2020 Conservation harvesting plan(CHP) - 2J3KL Stewardship cod fishery

1. Eligibility

  1. Participation in the 2020 NAFO Divisions 2J3KL Stewardship cod fishery will be restricted to groundfish license holders with a homeport in NAFO Divisions 2J3KL and the 4R overlap area defined as North Boat Harbour to Cape Bauld.
  2. Groundfish license holders in NAFO Divisions 3KL will have the option to either participate in this fishery, or to exercise their fishing privileges in NAFO sub-Division 3Ps, but not both.
  3. When both 4R and 2J3KL fisheries are open, Groundfish license holders in NAFO Division 4R overlap area (North Boat Harbour to Cape Bauld), will have the option in a single week to either participate in the 2J3KL Stewardship fishery, or to exercise their fishing privileges in NAFO Division 4R, but not both.

2. Fishing areas

  1. This 2020 Conservation Harvesting plan governs the directed Stewardship cod fishery in NAFO Divisions 2J3KL.

3. Fishing restrictions

  1. NAFO Division 4R license holders that opt to participate in this fishery are authorized to fish only in the portion of NAFO Division 3K defined as North of 51 degrees 18 minutes North (Cape Bauld to Lobster Point) and fishing is not permitted in the waters outside Canada’s Territorial sea (the 12 mile limit).
  2. The weekly catch limitations identified in section 4 below assume that a license holder will fish in the same NAFO area as their homeport.  2J based license holders will receive license conditions with catch limitations for fishing within 2J. If a 2J based license holder wants to fish in 3KL, they must contact the Department to receive license conditions with catch limitations for 3KL. If a 3KL based license holder wants to fish in 2J, they must contact the Department to receive license conditions with catch limitations for 2J.
  3. Once a license holder has commenced fishing, they will not be permitted to change their area of fishing for the remainder of that calendar year.  A license holder will be permitted one (1) request to change their fishing area (i.e. 2J to 3KL or 3KL to 2J) once per calendar year.

4. Catch limitations

  1. The maximum authorized harvest for the 2020 2J3KL Stewardship cod fishery (including the cod quality project) is 12,350t (round weight).
  2. For the purposes of the 2020 NAFO Divisions 2J3KL Stewardship cod fishery, a fishing week shall be defined as  “fishing week will start at 00:01 local time on  Sunday and end on 24:00 local time on the following Saturday”.
  3. For the purposes of the 2020 NAFO Divisions 2J3KL Stewardship cod fishery, a bi-weekly fishing period shall be defined as  “bi-weekly fishing period will start at 00:01 local time on a Sunday and run consecutively for 14 days to which it will then end at 24:00 local time on the second Saturday”.
  4. In NAFO division 2J, the following 2020 bi-weekly authorized catch limits for cod apply:
    • August 2 – August 15, 2020: 25,000lbs / bi-weekly
    • August 16 – August 29, 2020: 25,000lbs/bi-weekly
    • August 30 – September 12, 2020: 25,000lbs/bi-weekly
    • September 13 –September 26, 2020: 25,000lbs/bi-weekly
  5. In NAFO divisions 3KL, the following 2020 base weekly authorized catch limits for cod apply:
    • August 9– August 29: 2,300 lbs / week
    • August 30 – September 19: 3,300 lbs / week
    • September 20 – November 14: 3,850 lbs / week
  6. Fall-only Fishery Options (applicable to NAFO Divisions 3KL only):
    • To promote the distribution of catch throughout the season in 2020, harvesters will have the option of fishing the entire season at the weekly catch limits identified above, or they may opt to fish only during the fall from September 20 to November 14, 2020. 
    • Fish harvesters that choose the Fall-only fishery option will not be able to fish prior to September 20 and may choose one of the these two options:
      • Option 1: Fish only during the fall from September 20 to November 14, 2020 with a base weekly limit of 7,700 lbs/week.
      • Option 2: Fish only during the Fall from September 20 to November 14, 2020 with a base bi-weekly limit of 15,400 lbs/bi-weekly which must be harvested outside Canada's Territorial Sea (the 12 mile limit) as per Section 4(a) of the Oceans Act. For harvesters selecting option 2, a DFO approved Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) is required and must be operational at all times.
    • A Notice to Fishers will be issued with the deadline for harvesters to indicate to the Department that the Fall-only option was selected. Any harvester who does not select the Fall-only fishery option by the deadline will receive conditions authorizing them to fish the entire season (August 9-November 14) at the weekly catch limit identified above.
  7. If harvesters have acquired additional cod shares through enterprise combining, their weekly authorized catch limit will be calculated within the licensing program and identified in license conditions.
  8. The conversion factor from round weight to gutted head on is 1.2. For example, the conversion of a weekly harvest limit of 3,000 lbs. round weight equates to 2,500lbs head on gutted.
  9. To ensure that there is harvest available for those that select the Fall-only fishery option, approximately 75% of the maximum allowable harvest will be permitted up to and including September 19th, 2020 and approximately 25% will be available for the period after September 20, 2020.
  10. Should in-season adjustments to catch limits or seasons be required, updates will be communicated to harvesters via a Notice to Fishers. Should an in season closure occur prior to September 26, weeks lost from the 2J season will be extended.  

