2022 Conservation Harvesting Plan (CHP) 2J3KL Stewardship Cod fishery - AMENDED July 15, 2022
- Participation in the 2022 NAFO Divisions 2J3KL Stewardship cod fishery will be restricted to groundfish licence holders with a homeport in NAFO Divisions 2J3KL and the 4R overlap area defined as North Boat Harbour to Cape Bauld.
- Groundfish licence holders in NAFO Divisions 3KL will have the option to either participate in this fishery, or to exercise their fishing privileges in NAFO sub-Division 3Ps, but not both.
2. Fishing areas
- This 2022 Conservation Harvesting plan governs the directed Stewardship cod fishery in NAFO Divisions 2J3KL.
3. Fisheries 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
- The maximum authorized harvest for the 2022 2J3KL Stewardship cod fishery is 12,999t (round weight). This includes 2,600t set aside for harvesters fishing in 2J.
- For the purposes of the 2022 NAFO Divisions 2J3KL Stewardship cod fishery, a fishing week shall be defined as “fishing week will start at 00:01 local time on Sunday and end on 24:00 local time on the following Saturday”.
- For the purposes of the 2022 NAFO Divisions 2J3KL Stewardship cod fishery, a bi-weekly fishing period shall be defined as “bi-weekly fishing period will start at 00:01 local time on a Sunday and run consecutively for 14 days to which it will then end at 24:00 local time on the second Saturday”.
- To promote the distribution of catch throughout the 2022 season, harvesters will have options for fishing as identified in section 4f and 4g.
- A Notice to Fishers will be issued with the deadline for harvesters to indicate to the Department the option they are selecting.
- Any harvester who does not select a fishing option by the deadline will receive conditions authorizing them to fish based on their homeport:
- Homeport NAFO Division 2J:
July 24 – September 3, 2022: 30,000 lbs base bi-weekly limit
September 4 – October 15, 2022: 40,000 lbs base bi-weekly limit
- Homeport NAFO Division 3KL (& 4R overlap):
July 24 – August 13, 2022: 3850 lbs base weekly limit
August 14 – September 10, 2022: 7700 lbs base bi-weekly limit
September 11 – November 5, 2022 – 8500 lbs base bi-weekly limit
- In NAFO divisions 3KL, harvesters have the option of selecting the regular fishing season or the fall only option as outlined below:
- Fall Season: September 11 – November 5, 2022
Fish only during the fall from September 11 to November 5, 2022 with a base bi-weekly limit of 17,000 lbs.
- Harvesters that choose the 3KL fall only fishery option will not be able to fish prior to September 11 and will be authorized to fish only during the fall from September 11 to November 5 at the catch rates identified above in section 4gi.
- Any harvester who does not select the fall only fishery option by the deadline will receive conditions authorizing them to fish the regular season (July 24 – November 5) at the base weekly and base bi-weekly catch limits identified above in section 4fii.
- As outlined in section 3b harvesters may select options outside of their homeport, but must contact the Department to request licence conditions for the NAFO area they select.
- If harvesters have acquired additional cod shares through enterprise combining, their weekly authorized catch limit will be calculated within the licensing program and identified in 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 3,850 lbs round weight equates to 3,208 lbs head on gutted.
- To ensure that there is harvest available into the fall season and for those that select the 3KL fall only option, approximately 75% of the maximum allowable harvest for 3KL will be permitted up to and including September 10, 2022 and approximately 25% will be available for the period after September 11, 2022.
- Should in-season adjustments to catch limits or seasons be required, industry will be consulted and updates will be communicated to harvesters via a Notice to Fishers.
- In NAFO division 2J, the fishery will open on Sunday, July 24, 2022, and is scheduled to close on Saturday, October 15, 2022 (refer to 4f).
- In NAFO divisions 3KL, the fishery will open on Sunday, July 24, 2022 and is scheduled to close on Saturday, November 5, 2022 (refer to 4f).
6. Fishing gear
- The use of gillnets, longline, hand-line and cod pots will be authorized as per the 2022 2J3KL Stewardship cod licence conditions. Harvesters are to exercise caution when setting gear to ensure that catch limits are not exceeded.
- Gear limits are highlighted below and are also identified in the 2022 2J3KL Stewardship cod licence conditions.
- Harvesters shall not leave fishing gear unattended in the water for more than 72 consecutive hours.
- If harvesters have concerns with respect to safety, they are advised to contact their local DFO Conservation and Protection detachment. For further information on safety at sea, please see section 17.
NAFO Division 2J
- The maximum authorized number of nets onboard the vessel or in the water at any one time is 34 nets up to and including September 3, 2022. Starting September 4, 2022, the maximum number of authorized nets onboard the vessel or in the water at any one time is 40 nets.
