Newfoundland and Labrador Recreational Groundfish Fishery

Species and Area

The recreational groundfish fishery will occur in all NAFO areas around Newfoundland and Labrador, which includes 2GH, 2J3KL, 3Ps, 3Pn and 4R. Two exceptions are the Eastport and Gilbert Bay Marine Protected Areas (MPA) where recreational groundfish fishing will not be permitted.

Dates of season (subject to change)

Summer Seasons:
July 20, 2013 to August 11, 2013
July 19, 2014 to August 10, 2014
July 18, 2015 to August 9, 2015

Fall Seasons:
September 21, 2013 to September 29, 2013
September 20, 2014 to September 28, 2014
September 19, 2015 to September 27, 2015

Retention Limits

Recreational fishers are limited to five groundfish per day (including cod). However, the maximum boat limit when three or more people are fishing is 15 groundfish. This includes tour boats.

Management Measures

Management measures for this fishery will be in place for the next three years (2013-2015).

The recreational fishery is open to both residents and non-residents.

There is no requirement for licences or tags.

Retention of Atlantic halibut, Spotted and Northern wolffish, and any species of shark is prohibited. Sculpins and cunners may be released. All other groundfish caught must be retained. High-grading of groundfish is not permitted.

All fish caught must be retained in an identifiable state. Fish may be bled, gutted, and split while at sea, but further processing such as filleting and skinning at sea is not permitted.

Only angling gear and handlines with a maximum of three hooks are permitted. Handlines include artificial lures, baited hooks and feathered hooks. Artificial lures with treble hooks weighing less than five ounces or 142 grams are acceptable. Traditional jiggers are not permitted unless they are modified and have only one single hook.

There are provisions in this year's recreational fishery that allow a disabled person to designate a person to catch their daily limit of groundfish. Information is available at DFO licencing centres.

Access the designation for disabled persons form here (PDF 175,4 Kb) | HTML. Print and complete form and return to your nearest DFO office for authorization.

Fishery officers will monitor this fishery closely, both at sea and at dockside, to ensure regulations are followed. Complaints will be investigated and charges laid where appropriate. The sale of groundfish caught in the recreational fishery is strictly prohibited.

Commercial fishing vessels are not permitted to participate in recreational fishing activity on any trip where there is any commercial fishing activity.

For safety reasons, fishing is only permitted from one hour before sunrise until one hour after sunset. The public is reminded to follow safe boating practices and be aware of local weather and sea conditions before leaving port during the fishing season.