Terms of Reference

Northern Cod (Divs. 2J3KL) Stock Update

Regional Science Response Process – Newfoundland and Labrador Region

March 22, 2017
St. John’s, NL

Chairperson: Don Power


In November 2010 a limit reference point, as described in the decision-making framework developed by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) for the application of precautionary approach in fisheries, was determined for northern cod in NAFO Divs. 2J+3KL (DFO 2011).  A Regional Northern Cod Framework Review Process was held November 30 - December 4, 2015 to review multiple models of population dynamics, and to discuss the utility of various data sets available for assessing this stock (DFO 2016a).  The stock is currently on a 3 year management cycle and the status of the stock was last fully assessed in March 2016 (DFO 2016b) based on a new integrated state space model that incorporates much of the information about the productivity of the stock.  This assessment indicated that the stock is improving but remains in the critical zone and is not anticipated to reach the limit reference point before the next scheduled full assessment (March 2019).  A stock assessment update is requested by Fisheries Management to provide the Minister with information on the latest status of the stock.


Update the offshore fall survey abundance, and total biomass indices.

Update the inshore sentinel catch rate index and fishery exploitation rate based on tagging.

Evaluate the current status of the stock relative to indicators (i.e. trigger values) previously established to determine whether a full assessment may be warranted earlier than planned.

Expected Publication



DFO. 2011. Proceedings of the Newfoundland and Labrador Regional Atlantic Cod Framework Meeting: Reference Points and Projection Methods for Newfoundland cod stocks; November 22-26, 2010. DFO Can. Sci. Advis. Sec. Proceed. Ser. 2010/053.

DFO. 2016a. Proceedings of the Northern Cod Framework Review Meeting; November 30 – December 4, 2015. DFO Can. Sci. Advis. Sec. Proceed. Ser. 2016/031.

DFO. 2016b. Stock Assessment of Northern Cod (NAFO Divs. 2J3KL) in 2016. DFO Can. Sci. Advis. Sec. Sci. Advis. Rep. 2016/026.


Participation to CSAS peer review meetings is by invitation only.

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