On the up
Meanwhile, Canada feared the northern Grand Banks would never recover, as until 2006 cod numbers remained at only a few per cent of what models consider a safe population size. In 2006, numbers slowly increased, but observers were cautious – cod off nearby Nova Scotia that seemed to be recovering remain depleted.
Besides overfishing, Canadian fisheries authorities blame seal predation for this, even though off Newfoundland, where cod is increasing, seal populations are the biggest seen for 60 years.
But last year surveys found the increase on the Grand Banks continues: between 2012 and 2014 the cod population averaged 26 per cent of the safe population size. Fisheries experts say this year’s research, to be released in September, will show a further increase.