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2024 Newfoundland and Labrador Recreational Groundfish Fishery

In 2024, the recreational groundfish fishery will be open for a total of 39 days. For the 2024 season, there is no requirement for licences or tags.

Species and area

The recreational groundfish fishery will occur in all NAFO areas/subareas around Newfoundland and Labrador, which include:

Three exceptions are the Eastport, Gilbert Bay and Laurentian Channel Marine Protected Areas (MPA) where recreational groundfish fishing is not permitted.

Season dates:

Summer season:

Fall season: Saturday, September 21, 2024 to Sunday, September 29, 2024

Retention limits

Recreational fishers are limited to 5 groundfish per day (including cod).

The maximum boat limit when three or more people are fishing is 15 groundfish.

Management measures and regulations

The recreational fishery is open to both residents and non-residents.

Retention of Atlantic halibut, Spotted and Northern wolffish, and any species of shark is prohibited. Sculpins and cunners may be released. All other groundfish caught must be retained and are part of the daily bag limit.

High-grading of groundfish is not permitted and no fish are permitted to be wasted.

All fish caught must be retained in a readily identifiable state. Fish may be bled, gutted, and split while at sea, but further processing such as, skinning, cutting into sections, packing or otherwise at sea is not permitted, as such further processing makes determination of species, number and size of the fish problematic.

Only angling gear and handlines with a maximum of three hooks are permitted. Handlines include artificial lures, baited hooks, and feathered hooks. Artificial lures with treble hooks weighing less than five ounces or 142 grams are acceptable. Traditional jiggers are not permitted unless they are modified and have only one single hook.

For safety reasons, fishing is only permitted from one hour before sunrise until one hour after sunset.

The public is reminded to follow safe boating practices and be aware of local weather and sea conditions before leaving port.

For 2024, tour boat operators will be eligible to apply for a licence to seek an increased trip limit. This licence will have harvest reporting requirements. To apply for this licence, please contact

Disability designations

Provisions will continue that allow persons with a disability to designate a person to catch their daily limit of groundfish. First time applicants must complete the Disability Form and have their doctor/ophthalmologist complete the required section.

If you wish to apply for a Disability Designation for the recreational groundfish fishery in 2024, please:

  1. Download and print a copy of the form; or fill in electronically
  2. Complete application as outlined in the Instructions on Page 1
  3. Submit the application, or send via email to Applications received via regular mail may result in delays to processing your application.
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