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2J3KL Stewardship cod fishery - Conservation harvesting plan (CHP) 2018

1. Eligibility

2. Fishing areas

This 2018 conservation harvesting plan governs the directed stewardship cod fishery in NAFO Divisions 2J3KL.

3. Fishing restrictions

NAFO Division 4R licence holders that opt to participate in this fishery are authorized to fish only in the portion of NAFO Division 3K defined as North of 51 degrees 18 minutes North (Cape Bauld to Lobster Point) and fishing is not permitted in the waters outside Canada’s Territorial sea (the 12 mile limit).

The weekly catch limitations identified in section 4 below assume that a licence holder will fish in the same NAFO area as their homeport. 2J based licence holders will receive licence conditions with catch limitations for fishing within 2J. If a 2J based licence holder wants to fish in 3KL, they must contact the Department to receive licence conditions with catch limitations for 3KL. If a 3KL based licence holder wants to fish in 2J, they must contact the Department to receive licence conditions with catch limitations for 2J.

Once a licence holder has commenced fishing, they will not be permitted to change their area of fishing for the remainder of that calendar year. A licence holder will be permitted one (1) request to change their fishing area (i.e. 2J to 3KL or 3KL to 2J) once per calendar year.

4. Catch limitations

Weekly Limit (round weight lbs/week) by NAFO Division
  2J 3KL
August 5-11 3500 -
August 12-18 3500 2000
August 19-25 3500 2000
August 26 – September 1 3500 2000
September 2 - 8 3500 3000
September 9 - 15 3500 3000
September 16 - 22 3500 -
September 23 – 29 3500 3000
September 30 – October 6 3500 3500
October 7 - 13 3500 3500
October 14 - 20 3500 3500
October 21 - 27 - 3500
October 28 – November 3 - 3500

If fishers have acquired additional cod shares through enterprise combining, their weekly authorized catch limit will be calculated within the licensing program and identified on their licence conditions.

The conversion factor from round weight to gutted head on is 1.2. For example, the conversion of a weekly harvest limit of 3,000 lbs. round weight equates to 2,500lbs head on gutted.

Fall fishery option

To promote the distribution of catch throughout the season in 2018, harvesters will have the option of fishing the entire season at the weekly catch limits identified above, or they may opt to fish only during the fall from September 30th – November 3rd. Harvesters that choose the fall fishery option will have their weekly limit (including any additional shares) doubled from September 30th – November 3rd. Harvesters that choose this option will NOT be able to fish between August 5th and September 29th.

Fish harvesters will be notified of the process to opt into the fall fishery option via a notice to fishers. Harvesters will be required to notify the Department in writing via e-mail by the deadline indicated in the notice to fishers. Any harvester that does not select the fall fishery option by the deadline will receive conditions authorizing them to fish the entire season at the weekly catch identified in the table above.

To ensure that there is harvest available for those that select the fall fishery option, approximately 75% of the maximum allowable harvest will be permitted up to September 29, 2018 and approximately 25% will be available for the period after September 30th, 2018. To ensure that the total harvest remains within the maximum authorized harvest, the Department may make adjustments during the season. Any adjustments will be communicated in advance to harvesters via a notice to fishers.

5. Season

In 2J, fishing will commence Sunday, August 5, 2018 and close on October 20th.

In 3KL fishing will commence Sunday, August 12, 2018 and close on close on September 15th. 3KL will open for fishing again on September 23rd and close on November 3rd (refer to table in Section 4 - catch limitations).

6. Fishing gear

The use of gillnets, longline, handline and cod pots will be authorized as per the 2018 2J3KL stewardship cod conditions of licence. Harvesters are to exercise caution when setting gear to ensure that weekly limits are not exceeded.

Changes introduced for 2018 with respect to gear are highlighted below and will also be identified in the 2018 2J3KL stewardship cod conditions of licence.



