Sentinel fishery shows promise

Roncalli Central High
Port Saunders, Newfoundland

By Christian R. (Grade 12)

The 1997 Sentinel Fishery has not been a break-through year. However, marginal improvements have been noted over previous years, and the future is looking better.

The Sentinel Fishery is a joint project that has been run by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans since 1995. It has been held inshore along Newfoundland's south and east coasts as well as around the tip of the Northern Peninsula and areas south of Corner Brook.

Mr. Glen Rowe, the area Science Coordinator with Fisheries, Food and Allied Workers Union (FFAW), oversees the project, and he commented that the return of the cod to the Strait of Belle Isle was a, "bright spot." Mr. Rowe also commented that although landings on the West Coast have not been great, which is consistent with the past three years, this year's landings are slightly better than last year's.

Wayne Offery of Eddies Cove West has taken part in the fishery in each of the last three years, and has been fishing since July. "It's been pretty good, in terms of catch rate and the size of the fish," he said. "It seems like each year the amount of cod is steadily increasing. I don't know what it would be like if the fishery was opened again like it was before, but there is a good sign of cod."

Several fisherman also made reference to the size of the fish. Some see the abundance of small fish as an encouraging sign that the stocks are rebuilding, others note that the presence of larger fish is encouraging as well.

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