Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

September 24, 2010 20:29 ET

NAFO Takes Further Action to Rebuild Groundfish Stocks and to Protect Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwire - Sept. 24, 2010) - Following five days of meetings in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Contracting Parties of the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) reinforced their commitment to the Precautionary Approach by adopting sustainable measures for the management, re-building, and conservation of the stocks under their mandate, notably cod, Greenland halibut, and northern shrimp, as well as for the protection of vulnerable marine ecosystems in the NAFO Regulatory Area.

"We are seeing encouraging signs as groundfish stocks like 3M cod continue to rebuild," said the Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. "It is a testament to our collective commitment to science and conservation. We must continue along this road to ensure the recovery and re-building of NAFO stocks into the future."

Specifically, NAFO Contracting Parties adopted a rigorous scientific framework for the management and conservation of Greenland halibut. This framework will provide greater clarity and predictability for fisheries managers, industry, and observers. Members also agreed to a moratorium on 3M shrimp, significant reductions in the total allowable catch for 3L shrimp, and a process to develop and review conservation plans and re-building strategies for 3NO cod and 3LNO American plaice.

In addition, NAFO Contracting Parties agreed to the continuation of the closures of six seamounts in the NAFO Regulatory Area, as well as the establishment of a permanent NAFO Working Group on Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems that will continue to provide advice to the Fisheries Commission.

Minister Shea spoke to NAFO delegations on the opening day of the meetings, reminding them of the importance of task ahead and the need to continue to follow scientific advice, even when the decision is expected to be unpopular. She is pleased today to see that her message was heard by the delegates.

"I want to commend the work of NAFO Members this week," said the Minister upon hearing of the annual meeting's outcome. "Members are making difficult decisions for the conservation of important stocks, as we did for northern shrimp domestically in Newfoundland and southern Labrador earlier this year."

For details about the measures adopted by NAFO, see the link below

You can also find out more about Canada's contributions to NAFO by visiting

Contact Information

  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa, Ontario
    Alain Belle-Isle
    Media Relations
    Fisheries and Oceans Canada
    Office of the Minister
    Nancy Bishay, Press Secretary