Major industry players join WWF-FFAW northern cod fishery improvement project

This significant step forward for sustainable fisheries builds on previous success.

ST JOHN'S, June 14, 2016 /CNW/ - World Wildlife Fund Canada welcomes the news that the Newfoundland and Labrador Groundfish Industry Development Council will join the northern cod (2J3KL) fishery improvement project (FIP) run jointly by WWF-Canada and the Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union (FFAW-UNIFOR). The FIP aims to implement improvement measures for the collapsed commercial fishery that will ensure a thriving cod population and a supply of certified, sustainable seafood.

The addition of the Groundfish Industry Development Council is a major step toward building a sustainable northern cod fishery that benefits the species as well as Newfoundland communities.

The parties involved:

  • FFAW-Unifor, the Seafood Producers of Newfoundland and Labrador, Fogo Island Co-op and WWF-Canada agreed in 2015 to work together to rebuild the cod fishery off Newfoundland and Labrador's northeast coast, also referred to as area 2J3KL, through a fisheries improvement project.
  • The Groundfish Industry Development Council represents both the harvesting and processing sectors. FFAW-Unifor represents the harvesters, and the processors will be represented by companies including Allen's Fisheries, Avalon Ocean Products, Barry Group, Beothic Fish Processors and Codroy Seafoods.

Previous success:

  • A fishery improvement project is a market-driven effort to help a fishery meet a sustainability standards such as Marine Stewardship Council certification, which are increasingly in-demand by retailers and consumers.
  • The WWF-Canada FIP for 3Ps cod was the first FIP in Canada, and in March, it became the first Canadian Atlantic cod fishery to be awarded MSC certification.

Next steps:

  • The collapse of the Newfoundland northern cod population was one of the biggest ecological disasters of our lifetime, resulting in the commercial fishing moratorium in place since 1992.
  • As part of the northern cod 2J3KL fisheries improvement project, WWF-Canada has already released the MSC pre-assessment report with recommendations to improve the fishery. Preparations are now underway for stakeholder meetings this summer.

Quote from David Miller, president and CEO of WWF-Canada:
"Working with local communities on the 3Ps southern cod, WWF-Canada was able to show that a sustainable Newfoundland cod fishery is possible. We are pleased that so many seafood producers are now joining forces with us to do the same for 2J3KL northern cod. We look forward to working with the Groundfish Industry Development Council to build a world-class model for ecosystem and economic recovery through sustainable fishing and responsible oceans management. This project will benefit marine species and the people of Newfoundland who rely on fish for their livelihoods."

About World Wildlife Fund Canada
WWF-Canada creates solutions to the environmental challenges that matter most for Canadians. We work in places that are unique and ecologically important, so that nature, wildlife and people thrive together. Because we are all wildlife. For more info visit


For further information: Please contact Catharine Tunnacliffe, communications specialist, at, +1 416-489-4567 Ext. 7224, mobile 647-624-5279.


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