There are fears more cuts are coming to northern shrimp quotas after recent scientific assessments show another decline in the biomass, especially in area 6 off the northeast coast of the island.
DFO biologist Katherine Skanes says the biomass in Area 6 is in the critical zone after dropping another 16 percent last year.
She says predation is a factor, as is fishing activity, but they don’t quantify which factor is a bigger driver than another.
The FFAW meanwhile wants DFO to take a different approach to the data and stock management. President Keith Sullivan says scientists are comparing the current data against peak shrimp levels when cod populations crashed. He says a greater time frame must be considered especially in light of increased cod biomass.
He says shrimp stocks are higher right now than they were 30 or 40 years ago.
Sullivan says a sustainable shrimp fishery is possible and managers need to manage the stock and not simply compare it to the highest level it ever reached.
DFO’s stock assessment will be presented to the Northern Shrimp Advisory Meeting March 7th.