7. Licensing policy


Vessel leasing

Substitute operators

8. Small fish protocol

The minimum size for cod is 45 cm (18 in). Areas will be closely monitored and will be closed to fishing when the number of cod <45cm long caught exceeds 15% of the total number of cod caught.

9. Reporting and monitoring

As per the 2018 groundfish general licence conditions.

10. By-catch restrictions

As per the 2018 groundfish general licence conditions

11. Marine conservation targets: Closed areas

The Government of Canada has achieved its target of protecting 5% of Canada’s marine and coastal areas by the end of 2017 and remains committed to protecting 10% by 2020. As per the 2018 Groundfish General licence conditions, details on closed areas are outlined in Schedule 36, Closed Areas.

12. Species at Risk Act (SARA)

In accordance with the recovery strategies for the northern wolffish (anarchichas denticulatus), spotted wolffish (anarchichas minor), and leatherback turtle (dermochelys coriacea), the licence holder is permitted to carry out commercial fishing activities authorized under the Fisheries Act that may incidentally kill, harm, harass, capture or take the northern wolffish and/or spotted wolffish as per subsection 83(4) of the Species at Risk Act, and the license holder is permitted to carry out commercial fishing activities authorized under the Fisheries Act that are known to incidentally capture leatherback sea turtles.

Licence holders are required to return northern wolffish, spotted wolffish or leatherback sea turtle to the place from which it was taken, and where it is alive, in a manner that causes the least harm.

Licence holders are required to report in their logbook any interaction with northern wolffish, spotted wolffish or leatherback sea turtles

For additional information, please refer to the 2018 groundfish general licence conditions.

13. Marine mammals

In 2017 there was a shift in the distribution of the North Atlantic right whale population, with an increased presence in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. North Atlantic right whale is an endangered species with less than 500 remaining in the population.

In January 2018, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, announced a number of new management measures for southern Gulf of St. Lawrence Snow crab fishery to protect North Atlantic right whales from gear entanglements. In an effort to minimize the risks of interactions with the species, a number of these measures will also be implemented in all fisheries in Newfoundland and Labrador for 2018, and others to begin in 2019. For details on these measures, plesase refer to Schedule 38 - Marine Mammal Interactions and Management Measures.

14. Aboriginal

Allocations will be negotiated with applicable Aboriginal communities for food, social and ceremonial (FSC) purposes. Communal licences for FSC and commercial access will be issued under the Aboriginal Communal Fishing Licence Regulations.

15. Safety at sea

Vessel owners and masters have a duty to ensure the safety of their crew and vessel. Adherence to safety regulations and good practices by owners, masters and crew of fishing vessels will help save lives, protect the vessel from damage and protect the environment. All fishing vessels must be in a seaworthy condition and maintained as required by Transport Canada and other applicable agencies. Vessels subject to inspection should have a certificate of inspection valid for the area of intended operation.

In the federal government, responsibility for regulating shipping, navigation, and vessel safety lies with Transport Canada, while emergency response is the responsibility of the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG). DFO has responsibility for the management of fisheries resources, and in Newfoundland and Labrador, the provincial Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission (WHSCC) has jurisdiction over health and safety issues in the workplace.

Before leaving on a voyage the owner, master or operator must ensure that the fishing vessel is capable of safely making the passage. Critical factors for a safe voyage include:

Useful publications include Transport Canada’s Small Fishing Vessel Safety Manual which can be obtained from TC or printed from their website.

Fishing vessel safety includes three priority areas:

Fishing vessel stability

Vessel stability is paramount for safety. Care must be given to the stowage and securing of all cargo, skiffs, equipment, fuel containers and supplies, and also to correct ballasting. Fish harvesters must be familiar with their vessel’s centre of gravity, the effect of free surface liquids on stability, loose water or fish on deck, loading and unloading operations and the vessel’s freeboard. Fish harvesters should know the limitations of their vessels. If unsure, the vessel operator should contact a qualified naval architect, marine surveyor or the local Transport Canada Marine Safety office.

