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The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) held a technical briefing on Tuesday on the most recent science assessment for the 3Ps cod stock on the south coast of the province.

South coast cod stocks are trending upwards, and 3Ps stocks have improved since 2015, but the improvement isn’t expected to last.

The 3Ps cod stocks cover from Cape St. Mary’s to west of Burgeo Bank, all over St. Pieere Bank and most of Green Bank. Stocks are expected to hit critical levels by 2020.

The Fish Food and Allied Workers’ union (FFAW-Unifor) says DFO must ban offshore draggers from the area to protect the weakened stock.

“The cod stocks in 3Ps are in a vulnerable state and the federal government must protect the resource and the communities adjacent by removing the offshore draggers from fishing in the area,” said FFAW-Unifor President Keith Sullivan.

DFO fisheries management is consulting with the industry and will give scientific advice in early 2019.

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