NAFO Division 3KL
- Up to and including August 13, 2022, the maximum authorized number of nets onboard the vessel or in the water at any one time is 6.
Commencing August 14, the maximum authorized number of nets onboard the vessel or in the water at any one time is as follows:
Authorized catch limit up to and including 4,000 lbs = 9 nets
Authorized catch limit greater than 4,000 lbs up to and including 8,000 lbs = 12 nets
Authorized catch limit greater than 8,000 lbs up to and including 16,000 lbs = 15 nets
Authorized catch limit greater than 16,000 lbs up to and including 24,000lbs = 24 nets
Authorized catch limits greater than 24,000 lbs = 34 nets
NAFO Division 2J
- In 2J, the maximum authorized number of hooks onboard the vessel or in the water at any one time is 15,000 hooks up to and including September 3. Starting September 4, the maximum number of authorized hooks onboard the vessel or in the water at any one time is 20,000 hooks.
NAFO Division 3KL
- In 3KL, the maximum authorized number of hooks onboard the vessel or in the water at any one time is 15,000 hooks up to and including September 10. Starting September 11, the maximum number of authorized hooks onboard the vessel or in the water at any one time is 20,000 hooks.
7. Licensing policy
There will be no buddy-up arrangements in this fishery. Having no buddy-up is consistent with the Department’s initial plan to open a stewardship fishery and allow individual licence holders to test their beliefs of the cod stock. Also, under a management regime with no buddy-up, the Department can allocate a higher individual harvest level whereas, under a buddy-up model, it would have to be lower due to a higher activity rate. Finally, the current management regime is consistent with the owner/operator policy.
NAFO Division 4R overlap licence holders that participate in this fishery are NOT able to avail of buddy-up while fishing 2J3KL Stewardship cod.
- Vessel Leasing:
The existing vessel leasing policy will be applied. Under this policy, your current vessel must have been previously active to qualify for a lease arrangement. Leasing is only permitted in cases of mechanical breakdown/structural damage, or complete vessel loss. Proper documentation is required.
- Substitute Operators:
There will be no substitute operators (designations) granted for this fishery. However, the Department will consider medical situations on a case-by-case basis.
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 Groundfish General licence conditions.
10. By-catch restrictions
- As per the Groundfish General licence conditions.
11. Closed areas
- As per the Groundfish General Licence conditions, refer to Schedule 36 - Closed Areas.
12. Species at Risk Act (SARA)
- The following species are considered at risk and listed under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) as either Threatened or Endangered:
- Northern wolffish (Anarchichas denticulatus ) – listed as Threatened
- Spotted wolffish (Anarchichas minor) – listed as Threatened
- Leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) – listed as Endangered
- White shark (Carcharodon carcharias), Atlantic population – listed as Endangered
In accordance with subsection 83(4) of SARA and the recovery strategy for northern wolffish, spotted wolffish, and leatherback turtle, and having met the conditions of sections 73(2) to (6.1) of SARA for white shark, the licence holder or vessel operator is permitted to carry out commercial fishing activities authorized under the Fisheries Act that may incidentally kill, harm, harass, or capture these species.
During these fishing activities, incidental catches of a these species must be returned to the place from which it was taken, and where it is alive, in a manner that causes the least harm. The licence holder or vessel operator is also required to complete the SARA section in the fishing logbook to provide information regarding any interactions with these species. Please refer to the Groundfish General Licence Conditions for further information on these requirements.
13. Marine mammals
- As per the Groundfish General Conditions, refer to Schedule 38 - Marine Mammal Interactions and Management Measures.
14. Marine conservation targets: Closed areas
- As per the Groundfish Licence Conditions, refer to Schedule 36 – Closed Areas
- Allocations will be negotiated with applicable Indigenous 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.
16. 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:
- seaworthiness of the vessel
- vessel stability
- having the required safety equipment in good working order
- crew training
- knowledge of current and forecasted weather conditions
- vessel stability
- emergency drills
- cold water immersion
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:
- hazards associated with the marine environment
- prevention of shipboard incidents (including fires)
- raising and reacting to alarms
- fire and abandonment situations
- skills necessary for survival and rescue
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:
- cold shock
- swimming failure
- post-rescue collapse
- 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 (CCG) early rather than later. It is strongly recommended that all fish harvesters carry a registered 406 MHz Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB). 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 (JRCC), 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 (CCG) 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.
- 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:
- every ship 20 metres or more in length
- every ship engaged in towing or pushing any vessel or object, other than fishing gear
- where the combined length of the ship and any vessel or object towed or pushed by the ship is 45 metres or more in length, or
- where the length of the vessel or object being towed or pushed by the ship is 20 metres or more in length
- a ship towing or pushing inside a log booming ground
- a pleasure yacht less than 30 metres in length, and
- a fishing vessel that is less than 24 metres in length and not more than 150 tonnes gross
- 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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