Last of the fishermen: NH’s ground fishing captains fading away

Dozens of commercial fishing boats were once docked along the New Hampshire coastline and trawled through the Gulf of Maine to drag in thousands of pounds of cod. Today, only about five commercial ground fishermen remain active in New Hampshire. And as they continue to struggle with strict regulations on cod and other species of groundfish, many question the future of groundfishing in the Granite State. One active ground fisherman, Neil Pike, said “there ain’t one.” He lives in Seabrook and fishes out of Hampton Harbor where he said there used to be 13 other fishing vessels docked next to his. Now, he said there are three and he owns two of them. NOAA’s Greater Atlantic Regional Administrator John Bullard said strict quotas are necessary to bring cod stocks back and give the fish a better chance of making a comeback. Central to many of the fishermen’s frustrations is their belief that NOAA’s stock assessments are incorrect. New Hampshire fishermen have said NOAA stock assessments do not line up with the amount of cod they see on the water each day. Some captains claim NOAA is out to squash small boat fishermen to make it easier for them to manage federal waters. Read the story here 08:26