries in 1977 and created a 200-mile Exclusive Fishing Zone (EFZ),
three areas of the continental shelf remained largely beyond Canadian
control: the northeastern portion of the Grand Bank (NAFO division 3L
or the "Nose of the Bank"), the southeastern portion (division
3NO or the "Tail of the Bank"), and the outcropping of the shelf
east of the Bank (division 3M or the "Flemish Cap"). Five species
of groundfish, including northern cod, cross outside the limit during
their seasonal migrations. Excessive fishing by foreign distant water
fleets outside the 200-mile line is said to undermine Canadian conservation
measures inside the zone and deprive Canada of the benefits it hoped to
gain from the extension of its jurisdiction. Overfishing of the so-called
"straddling stocks" is widely believed to be a major factor
contributing to the current malaise in the Atlantic fishing industry,
especially the northern cod fishery.
Since 1 January 1979, the
Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) has been the regulatory
agency responsible for fisheries conservation and management of Atlantic
stocks beyond Canadas 200-mile limit. The contracting parties to
NAFO are Bulgaria, Canada, Cuba, Denmark (with respect to the Faroe Islands
and Greenland), Estonia, the European Community (EC), Iceland, Japan,
Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Romania and Russia. Because only a
fraction of the northern cod stock is usually present outside the 200-mile
limit, about 3% to 5% on average throughout the year, Canada manages the
entire stock. The stock was assessed by NAFO until 1986 and has been assessed
by the Canadian Atlantic Scientific Advisory Committee (CAFSAC) since
The Canadian view is that
NAFO had worked smoothly until the impending entry of Spain and Portugal
to the European Community.(17)
The major weaknesses of NAFO in providing "rational management and
conservation of the fisheries resources" of the Northwest Atlantic
Ocean include: lack of unanimity as to how to conserve the resource; voluntary
compliance and an objection procedure which serves to legitimize the overfishing
of established TACs; weak inspection and surveillance procedures; and
lack of third party enforcement.(18)
European catches of Canadian-managed northern cod, despite a NAFO moratorium
on fishing outside Canadas 200-mile zone since 1986, have contributed
to the problems with the stock. In sum, the EC has argued that, as a sovereign
body, it is entitled to fish in international waters in accordance with
the Law of the Sea Convention; that a moratorium for northern cod (3L)
could not be justified since a fishery on the same stock is being conducted
inside the Canadian zone; and that Community vessels have fished in the
area for hundreds of years.
Extending Canadian jurisdiction
in one form or another beyond 200 miles is widely supported in the Canadian
fishing industry as an option for resolving NAFOs problems. Such
action would involve NAFO members agreeing to give Canada functional management
jurisdiction over the straddling stocks in the Organizations Regulatory
Area. As proposed by the Fisheries Council of Canada, the Oceans Institute
of Canada, the Northern Cod Review Panel and others, the purpose of such
action would not be to enable Canada to claim a sole right to harvest
straddling stocks on the high seas, but rather to preserve Canadian and
the international communitys interests in conserving these stocks.
A limited extension of jurisdiction has also been suggested, such as declaring
a provisional extension until an appropriate resolution process or a negotiated
arrangement acceptable to Canada is reached.(19)
FISHERY IN 1992
Virtually all of this years
(1992) Canadian offshore harvest of northern cod was taken by March. The
presence of small fish and reduced catch rates led to a reduction in fishing
activity. The Canadian catch in 2J3KL in mid-May was approximately 14,400
tonnes (compared to 41,700 tonnes for the same months in 1991), much of
which was taken by large offshore otter trawlers in area 3KL. As mentioned
earlier, fishing ceased in early July 1991 when a two-year moratorium
on northern cod fishing was announced.
The catch of cod by non-Canadian
fleets in NAFO area 3L is estimated by Canada to be about 48,900 tonnes
in 1991; of this total, 41,900 tonnes are believed to have been taken
by the European Community, with the remainder (7,000 tonnes) being harvested
(primarily during the first six months of 1991) by non-NAFO states. Canadian
estimates are based on information collected from fishing logbooks and
sightings from surveillance platforms. Interestingly, the officially reported
provisional EC catch (Portugal 9,459 tonnes, Spain 8,546 tonnes, and Germany
6,459 tonnes) for 1991 was about 40% lower than that estimated by Canadian
In the early months of 1992,
the non-Canadian (i.e., foreign) fleet fishing on the Nose of the Grand
Bank also experienced lower catch rates and catches of small fish. The
EC harvest of cod in NAFO area 3L from January to April 1992 was some
6,900 tonnes (as estimated by Canadian surveillance), down from 21,600
tonnes for the same months in 1991, even though the numbers of vessels
fishing in the area in 1991 and 1992 were similar.(21)
At NAFOs annual meeting in September 1992, EC delegates agreed for
the first time not to fish northern cod outside Canadas 200-mile
zone in 1993.(22)
Stock assessments suggest
an abrupt reduction in the biomass (the volume of fish aged three years
or older) and in the spawning biomass (the volume of fish generally seven
years or older). The biomass of northern cod now stands at between 520,000
and 640,000 tonnes, possibly the lowest level ever observed. The spawning
biomass is estimated to be between 72,000 and 110,000 tonnes; 30 years
ago, the spawning biomass stood at 1.6 million tonnes, and four years
ago, it was at about 400,000 tonnes.(23)
TASK FORCE ON ATLANTIC FISHERIES 1982
The declaration of the 200-mile
fishing zone for Canadas coastal waters in 1977 was accompanied
by a wave of optimism and highly leveraged capital investment in both
fishing vessels and processing plants. By 1981, however, the Atlantic
groundfish industry faced serious financial trouble due to declining markets
in the United States, increased competition from fish exporting countries
such as Iceland and Norway, new species, price competition from other
protein sources, and increased energy costs and high interest rates.
