Tag Archives: cod

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

New England’s cod catch in nosedive

The decline of the fishery has made the U.S. reliant on foreign cod, and cod fish fillets and steaks purchased in American supermarkets and restaurants are now typically caught by Norway, Russia or Iceland in the north Atlantic. In Maine, which is home to the country’s second-largest Atlantic cod fishery, the dwindling catch has many wondering if cod fishing is a thing of the past. “It’s going to be more and more difficult for people to make this work,” said Maggie Raymond, executive director of the Associated Fisheries of Maine. State records say 2016 was historically bad for cod fishing in Maine. Fishermen brought less than 170,000 pounds of the fish to land in the state last year.,,, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released an assessment of the Gulf of Maine cod stock in 2014 that said the spawning population was at its lowest point in the history of the study of the fish. Scientists have cited years of overfishing and inhospitable environmental conditions as possible reasons for the decline. continue reading the story here 09:50

The cod are coming back to Newfoundland — and they’re eating the shrimp that had taken over

Theodore Genge has a big beautiful new dragger that’ll be ready to head for “the Labrador” as soon as the sea ice loosens its grip on Anchor Point. When the 63-year-old Newfoundland fisherman began building the $2.2 million trawler two years ago he had 750,000 pounds worth of shrimp quota to catch. But plummeting shrimp numbers in the cold water off Labrador have led Fisheries and Oceans Canada to drastically carve into quotas for that coast. Genge expects that by April he’ll be left with a total of 300,000 lbs of quotas — 220,000 lbs in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, where there is still plenty of shrimp, and 80,000 lbs on the Labrador coast. “Right now, yes, it’s pretty stressful – I don’t know whether there’s any hope or no,” said Genge. (Big read!) continue reading the article here 16:25

Cod Found Once Again in Cold Ocean Waters off New York Harbor

Over the last several years, one fish in particular has been making a slow, but steady comeback in the offshore environment of the northwestern North Atlantic. It was a fish that was so plentiful at one time that it filled the cold waters of New England’s rocky coastline, so much so that early Europeans named a large peninsula in Massachusetts after the fish. Cod, as declared by both the Boston Globe and the New Scientist, are making a comeback, after decades of strict government regulations. Last year, the Boston Globe wrote that the Canadian fishing authorities released a report in spring 2016 suggesting “cod are finally making a comeback….The report found that the adult population of northern cod had more than doubled in size over the past three years, and it estimates that the spawning stock will double again within the next three years — bringing it two-thirds of the way back to a healthy fishery.” It’s not just in New England and Canada either. Nearby recreational fisherman out of New York City and along Long Island to Montauk and down the Jersey Shore to Point Pleasant for the last several years have been finding more cod while angling out in the ocean during winter or early spring cod fishing trips. Read the article here 08:46

Cod an option in face of looming shrimp cuts, says FFAW

The Fish, Food and Allied Workers union says expansion into commercial cod fishing is a possibility for harvesters, as another cut to overall shrimp quotas looms for next season. Following revelations by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans this week that the shrimp stock in the crucial Zone 6 area off of Newfoundland has fallen again, FFAW president Keith Sullivan says it looks like another quota cut is coming — but there may be alternatives. According to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, the landed value of shrimp in Newfoundland and Labrador in 2016 dropped to $276 million. Read the story here 08:29

New SMAST camera can help assess cod stocks in Gulf of Maine

Researchers from UMass Dartmouth say they have successfully tested an underwater video-survey system that they hope will provide an accurate method to assess Atlantic cod stocks. In collaboration with fishermen, the research team recently placed high-resolution cameras in an open-ended commercial trawl net on Stellwagen Bank in the Gulf of Maine, known as one of the world’s most active marine sanctuaries. The cameras captured images of cod and other groundfish as they passed through the net. Periodically, researchers from UMD’s School for Marine Science & Technology closed the net for short periods to collect length, weight, and take other biological samples from some of the fish. The fish are unharmed and are returned to the sea. The system is design to be portable, so scientists can set it up on different fishing vessels. Professor Kevin Stokesbury, head researcher on the project, said the video system is an important tool at a time of uncertainty about the groundfish stock in the Gulf of Maine. Read the story here 17:57  Read the press release and watch the video here

Using cod pots could be the way of the future for cod fishery

Phillip Meintzer thinks there might be a better way to fish for cod off the waters of Newfoundland and Labrador. The master’s graduate student in science from the Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Resources, Marine Institute of Memorial University, was guest speaker for the weekly Coastal Matters series at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University in Corner Brook Thursday. His presentation discussed promoting the conservation of Atlantic cod through the improvement and implementation of cod pots in the province. Here are five things to know about cod pots. Read the rest here 09:59

