When it comes to the reason for the decline in northern cod stocks from 2017 to 2018, the debate is lively over possible causes.
According to the information presented by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) in its report in late March, natural mortality of the fish is a factor. Alberto Wareham says the only things humans can control in the equation is how much fish they catch.
On that point, he thinks the recreational fishery — where ordinary people can catch a few fish during the summer for their own dinner tables — is a big factor. “DFO is currently not monitoring the recreational fishery as strictly as a lot of people would like; the abuse of that fishery is extreme,” Wareham told The Packet.
“They [DFO] estimate the removals from the recreational fishery to be 30 percent of what’s taken by stewardship (commercial fishers).”
Wareham explains the commercial vs food fishery ratio this way. If 12,200 tonnes of fish was caught in the stewardship (commercial)