Tag Archives: Atlantic cod

Canadian Perspective on Atlantic Cod Stocks & Management

CFOODLast week we released a two part feature on the status of Atlantic cod stocks. Click here  Part was a general overview of the status of stocks while Part 2 dove deeper into the reasons behind different statuses.

Jeffrey Hutchings, a fishery scientist at Dalhousie University was inspired to comment on our CFOOD feature below;

Despite voluminous research, science discussions of Atlantic cod can verge on the simplistic. Overfishing and ‘the environment’ unhelpfully portrayed as alternative or additive causes of decline. Temperature presented unequivocally as the driver of recruitment. Variable attention to how differential responses to natural and human-induced environmental stressors can be influenced by basic elements of demography — population size, age structure, natural mortality — especially when these fall outside a population’s norm. The collapse of Northern cod was unprecedented but the low temperatures that cod experienced prior to collapse were not (it has been as cold, or colder, if one’s temporal horizon extends beyond the mid 20th Century for this 500-year-old fishery). Recruitment failure is not affecting the recovery of some depleted stocks, such as Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence cod, but altered predator-prey interactions – predicated by prolonged overfishing – almost certainly are. Not all northeast Atlantic cod are doing well, as the current status of those along the Norwegian coast will attest. Read the rest here 14:07

Atlantic Cod: The Good, The Bad, and the Rebuilding – Part 1 and 2

“Fishing pressures…or environmental pressures…are different from place to place even within what is considered to be a single management area, and that effect is multiplied when you consider going from one management area to another” says Coby Needle. This implies that there is no singular reason for the observed differences in stock status. However, there do seem to be general trends based on the latitudinal position of stocks. In general, the northern stocks are doing better than the southern populations. “In the NE Atlantic, the more northerly stocks like Barents Sea and Icelandic cod are generally in much better shape than the ones further south…There is some long-term environmental trend affecting their recovery” says Robin Cook. However, “it’s not as simple as it was 2 or 3 years ago when we probably thought it was all related to global change; the southern stocks were suffering while the northern stocks were benefitting from a warming Arctic” says Chris Zimmermann. One example is the disappearance of North Sea cod from the southern spawning grounds, where there has been no spawning activity for the last 10-15 years. “Newspapers say ‘there’s no spawning of cod in the North Sea at all.’ That’s not the case – it’s just the southern spawning grounds. That’s certainly related to global change” says Chris Zimmermann. “Distributions are further north because the more southern populations are less successful” Robin Cook agrees. Five Audio reports, Read the rest here 09:39 Read Part 1 here

Atlantic Cod: The Good, The Bad, and the Rebuilding – Part 1

Atlantic cod have been emblematic of fisheries problems, with the 1992 collapse of the Northern cod stock in Canada setting the stage for the last 25 years of concern surrounding status of cod stocks. Mark Kurlansky’s book “Cod” sold over a million copies, increasing awareness and concern over cod fisheries. Further, the two U.S. cod stocks continue to be at very low abundance; an article in the Houston Press released September of 2011 stated “Atlantic cod has been fished nearly to extinction.” However, over the entire Atlantic Ocean, the abundance of cod is high and increasing (Figure 1). There are over two dozen cod stocks that are defined as management units, 6 of which are addressed in this feature: 2 on the western side and 4 on the eastern side of the Atlantic basin (see Figure 2). The two U.S. stocks are Georges Bank and Gulf of Maine, and the four European stocks occupy the shelves of Iceland, the Barents Sea, the North Sea, the Celtic Sea, and the Baltic Sea. Read the article here 15:18

Atlantic cod, white hake recommended for endangered species list

The low number of white hake and Atlantic cod has led to the recommendation they be given endangered status by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. Nearly half a million grey seals in the Northumberland Strait that feed on the fish are the main cause behind the recommendation, according to the committee. It’s also a combination of two other factors, said Hugues Benoit, head of the marines fish section at Fisheries and Oceans Canada.  “The available information we have now it does suggest that the combined effect of the low level of abundance of these fish species and high level of abundance of grey seals could be the cause of elevated natural mortality,” he said.  Read the rest here 17:03

Northeast Fisheries Science Center say’s key fishing area for Atlantic cod in dire shape

New data from thecod-fish says research boats caught less of the fish this past spring than in all but one spring season dating back to 1968. A report from the centre, given to The Associated Press on Tuesday, states that the boats caught about 3.3 pounds of cod each time the net went in and out of the water last spring, compared to more than three times that amount two years earlier. “Is that coming as a surprise from anybody who knows what the water temperature is out there? No, it shouldn’t be,” said David Goethel, a New Hampshire-based fisherman. “These fish are declining because of climate change.” Read the rest here 22:13

Atlantic cod could be at risk from noise created by wind farms and other off-shore developments

