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NAFO meets for the first time under modernised convention

Published by FiskerForum, 24-09-2017 · info@fiskerforum.dk

The 39th Annual Meeting of the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) took place last week Montréal. More than 180 delegates from eleven NAFO contracting parties were welcomed to Montréal by NAFO President, Stéphane Artano, and the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard.

The meeting marked a NAFO milestone, as this was the first NAFO annual meeting held under the amended convention that came into force in May this year, incorporating an ecosystem approach to fisheries management.

As well as deliberating and setting TACs and quotas, it was agreed that a management strategy should be established for Greenland halibut. This needs to be in place for 2018-2023 and the agreement was that TAC for this stock should be adjusted annually depending on the agreed Harvest Control Rule (HCR).

NAFO agreed to relaunch its second performance review. This performance review will be completed by the next Annual Meeting in September 2018 and will address a range of subjects including conservation and management, compliance and enforcement, governance, science, international co-operation, and financial and administrative issues. The previous NAFO performance review took place in 2011, with all of its recommendations having been addressed.

Agreement was reached at the meeting on the need to protect the entire New England Seamount chain, amending the boundary of the area closed to bottom fishing to include all peaks in the chain. The protection of the entire chain as a whole will help in sustaining the biological connectivity and function of seamount communities at all depths. In addition, procedures leading to these closures were further streamlined.

Agreement was reached on benchmark assessment of cod on the Flemish Cap in 2018. This assessment will explore the robustness of the current assessment model and evaluate alternatives including multi-species models, with a number of international experts being invited to review. This assessment aims to improve confidence in future assessments of this stock.

NAFO re-elected current president, Stéphane Artano (France, in respect of Saint Pierre and Miquelon), for his second term, and Temur Tairov (Russian Federation) was elected as vice-chair.

Source: NAFO

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