Fisheries and Resources Monitoring System

Redfish - Southwestern Grand Bank
Fact Sheet Title  Fact Sheet
Stocks management recommendations 2019
Redfish - Southwestern Grand Bank
Fact Sheet Citation  
Redfish in Div. 3O
Owned byNorthwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) – ownership
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Species List:
Species Ref: en - Atlantic redfishes nei, fr - Sébastes de l'Atlantique nca, es - Gallinetas del Atlántico nep, ru - Окуни морские
ident Block Redfish - Southwestern Grand Bank
Aq Res
Biological Stock: No         Value: Regional
Management unit: Yes        Reference year: 2018
Aq Res State Trend
Aq Res State Trend
Aq Res State Trend Aq Res State Trend
Aq Res State TrendNone-Low Fishing MortalityNo or low fishing mortalityGray
Aq Res State TrendUnknown Stock SizeUncertain/Not assessed

Survey index values for the past three years were generally at or below their time-series average compared to relatively high values observed in 2010 to 2012. Current fishing mortality is low, and recent recruitment is unknown.
Habitat Bio
Climatic Zone: Temperate.   Bottom Type: Unspecified.   Depth Zone: Slope - Deepslope (500 m - 1000 m).   Horizontal Dist: Neritic.   Vertical Dist: Demersal/Benthic.  

Geo Dist
Geo Dist: Straddling between High Seas and EEZ

Water Area Overview
Spatial Scale: Regional

Water Area Overview
Aq Res Struct
Biological Stock: No

Redfish are caught primarily in bottom trawl fisheries, but in the past, some landings were reported from mid-water trawl fisheries. In directed redfish fisheries, Atlantic cod, American plaice, witch flounder and other species are landed as bycatch. In turn, redfish are also caught as bycatch in fisheries directing for other species. The fishery in NAFO division 3O is regulated by minimal mesh size and quota.

Recent catch estimates and TACs (‘000 tonnes) are:
  2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
TAC 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20
STATLANT 21 6.5 6.0 7.0 7.8 7.5 7.9 8.6 7.3 4.3  
STACFIS 5.2 6.0 7.0 7.8 7.5 8.4 9.0 7.5 6.1  

Effects of the fishery on the ecosystem

The impact of bottom fishing activities on major VMEs in the NRA has been assessed. The risk of Significant Adverse Impacts (SAIs) on coral and large gorgonian VMEs was estimated to be low, while this risk for seapen VMEs has been estimated as high. Impacts on other VMEs (erect bryozoans, large size sea squirts, crinoids, cerianthid anenomes, and small gorgonian corals) were not assessed. This assessment of bottom fishing impacts on VMEs does not include waters within coastal states jurisdictions.

A large area of Div. 3O has been closed to protect corals.
Bio Assess
Ref Point

Not defined.

Quantitative assessment of risk at various catch options is not possible for this stock at this time.
Assess Models
Analytical assessment

This assessment is based upon a qualitative evaluation of trends in stock biomass and a fishing mortality proxy. The assessment is considered data-limited and as such, associated with relatively high uncertainty. Input data are research survey indices and fishery data. The next full assessment of this stock will be in 2022.

Human impact

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

Biological and environmental interactions

Redfish are slow growing and bear live young. Recently, genetic analyses linked strong year-classes of juvenile S. fasciatus sampled from the Gulf of St. Lawrence with adults collected in NAFO Divs. 3LNO and southern 3Ps. Local plus distant dispersal of young fish makes the influences of physical and environmental processes on stock dynamics difficult to interpret. The Grand Bank (3LNO) EPU is currently experiencing low productivity conditions and biomass has declined across multiple trophic levels and stocks since 2014.

Fishing Mortality

Sci Advice

Special comments

Length data from commercial fisheries suggest that the Div. 3O redfish fishery takes predominantly immature fish.
Management unit: Yes


Recommendation for 2020-2022

There is insufficient information on which to base predictions of annual yield potential for this resource. Stock dynamics and recruitment patterns are also poorly understood. Catches have averaged about 12 000 t since the 1960s and over the long term, catches at this level appear to have been sustainable. Scientific Council is unable to advise on an appropriate TAC for 2020, 2021 and 2022.

No explicit management plan or management objectives have been defined by the Commission. Convention General Principles are applied.

Stock definition for management purposes

The management unit is confined to NAFO Div. 3O.
Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) Scientific Council Documents SCR Doc. 19/15, 18 and SCS Doc. 19/06, 09, 10, 11. Click to open
Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO). 2019. Report of the Scientific Council Meeting, 31 May - 13 June 2019. Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. NAFO SCS Doc. 19/20 Click to open
Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO). 2008. Resolution on the Interpretation and Implementation of the Convention on the Future Multilateral Cooperation in the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries. 30th Annual Meeting, September 2008. NAFO GC Doc. 08/3. Click to open
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