By: Megan Gosch
The federal government is considering severely restricting and possibly shutting down cod fisheries in the Gulf of Maine, in order to protect the species for future generations.
The New England Fishery Management Council set a deadline in 2004 to rebuild the cod population of the area by the year 2014. The Council will decided in the next year how much progress has been made toward their goal, reported the Atlantic Wire.
The Council's decisions will be based upon catch records and research trawlers who fish in the Gulf many times a year, reported the New York Times.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has sent a team to meet with the area's fishermen to discuss possible options for the stabilization of the cod population. The options presented include an extension of the deadline for the rebuilding of the cod population, the temporary shut-down of cod fisheries, and heavy restrictions of the industry.
New England fishermen say that heavy restrictions of the industry would make it nearly impossible to fish in the area because ground-dwelling fish cannot be caught without also catching cod that swim closer to the surface.
Although commercial fishermen reported catching about nine million pounds of cod between May of 2010 and April of 2011, many who fish in the gulf area say that there is no shortage of cod and that the data that has caused concern over cod populations is inconsistent and based upon imprecise science.
Cod Fisheries Set to Face Restrictions, Shut Down
By: Megan Gosch