Early information from the Celtic Explorer shows positive signs of cod recovery. The Celtic Explorer is the first research vessel ever to be funded by the province. It is staffed by researchers at the Marine Institute. Fisheries Minister Derrick Dalley says the stocks are not at the stage of historic levels or at a particularly strong biomass, but he says the research is promising.
Dalley says the levels are not such to have a commercial fishery.
Dalley says it's too early to say if the cod fishery will ever be restored to what it once was.
Stock recovery and biomass is federal jurisdiction. Dalley says there are benchmarks and numbers that dictate whether there is an increase in quotas in the stewardship fishery or the recreational fishery.
The Minister was at the Marine Institute this morning to reaffirm the province's commitment to fisheries research, highlighting $2-million set aside in the budget.
The Celtic Explorer, led by Dr. George Rose, is expected back in port in St. John's April 23rd.