NL recreational/food fishery underway this summer
The Newfoundland and Labrador Recreational ground fish fishery opened Saturday for three weeks.
It closes Aug. 15 but will reopen again Sept. 25-Oct. 3 for a fall fishery.
The recreational fishery is permitted in all NAFO areas around the provincial, which includes 3Ps off southern Newfoundland, 2GH, 2J/3KL, 3Pn and 4R. Two exceptions are the Eastport and Gilbert Bay Marine Protected Areas (MPA), where recreational ground fish fishing is not permitted.
Recreational fishers are limited to five ground fish per day (including cod). However, the maximum boat limit when three or more people are fishing is 15 ground fish. This includes tour boats.
The recreational fishery is open to both residents and non-residents. There is no requirement for licences or tags.
Retention of Atlantic halibut and Spotted and Northern wolf fish is prohibited. Sculpins and cunners may be released. All other ground fish caught must be retained. High-grading of ground fish is not permitted.
Fish may be bled, gutted, and split while at sea, but further processing such as filleting and skinning at sea is not permitted.
Only angling gear and hand lines, with a maximum of three hooks, are permitted. Hand lines include artificial lures, baited hooks and feathered hooks.
Artificial lures with treble hooks weighing less than five ounces or 125 grams are acceptable. Traditional jiggers are not permitted unless they are modified and have only one single hook.
There are provisions in this year’s recreational fishery allowing a disabled person to designate a person to catch their daily limit of ground fish. Information is available at DFO licencing centres.
Fishery officers will monitor this fishery closely, both at sea and at dockside, to ensure regulations are followed. Complaints will be investigated and charges laid where appropriate.
The sale of ground fish caught in the recreational fishery is strictly prohibited.
Commercial fishing vessels are not permitted to participate in recreational fishing activity on any trip where there is any commercial fishing activity.
For safety reasons, fishing is only permitted from one hour before sunrise until one hour after sunset.