Within the federal government
(which was under considerable pressure from the banks and the ailing industry
to do something), there were different perceptions of what the basic problems
Some of the central
agencies, e.g., Treasury Board, Department of Finance, and Ministry
of State for Economic Development, appeared to have been lobbied effectively
by the processing interests for they tended to view the problem as
at least partly due to DFO overregulating and allocating too much
fish to the inshore or seasonal fisheries at the expense of the offshore
interests. This view was disputed by DFO which maintained that percentage
shares of allocation had, in fact, remained substantially the same
in the 1977-81 period. DFO also maintained that overregulation, if
it did exist, was a symptom of the fact that there is no proven method
of regulating a common property resource. Also, DFO could only move
as fast as industry, which had only recently agreed to experiment
with enterprise allocations a by no means proven tool. DFO,
in contrast, saw the problem as stemming from mismanagement in the
processing sector and a false sense of optimism on the part of industry
and its lenders, as well as the external problems already identified
above. This latter view was apparently endorsed by the banking institutions
in their analysis of industry problems.(24)
In November 1981, an Atlantic
Fisheries Policy Review (an interdepartmental planning review) was set
in motion, but could not arrive at a consensus on any major decisions
regarding the funding of an assistance package. In January 1982, the federal
government appointed Dr. Michael Kirby to head up a Task Force on Atlantic
The Report of the Task Force
on Atlantic Fisheries ("Navigating Troubled Waters: A New Policy
for the Atlantic Fisheries")(25)
was released the following year. Building on the material from previous
research and government policy papers, as well as on extensive consultation
with industry and data generated by Task Force research staff and consultants,
the report provides a comprehensive overview and analysis of the Atlantic
groundfish and herring fisheries. Its approach is "pragmatic"
in that the feasibility of its proposals and the process of implementation
were considered important.
Although the Kirby Reports
57 recommendations defy simple summarization, the papers underlying
thrust can be found in the policy objectives (prioritized) it set for
the East Coast fishery:
With respect to the relationship
between Objectives 1 and 2, the report noted:
Nevertheless, by stating
Objectives 1 and 2 in order of priority, we hope we have given decision-makers
guidance when it comes to making tradeoffs between them. If, for example,
a firm can show that closing a processing plant is essential for the
firm to remain viable, then this closing should be allowed even though
it will cost plant workers their jobs, at least in that community.
On the other hand, if a firm proposes to close a plant to increase
profits when the firm would remain reasonably profitable, and hence
economically viable, even if the plan stayed open, then this closure
should be discouraged (p. 182)
The order of priority
given to Objectives 1 and 2 is of fundamental significance because,
if adopted by the federal government, it would be almost universally
regarded as a definite change in government policy. Until now, it
has appeared to most people familiar with the Atlantic fishery that
federal government decisions have been based on Objectives 1 and 2
being in the reverse order of priority or, at most, equal in priority.(27)
In 1982, the Kirby Task
Force projected the Canadian quota for northern cod to be 400,000 tonnes
by 1987, and believed that most of the growth in groundfish stocks inside
the 200-mile limit would occur in this stock.(28)
The Task Force therefore dealt with the issue of how to allocate the remainder
of the northern cod TAC among fleet sectors. It concluded that, given
the projected growth in the stock and the glut phenomenon associated with
the summer fishery, the allowance to inshore vessels should not be increased
proportionally to the growth of the TAC. The feasibility of freezing and
storing inshore cod for off-season processing, however, was deemed a technical
and economic question that deserved further investigation.(29)
As mentioned earlier, the Canadian harvest has never exceeded the TAC,
which in turn never exceeded 266,000 tonnes.
NORTHERN COD REVIEW PANEL 1989
In January 1989, federal
scientists suggested that a reduction in the TAC to 125,000 tonnes would
be necessary to maintain the fishing effort at the FO.1 level. Scientific
findings showed that the stock was much smaller or two-thirds the size
estimated by CAFSAC in 1987,(30)
and the Task Group on Newfoundland Inshore Fisheries (TGNIF) later that
year.(31) As a precautionary
measure, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans announced on 8 February
1989 a provisional TAC for northern cod (235,000 tonnes), a level permitting
more fishing than FO.1, but which would "minimize job losses and
maintain the stock close to its present size."
On 12 February 1989, the
federal government established the seven-member Northern Cod Review Panel,
headed by Dr. Leslie Harris, to examine the possible factors which affect
the stock and the data and methods used in assessing and forecasting catches
to ensure that reliable scientific advice would be available to manage
the fishery. In May 1989, the Special Cabinet Committee on Northern Cod,
chaired by the Secretary of State for External Affairs, was formed to
address the social and economic implications of stock reductions.(32)
An Interim Report was released in May 1989, which admittedly presented
"minimal discussion and few recommendations."(33)
Adjustment programs for fishermen and fishplant workers affected by closures
due to reduced 1989 quotas were announced by the Minister for International
Trade on behalf of the Cabinet Committee on 11 December 1989.
In releasing the Report
of the Northern Cod Review Panel on 30 March 1990,(34)
the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans accepted "the basic principles
of the Harris Report as well as its major recommendations." The Panels
main recommendations on stock management involved reducing the level of
the catch, restrictions on fishing activity during the spawning season,
reducing the catch of small fish and ensuring the distribution of the
offshore effort (Appendix 1). Three of the 29 recommendations, however,
could "not be directly accommodated"; these were: (1) a further
reduction in the 1990 TAC (Recommendation #1); (2) a new fisheries management
board or commission (Recommendation #23); and (3) unilateral action by
Canada to acquire management rights for straddling stocks beyond the 200-mile
limit (Recommendation #5).
The Harris Panel strongly
recommended that "in respect of the northern cod stock(s), and as
a matter of urgency, there should be an immediate reduction of fishing
mortality to the level of at least 0.30 and, at the earliest feasible
date, to the level of 0.20."(35)
According to Harris, a downturn in recruitment suggested that the catch
level could not be maintained without causing a significant decline in
the exploitable and spawning biomasses.(36)
The federal government responded by stating the following:
The TAC has already
been reduced by 25% since 1988 in order to conserve the resource.
The lowering of the TAC is consistent with the governments long-term
conservation goals. Future TACs will depend on scientific assessments
and industry consultations, taking into account the socio-economic
The recommendation had earlier
been "rejected by the [Minister of Fisheries and Oceans] on 30 March
1990 because of the additional hardships it would produce in 1990
The Northern Cod Panel suggested
that "the Government of Canada and the Government of Newfoundland
jointly establish a Board or Commission in the context
of which information can be shared, management objectives clarified, coordinated
policy directions set, and strategies developed." The Panel concluded
in a section on "Federal/Provincial Conflicting Goals" that
potential sources of conflict between the two levels of government "derive
from the fact that the federal authority manages the resource and licenses
fishermen while the province licenses processing facilities and processors
and plays a critically important role in respect of the acquisition by
fishermen of vessels and gear."(39)
coordination, it is not difficult to envision plants constructed or
vessels financed to achieve certain political objectives without adequate
reference to the availability of resources to justify the investment.