Fishing vessel owners are required to develop detailed instructions addressing the limits of stability for each of their vessels. The instructions must be based on a formal assessment of the vessel by a qualified naval architect and include detailed safe operation documentation. Instructions should be kept on board the vessel at all times.

Fishing vessel owners should also keep on-board detailed documentation on engine room procedures, maintenance schedules to ensure watertight integrity, and instructions for regular practice of emergency drills.

Emergency drill requirements

The vessel master must establish procedures and assign responsibilities to each crew member for emergencies such as crew member overboard, fire, flooding, abandoning ship and calling for help.

Since July 30, 2003 all crew members with more than six months at sea are required to have taken minimum Marine Emergency Duties (MED) training or be registered for such training.

MED provides a basic understanding of:

Cold water immersion

Drowning is the number one cause of death in the fishing industry. Cold water is defined as water below 25 degrees Celsius, but the greatest effects occur below 15 degrees Celsius. Newfoundland and Labrador waters are usually below 15 degrees.

The effects of cold water on the body occur in four stages:

Vessel masters should know what to do to prevent themselves or their crew from falling into the water and what to do if that occurs.

Other issues


Vessel owners and masters are reminded of the importance of paying close attention to current weather trends and forecasts during the voyage. Marine weather information and forecasts can be obtained from Environment Canada’s website.

Emergency radio procedures

Vessel owners and masters should ensure that all crew are able to activate the Search and Rescue (SAR) system by contacting the Canadian Coast Guard early rather than later. It is strongly recommended that all fish harvesters carry a registered 406 MHz Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon. These beacons should be registered with Coast Guard’s National Search and Rescue secretariat. When activated, an EPIRB transmits a distress call that is picked up or relayed by satellites and transmitted via land earth stations to the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre, which will task and co-ordinate rescue resources.

All crew members should know how to make a distress call and should obtain their restricted operator certificate from Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (formerly Industry Canada). Whenever possible, masters should contact the nearest Canadian Coast Guard Marine Communications and Traffic Services (MCTS) station prior to a distress situation developing. Correct radio procedures are important for communications in an emergency. Incorrect or misunderstood communications may hinder a rescue response.

Since August 1, 2003 all commercial vessels greater than 20 metres in length are required to carry a Class D VHF Digital Selective Calling (DSC) radio. A registered DSC VHF radio has the capability to alert other DSC equipped vessels in the immediate area and advise Coast Guard MCTS that the vessel is in distress. Masters should be aware that they should register their DSC radios with ISED Canada to obtain a Marine Mobile Services Identity (MMSI) number; otherwise the automatic distress calling feature of the radio may not work.

A DSC radio that is connected to a GPS unit will also automatically include the vessel’s current position in the distress message. More detailed information on MCTS and DSC can be obtained by contacting a local MCTS center or from the Canadian Coast Guard.

Collison regulations

Fish harvesters should have a thorough knowledge of the Collision Regulations and the responsibilities between vessels where risk of collision exists. Navigation lights must be kept in good working order and must be displayed from sunset to sunrise and during all times of restricted visibility. To help reduce the potential for collision or close quarters situations that may also result in the loss of fishing gear, fish harvesters are encouraged to monitor the appropriate local Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) VHF channel, when travelling or fishing near shipping lanes or other areas frequented by large commercial vessels.

Vessels required to participate in VTS include:

Exceptions include:

Additional information can be found on the collision regulations page.

Sail plan

An important trip consideration is the use of a sail plan which includes the particulars of the vessel, crew and voyage. The sail plan should be left with a responsible person on shore or filed with the local MCTS centre. After leaving port the fish harvester should contact the holder of the sail plan daily or as per another schedule. The sail plan should ensure notification to JRCC when communication is not maintained which might indicate your vessel is in distress. Be sure to cancel the sail plan upon completion of the voyage.

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