One-year closure of commercial cod fishery in northern Gulf of St. Lawrence

Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard Joyce Murray rises during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, June 17, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle

The federal fisheries minister has announced a one-year closure of the commercial cod fishery in the northern Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Joyce Murray says cod stocks in the area are at risk of serious harm, and the closure is needed in order to rebuild them.

In a statement, Murray says the one-year management plan will allow young fish in the stock to reach maturity.

She says because of the cultural significance of cod to residents of Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador, a recreational fishery will continue with a regulated season and daily limits.

The Fish, Food and Allied Workers union says it is deeply disappointed with the one-year closure and says it hurts a struggling region.

The union says the fisheries minister is continuing to let the real problem, seal overpopulation, spiral out of control.