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Science Response 2012/004

Maritimes Research Vessel Survey Trends


DFO has conducted summer research vessel (RV) surveys in the Maritimes Region, Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) subunits 4VWX and a small portion of 5Y, using a standardized protocol since 1970 and on Georges Bank (5Z) since 1987. Results of these surveys provide information on trends in abundance for most groundfish species in the Maritimes Region. While these data reflect trends in biomass and abundance and are a critical part of science-based stock assessments, a full assessment, including other sources of data, would be required to evaluate the impacts of management measures on population status. Fisheries and Aquaculture Management (FAM) requested a review of the DFO RV survey information on the following list of fish stocks: 4Vn cod, 4VsW cod, 4X5Y cod, 4VW haddock, 4VW white hake, 4X5Y white hake, 4VWX silver hake, 4VWX+5 pollock, Unit II redfish, Unit III redfish, 3NOPs4VWX+5 Atlantic halibut, 4VW flatfish, and 4X5Y flatfish, 4VW, 4X, and 5Z smooth skate, thorny skate, barndoor skate, winter skate, little skate, Atlantic wolffish, monkfish and longhorn sculpin as well as 4VWX spotted wolffish and northern wolffish. Full assessments will not be conducted for these stocks in 2011. The survey information will be used by DFO Resource Management as background for discussions with various industry stakeholders on recommendations for management measures, and to determine which stocks should be reviewed in more detail in 2012.

This Science Response report is from the Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat, Regional Science Special Response Process (SSRP) of November 3, 2011.

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