Language selection


Terms of Reference

Stock status and fishery advice for May 2022 to May 2027 for Witch Flounder (Glyptocephalus cynoglossus) from NAFO Division 4RST, Gulf of St. Lawrence

Regional Advisory Meeting – Gulf Region

March 1-2, 2022
Virtual Meeting

Chairpersons: Elizabeth Thompson and Stephanie Boudreau


The Witch Flounder (Glyptocephalus cynoglossus) fishery in the Gulf of St. Lawrence (NAFO Divs. 4RST) is managed using a five-year management plan that includes an annual total allowable catch (TAC) set at 500 t, for the fishing years May 15, 2017 to May 14, 2022. The last stock assessment was completed in February 2017 for the fishery years May 2017 to May 2022 (DFO 2017; Ricard and Swain 2018). In this last assessment, the estimate of the spawning stock biomass in 2016 was at about the limit reference point (LRP) and the estimated exploitation rate in 2016 of 0.04 was below the maximum removal rate in the healthy zone of 0.07. The biomass was expected to increase with annual catches of 500 t however, even with no catch, there was a 23% probability that the spawning stock biomass would remain below the LRP in five years. The annual indicator of abundance, combined research vessel index from NAFO Divs. 4RST, showed continuous improvement in biomass since the last assessment due to the recruitment of a strong-year class to commercial sizes, however, the indices for this stock showed high inter-annual variability (DFO 2020).

In support of DFO Ecosystems and Fisheries Management multi-year management approach and request for advice for a TAC decision for May 2022 to May 2027, DFO Science Branch Gulf Region will undertake a peer review of the stock status and develop management advice for the fishery on Witch Flounder from NAFO Divs. 4RST.


To develop science advice in support of the multi-year TAC decision (May 2022 to May 2027) for Witch Flounder (NAFO Divs. 4RST) the following items will be considered.

Expected Publications

Expected Participation



Participation to CSAS peer review meetings is by invitation only.

Date modified: