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COSEWIC assessment and update status report on the Atlantic Cod in Canada

Technical Summary: Laurentian North Population


[Scientific name] Gadus morhua
[Common name  (English)]  Atlantic cod        [Common name (French)]  Morue franche
[Population name]  Laurentian North Population
[Range of Occurrence in Canada (by province / territory / ocean)]  Newfoundland and Labrador, Quebec / Atlantic Ocean

Extent and Area information

·        extent of occurrence (EO)(km²)        Approx. 155,000 km2
·        specify trend (decline, stable, increasing, unknown)        Declining
·        are there extreme fluctuations in EO (> 1 order of magnitude)?        No
·        area of occupancy (AO) (km²)        Approx. 90,000 km2
·        specify trend (decline, stable, increasing, unknown)        Declining
·        are there extreme fluctuations in AO (> 1 order magnitude)?        No
·        number of extant locations        Unknown
·        specify trend in # locations (decline, stable, increasing, unknown)        Unknown
·        are there extreme fluctuations in # locations (>1 order of magnitude)?        Unknown
·        habitat trend:  specify declining, stable, increasing or unknown trend in area, extent or quality of habitat        Unknown

Population information

·        generation time (average age of parents in the population) (indicate years, months, days, etc.)      10 years
·        number of mature individuals (capable of reproduction) in the Canadian population (or, specify a range of plausible values)      Approx. 63,000,000
·        total population trend:  specify declining, stable, increasing or unknown trend in number of mature individuals      Declining
·        if decline, % decline over the last/next 10 years or 3 generations, whichever is greater (or specify if for shorter time period)      81%
·        are there extreme fluctuations in number of mature individuals (> 1 order of magnitude)?      No
·        is the total population severely fragmented (most individuals found within small and relatively isolated (geographically or otherwise) populations between which there is little exchange, i.e., < 1 successful migrant / year)?      No
·        list each population and the number of mature individuals in each
            Northern Gulf cod stock:  ~28,000,000
             St. Pierre Bank stock:  ~35,000,000
·        specify trend in number of populations (decline, stable, increasing, unknown)      Number of stocks is stable
·        are there extreme fluctuations in number of populations (>1 order of magnitude)?      Unlikely

Threats (actual or imminent threats to populations or habitats) [add rows as needed]

- directed commercial and recreational fishing (suspended on the Northern Gulf stock in 2003)
- fisheries bycatch
- illegal fishing and other sources of unreported catches
- fishing-induced and natural changes to the ecosystem
- predation by seals and fish on the Northern Gulf stock
- alteration to bottom habitat is a possible but unevaluated threat

Rescue Effect (immigration from an outside source)      Low

·        does species exist elsewhere (in Canada or outside)?      Yes
·        status of the outside population(s)?      Newfoundland & Labrador population is at historically low levels; abundance of the Maritimes population appears to be stable along the northern limit of this population
·        is immigration known or possible?      Yes
·        would immigrants be adapted to survive here?      Probably
·        is there sufficient habitat for immigrants here?      Probably

Quantitative Analysis      None