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Research Document - 2000/138

Status of Atlantic Wolffish (Anarhichas lupus) in the Maritimes (NAFO Sub-area 4 and Division 5Yze).

By J. Mcruer, T. Hurlbut, and B. Morin


Recent concerns about declines in research vessel catches of wolffishes in Newfoundland waters prompted an examination of the available data collected in NAFO (Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization) Sub-areas 4 and 5. Research vessel surveys show that Atlantic wolffish in Sub-area 4 have increased in abundance through the 1990's. This is due to large numbers of small fish throughout the area. Adult abundance and biomass however, are presently low in Divisions 4VWX and 4T. Wolffish grow slowly and do not mature until the age of 10 or 11 years, so the recent good recruitment has not yet matured and entered the adult statistics. Fishing mortality has been low in recent years and should be kept low until the mature biomass has improved.

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