3. Northern cod is a stock (or set of stocks) of Gadus morhua found in the waters off the southern half of Labrador to the northern half of the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, NAFO (Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization) management zones 2J, 3K, and 3L (Map 1). The extraordinary abundance of cod was the major reason for early exploitation and settlement of Newfoundland by Europeans. In Newfoundland vernacular, the word "fish" means "cod." Northern cod have thrived on the productivity of an ecosystem strongly influenced by the Labrador Current, carrying cold water from the arctic, and the Gulf Stream, which brings warmer waters from the south (Gomes 1994). The northern cod spawn on the offshore banks in the winter and spring months, particularly Hamilton Banks, off southern Labrador, Belle Isle and Funk Island Banks, off the north and northeast coasts of Newfoundland, and the northern part of the Grand Banks. On the Grand Banks, they are susceptible to an international fishery, beyond 200-miies, in areas such as the "nose" and "tail of the Grand Banks and the Flemish Cap (Map 1). Until recent decades, northern cod were rarely fished in the winter because of the storms and ice that dominate the north west Atlantic Ocean. The principal fishery was during the summer months, when the cod migrated shoreward to feed and relatively inexpensive techniques, like traps, gill-nets, and hook-and-line gear, were more than adequate for a very productive if not always profitable fishery.