[Conflict] may arise
when conservational goals are set by a federal authority which has
not consulted and which may not support the social goals identified
by the province. Thus, the interests of one jurisdiction may be to
maximize employment, those of the other to reduce the number of fishermen;
the interests of one to decentralize processing in small plants supplied
primarily by inshore fishermen, those of the other to promote the
interests of large vertically integrated corporations. Whether or
not such conflicts emerge as realities or remain as hypothetical possibilities,
they clearly carry with them the potential to place intolerable pressures
upon fish stocks inadequate to support them. What should never be
forgotten is that every fisherman issued with a fishing licence expects,
as a right, access to sufficient fish to provide a livelihood; every
processor who is given a plant licence expects access to sufficient
fish to make the enterprise profitable; every new vessel built and
every loan advanced for the purchase of fishing gear demands an increase
in fish landings to justify the investments. The temptations to grant
the licences or to approve the loans may be nearly irresistible. But,
so may be the pressures subsequently generated to allocate the resources
to justify the earlier decisions. The repercussions may be disastrous
for the stocks.(40)
The Harris Panels
advice in this matter was for a mechanism that permits and encourages
communication between federal and provincial governments and one that
ensures "a rational decision-making process that reconciles the basic
objectives of both jurisdictions.(41)
In response, the federal government stated that "a number of existing
consultative mechanisms [already] provide Newfoundland with the opportunity
to receive information and to advise the federal government on management
objectives, policy directions and strategies for fisheries of interest
to Newfoundland" and that "this [would] continue."(42)
With respect to the problem
of overfishing outside Canadas 200-mile zone, the Northern Cod Review
Panel suggested that Canada
efforts to gain through diplomacy, if possible, effective management
rights over the entire northern cod stock complex. If diplomatic efforts
should fail, other options should be considered including the unilateral
declaration of management rights predicated upon the principle of
adjacency. In the meantime, serious thought should be given to the
possibility of participating in the rape of the "Nose" and
"Tail" of the Bank. this would be to admit that the unwillingness
of the European Community to behave in a responsible fashion has rendered
NAFO useless as a regulatory agency. It might, however, if we were
sufficiently aggressive in our approach, convince the European Community
that the game was no longer worth the candle and that their best interests
might be served by giving NAFO teeth. In any case, since European
Community countries already take every fish they can possibly catch
on the "Nose" and "Tail," a Canadian fishery on
those zones could not possibly harm the stocks more than they are
already being harmed and would have the salutary effect of reducing
the profitability of the European enterprise and, perhaps, sufficiently
to make them repent of their intransigence.(43)
The Panel recommended that
Canada "seek international agreement to permit its management of
all fish stocks indigenous to the Canadian Continental Shelf and that
extend beyond the 200-mile economic zone; and that, failing achievement
of this objective, Canada should take unilateral action to acquire management
rights in accordance with provisions of the Law of the Sea Convention."(44)
The federal government responded by stating that "this recommendation
is incompatible with the international Law of the Sea."(45)
As well, it commented that:
International law does
not at this stage permit a coastal state to take unilateral management
action beyond the 200-mile zone.
Canada continues to
work through NAFO and existing mechanisms to provide for conservation
of straddling stocks. A high-level diplomatic initiative, public information
campaign and legal consultations have been undertaken.
Canada is pursuing initiatives
directed towards strengthening coastal state management rights and
conservation duties over fish stocks that straddle the 200-mile limit.(46)
IMPLEMENTATION TASK FORCE ON NORTHERN COD 1990
Following the release of
the Harris Panel Report, an Implementation Task Force on Northern Cod
(also known as the Dunne Task Force) was given the mandate to carry out
the necessary consultation with "fishermen, fishermens organizations,
processors, municipal leaders and provincial government officials in order
to work out an acceptable implementation plan." The Task Force
was asked to provide the Minister "specifically, but not exclusively,
with recommendations on how best to implement Harris recommendations 1-4,
6, 19-22, 24, 25, 27 and 29."(47)
It subsequently conducted a series of closed meetings with government
and industry representatives, as well as public meetings with fishermen
between July and September 1990.
The Dunne Report was released
to the public on 25 October 1990 and presented to the Atlantic Groundfish
Advisory Committee for consideration later that year. The general thrust
of its recommendations was "accepted in principle" by the federal
government, with most of its recommendations to be implemented in 1991(48)
Following an initial response
in the fall of 1989 (a $130-million short-term program for workers and
communities affected by fish plant closures), the federal government unveiled,
on 7 May 1990, a five-year $584-million Atlantic Fisheries Adjustment
Program (AFAP) designed to address the major challenges facing the Atlantic
fishery (i.e., a declining resource base and overcapacity in fish harvesting
The Program comprised the following three major components as described
by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans:
Rebuilding Fish Stocks
($150 million). To rebuild fish stocks, the Department continues to
significantly expand scientific research, implement new conservation
measures to protect young fish, expand surveillance and enforcement
and dockside monitoring activities, strengthen the observer program,
improve the accuracy of fisheries data and increase the involvement
of fishermen in scientific research. While a number of stocks have
been targeted, northern cod is the primary focus of the Departments
Adjusting to Current
Realities ($130 million). This component focuses primarily on establishing
a new $120-million program for older fish plant workers and trawlermen
to assist them in the event of layoffs from plant closures resulting
from Total Allowable Catch (TAC) declines. As well, this component
envisages the introduction of Individual Quotas in fisheries management
and the development of a professionalization and certification program
for fishermen which may eventually become a prerequisite for licensing.
