Sharing Agreement

The first task addressed by the TMGC was development of a U.S-Canada resource sharing formula for the transboundary resources of cod, haddock and yellowtail flounder on Georges Bank. The 3-5 December 2001 meeting of TMGC in Halifax, Nova Scotia arrived upon an agreed allocation sharing proposal that they recommended to administrators Guidance on Options for Determining Percentage of Resource Share. As with any negotiated settlement, the agreed proposal is a compromise. The U.S. and Canada reached consensus to use 5Zjm as the management unit for cod and haddock, apply a responsive smoothing procedure, employ the average of 3 surveys for yellowtail flounder and haddock and the average of 2 seasons for cod, base landings on the 1967-1994 time period and incorporate a fixed 7-year transition schedule. As an additional consideration, as part of the sharing agreement, the U.S. and Canada reconfirmed that the two countries develop a common fishing mortality based harvest strategy for the shared management units.

The underlying motivation that fuelled the effort to reach an agreement was the recognition that each country's independent conservation actions could be compromised and that the full benefits of management actions were more likely to be realized if there was consistent management by the U.S. and Canada. A full account of the developments leading up to the agreement is documented in Development of a Sharing Allocation Proposal for Transboundary Resources of Cod, Haddock and Yellowtail Flounder on Georges Bank.