Historically, haddock had the highest biomass of any groundfish species on the Grand Banks (Casey 2000), but abundance has been low since the 1970s with a slight increase in the mid to late 1980s (FRCC 2001). Heavy fishing pressure from the 1940s to the 1960s and high juvenile discard rates negatively impacted stocks. Fishing pressure in the 1980s in response to increased abundance again reduced stocks to low levels. The FRCC (2001) stated, “The Council noted in 1995 that there had been no signs of improved recruitment and there were no prospects for (3LNO) stock improvement in the near future.”
Due to poor stock conditions there are no directed fisheries for haddock in Divisions 3LNOP. However, the species is reportedly taken as by-catch in cod (3Ps) and yellowtail flounder (3NO) fisheries (DFO 2003) as well as longline fisheries for species such as skate, white hake and Atlantic halibut.
Logbook data indicates 2000 - 2003 by-catch landings of haddock averaged approximately 180t.
Casey, J.M. 2000. Fish community changes in an exploited marine ecosystem: Newfoundland southern Grand Bank and St. Pierre Bank, 1951 – 1995. MSc. Thesis. Memorial University of Newfoundland. St. John’s, Newfoundland.
DFO. 2003. Newfoundland and Labrador Region Groundfish Stock Updates. Can. Sci. Advis. Sec. Stock Status Report. 2003/049.
FRCC. 2001. 2001 Conservation Requirements for Groundfish Stocks in Sub-Areas 0, 2 + 3. Report to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. Fisheries Resource Conservation Council. Ottawa, On.