Counting cod: Division of Marine Fisheries trawl survey aims to determine status of iconic fish

578c4314185c7.image (1)The coastline had melted into a gray slurry, its shapes barely visible through intermittent rain and mist, when the Miss Emily made her first of two scheduled tows last week about seven miles off this South Shore port. Despite the weather, the waters remained sedate as the 55-foot gillnetter (its a dragger), skippered by owner Capt. Kevin Norton, steamed at about three knots for 30 minutes, its net set at 36 fathoms, or about 216 feet. Its target? What else? The iconic, oft-debated and oft-elusive cod. “It will be interesting to see what we come up with today,” Norton said as he feathered the Miss Emily through the harbor and out into open waters. “Usually, at this time of year, there’s nothing really here because the water has begun to warm and the fish already have moved further out.” “This whole survey is designed with cod in mind,” said Micah Dean, a research scientist at DMF. “There’s never been a fishing-industry trawl survey in June or July, so this should give us a new perspective.” Read the rest here 09:03

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