($146 million). This element of AFAP is composed of programs to diversify
within fisheries ($50 million), outside the fisheries ($90 million)
and to conduct a sector campaign geared to Canadian fish produce market
expansion ($6 million). Responsibility for these endeavours is shared
by the Department, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and
Industry, Science and Technology Canada (ISTC) respectively.(50)
The Department later refocused
its involvement in AFAP by identifying the following priorities:
Projects that assist
industry associations, institutes and organizations that are clients
of the Department. Projects could cover activities such as feasibility
studies, adoption of new technology or market research; and
On 24 February 1992, the
Minister of Fisheries and Oceans introduced a "conservation ceiling"
on northern cod, that is to say a 35% reduction in the TAC originally
established for 1992, which effectively concluded the winter offshore
trawler fishery. Other measures included:
Canada also requested a
special meeting of NAFOs Scientific Council (pursuant to Article
VII of the NAFO Convention) to consider the state of a number of Canadian-managed
fish stocks, including northern cod. Fisheries scientists participating
at the international forum represented five member states of the European
Community (Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom, Germany and France), the
European Commission, Canada, Russia, the United States, Cuba, Japan and
Denmark (Greenland and the Faroe Islands). The meeting was called to examine,
verify and validate Canadas data, analysis and assessment of the
northern cod stock. Canada took this unprecedented step to demonstrate
to all NAFO Contracting Parties that the stock was in a critical condition.(53)
In brief, the Scientific Councils Standing Committee on Fishery
Science (STACFIS) concluded that:
The Scientific Council endorsed
the recommendations made by STACFIS, namely that:
The Council also noted that:
STACFIS concluded that
the increase in the seal population had probably had an effect on
cod (either directly by predation or indirectly by competition) and
could have contributed to, but not accounted for, the decrease in
the northern cod stock;
On 2 July 1992, a two-year
moratorium on the northern cod fishery was announced by the federal Fisheries
Minister, as well as emergency assistance payments to the 19,000 or so
fishermen and plant workers affected by the closure and who had either
exhausted their unemployment insurance or lacked sufficient weeks of work
to qualify. The federal governments plan includes:
In brief, under the federal
governments compensation package,
Fishermen and plant
workers will qualify for at least $225 a week, and as much as $406
depending on individual average UI benefits over the past three years.
This will be subject to taxes, and reduction if there is income from
other sources (a clawback provision that has prompted some protest).
Individuals have until 31 December 1992 to decide on a course of action.
Those choosing to enhance their fisheries skills, or undertake
non-fishery-related job training, will then continue to qualify for
more generous payments, up to $406 a week.
Compensation will run
to the end of the moratorium in 1994. Those over 50 years old can
take early retirement, if they wish, with benefits continuing until
age 65. Fishermen can also choose to retire licences, initially targeting
either inactive or part-time licences. For both early retirement and
licence retirement, compensation will be higher than the minimum.
Those who choose none of the above will revert, in 1993, to the minimum
weekly payment of $225 for the duration of the moratorium.
At the individual level,
the package aims to encourage both professionalization within the
fishery, and training (beginning with literacy upgrading if needed)
in skills not necessarily fishery-related. It offers some aid to keep
boats in repair during the moratorium, although it does not deal with
servicing loans taken out to prepare gear and vessels in anticipation
of the start of the summer fishery. Many aspects of the package are
still under negotiation.(57)
The northern cod fishery
has not become the great generator of economic activity that was predicted
15 years ago. Several reasons have been put forward for the sharp decline
in the stock: quotas set above sustainable levels as a result of questionable
stock assessment methods or the need to accommodate social concerns; poorly
understood environmental factors, including unusually cold water temperatures;
and overfishing by foreign vessels. Seals, an inadequate enforcement regime,
misreporting, wasteful fishing practices, harvesting fish that were too
small or immature, ghost fishing by abandoned gillnets, and catch pressures
on capelin (a major food for cod) may have also contributed to the decline.
As well, there has been much controversy regarding the environmental effects
of groundfish trawlers on the ecosystem (i.e., whether overall productivity
is reduced or enhanced).(58)
A major theme of the Harris
Report on Northern Cod was the increased fishing effort brought about
through improved technology "in boat design, in motive power, in
range and seakeeping capacities, in gear design, in quality of materials
used, in electronic fish finding instruments," and in other numerous
To reiterate the oft
repeated maxim, technology is a marvellous servant but a very poor
master. If we are not prepared to curb our technological capacities
in the interests of environmental integrity and in cognizance of human
dimensions of all our activities, then we will obviously invite the
inevitable disaster that we will undoubtedly deserve to have visited
The Panel warned in 1990
that overcapitalization tends not only to increase fishing pressure but
to "conceal the true level of fishing mortality by encouraging an
underestimation of the effort involved in the landing of a given quantity
of fish and thereby suggesting interpretations of abundance that would
justify higher TACs as opposed to a policy of conservation."(61)
THE HARRIS REPORT RECOMMENDATIONS
That the Panel strongly
recommends that in respect of the northern cod stock(s) and as a matter
of urgency there should be an immediate reduction of fishing mortality
to the level of at least 0.30 and, at the earliest feasible date,
to the level of 0.20.
That DFO must establish
regulations to limit fishing mortalities imposed during the spawning
period proportionally with the general reduction in total fishing
mortality and should explore with the affected sectors of the fishing
industry whether this objective can be best achieved through a straight
reduction in the winter catch (i.e. during the spawning period) or
through a combination of seasonal closure coupled with a catch reduction
proportional to the reduction of the TAC during the remainder of the
That DFO should for
both biological and economic reasons examine immediately the selectivity
of traps, small and large trawlers, gillnetters and other gear types
with the intent of improving the yield in cod fisheries; the goal
should be to eliminate harvest of two, three, four and five year olds
and to reduce the bycatch of these year classes.
That DFO should reexamine
current regulations requiring equal levels of effort in each of statistical
divisions 2J, 3K and 3L with the objective of distributing fishing
effort by large trawlers throughout the statistical divisions in the
manner that is to the greatest degree possible relative to the distribution
of the exploitable biomass.
That Canada should seek
international agreement to permit its management of all fish stocks
indigenous to the Canadian Continental Shelf, and that extend beyond
the two hundred mile economic zone; and, that failing achievement
of this objective, Canada should take unilateral action to acquire
management rights in accordance with provisions of the Law of the
That the Government
of Canada should reexamine its policies regarding the authorization
of foreign fisheries within the Canadian economic management zone
with the clear intention of eliminating any catch or bycatch of cod.
That Canada officially
adopt a policy analogous to the Hague Preferences that would take
into account in respect of stock allocations both the principle of
contiguity and the "vital needs" of particular communities
particularly depending upon fishing and industries allied thereto.
That DFO should develop
means to estimate stock or relative stock trends beyond current RV
and large trawler CPUE data and should place particular emphasis on
establishing a CPUE index for elements of the inshore fishery, e.g.
small trawlers, gillnetters, etc
That DFO should expand
scientific efforts to understand the integrity and interrelationship
of spawning aggregations as they relate to recruitment and the distribution
of spawning fish to feeding grounds and their availability to inshore
fisheries. The goal should be to attain a clearer understanding of
the effectiveness of current area management strategies as they relate
to rebuilding the spawning stocks and potential gear/area or other
That DFO should examine
in detail current and past stock recruitment relationships.
