Good idea to be cautious
Placentia Bay and Fortune Bay — to supply its processing lines for 12 to 14 weeks in the winter.
As for the apparent decline in northern cod, and a less-thanoptimistic scientific outlook for the stock in 2019, Wareham thinks it would be a good idea to be cautious.
“We’re been saying for the last two to three years we need to go slow and not take too much fish out of the water,” explained Wareham.
“It’s concerning. I really won’t be able to comment on the impact on (my) business until May or June what the minister decides to do,” said Wareham. “If he keeps the quota the same for the short term, there will be no impact on our business.”
Even though a cut to fishing quotas could impact his operation, Wareham says that is what the federal minister Dominic LeBlanc should do.
“I don’t think he should keep the quota the same, because if he does then we’re going to take more fish out of the water and then the stocks are going to go down again. From a long-term perspective, we need to see a meaningful decrease.”
“Its definitely concerning, but until the plan for this year’s fishery is finalized, we’re just speculating.”
LeBlanc is expected to make an announcement about fishing quotas for northern cod sometime this month. fishery, roughly 3,600 tonnes is taken from the recreational fishery.
Wareham also speculates the amount of cod calculated as being caught in the recreational fishery may not be accurate, if recreational fishers do not accurately report their catch.
“There’s a lot of people going out and catching more than their 15 fish a day,” he alleges.
Wareham also wondered about the impact of the capelin fishery on cod stocks.
DFO’s capelin stock assessment, published in March, showed a decrease of 70 percent of stock from 2015.
Capelin is a staple food for cod. “Should we continue to have a capelin fishery? The capelin resource is down 70 percent based on the last assessment that we had. Capelin is the ideal fish for cod. Last year, I think we took
15,000 pounds of capelin in the commercial fishery. Why are we jeopardizing the long-term health of the cod resource for
15,000 pounds of capelin?” he asked.