Letter: New year brings new hope for the fishery – Francis Patey, St. Anthony

As we move through January and discard the old calendar, we might ask ourselves what kind of year 2016 was for rural Newfoundland and Labrador. For me, personally, the top event of the year was remembering the 100th anniversary of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment and the Battle of the Somme, which my father was a part of. In 2016, the Liberals were back in power, dealing with a bag of financial problems left behind by the previous government, resulting in tough decisions being made to keep this Rock afloat. As in other years, rural Newfoundland and Labrador was again feeling the hatchet in the form of quota cuts to the shellfish industry, making fishermen wonder if it’s all worth it. Some may ask, with all the doom and gloom of 2016, was there not one single glimmer of light? Yes, there was. For the first time since the cod moratorium, the people in charge of running our fishery finally listened to the fishermen when they said the cod is back and back in abundance. Read the letter here 10:06

A New England story goes Australian – Fishing industries under pressure

Atlantic-Cod-Dieter-CraasmannThe cod isn’t just a fish to David Goethel. It’s his identity, his ticket to middle class life, his link to a historic industry. “I paid for my education, my wife’s education, my house, my kids’ education; my slice of America was paid for on cod,” said Goethel, a 30-year veteran of waters that once teemed with New England’s signature fish. But on a chilly, windy Saturday in April, after 12 hours out in the Gulf of Maine, he has caught exactly two cod, and he feels far removed from the 1990s, when he could catch 2,000 pounds in a day. The US fishing fleet has dwindled from more than 120,000 vessels in 1996 to about 75,000 today, the Coast Guard says. For the fishermen of the northeastern US – not all of whom accept the scientific consensus on climate change, and many of whom bristle at government regulations stemming from it – whether to stick with fishing, adapt to the changing ocean or leave the business is a constant worry. Robert Bradfield was one of the East Coast’s most endangered species, a Rhode Island lobsterman, until he pulled his traps out of the water for the last time about a decade ago. Read the rest here 09:30

Starving cod – Harvesters reporting catching thin cod with little in their digestive systems

cod-fishScientists with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans are keeping a close eye on cod stocks in southern Labrador, in the wake of reports from harvesters catching fish in rough shape this season. “What we’re catching here now, it’s very poor. There’s nothing in the puttocks [digestive tract] of the fish,” fisherman Warrick Chubbs told CBC’s The Broadcast. “Only little jellyfish, the size of your thumbnail, and not many of them. The very odd one, you’ll see maybe one or two rotten shrimp.” Chubbs isn’t alone in his concerns. “It certainly seems like this year in southern Labrador the cod are not in very good condition at all,” said DFO research scientist John Brattey, who is hearing multiple similar reports from the region. Read the story here 08:26

Quality more important than quantity in cod fishing, says FFAW

cod-fishResearchers with the Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union (FFAW) are working with fish harvesters to determine how to ensure cod caught in Newfoundland and Labrador is top quality. As Newfoundlanders and Labradorians can attest, many can tell the difference between a great piece of cod and an average one. And the FFAW’s new project is aiming to close the gap between the two.  Bill Broderick, the inshore director of the FFAW, told CBC’s The Broadcast that 32 harvesters have signed on for the project. He said fish harvesters need to ensure they catch quality cod because, these days, quality is more important than quantity. Read the rest here 09:47

Cod Is Dead—Is Dogfish the Answer?

doug-feeney-chatham-fisherman-dogfish-2On a wind-tossed autumn morning off the Cape Cod coast, the aft deck of Doug Feeney’s 36-foot fishing boat, the Noah, is buried beneath a squirming, slimy, shin-deep layer of sharks. The Noah’s hauler growls under the weight of the 300-hook long line emerging from the froth-tipped Atlantic. The reek of gasoline mingles with salt. A procession of small gray sharks, each pierced neatly through the jaw by a steel hook, materializes from the depths. Feeney, a lean fisherman whose goatee and hoop earrings lend him a vaguely piratical mien, yanks the sharks from the line with the steady rhythm of an assembly-line worker. A drained cup of coffee perches on the dashboard; James Taylor warbles on the radio. “Twenty-five years ago we’d catch 10,000 pounds of these things every day,” Feeney shouts over the roar of the engines and “Fire and Rain.” “We’d just throw ’em back over the side.” Like many Chatham fishermen, Feeney is a jack-of-all-trades. He gillnets monkfish in early spring, he trolls for bluefin tuna in late fall. But no species occupies more of his energy than the spiny dogfish, the dachshund-size shark now piling up on the Noah’s deck.  Read the story here 09:27

New England’s embattled fishermen – To the north, in the waters off Newfoundland, the cod are coming back

For more than 500 years, the iceberg-filled waters off Newfoundland’s craggy coast teemed with a seemingly endless supply of cod, so much that it sparked wars, drew immigrants from far away, and defined the rhythm of life. Here, cod have been so woven into the culture that most people refer to them simply as fish — as if there were no other. In the late 1960s, when times were good, local fishermen would catch some 800,000 metric tons a year of the olive-backed fish known as the northern cod. In the 1980s, their catch dropped by more than one-third, but the population still appeared relatively healthy. In 1987, the government estimated there were 940,000 metric tons of cod old enough to reproduce. For cod fishermen in New England, where federal authorities two years ago declared a similar moratorium on commercial catches, Newfoundland’s experience provides lessons in the consequences of poor management, the possible impact of climate change, the long years — even decades — it can take for the population to rebound. Read the story here 09:21

