Terms of Reference
Assessment of the Northern Gulf of St. Lawrence (3Pn, 4RS) Cod
Quebec Region Science Advisory Process
February 23 to 24, 2010
Maurice Lamontagne Institute
850, route de la mer, Mont-Joli, Qc
Chairperson: Jean-Claude Brêthes
DFO Quebec Science Branch reviews the status of some Gulf of St. Lawrence invertebrates and groundfish stocks in support of management of the fishery. Fisheries and Aquaculture management has requested a scientific advice on Northern Gulf (3Pn, 4RS) cod stocks status in 2010.
Provide scientific advice to determine the TAC for cod stocks in the Northern Gulf of St. Lawrence (3Pn, 4RS) for 2010. The advice shall include:
- Conclusions of an assessment of the cod stock status based on:
- commercial landing statistics of the 2009 season derived from the directed fisheries, sentinel fisheries and cod by-catches in other fisheries (ZIFF);
- a review of other potential sources of information concerning fishing activities and complementary to official statistics such as consultations with the industry (Lower North-Shore and Newfoundland / Labrador), a post-season summary compiled by fisheries management, analyses of logbooks (< 45') and a questionnaire conducted with fishermen;
- an update of abundance index derived from sentinel fisheries with mobile gears (July) and fixed gears (gillnets and longline – comparison with other sentinel fisheries);
- an analysis of additional stations in the 10-20 fathoms zone since July 2003 mobile-gear sentinel survey;
- an investigation on various formulations of the sequential population analysis (SPA) to derive trends in terms of spawning stock, recruitment and fishing mortality. This analysis will include an estimation of the uncertainties associated with the assessment, specifically associated to spawning stock biomass and fishing mortality.
- Specific elements concerning the development of a scientific advice, such as:
- an update on biological indicators related to the condition, growth and maturity;
- an update of trends of a number of indicators relevant to abundance, productivity, fishing mortality and environment;
- an examination of the impact of the 2009 oceanographic conditions on cod;
- an examination of annual trends of the summer spatial distribution of cod along the coast based on sentinel fixed gear catch rates (longline and gillnet).
- The identification and priorization of research projects to be considered for the future.
- Projections for 2010 based on the assessment of trends in the abundance index and other stock indicators as well as on risk analyses to provide an advice for the establishment of TAC for cod stocks in the Northern Gulf of St. Lawrence (3Pn, 4RS) for 2010. Specifically, these analyses will include:
- an assessment of the trends in the stock and in the risks compared to baseline conservation thresholds (critical biomass). This assessment will address the results of projections on the basis of these critical biomasses and of the average mature biomass, including the probabilities of reaching these levels on a medium term period by considering factors such as recruitment and stock productivity;
- if possible, apply the decision rules to the most recent data if these rules are accepted and ended.
CSAS Science Advisory Report on Northern Gulf cod.
CSAS Proceedings summarizing the discussion.
DFO Science and Fisheries Management
Aboriginal Communities / Organizations