A milestone in the war over the true state of cod

For years, fishermen from Gloucester to New Bedford have accused the federal government of relying on faulty science to assess the health of the region’s cod population, a fundamental flaw that has greatly exaggerated its demise, they say, and led officials to wrongly ban nearly all fishing of the iconic species.The fishermen’s concerns resonated with Governor Charlie Baker, so last year he commissioned his own survey of the waters off New England, where cod were once so abundant that fishermen would say they could walk across the Atlantic on their backs. Now, in a milestone in the war over the true state of cod in the Gulf of Maine, Massachusetts scientists have reached the same dismal conclusion that their federal counterparts did: The region’s cod are at a historic low — about 80 percent less than the population from just a decade ago. continue reading the story here 08:07

  • Rocky Novello

    LACK OF COMMUNICATION BETWEEN SCIENTISTS AND FISHERMEN IS MAJOR PROBLEM IN RESEARCH WORK DONE IN TODAY’S U.S,A. FISHING WORLD ?
    FISHING FAMILIES , HAVE VAST KNOWLEDGE OF AREAS THAT THEY FISH IN BUT WHEN SCIENTISTS GO INTO THEIR FISHING AREAS NO QUESTIONS ARE ASKED ? (MAYBE MOVE YOUR GEAR WE ARE COMING),FISHING FAMILIES HAVE VAST OCEAN KNOWLEDGE OF THEIR AREAS,BUT SCIENTISTS WILL NOT ASK OR USED THIS KNOWLEDGE BECAUSE———–???
    HOPING ,TO SEE BETTER COMMUNICATION IN THE FUTURE ,BETWEEN FISHERMEN AND SCIENTISTS ???

  • DickyG

    This is just what we needed, another inaccurate survey! This one done by the Massachusetts State scientists at the request of Gov. Baker, but apparently using the same ill-conceived random sampling techniques and bogus computer models as the NOAA scientists…and coming up with the same ill-conceived and bogus assessment of the Cod population.

    If fishermen “random fished” they wouldn’t catch any more than a random lottery odds-spread would allow, which probably wouldn’t be enough to cover fuel costs. Fish (just like people) are concentrated in very specific areas for very specific purposes, such as, food, climate, friendly sorrundings, and sex (same reasons people are known to gather in Southern California and Florida).

    It is the Fishermen’s craft and business to know where these areas are, to have an idea of when the fish will show there and what yearly and seasonal variables will effect these predictions—scientists without the fishermen’s knowledge—DO NOT!!!

  • DickyG

    Just what we needed, another inaccurate survey! This one by the Massachusetts State scientists at the request of Gov. Baker, but apparently using the same ill-conceived random sampling techniques and bogus computer models as NOAA scientists…and coming up with the same ill-conceived and bogus assessment of the Cod population.

    If fishermen “random fished” they wouldn’t catch any more than a random lottery odds-spread would allow—it wouldn’t be enough to cover fuel costs. At a cost of somewhere around $1,000 to $1,500 per day for an offshore vessel while fishing, the fishermen has to have a pretty good idea of how to find concentrations of fish.

    Fish (just like people) congregate in very specific areas for very specific purposes, such as food, climate, friendly sorrundings, and reproduction (same reasons people are known to gather in Southern California and Florida). When it comes to concentrations of fish, it is the Fishermen’s craft and business to know where these areas are, to have an idea of when the fish will show there, and what yearly and seasonal variables will affect these predictions.

    Fish are certainly not distributed evenly over the botom, so typical random “Stop and Drop” 20 minute tows will never render worthwhile data for an accurate assessement of stock population health. Scientists without the Fishermen’s knowledge cannot find fish (might this explain why they are so loyal to random sampling).

    P.S. If you are with me so far and you really want to see what fishermen are up against regarding their ” public image”, go to the comments after the Boston Globe source article and prepare to be astounded and somewhat nauseated by the vitriol and ignorance there regarding the fishing industry—and this is Boston, not Indianapolis.

    This glaring fishing industry hostility is the result of Big-Bizz’s hundreds of $millions being pumped into NGO anti-fishing campaigns for decades, and incompetent “scientific studies”, just like this one, engineered to discredit, dismantle, and disappear independent family-owned fishing operations.

    I don’t think the NGO goal of dismembering fishing communities was Charlie Baker’s motivation when advocating for this State stock assessment. The old and all-too-familiar “no-fish-left” outcome of this long awaited State study is more an indication of the government research science community’s entrenched culture of self-serving wrong-headed theories and ineffective assessment methods and models.

    UMass. School of Marine Science and Technology and just about every Fisherman, who is out there on a daily basis, have come to some very different conclusions regarding how many Cod are in the Gulf of Maine.

    • Rocky Novello

      GREAT COMMENTS BY DICKYG

  • Dusty Roads

    Too many skippers and not enough mates!