A new Fishery Improvement Project for Newfoundland cod
The FIP is a multi-step, multi-stakeholder initiative aiming to improve fishing practices and management to help the northern cod fishery rebuild and meet or exceed the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standard for sustainable fisheries.
Recapturing a history of abundanceFor hundreds of years, the waters around Newfoundland were alive with cod. Canada’s cod stocks were legendary around the world, and cod was a mainstay of the local economy.
In the 1990s all that changed. After years of overfishing, cod stocks on the Northeast coast of Newfoundland and Labrador drastically declined, and in 1992 a moratorium was imposed, effectively putting an end to commercial cod harvesting in that area. Over 30,000 jobs were lost, and coastal communities were devastated. It was the single largest lay-off in North America during the 20th century.
For about 25 years, the future of this once abundant cod stock was grim. However in 2006, scientists began to witness a slow and steady trend in stock growth in some areas.
To ensure this recovery continues and is scientifically monitored, WWF and the Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union (FFAW-UNIFOR) representing 9,000 fish harvesters and processing workers in the fishing industry, agreed on April 28, 2015 to launch a Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) to enhance rebuilding efforts, and help restore this iconic fishery for the benefit of nature and people alike.
A five-year processThe goal of this Fishery Improvement Project is to help the fishery make the environmental and management changes necessary that allow it to enter a full assessment against the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standard for sustainable fisheries.
Where is the fishery?
Who is participating?
- The Association of Seafood Producers of Newfoundland and Labrador (SPONL) is a not-for-profit corporation which represents the interests of seafood producers generally in the Province of Newfoundland & Labrador.
- The Fogo Island Co-op operates five seafood processing plants and has pioneered quality initiatives in the industry. The Co-op exports crab and groundfish to the U.S., Japan, Taiwan, Sweden, Germany and Canada.