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

Technical Summary: Maritimes Population


[Scientific name] Gadus morhua
[Common name  (English)]  Atlantic cod      [Common name (French)]  Morue franche
[Population name]  Maritimes Population
[Range of Occurrence in Canada (by province / territory / ocean)]  Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia / Atlantic Ocean

Extent and Area information

·        extent of occurrence (EO)(km²)      Approx. 250,000 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. 160,000 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.)      9 years
·        number of mature individuals (capable of reproduction) in the Canadian population (or, specify a range of plausible values)      Approx. 88,000,000
·        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)      14%
·        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 
            Southern Gulf stock:  ~72,000,000
            Cabot Strait stock:  ~2,000,000
            Eastern Scotian Shelf stock:  ~5,000,000
            Western Scotian Shelf/Bay of Fundy stock:  ~5,000,000
            Georges Bank stock:  ~4,000,000
·        specify trend in number of populations (decline, stable, increasing, unknown)      Number of stocks is stable; number of putative populations within each stock is probably declining
·        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 fisheries on Western Scotian Shelf/Bay of Fundy and Georges Bank stocks (suspended elsewhere)
-  fisheries bycatch
-  illegal fishing
-  biological changes to the species composition of the Northwest Atlantic
-  alteration to bottom habitat is a potential 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)?      Laurentian North population is low in abundance; the Georges Bank stock in the United States is also at an historically low level of abundance
·        is immigration known or possible?      Yes
·        would immigrants be adapted to survive here?      Probably
·        is there sufficient habitat for immigrants here?      Probably

Quantitative Analysis      No