In 2015, there’s no doubt that cod are making a comeback at Fogo Island. A recently launched WWF-Canada Fisheries Improvement Project (FIP) aims to strengthen this recovery by helping improve the sustainability of the inshore fishery, a vital source of income for some of Newfoundland's coastal communities. 

St John’s, Newfoundland

Thirteen years ago, when I first visited Newfoundland’s Fogo Island, there was no sign of cod. But since 2005, this iconic species of fish has become more abundant. Fast forward to Fogo Island in 2015, and there’s no doubt that cod are making a comeback. And now – just like the good old days – there’s an increasingly healthy fishery close to shore, and people are fishing for cod just as past generations have. 

I find this resurgence inspiring and hope that it’s enduring. A recently launched WWF-Canada Fisheries Improvement Project (FIP) aims to strengthen this recovery by helping improve the sustainability of the inshore fishery, a vital source of income for a few different Newfoundland communities along the coast.

Through the FIP, we want to demonstrate that it’s possible to restore marine ecosystems while still maintaining vibrant and economically stable communities and businesses. The inshore fishermen are the most important stakeholders for this project because they have the most to lose and, possibly, the most to gain.
WWF and FFAW came together in St. John’s in late July 2015 and hosted a sustainability-focused day at the Rocket Café. A big group of fish harvesters joined FFAW President Keith Sullivan and WWF’s President and CEO David Miller for conversations on healthy oceans and ocean-friendly seafood.

We received a lot of positive feedback from the community. More encouraging was that many of the people we met in St. John’s want to know where the fish they are eating comes from – and that it has been caught in a sustainable manner. This shows that the community is conscious of the importance of conservation, and that the choices we make now will help insure the sustainability of the stock for future generations.

Bettina Saier

Vice President, Oceans, WWF-Canada

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