That DFO should undertake
an in-depth analysis of cod bycatch losses in inshore and offshore
target fisheries, as well as in other fisheries taking cod as a bycatch,
including fish caught and not sold because of quality and/or operational
problems; and estimate bycatch losses for each component of the Canadian
and foreign directed cod fisheries, shrimp, capelin, and herring fisheries,
and ground fisheries not targeting on cod.
That DFO should increase
the RV sampling level in order to improve the level of precision of
the estimate of minimum stock size and should, also, give consideration
to RV surveys during other times of the year.
That DFO arrange, as
a matter or urgency, for a harp and hooded seal census commencing
with an aerial survey of pup production in the spring of 1990.
That DFO scientists
should pay greater attention to the integration of information from
the biological and oceanogaphic disciplines into the assessment process
so that all available data may be employed to reduce the risk of future
errors in estimating key population parameters.
That research be undertaken
or commissioned to establish seal feeding patterns and consumption
rates throughout the year.
That every reasonable
effort be made to understand the cod-capelin-seal interactions and
to incorporate appropriate data into cod population assessments.
That DFO should expand
data collections to improve the knowledge of effort levels and factors
influencing quality of data on inshore fisheries and landing records.
That DFO institute a
dedicated systematic effort to improve and expand relevant technologies
in the annual assessment process and in management activities; and
that the Government of Canada investigate the use of satellite or
other advanced technologies for purposes of surveillance; and that
arrangements be imposed or negotiated as appropriate for fitting all
vessels involved in the Canadian shelf fisheries with transducers
for ease of monitoring their movements and location.
That the Government
of Canada should carefully reexamine its biological, ecological, and
socio-economic goals in respect of the fisheries to ensure that they
are clearly defined, internally consistent, and attainable.
That DFO review its
management structures and approaches with the end of establishing
a more focused and coordinated approach to the management of the northern
That DFO should expand
the observer programme to include observation on the inshore sector
of the fleet and to expand support services for analyzing observer
That the Government
of Canada undertake the provision of additional patrol vessels for
offshore surveillance to provide adequate on-site action in respect
of violations reported by aircraft or by observers and that helicopters
be employed in conjunction with smaller patrol boats for inshore surveillance.
That the Government
of Canada and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador should jointly
establish a Board or Commission in the context of which information
can be shared, management objectives clarified and coordinated, policy
directions set, and strategies developed.
That the Government
of Canada should urge the appropriate authorities to treat violations
of fisheries regulations aimed at conservation as serious offenses
and to ensure that penalties imposed upon convicted violaters be sufficiently
onerous as to fully offset any potential gain from violations.
THE DUNNE REPORT RECOMMENDATIONS
LISTING OF RECOMMENDATIONS
III FISHERIES MANAGEMENT GOALS FOR
We recommend that the
following list of goals be taken as a minimum starting point for further
discussion with industry:
Age 3 + Biomass = 1,000,000
t by 1994 and 1,300,000 t by 2000.
IV REBUILDING THE 2J3KL COD STOCK
A decision must be made
if the short-term objective is:
(a) to continue the status
quo and keep the biomass constant,
(b) to start rebuilding by lowering catches, or
(c) rely solely on future recruitment to improve stock status.
Decisions on allocating
any TAC reduction should be in line with management goals for this
V FISHING DURING THE SPAWNING PERIOD
That, in 1991, a closure
be implemented for directed northern cod fisheries for March
in 2J; April in 3K and mid-May to mid-June in 3L. If heavy ice conditions
should prevent fishing in 2J during January and February, a limit
equal to 20% of the 2J proportion could be applied for March. This
limit represents 74% of the average March catch in 2J since 1987.
(Any further TAC reduction would mean a lower monthly limit).
That Science Branch
and industry continue the sampling program initiated in 1990 to further
delineate the peak spawning periods in each of the three Divisions.
That, in the long-term,
these measures be altered depending on the outcome of the two research
initiatives on the impacts of trawling on spawning behaviour and on
VI - IMPROVING THE YIELD FROM THE 2J3KL
That no Department of
Government, at either level, encourage or assist the processing or
marketing of small cod.
In 1991, the current
minimum fish size regulation 41 cm (i.e. 16") should apply to
cod taken in traps.
In the next three years,
there should be no new cod trap operators licenced to fish in Division
The Department of Fisheries
and Oceans should immediately implement a gear conversion program
for cod trap fishermen. This program should fully cover all gear conversion
costs to encourage fishermen to convert the "drying twine"
of their traps at least 13 mm (1/2") above the required 89 mm
(3 ˝") mesh size. A "catch adjustment incentive" should
also be offered for each trap converted. Both incentives could be
scaled to encourage changes in trap configurations as well.
The Department of Fisheries
and Oceans should immediately establish a cod trap conversion committee
(in conjunction with the NFFAWU). This committee would design, demonstrate
and evaluate various methods of reducing the catch of small fish in
cod traps. Fishermen have indicated there are many ways to reduce
the catch of small fish besides regulating a mandatory increase in
The Department and fishermen
work jointly in 1991 to quantify the extent of discarding in the cod
trap fishery and identify ways to reduce it.
Beginning in 1991, the
Department of Fisheries and Oceans will rigorously enforce the 89
mm (3 ˝") minimum mesh size in cod traps in all areas.
If these measures do
not reduce the catch of small fish in cod traps, the Department should
implement a mandatory minimum mesh size of 102 mm (4") in January
That, in 1991, the minimum
mesh size for otter trawls in the directed 2J3KL cod fishery be increased
from 130 mm diamond mesh to either a 140mm square mesh or a 155 mm
That the necessity of
future increases be considered after comparative trawling studies
this autumn and next spring and the results of the 1991 winter fishery
That a minimum hook
size regulation be established immediately for cod handlines and longlines,
and as an initial step this minimum hook size should be set at No.
16 gauge or equivalent.
That hook selectivity
studies be carried out to determine if an increased minimum hook size
is needed in the future.
That the regulations
be reviewed to ensure that they apply to artificial baited gears and
amended, if necessary.
Small Cod Bycatch in Other Fisheries
That these various,
non-cod directed fisheries be managed by season in a more focused
way to eliminate the catch of small cod. Seasons should be set so
that such gear is not used to target cod when the licensed species
is not available.
