Fisheries and Land Resources

Fisheries and Aquaculture

Fisheries Research Grant Program

In 2003, the Governments of Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador formed the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Action Team for Cod Recovery. The mandate of the Action Team was to develop a recovery and long-term management strategy for the major cod stocks adjacent to the province, with the primary objective of preventing further declines in the biological status, and contributing to the recovery and sustainable management of the stocks. In 2005, the Action Team published a report entitled “A Strategy for the Recovery and Management of Cod Stocks in Newfoundland and Labrador: A Federal-Provincial Approach”. The report considered factors affecting rebuilding, detailed specific goals and objectives toward rebuilding, and discussed management strategies and research priorities.

In response to the report, in 2006 the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador announced an annual budget of $300,000 for cod recovery initiatives to be administered by the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture (DFA). The Cod Recovery Program was developed to fund research initiatives that enhance our understanding of the province's cod stocks and thus promote sustainable management. In 2008, the annual budget was increased to $450,000. Through this initiative, a number of projects have been approved and several collaborations have been initiated, with almost $2 million in funding provided to date. Funding has primarily been provided for research focusing on the province's cod stocks. However, recognizing the importance of other key fish stocks to the province's fishing industry, the initiative recently expanded to include research on other commercially harvested species and is now referred to as the Fisheries Research Grant Program.

Several initiatives were funded in 2011, including:

  • Continuation of an annual acoustic survey to monitor Northern cod in Smith Sound, Trinity Bay. These surveys, conducted by Dr. George Rose and his research team at the Marine Institute, provide information on the distribution, growth, health, and movement of this inshore cod population.
  • Research projects on Northern cod and Northern Gulf of St. Lawrence cod, carried out by the Fish, Food, and Allied Workers (FFAW) in partnership with Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), which aim to provide information on life history characteristics of these stocks.
  • A Fisheries Improvement Project for 3Ps (Southern NL) cod, administered by the World Wildlife Fund in partnership with Icewater Seafoods and DFA, which aims to ensure the long-term sustainability of 3Ps cod fisheries.
  • A Lobster Monitoring Project, carried out by the FFAW in partnership with DFO, which aims to obtain scientific data to support management and science decision-making processes for the province's lobster fishery.
  • A Post-Season Trap Survey for Snow Crab, carried out by the FFAW in partnership with DFO, to acquire data which can be used to help determine the status of the snow crab resource.

The Fisheries Research Grant Program will continue to fund initiatives that enhance our understanding of fish stocks off Newfoundland and Labrador, thus contributing to the sustainable management of our fisheries resources.

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