(St. John’s, NL: 19 Feb. 2015) Fisheries science research on three different species will be advanced with support from the provincial government. The Honourable Vaughn Granter, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, today announced $92,850 through the Fisheries Research Grant Program to help the Centre for Fisheries Ecosystems Research study mackerel, cod, and halibut.

In an official release from the provincial government on the disbursement of the funds, Minister Vaughn is quoted as saying, “Our government is committed to supporting fisheries research projects that enhance information about the species in our waters, which in turn helps the industry plan for the future.”

According to the minister’s quote, the $92,850 will go towards a beneficial new survey of mackerel stock, and expand the province’s advanced tagging programs for cod and halibut that are providing “valuable data on species migration patterns, distribution, habitat, and behavior.” 

Minister Granter noted the funding  will support three projects:

–$30,000 to investigate whether major spawning grounds of the Northwest Atlantic mackerel stock have shifted north, outside of the traditional survey area in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence. The possibility of substantial spawning off the northeast coast of Newfoundland has never been investigated and should new spawning areas be identified, this will provide valuable new data for the assessment of mackerel in Atlantic Canada.

–$33,000 to further develop the cod satellite tagging program.

–$29,850 to enhance and expand Atlantic halibut tagging.

Quoted as speaking on behalf of the Marine Institute (MI),  Glenn Blackwood, Vice President of Memorial University (MI), expressed appreciation for the provincial government’s “continued support of fisheries science projects that play a vital role in managing the valuable fish resources off Newfoundland and Labrador’s coasts.” In his extended quote he also notes that,”These initiatives will develop far greater information about the status of mackerel, cod and Atlantic halibut, which can inform future management decisions for these stocks.” 

The field work on projects will commence in the spring and conclude in the fall of this year with results expected to be available in early 2016.

– 30 –

Media contacts:

Jason Card Director of Communications Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture 709-729-3733, 699-0470 jasoncard@gov.nl.ca

Leslie EarlePublic Relations and Communications OfficerFisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland709-778-0677, 330-3918leslie.earle@mi.mun.ca