New England Cod Catch Reduced by 22 Percent
Federal officials have instituted a 22 percent decrease in the limits of catchable cod in the Gulf of Maine. According to the Bangor Daily News this is not as bad as initially feared, however, since many fishermen believed the limits could have been cut by nearly 90 percent.
In the April issue of Down East magazine Colin Woodard says about Maine's cod industry, "Since 2008, fisheries scientists reported, the Gulf of Maine cod population has not expanded as expected, and is now only about a fifth the size it needs to be to be considered rebuilt. To restore the stock by 2014 would require fishermen’s catch quotas to be slashed by as much as 90 percent, making it difficult or impossible to fish for other bottom-dwelling fish like pollock, haddock, and flounder that swim among the cod." Woodard points out that many, including senators Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, John Kerry, and Scott Brown question whether the data is correct. Such skepticism may be a reason for the more modest initial cuts.
Read more about Gulf of Maine's cod in the article "Net Loss" from the most recent issue of Down East.