5. Season

  1. In NAFO division 2J, the fishery will open on Sunday, August 2 and is scheduled to close on Saturday September 26, 2020 (refer to 4c).
  2. In NAFO divisions 3KL, the fishery will open on Sunday August 9 and is scheduled to close on Saturday November 14, 2020 (refer to 4d).

6. Fishing gear

  1. The use of gillnets, longline, hand-line and cod pots will be authorized as per the 2020 2J3KL Stewardship cod license conditions. Harvesters are to exercise caution when setting gear to ensure that weekly limits are not exceeded.
  2. Gear limits are highlighted below and are also identified in the 2020 2J3KL Stewardship license conditions.
  3. Harvesters shall not leave fishing gear unattended in the water for more than 72 consecutive hours.
  4. If harvesters have concerns with respect to safety, they are advised to contact their local DFO Conservation and Protection detachment. For further information on safety at sea, please see section 17.
  5. Gillnets

NAFO Division 2J

NAFO Division 3KL

  1. Longline
    • Harvesters are only authorized to have a maximum of 10,000 hooks onboard the vessel or in the water at any one time.

7. Licensing policy

  1. Buddy-up

    There will be no buddy-up arrangements in this fishery. Having no buddy-up is consistent with the Department’s initial plan to open a stewardship fishery and allow individual license holders to test their beliefs of the cod stock. Also, under a management regime with no buddy-up, the Department can allocate a higher individual harvest level whereas, under a buddy-up model, it would have to be lower due to a higher activity rate. Finally, the current management regime is consistent with the owner/operator policy.

    NAFO Division 4R overlap license holders that participate in this fishery are NOT able to avail of buddy-up while fishing 2J3KL Stewardship cod.

  1. Vessel leasing
    The existing vessel leasing policy will be applied. Under this policy, your current vessel must have been previously active to qualify for a lease arrangement. Leasing is only permitted in cases of mechanical breakdown/structural damage, or complete vessel loss. Proper documentation is required.
  1. Substitute operators
    There will be no substitute operators (designations) granted for this fishery. However, the Department will consider medical situations on a case-by-case basis.

8. Small fish protocol

  1. The minimum size for Cod is 45 cm (18 in). Areas will be closely monitored and will be closed to fishing when the number of Cod <45cm long caught exceeds 15% of the total number of Cod caught.

9. Reporting and monitoring

  1. As per the 2020 Groundfish General licence conditions.

10. By-catch restrictions

  1. As per the 2020 Groundfish General licence conditions.

11. Closed areas

  1. As per the 2020 Groundfish General licence conditions, refer to Schedule 36, Closed Areas.

12. Species at Risk Act (SARA)

  1. In accordance with subsection 83(4) of the Species at Risk Act (SARA) and the recovery strategy for the northern wolffish (anarchichas denticulatus), spotted wolffish (anarchichas minor), and the leatherback turtle (dermochelys coriacea), and having met the conditions of sections 73(2) to (6.1) of the Species at Risk Act for white shark, the license holder or vessel operator is permitted to carry out commercial fishing activities authorized under the Fisheries Act that may incidentally kill, harm, harass, capture or capture the northern wolffish, the spotted wolffish, the leatherback sea turtle or the white shark.
  2. The license holder or vessel operator must ensure that, while the fishing activities are conducted, every person on board the vessel who incidentally catches a northern wolffish, a spotted wolffish, a leatherback sea turtle, or a white shark, forthwith returns it to the place from which it was taken, and where it is alive, in a manner that causes the least harm.
  3. The license holder or vessel operator must complete the SARA section in the fishing/SARA logbook to provide information regarding interactions with species at risk while conducting fishing operations; the license holder must report, in the fishing/SARA logbook for the fleet sector, any interaction with: Northern Wolffish, Spotted Wolffish, Leatherback Turtle, or White shark.  The position (latitude and longitude) at time of catch, as well as the quantity, weight and conditions (alive or dead) for each species mentioned above must be recorded on the logbook.
  4. For additional information, please refer to the 2020 Groundfish General license conditions.

