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Assessment of the northern Gulf of St. Lawrence (3Pn, 4RS) Atlantic Cod stock

Regional Peer Review - Quebec Region

February 23-24, 2023
Mont-Joli, Quebec

Chairperson: Caroline Senay


The last full assessment for the northern Gulf of St. Lawrence Atlantic cod stock (3Pn, 4RS) was in February 2019 (Brassard et al. 2020; DFO 2019a,b). It determined the stock to be deep in the critical zone at 10% of the Limit Reference Point (LRP). Since then, annual updates of stock status indicators have been conducted and indicated no major changes in the stock status (DFO 2020, 2021, 2022a).

In parallel, a review of the assessment framework for this stock was completed in order to obtain a new assessment model. Held in two sessions, the first one focused on the available data and their statistical treatment (Benoît et al. 2021, 2022; DFO 2022b; Ouellette-Plante et al. 2022a,b) and the second one focused on the development of a new assessment model.

In July 2022, Fisheries and Oceans Canada announced the closure of the northern Gulf of St. Lawrence Atlantic cod directed commercial fishery for one year and announced that the decision would be reassessed prior to the 2023-24 season. The February 2023 assessment was requested by the Fisheries Management Branch (FM) to provide detailed advice on the status of the northern Gulf of St. Lawrence Atlantic cod stock in order to guide management decisions for this stock for the next management cycle. Finally, since a new assessment model has just been accepted, a review of the reference points of the precautionary approach is required, especially since they will be critical inputs to the development of the next rebuilding plan for this stock.


Provide scientific advice on cod stock status in the northern Gulf of St. Lawrence (3Pn, 4RS). This advice shall include:

Expected Publications

Expected Participation



Participation to CSAS peer review meetings is by invitation only.

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