Fishermen Call Foul
on Cod Count
by Laurie Schreiber
HYANNIS, Mass. – The groundfish industry received terrible news recently – cod stocks are in worse condition than ever.
But many fishermen are questioning the legitimacy of the stock assessment update that is causing fishery managers to consider another major reduction in allowable catch and closing codfish spawning grounds in the western Gulf of Maine.
If implemented, the closure and cutback are widely expected to put the remaining small boats in the groundfish inshore fleet out of business, and to jeopardize another major economic sector, the charter/party boat fleet.
After two days of deliberation, during its Sept. 30-Oct. 2 meeting, the New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC) took no action on the proposals.
Numerous fishermen testified about potential impacts of the proposed measures.