A study carried out by the University’s world-leading Institute of Aquaculture found that Atlantic cod exposed to noise levelsAtlantic cod- common in land-based aquaculture facilities exhibited significantly reduced rates of and fertilization. But the researchers believe this could also have implications for Atlantic cod in the wild. Dr Andrew Davie, of the University’s world leading Institute of Aquaculture, said: “We need to be cautious as our study focused on the noise generated in enclosed,,, Read the rest here 13:36

Tradex 3-Minute Market Insight: Bleak Outlook for Collapsed Sole Market; Cod Pricing Creates Buyer Opportunities

three minute market insightLong inventories, poor markets, and limited cash flow equate to looming troubles ahead for Chinese processing plants. Atlantic Cod pricing remains strong and raw materials are still high, forcing upwards pricing pressure on finished goods headed for North America. is looking like an affordable whitefish alternative. Watch the 3-Minute Market Insight here 14:58

Listening for Cod in the Gulf of Maine

“I’m a semi-retired fisherman,” said Frank Mirarchi, “but not willingly.” Mirarchi is a commercial fisherman out of Scituate, Massachusetts. He’s fished his whole life for, the species that famously supported generations of New England fishermen. Today, cod stocks are in bad shape, and regulators have significantly cut catch limits to give stocks a chance to recover. Scientists and fishermen don’t always see eye-to-eye when it comes to cod.  Read the rest here 21:29

Rebuilding cod in 3Ps – Stock swimming in right direction – How ’bout that!

3Ps Cod Swimming right directionDavid Coffin, a research management official with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) in Newfoundland, said the federal government has initiated a rebuilding plan for the southern Newfoundland Atlantic cod stock in fishing area 3Ps. Read the rest here 21:43

We Can Restore Atlantic Cod – Are You Listening Pew?

An open letter to The Pew Charitable Trusts We just need to restore and revive their ocean plankton pastures.  The top fish-head at the Pew Charitable Trust has published an op-ed about the disappearing Atlantic Cod titled, “Prey For Return of Atlantic Cod Population” in a New England Eco Publication.  Here’s my open letter in response… pew pew pew… Read the rest here  14:12

Changes in forage fish abundance alter Atlantic cod distribution, affect fishery success – What do you think?

Writing in the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, researchers from NOAA Fisheries’ Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC) show how the fishermens’ observations and the assessment results could both be accurate. Read more here 17:41

John Mandelman: Solving a Cod-undrum – I recommend this video. Well worth the time investment.

Published on May 30, 2014 The Atlantic codhas not recovered from stock collapses in recent years, despite substantial management intervention and a major reduction in commercial fishing effort. . Dr. John Mandelman describes ongoing work by the New England Aquarium and colleagues to better understand the fate of undersized cod that by law must be released after capture in recreational fisheries, and which strategies may increase the probability of survival. Watch here 19:26

Atlantic cod pushing out Arctic relatives?

When I visited the AWI Biological Institute on the German North Sea island of Helgoland last year for a story on how climate change is affecting marine life, the Institute’s Director Karen Wiltshire mentioned to me that cod was disappearing from the waters around the island. The Atlantic cod, it seems, are moving north, [email protected] 20:03

Are you a big-picture person, or do you focus on the details? Two Takes on Climate Change in the Ocean

A pair of recent studies show how marine ecosystems are changing as ocean temperatures rise, and that these changes are happening more quickly than expected. [email protected] 09:42

Atlantic cod in for even more stress? – Marine biologists launch a new research project

Researchers have known for some years that the Atlantic cod beats the retreat in the direction of the Arctic when the waters in its traditional habitat become too warm. In summer, shoals from the Atlantic Ocean, for example, are now moving up as far as Spitsbergen into the waters the Arctic cod calls its own. continued

Auctions confirm renewed ‘uptick’ in cod – following its age-old pattern

Both of Gloucester’s general fish auction houses are confirming reports by fishermen that cod — the fish that helped make this city the world’s oldest, most famous and, for a long time, its busiest fishing port — appears to be following its age-old pattern as it swims in increasing numbers into the shallow waters off Cape Ann. continue reading

Acoustic monitoring of Atlantic cod reveals clues to spawning behavior – Phys.Org

For decades researchers have recorded sounds from whales and other marine mammals, using a variety of methods including passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) to better understand how these animals use sound to interact with each other and with the environment. Now, for the first time, researchers report using this technology to record spawning cod in the wild. continued

Sea Surface Temperatures Reach Record Highs on Northeast Continental Shelf

During the first six months of 2012, sea surface temperatures in the Northeast Shelf Large Marine Ecosystem were the highest ever recorded, according to the latest Ecosystem Advisory issued by NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC). http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/press_release/2012/SciSpot/SS1209/