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Increased weekly landing limits, longer season in DFO’s northern cod plan

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This year’s northern cod season will open on June 12 and close on November 30, according to the groundfish management plan announced by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) on Thursday.

The plan for NAFO Divisions 2J3KL includes increased weekly landing limits, an extended season and the removal of the 12-mile limit, which were suggestions in the proposal put forward by the Newfoundland and Labrador Groundfish Industry Development Council (NLGIDC).

In a news release Friday, the Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW-Unifor) union, which holds half of the seats on the board of the NLGIDC, said it is pleased to see that DFO accepted the proposal.

“The 2017 northern cod management plan builds on the success of last year and will greatly contribute towards building a prosperous groundfish fishery in the province,” FFAW-Unifor president Keith Sullivan said in the release.

“The new management plan will allow for greater investment in the northern cod fishery by both harvesters and processing companies.”

The increased landing limits are conservative and will maintain the stock’s growth trajectory, as determined by DFO’s stock assessment, the release stated.

Federal Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc has committed to the union the first 115,000 metric tonnes of northern cod will be allocated to the inshore owner-operator fleet.

He has also agreed to an annual stock assessment of northern cod beginning in 2018.

DFO’s management plan can be read here.

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