Bad news for New England cod fishery
A roughly 80 percent cut in Gulf of Maine Cod annual catch and a 61 percent cut in Georges Bank cod are being recommended to fisheries regulators by a special four-person panel.
The panel was appointed last year after the turmoil over radically and unexpectedly reduced estimates of cod populations. It re-examined the assessments and looked at newer ones and concluded that the picture is bleak indeed.
“There is little good news about the health of cod stocks in the Northeast,” said Pat Fiorelli, spokeswoman for the New England Fishery Management Council. “Eighty percent?” asked seafood consultant Jim Kendall. “I don’t know why they don’t shut the fishery down and get the guys into some program to help them survive. If they cut the stock 80 percent, it’s just undoable.”
Groundfish boats would quickly be over their limits on bycatch alone, Kendall said.