13. Marine mammals

  1. As per the 2020 Groundfish General licence conditions, refer to Schedule 38 - Marine Mammal Interactions and Management Measures.

14. Marine conservation targets: Closed areas

  1. As per the 2020 Schedule 36 – Closed Areas

15. Indigenous

  1. Allocations will be negotiated with applicable Indigenous communities for food, social and ceremonial (FSC) purposes. Communal licences for FSC and commercial access will be issued under the Aboriginal Communal Fishing Licence Regulations.

16. Cod quality project

  1. The Cod Quality Project, led by the Fish Food and Allied Workers Union (FFAW), allows inshore harvesters to test various harvest methods to improve the quality of products provided to market.
  2. Cod Quality Project landings will be included as part of the overall landings under the 2020 maximum harvest level of 12,350t.
  3. Season dates and gear limits are in accordance with management measures adopted for the stewardship fishery and are further specified in condition of license issued to project participants.
  4. The Department agrees in principle with a “Cod Quality Fall Fishery” project that will have a maximum of 3 vessels using hooks and 3 using gillnets in each Division of 2J3KL outside Canada's Territorial Sea (the 12 mile limit). Each participant  will do two trips in October and 1 trip in November and be authorized to catch an additional 6,000lbs per trip
  5. The Department agrees in principle with a “Boxing at Sea” pilot project will authorize up to 4 vessels in each of 2J, 3K and 3L. This pilot project will proceed provided Departmental regulatory requirements can be met. Weekly trip limits outlined with this Conservation Harvesting Plan will apply.
  6. Additional information on the Cod Quality Project is available by contacting the FFAW Project Manager, Justin Strong at 709-576-7276.

17. Safety at sea

  1. Vessel owners and masters have a duty to ensure the safety of their crew and vessel.  Adherence to safety regulations and good practices by owners, masters and crew of fishing vessels will help save lives, protect the vessel from damage and protect the environment.  All fishing vessels must be in a seaworthy condition and maintained as required by Transport Canada and other applicable agencies.  Vessels subject to inspection should have a certificate of inspection valid for the area of intended operation. 
  2. In the federal government, responsibility for regulating shipping, navigation, and vessel safety lies with Transport Canada, while emergency response is the responsibility of the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG). DFO has responsibility for the management of fisheries resources, and in Newfoundland and Labrador, the provincial Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission (WHSCC) has jurisdiction over health and safety issues in the workplace. 
  3. Before leaving on a voyage the owner, master or operator must ensure that the fishing vessel is capable of safely making the passage.  Critical factors for a safe voyage include:
    • seaworthiness of the vessel
    • vessel stability
    • having the required safety equipment in good working order
    • crew training
    • knowledge of current and forecasted weather conditions
  4. Useful publications include Transport Canada’s Small Fishing Vessel Safety Manual which can be obtained from TC or printed from their website.
    Fishing vessel safety includes three priority areas:
    • vessel stability
    • emergency drills
    • cold water immersion

Fishing vessel stability

  1. Vessel stability is paramount for safety.  Care must be given to the stowage and securing of all cargo, skiffs, equipment, fuel containers and supplies, and also to correct ballasting. Fish harvesters must be familiar with their vessel’s centre of gravity, the effect of free surface liquids on stability, loose water or fish on deck, loading and unloading operations and the vessel’s freeboard.  Fish harvesters should know the limitations of their vessels. If unsure, the vessel operator should contact a qualified naval architect, marine surveyor or the local Transport Canada Marine Safety office.
  2. Fishing vessel owners are required to develop detailed instructions addressing the limits of stability for each of their vessels.  The instructions must be based on a formal assessment of the vessel by a qualified naval architect and include detailed safe operation documentation. Instructions should be kept on board the vessel at all times.
  3. Fishing vessel owners should also keep on-board detailed documentation on engine room procedures, maintenance schedules to ensure watertight integrity, and instructions for regular practice of emergency drills.