That existing regulations
with respect to the catch of cod in unlicensed gear be strictly enforced.
That the use of inshore/onshore
observers be initiated to monitor and identify problem areas or activities
that produce a bycatch of small cod.
That Northern Shrimp
licence holders be required to attain a target of a zero bycatch of
cod and other groundfish.
VII PROPORTIONATE HARVESTING BY
That the proportionate
harvesting requirement be maintained in the short-term with no individual
transfers between Divisions. Inter-company arrangements that ensure
the requirement is met in total at year end should be encouraged.
That, beginning in 1991,
offshore catches of 2J3KL cod be reported and recorded by latitude
and longtitude to delineate catches on each offshore bank.
That the proportionate
harvesting requirement be incorporated in the enterprise allocations
VII FOREIGN FISHERIES IN 2J3KL
That the current initiatives
of the Government of Canada to reduce overfishing outside the Canadian
Zone continue, both with NAFO members and other non-member countries,
so that recent progress can be sustained.
IX SURVEILLANCE AND ENFORCEMENT
That 100% observer coverage
be implemented on 65-100 ft vessels fishing northern cod Eas to prevent
misreporting of areas, quantities and species fished.
That observer coverage
on the small dragger fleet be at a minimum of 50%. Wherever logistically
possible, observers should collect biological samples from this fleet.
That, in 1991, a pilot
project of observer coverage for the under 65 ft fleet prosecuting
the gillnet fishery offshore in Division 3L be initiated.
That observers measure
and record mesh sizes and types at the beginning of each trip. This
information should be recorded in DFOs domestic and foreign
catch and effort systems.
That surveillance and
enforcement efforts be focused on activities which contribute to improvements
in the status of 2J3KL cod. This should involve particular emphasis
on minimum mesh size requirements and catch of small cod.
That consultations be
held with fishermens committees prior to develop local priorities
for surveillance and enforcement activities.
That industry be encouraged
to take a public stance on the seriousness of fishing violations that
negatively impact on resource conservation.
That the passage into
law of the Fisheries Act amendments receive wide publicity including
special emphasis on licence suspension.
That the conservation
consciousness of the industry and the public be raised by mounting
an ongoing public information campaign.
That observer coverage
be mandatory in any new EA program in the northern cod fishery. costing
for such a program would be worked out jointly between government
and the industry.
That existing EA holders
in the 65-100 ft category should, as a condition of licence, land
at designated landing sites, give advance notice of landing and offload
in the presence of a Fishery Officer, or designate.
That EA holders in the
65-100 ft category be licensed on a "trip by trip" or monthly
basis only and not for the calendar year. Licence validation for the
next fishing period would be contingent on submission of full catch
and effort reports to the Department.
X THE CONCEPT OF INSHORE AND OFFSHORE
That Science Branch
undertake a sampling program of offshore gillnet landings in Division
3L this fall for inclusion in the 1991 2J3KL cod assessment.
That the total 3L cod
fishery be reviewed by CAFSAC to determine if present trends in activity
have potential negative impacts on management of the total stock.
That the current level
of effort by 35-65 ft vessels be frozen in each Division, at least
That the principle and
application of the inshore allowance be reviewed in conjunction with
the review of licensing and that it take account on findings from
(48) as well as the historical fishing patterns by 35-65 ft vessels
in each Division of 2J3KL.
XI LICENSING OF INSHORE FISHERMEN
The following licensing
measures are recommended for implementation in 1991:
That individuals who
are permanently downgraded to part-time status not be permitted to
retain any limited entry licences. Part-time fishermen who currently
hold a limited entry licence would not be permitted to retain these
licences after January 1, 1993, if their status remains unchanged.
That the licensing review
in 1991 include an examination of:
XII IMPROVING COMMUNICATIONS WITH
That an advertising
and promotion campaign to promote conservation of the resource be
developed to raise the conservation consciousness of the fishing industry
and the general public.
That development of
a fisheries educational strategy by the appropriate agencies in Newfoundland
and Labrador be encouraged.
That increased attention
be given to providing the industry with up-to-date information on
a systematic basis. This should include such things as the results
of specific fisheries or in season status reports.
The waters off Canadas East Coast are divided into zones defined
by an alphnumeric code (see p. 8-9).
The "northern cod stock" is a complex of four overlapping groups
that spawn on the Hamilton Bank, the Belle Isle Bank, the Fund Island
Bank, and the northern Grand Bank: Department of Fisheries and Oceans,
Newfoundland Region, "The Science of Cod," Focsle,
Vol. 8, No. 2 (Special Edition), February 1988, p. 10.
There are basically 12 stocks of cod within Canadian waters, from Frobisher
Bay in the north to Georges Bank in the south. The fish migrate according
to seasonal cycles triggered by spawning behaviour, food and temperature.
In early summer, they typically move inshore where they feed on capelin,
herring and other small fish and invertebrates. By the early winter months,
the fish have moved offshore, where they spawn. Although the commercial
fishery has depended on the movements of cod for centuries, scientists
know relatively little about where and why cod migrate. Cod stocks from
southern waters grow much faster than northern cod. The fish are also
very prolific; the mortality rate, however, is tremendous: of the several
million eggs each female lays, one in a million lives to maturity. See
Department of Fisheries and Oceans, "Inshore Cod Migration,"
News Release, 8 February 1991, p. 1; Department of Fisheries and
Oceans, "Northern Cod," Backgrounder, February 1992,
p. 6, 10; Department of Fisheries and Oceans, "Factsheet on the Atlantic
Fishery," Backgrounder, May 1989, p. 1.
Department of Fisheries and Oceans, "Northern Cod," Backgrounder,
February 1992, p. 1. Some 19,000 fishermen and plant workers in 400 communities
have been directly and immediately affected by the recent moratorium on
northern cod. Northern cod accounted for 12% of groundfish landings in
Nova Scotia in 1989; by 1991, this had fallen to less than 4%. See Atlantic
Provinces Economic Council, "The Newfoundland Fishery: What to Do,
What to Do?," APEC Newsletter, Vol. 36, No. 5, August 1992,
L. Harris et al., Independent Review of the State of the Northern Cod
Stock: Final Report, February 1990, p. 1, 19-21; Ian Jackson (Institute
for Research on Public Policy), Global Warming: Implications for Canadian
Policy, for Atmospheric Environment Services, Canadian Climate Centre,
September 1990, p., 53.
