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Northern Cod


... still lies the bay in the light western airs which blow from the crimson horizon. once more we tack home with a dry empty hold, saving gas with the breezes so ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Northern Cod

Northern Cod
  • Fish 323

Key references
Make and break harbor Stan Rogers
How still lies the bay in the light western airs
which blow from the crimson horizon once more we
tack home with a dry empty hold, saving gas with
the breezes so fair she is a kindly cape
islander old but still sound But so lost in the
longliners shadow Make and break will make due
but the fish are so few that she wont be
replaced should she flounder. Its so hard to not
think of before the big war when the cod went
so cheap but so plenty foreign trawlers go by
now with long seeing eyes taking all where we
seldom take any and the young folk dont stay
with the fishermens ways, long ago they all
moved to the city and ones left behind, old and
tired and blind wont work for a pound or penny
Make and break harbor
In make and break harbor the boats are so few too
many are pulled up and rotten most houses stand
empty old nets hung to dry are blown away, lost
and forgotten Now I can see the big draggers
have stirred up the bay leaving lobster traps
smashed on the bottom, and they think it dont
pay to respect the old ways that make and break
men have not forgotten for we still keep our
time to the turn of the tide with this boat that
I built with my father still lifts the to sky
the one lunger and I still talk like old friends
on the water
The worst fishery failure of the 20th century
  • A fishery that had been sustained for 500 years
    was destroyed
  • After Canada had seized sole jurisdiction
  • With many of the best scientists in the world
  • After two peer reviews by the worlds experts!

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Key events
  • pre 1481 Basque fishing, 1481 English
  • Settlement of Newfoundland
  • 1960 Foreign factory trawlers
  • 1977 Canada declares EEZ,
  • 1977 Scientists (Doubleday) prediction MSY of
    400,000 t
  • 1982 Kirby Commission
  • 1987 Task force on inshore fisheries
  • 1988 Revised assessment
  • 1990 Harris Report
  • 1992 Fishery closed

Fishing technology
  • 1481-1860 hook and line
  • 1900 bottom trawlers
  • 1960 nylon gill nets
  • 1960 factory freezer long distance stern trawlers

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Biology of cod
  • Gadid (hakes and cods) - Gadus morhua
  • Spawning in April to May - matched to zooplankton
    bloom, primarily on shelf
  • larvae settle on bottom after 1-2 months
  • geographic variation in growth and maturity
  • captured by age 1

  • Match mismatch theory
  • Currents and larval drift capture
  • Temperature
  • Seals

Dynamics of harvesters
  • Social structure of Newfoundland
  • Onshore offshore debates
  • Onshore gear, trap, gillnet, longline, handline
  • Offshore - trawling
  • Importance of plants and plant employment
  • Annual work cycle and UIC

Data collection
  • Catch data for inshore and offshore by gear,
    vessel class and area
  • CPUE data for offshore fleet
  • RV survey swept area, age distribution
  • age length and age wt. fro commercial catch for
    inshore and offshore
  • observer data on discarding
  • recruitment surveys

  • DFO Science, data collection, enforcement
  • CAFSAC DFO Scientists
  • AGAG Industry, provincial advisory panel provides
  • Minister of Fisheries

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Northern cod indices
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Northern cod surplus production
1988 Revision
  • stock was not increasing
  • F0.4 not F0.2
  • Biomass 400,000 tons, not 800,000 tons
  • Had stock collapsed?

1990-91 problems
  • F was high, scientists recommended reducing
    quota considerably 90kt
  • juvenile surveys looked good
  • politicians decided to go in between 150 kt
  • fish couldnt be caught - they werent there
  • 1992 surveys indicated 22 kt spawning

Impacts of the collapse
  • 20,000 people out of work
  • 1-2 Billion dollars a year in compensation
  • John Crosby (Minister of Fisheries) I will never
    trust stock assessment scientists again

Hypotheses for causes of collapse
  • cold water reduced survival and recruitment
  • overfishing
  • seals
  • recruitment collapse or targeting small fish

The province, along with FANL and the FFAW,
unveiled a plaque which reads For nearly 500
years the fishery sustained, employed, and
defined the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Generations of coastal people built a fishing
society along thousands of kilometers of rugged
coastline. On July 2, 1992, five centuries of
fishing activity was abruptly halted. The
northern cod moratorium altered the fabric of our
province - economically, socially and culturally.
Yet the people of our fishery endured. We honour
their strength, determination and perseverance.
"The collapse of the groundfish fishery was an
event that changed our provinces history, and a
moment which most of us will never forget," said
Minister Reid, "The fishery is a fundamental part
of our way of life, and the moratorium forever
changed the dynamic of the industry. Ten years
later, we still do not have all of the answers,
however, we have worked very hard to diversify
and redefine the fishery. Our fishery today
continues to be a major contributor to the
provincial economy, however we cannot forget
those people whose lives were forever changed by
the moratorium. The plaque we have unveiled
honours those individuals and will serve as a
reminder for years to come."
Make and break harbor
In make and break harbor the boats are so few too
many are pulled up and rotten most houses stand
empty old nets hung to dry are blown away, lost
and forgotten
Written by Stan Rogers in 1968, not 1987, not
1991 but 1968!
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Value of fish landed in Eastern Canada
Why the talk of the collapse of the fishery
  • Culturally cod meant fish
  • Through the 60s 70s and 80s fishermen had been
    forced to specialize, cod fishermen no longer had
    the option of fishing for shrimp crabs or lobster
  • The specialization was well intentioned but
    proved disastrous

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Study questions   Who was Stan Rogers When did
fishing begin on the Grand Banks What event led
to the large decline in stock abundance for
Northern Cod What led Canada to have jurisdiction
over the Northern cod resource. What is the
match-mismatch theory Describe the different
information coming from research vessel (RV)
surveys and trawl CPUE in the 1980s? What
happened to economic value of fish and shellfish
products in Newfoundland after the collapse of
the cod fishery?