Fisheries and Resources Monitoring System

Atlantic Cod - Grand Bank
Marine Resource  Fact Sheet
Stocks management recommendations 2015
Atlantic Cod - Grand Bank
Fact Sheet Citation  
Cod in Div. 3NO
Owned byNorthwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) – More
Related observationsLocate in inventorydisplay tree map
FAO Names: en - Atlantic cod, fr - Morue de l'Atlantique, es - Bacalao del Atlántico, zh - 大西洋鳕, ru - Треска атлантическая
Geographic extent of Atlantic Cod - Grand Bank
Main Descriptors
Considered a single stock: Yes        Spatial Scale: Regional
Management unit: Yes        Reference year: 2014
Biological State and Trend
State & Trend Descriptors
Exploitation rateNone-Low Fishing MortalityNo or low fishing mortalityRed
Abundance levelDepleted Stock SizeDepleted

The spawning biomass has increased considerably over the past five years but the 2015 estimate of 38,454 t still represents only 64% of Blim (60,000 t). This increase in biomass has been driven by the relatively strong 2005 and 2006 year classes and by fishing mortality values that are amongst the lowest in the time series (F<0.1) and well below Flim (0.3). More recent year classes do not appear as strong and hence despite the low fishing mortality, the increasing trend in SSB may not persist beyond the short term.
Habitat and Biology
Climatic zone: Temperate.   Bottom type: Unspecified.   Depth zone: Slope - Deepslope (500 m - 1000 m).   Horizontal distribution: Neritic.   Vertical distribution: Demersal/Benthic.  

Geographical Distribution
Jurisdictional distribution: Straddling between High Seas and EEZ

Water Area Overview
Spatial Scale: Regional

Geo References
Resource Structure
Considered a single stock: Yes

A moratorium was implemented in 1994. Catches since that time are by-catch in other fisheries.

Recent catch estimates and TACs are as follows:
  2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
TAC ndf ndf ndf ndf ndf ndf ndf ndf ndf ndf
STATLANT 21 0.3 0.7 0.7 0.6 0.8 0.8 0.7 1.1 0.7  
STACFIS 0.6 0.8 0.9 1.1 0.9 0.8 0.7 1.1 0.7  

ndf :No directed fishery

Effects of the fishery on the ecosystem

There is no directed fishery.
Overall Assessment Results
Reference Point

Blim: 60 000 t of spawning biomass (SC, 1999)

Flim (=Fmsy):0.3 (SC, 2011).

SSB is projected to remain below Blim for both scenarios, increasing initially but then decreasing.
Fishing Mortality Yield P (Byear < Blim) P(B2018 > B2015)
  2016 2017 2016 2017 2018  
F = 0 - - >99% >99% >99% 46%
Fsq 1348 1178 >99% >99% >99% 22%

Assessment Model
Analytical assessment

A sequential population analysis model was used, and the results were consistent with the previous assessment. Input data from 2011-2014 comes from research surveys and commercial removals (STACFIS 2015).

The next assessment is planned for 2018.

Fishing Mortality



Human impact

Mainly bycatch related fishery mortality has been documented. Other sources (e.g. pollution, shipping, oil-industry) are undocumented.

Biological and environmental interactions

Productivity of this stock was above average during the warm 1960s. During the cold 1990s, productivity was very low and surplus production was near zero.
Scientific Advice

Special comments

As part of the Div. 3NO Cod Conservation and Rebuilding Strategy “The Fisheries Commission shall request the Scientific Council to review in detail the limit reference point when the Spawning Stock Biomass has reached 30 000 t” (FC Doc. 15/01). As the stock has reached this level, SC notes that multiple stock-recruit points are required at SSB levels greater than 30 000 t prior to re-evaluation of this reference point as productivity at these levels of biomass is not well known.
Management unit: Yes

Management Advice

Recommendation for 2016-2018

No directed fishing on cod in 2016 to 2018 to allow for continued stock rebuilding. By-catches of cod in fisheries targeting other species should be kept at the lowest possible level. Projections based on either FSQ or F=0 suggest a >99% probability that the stock will remain below Blim by 2018.
Management Objectives

General convention objective are applied in conjunction with an Interim Conservation Plan and Rebuilding Strategy adopted in 2011 (FC Doc. 11/22). The long-term objective of this plan is to achieve and to maintain the spawning stock biomass in the “safe zone”, (PA framework, FC Doc. 04/18), and at or near Bmsy.

Stock definition for management purposes

The stock occurs in Div. 3NO, with fish occupying shallow parts of the bank, particularly the southeast shoal area (Div. 3N) in summer and on the slopes of the bank in winter.
Source of information
SCR Docs. 15/7, 34; SCS Docs. 15-4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 Click to open
Report of the Meeting, 29 May-11 June, 2015 - SCS Doc. 15/12 Click to open
powered by FIGIS  © FAO, 2019
Powered by FIGIS