The practical distinctions between the "inshore" and the "offshore"
sectors of the Atlantic fishery generally depend on the specific purpose
for which they are made. There are at lest four factors by which one can
differentiate the two: size and ownership of vessel; fishing gear, horsepower
and operational mobility; environmental constraints; and on a community
basis. For fisheries management purposes (e.g., matters having to do with
licensing, quotas, vessel replacement), the "inshore" sector
generally includes all vessels greater than 100 feet LOA generally
150-foot trawlers. Vessels in the 65 to 100-feet range are classified
as "midshore" or "middle-distance." In Newfoundland,
inshore vessels are less than 35 feet (10.7 m) LOA; nearshore vessels
are between 35 feet (10.7 m) and 65 feet (19.8 m) LOA. Put simply, the
inshore is made up of smaller, owner-operated vessels; the offshore comprises
larger, company-owned trawlers. The midshore fleet has elements of both,
but is considered closer to the offshore in its basic characteristics.
The distinction between the inshore and offshore has become somewhat blurred
over the years with the emergence of a class of medium-sized vessels capable
of fishing in offshore waters. Karl Laubstein, "Canadas Atlantic
Fisheries: The Role of the Inshore Section," Maritime Affairs
Bulletin, No. 2, 1989; Department of Fisheries and Oceans, An Analysis
of Price Formation in Port Markets in Atlantic Canada, Economic and
Commercial Analysis Report No. 3, Gardner Pinhold Consulting Economists
Limited, Halifax, January 1989.
Harris et al. (February 1990), p. 1, 26. See also Department of
Fisheries and Oceans, "Advice for 1989 on the Management of Cod in
Divisions 2J3KL," Canadian Atlantic Scientific Advisory Committee,
CAFSAC Advisory Document 89/1.
The first attempt to bring some order to the offshore fishery in the Northwest
Atlantic came with the establishment of the International Commission for
the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries (ICNAF), which was established in 1949.
Regulatory controls and enforcement measures, however, were not effective
in curbing overexploitation by mobile distant-water fleets with on-board
freezing capabilities. Beginning in the 1950s, the Northwest Atlantic
fishery became less economically viable year by year. Under pressure from
the Canadian fishing industry and provincial governments on the East Coast,
Canada extended its territorial sea from 3 nautical miles to 12 miles
and declared the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Bay of Fundy to be within its
exclusive jurisdiction in 1971.
Since 1977, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans has issued an annual
Atlantic Groundfish Management Plan. Total Allowable Catches are set for
44 commercial groundfish stocks following the review of analyses and recommendations
of the Canadian Atlantic Fisheries Scientific Advisory Committee. This
committee is the forum for debate on scientific methodology and the development
of biological advice for stocks off the Atlantic Coast that fall within
the 200-mile zone. The Advisory Committee draws heavily on commercial
catch data and on research and survey activities carried out by the Department
of Fisheries and Oceans. Department of Fisheries and Oceans, "Canadian
Atlantic Fisheries Scientific Advisory Committee (CAFSAC)," Backgrounder,
February 1992, p. 1; Department of Fisheries and Oceans, "Organization
and Management of Northwest Atlantic Fisheries," Backgrounder,
June 1992, p. 1-2.
The level of fishing mortality at which the increase in yield (marginal
yield) from adding one more unit of fishing effort is 10% of the increase
in yield from adding the same unit of fishing effort to a lightly exploited
Fishing activity in Canadian waters is tightly regulated by the federal
government through various means, including quotas for specific species
and areas, limits on sizes, and control of entry to the industry.
Following the declaration of a 200-mile limit, Canada allocated surplus
resources in return for co-operation on conservation and for explicit
commitments to facilitate the development of markets for Canadian fish
products. It allowed allocations of non-surplus fish (i.e., stocks which
Canadian fishermen had demonstrated an ability to harvest) to foreign
countries in return for specific commitments to improve market access.
Since 1986, the stated objective has been the elimination of non-surplus
allocations, except under existing treaty commitments.
Harris et al. (February 1990), p. 9.
Ibid., p. 10.
Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization, Report of the Special Meeting
Scientific Council, 1-4 June 1992, p. 5.
Ibid., p. 7. The predominant gear in the fixed gear fishery consists
of traps and gillnets. Catches have been mainly during the summer months.
At the September 1985 (seventh) NAFO Annual Meeting, the EC argued for
the first time that Total Allowable Catches should be set well above previous
levels. The Community has since set its own quotas higher than those set
for it by NAFO. In some cases, the ECs catch has not only exceeded
its assigned quota, but even the entire NAFO quota.
See, for example, Karl M. Sullivan, "Conflict in Management of a
Northwest Atlantic Transboundary Cod Stock," Marine Policy,
April 1989; Oceans Institute of Canada, Managing Fishery Resources
Beyond 200 Miles: CanadaOptions to Protect Northwest Atlantic Straddling
Stocks, Report prepared for the Fisheries Council of Canada, January
1990, p. 25.
See Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, The Problem of Foreign
Overfishing Off Canadas Atlantic Coast, St. Johns, August
1986; Gordon R. Munro, A Promise of Abundance: Extended Fisheries Jurisdiction
and the Newfoundland Economy, A Study prepared for the Economic Council
of Canada, Supply and Services Canada, 1980; Karl Sullivan, "Conflict
in Management of a Northwest Atlantic Transboundary Cod Stock," Marine
Policy, April 1989; and Department of Fisheries and Oceans, "Estimates
of EC Catches in the NAFO Area in 1990," Backgrounder, 28
Department of Fisheries and Oceans, "Northern Cod Assessment Reviewed,"
News Release, 17 February 1992, p. 1; Northwest Atlantic Fisheries
, 1-4 June 1992, p. 7.
Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization, Report
, 1-4 June
1992, p. 10.
Department of Fisheries and Oceans, "NAFO Unanimously Adopts 1993
Ban on Northern (2J3KL) Cod Fishing Outside 200 Miles," News Release,
18 September 1992, p. 1.
Atlantic Provinces Economic Council, "The Newfoundland Fishery
August 1991, p. 1; Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization, Report
1-4 June 1992, p. 29; Department of Fisheries and Oceans, "Northern
Cod," Backgrounder, February 1992, p. 2.