Emergency drill requirements

  1. The vessel master must establish procedures and assign responsibilities to each crew member for emergencies such as crew member overboard, fire, flooding, abandoning ship and calling for help.
  2. Since July 30, 2003 all crew members with more than six months at sea are required to have taken minimum Marine Emergency Duties (MED) training or be registered for such training. 
  3. MED provides a basic understanding of:
    • hazards associated with the marine environment
    • prevention of shipboard incidents (including fires)
    • raising and reacting to alarms
    • fire and abandonment situations
    • skills necessary for survival and rescue

Cold water immersion

  1. Drowning is the number one cause of death in the fishing industry. Cold water is defined as water below 25 degrees Celsius, but the greatest effects occur below 15 degrees Celsius.  Newfoundland and Labrador waters are usually below 15 degrees. 
  2. The effects of cold water on the body occur in four stages:
    • cold shock
    • swimming failure
    • hypothermia
    • post-rescue collapse
  3. Vessel masters should know what to do to prevent themselves or their crew from falling into the water and what to do if that occurs.  

Weather

  1. Vessel owners and masters are reminded of the importance of paying close attention to current weather trends and forecasts during the voyage.  Marine weather information and forecasts can be obtained from Environment Canada’s website.

Emergency radio procedures

  1. Vessel owners and masters should ensure that all crew are able to activate the Search and Rescue (SAR) system by contacting the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) early rather than later. It is strongly recommended that all fish harvesters carry a registered 406 MHz Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB). These beacons should be registered with Coast Guard’s National Search and Rescue secretariat. When activated, an EPIRB transmits a distress call that is picked up or relayed by satellites and transmitted via land earth stations to the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre (JRCC), which will task and co-ordinate rescue resources.
  2. All crew members should know how to make a distress call and should obtain their restricted operator certificate from Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (formerly Industry Canada). Whenever possible, masters should contact the nearest Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) Marine Communications and Traffic Services (MCTS) station prior to a distress situation developing.  Correct radio procedures are important for communications in an emergency.  Incorrect or misunderstood communications may hinder a rescue response.
  3. Since August 1, 2003 all commercial vessels greater than 20 metres in length are required to carry a Class D VHF Digital Selective Calling (DSC) radio. A registered DSC VHF radio has the capability to alert other DSC equipped vessels in the immediate area and advise Coast Guard MCTS that the vessel is in distress.  Masters should be aware that they should register their DSC radios with ISED Canada to obtain a Marine Mobile Services Identity (MMSI) number; otherwise the automatic distress calling feature of the radio may not work.
  4. A DSC radio that is connected to a GPS unit will also automatically include the vessel’s current position in the distress message.  More detailed information on MCTS and DSC can be obtained by contacting a local MCTS center or from the Canadian Coast Guard.

Collison regulations

  1. Fish harvesters should have a thorough knowledge of the Collision Regulations and the responsibilities between vessels where risk of collision exists.  Navigation lights must be kept in good working order and must be displayed from sunset to sunrise and during all times of restricted visibility. To help reduce the potential for collision or close quarters situations that may also result in the loss of fishing gear, fish harvesters are encouraged to monitor the appropriate local Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) VHF channel, when travelling or fishing near shipping lanes or other areas frequented by large commercial vessels. 
  2. Vessels required to participate in VTS include:
    • every ship 20 metres or more in length
    • every ship engaged in towing or pushing any vessel or object, other than fishing gear
    • where the combined length of the ship and any vessel or object towed or pushed by the ship is 45 metres or more in length, or
    • where the length of the vessel or object being towed or pushed by the ship is 20 metres or more in length
  3. Exceptions include:
    • a ship towing or pushing inside a log booming ground
    • a pleasure yacht less than 30 metres in length, and
    • a fishing vessel that is less than 24 metres in length and not more than 150 tonnes gross

Sail plan

  1. An important trip consideration is the use of a sail plan which includes the particulars of the vessel, crew and voyage. The sail plan should be left with a responsible person on shore or filed with the local MCTS centre. After leaving port the fish harvester should contact the holder of the sail plan daily or as per another schedule. The sail plan should ensure notification to JRCC when communication is not maintained which might indicate your vessel is in distress.  Be sure to cancel the sail plan upon completion of the voyage.