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Inshore Stocks of Atlantic Cod Are Important for Rebuilding the East Coast Fishery

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Cod (Gadus morhua) inhabit not only the famous fishing banks of the Northwest Atlantic continental shelf, but also inshore waters from Labrador to New England. Relatively little is known about the life history of inshore cod, their historic levels of abundance, and their relationship to offshore stocks. Inshore cod stocks along the East Coast should be managed under a new paradigm that recognizes the importance of these fish to the stock complex. Recently documented fishers' ecological knowledge (FEK) suggests inshore stocks of cod may exist along the Newfoundland and Labrador coastline that have yet to be scientifically documented. Coastal communities adjacent to the local population of cod in Gilbert Bay, Labrador have initiated efforts to protect and manage this stock locally through a co-management approach. The Gilbert Bay experience, FEK, and related science and education could provide insight into ways to protect and enhance the health of local stocks remaining along the northeast coast of North America.

Keywords: fisheries management; fishers' ecological knowledge; inshore cod stocks; marine protected areas

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Ocean Sciences Centre, Memorial University, St. John's, NL, Canada 2: Department of Sociology, Memorial University, St. John's, NL, Canada 3: Environmental Science Program, Memorial University, St. John's, NL, Canada

Publication date: October 1, 2005

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