R.D.S. Macdonald, "Canadian Fisheries Policy and the Development
of Atlantic Coast Groundfisheries Management," in Atlantic Fisheries
and Coastal Communities: Fisheries Decision-Making Case Studies, Cynthia
Lamson and Arthur J. Hanson, eds., Dalhousie Ocean Studies Programme,
1984, p. 53. At the time of writing, Mr. Macdonald was Chief, Economic
Research and Policy Division, Economics Branch, Scotia-Fundy Division,
Department of Fisheries and Oceans.
Task Force on Atlantic Fisheries, Navigating Troubled Waters: A New
Policy for the Atlantic Fisheries, Supply and Services Canada, December
Ibid., p. vii.
Ibid., p. 188.
Ibid., p. 233.
Ibid., p. 246.
Department of Fisheries and Oceans, "Advice on the Status and Management
of the Cod Stock in NAFO Divisions 2J, 3K and 3L," Canadian Atlantic
Fisheries Scientific Advisory Committee (AFSAC): Annual Report, Vol.
9, Dartmouth, N.S., October 1987, p. 293-294.
Task Group on Newfoundland Inshore Fisheries, A Study of Trends of
Cod Stocks off Newfoundland and Factors Influencing Their Abundance and
Availability to the Inshore Fishery, November 1987. TGNIF, made up
of an international team of scientists, concluded that a decline in inshore
catches was due to a combination of factors: changes in availability and
slower growth of the stock, uneven distribution of fishing effort offshore,
possible depletion of local stocks by inshore fishermen, redeployment
of inshore effort, effects of fishing on recruitment, and slower growth
Department of Fisheries and Oceans, "Special Committee of Cabinet
on Northern Cod," Backgrounder, May 1989, p. 1.
L. Harris et al., Independent Review of the State of Northern
Cod: Interim Report, 15 May 1989; Department of Fisheries and Oceans,
"Report on Northern Cod Released," News Release, 26 May
1989, p. 1-4.
Department of Fisheries and Oceans, "Minister Valcourt Releases Harris
Report," News Release, 30 March 1990, p. 1-2.
Harris et al. (February 1990), p. 151.
Ibid., p. 71. Recruitment can be defined as the number of young
fish that enter the commercial fishery for the first time in a given year.
The biomass is the total weight of a fish stock.
"Independent Review of the State of the Northern Cod Stocks (Harris
Report); Response from the Government of Canada," 7 May 1990, p.
Ibid., p. 1.
Harris et al. (February 1990), p. 106.
Ibid., p. 106-107.
Ibid., p. 42. See also p. 108.
"Independent Review of the State of the Northern Cod Stocks
Response," 7 May 1990, p. 13. See also p. 1.
Harris et al. (February 1990), p. 114.
"Independent Review of the State of the Northern Cod Stocks
Response," 7 May 1990, p. 5.
Ibid., p. 1.
Ibid., p. 5.
Implementation Task Force on Northern Cod (E.B. Dunne, Chairman, Director
General, Newfoundland Region, Department of Fisheries and Oceans), Report,
October 1990, Appendix A, p. A2-A3. Underline added.
Department of Fisheries and Oceans, "Fisheries Management Recommendations
of the Implementation Task Force on Northern Cod," Backgrounder,
14 December 1990, p. 2; Department of Fisheries and Oceans, "Response
of the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans to the Recommendations of the
Implementation Task Force on Northern Cod," Backgrounder,
undated, p. 1.
Department of Fisheries and Oceans, "Atlantic Fisheries Adjustment
Program," Backgrounder, June 1991, p. 1.
Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Estimates, Expenditure Plan, Part
III, 1992-93, Supply and Services Canada, 1992, p. 110.
Ibid., p. 111.
Department of Fisheries and Oceans, "Conservation Ceiling
for Northern Cod," News Release, 24 February 1992, p. 1-4.
In March, the federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans also announced
the membership and terms of reference of a Task Force on Incomes and Adjustment.
Department of Fisheries and Oceans, "Fishery Incomes and Adjustment
to be Studied," News Release, 23 March 1992, p. 1.
See Department of Fisheries and Oceans, "NAFO Council to Review Northern
Cod," News Release, 1 June 1992, p. 1; Department of Fisheries
and Oceans, "NAFO Scientists Agree on Threat to Northern Cod,"
News Release, 5 June 1992, p. 1; Department of Fisheries and Oceans,
"Organization and Management of Northwest Atlantic Fisheries,"
Backgrounder, June 1992, p. 2; Denise Claveloux, "Report Silent
on EC Overfishing," The Chronicle Herald, 6 June 1992, p.
Recruitment may be defined as the number of young fish which enter the
commercial fishery for the first time in a given year.
Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization, Report of the Special Meeting
Scientific Council, 1-4 June 1992, p. 2, 11, 14, 15, 32.
See Department of Fisheries and Oceans, "Crosbie Announces First
Steps in Northern Cod (2J3KL) Recovery Plan," News Release,
2 July 1992, p. 2; Department of Fisheries and Oceans, "Fishermen,
Plant Workers Eligible for Payments," News Release, 2 July
1992, p. 1.
Altantic Provinces Economic Council, "The Newfoundland Fishery
August 1992, p. 3. On 25 September 1992, the Province of Newfoundland
and Labrador announced its own special programs for both moratorium and
non-moratorium areas; these concern the Fisheries Loan Board, the marine
service centres and the provincial Interest Free Loan Program. "Special
Assistance Program Announced for Fishermen," The Packet, 29
September 1992, p. 7.
Trawling is a method of commercial fishing in which a vessel drags a large
conical net or trawl along the ocean bottom. The net is closed at the
small end and held open at the mouth or large end. Trawls may be dragged
at various depths between the surface and bottom. See, for example, Mark
Vaughan-Jackson, "Technology Caused Crisis in Fishery, U.N. Tour
Told," The Evening Telegram, 30 June 1992, p. 1; Owen Myers,
"Draggers Have Destroyed Fishery," The Evening Telegram,
21 March 1992, p. 5; Barbara Dean-Simmons, "Fish Preservation May
Mean Choice between Offshore, Inshore Analyst," The Packet,
12 November 1991, p. 3; Beth Gorham, "Some Fishermen Say Canadians
Have Also Raped the Sea," The Journal Pioneer, 28 February
1992, p. 14; "Big Companies Blamed for Fishery Demise," The
Evening Telegram, 9 July 1992, p. 10.
Harris et al. (February 1990), p. 42.
Ibid., p. 44.
Ibid., p. 42.