Department of Fisheries and Oceans: Northern cod biomass at highest rate since 1992

Atlantic-Cod-Dieter-CraasmannThe Atlantic cod stocks are returning, but there’s still a long way to go before a large-scale commercial fishery becomes viable again. That’s the finding of new research by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, which shows that cod stocks in the Northern region are on the way towards leaving the “critical” designation. The stock in the 2J, 3K and 3L regions has increased to an estimated 538,000 tons of fish — the highest rate since 1992. Still, the stock only reaches 34 per cent of the level needed to escape the “critical” zone. DFO performs stock assessments every three years, sourcing information from vessel surveys, commercial catches, tags on the cod and more. In 2013, the stock reached about 300,000 tons in biomass. Today, it’s almost double that. Read the story here 08:23

Newfoundland cod stock shows signs of recovery

Atlantic-Cod-Dieter-CraasmannThe Newfoundland northern cod stock has grown significantly since 2006, according to an independent assessment completed by SAI Global on behalf of WWF-Canada and the Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union (FFAW-Unifor). The assessment cautions, however, that numbers are far below what they were during the peak commercial success of the fishery. FFAW-Unifor, the Seafood Producers of Newfoundland and Labrador, Fogo Island Co-op and WWF-Canada agreed to work together to rebuild the fishery off Newfoundland’s northeast coast, also referred to as area 2J3KL, through a Fisheries Improvement Project (FIP) in 2015. Read the rest here 14:17

New England Fishermen face devastating cod cuts

cod-fishNew Bedford’s commercial fishing industry — battered by last month’s arrest of magnate Carlos Rafael on federal conspiracy charges, last week’s drug raids on the waterfront and ongoing monitoring costs — took another punch to the gut this week, as government regulators proposed new cuts to cod catches that could take effect May 1. “Those cuts will be devastating to the groundfishing fleet of New Bedford, and the whole New England coast,” said John Haran, manager of groundfish Sector 13. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), in conjunction with the New England Fishery Management Council, released a proposed update Monday to the federal management plan for the northeastern fishery. Read the rest here 20:45

For some reason, codfish off the province’s south coast aren’t living to a ripe old age.

2016-02-14-08-51-06-TEL-16022016-3PsCodStocks_cc%20clone.1“The obvious question is what’s going on?” said Rick Rideout, a research scientist with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO). Rideout was the lead scientist on DFO’s science advisory report for last fall’s 3Ps cod stock assessment. The number of new fish in 3Ps seems to have improved in recent years, Rideout said Thursday, but the stock’s trajectory has taken a downward turn. “It’s above the limit reference point, but it’s certainly below the target of where we’d like it to be,” he said. There’s certainly some reason for concern, yeah.” Read the rest here 07:44

Dick Grachek responds to “Cod stocks on south coast of Newfoundland ‘OK but not great’

cod-fish-852From the above linked article posted on Fishery Nation.com: “The spawning stock is now between the ages for four and seven years, which [lead researcher Rick] Rideout called a ‘pretty restricted’ age.” Click here to read the article “Basically, fish are not surviving to those older ages, they’re coming into the stock … but they’re not surviving to older age, and again, that’s a big concern.” Then abandon MSY management! A majority of younger fish comprising the spawning stock is a function of Maximum Sustainable Yield management (MSY). This MSY management balances the numbers of larger spawning fish taken out of a stock against the numbers of individuals of smaller younger fish entering the stock or “recruitment”—guess what, this yields a highly unstable stock of smaller younger fish. Read the rest here 19:47

Cod stocks on south coast of Newfoundland ‘OK but not great’, says researcher

cod-fishA new study into the state of cod stocks off the south coast of Newfoundland and Labrador shows a decline and high mortality rates. Lead researcher, Rick Rideout, says while stocks aren’t in terrible shape, there is reason for concern. “3PS cod is currently what we would call in the cautious zone … it’s certainly below the target of where fisheries management would like the stock to be,” said Rideout. “We’re okay, but we’re not great.” “Our estimates of mortality are really high right now, as high as we’ve seen in monitoring this stock,” Read the rest here 10:24

Cod was key to our survival – Earl Snelgrove, St. John’s

cod-fishI was born in the small fishing community of Grates Cove, Trinity Bay near Baccalieu Island in the later part of the 1920s and used to go fishing with my father and some of my brothers. My father had three cod traps which he inherited from my grandfather. We set those traps by the shoreline not more than 20 fathoms (about 120 feet) off from the shore. About the time the caplin came to the beaches from the Grand Banks for spawning, anytime from mid-June or early July, we would set our traps, and the cod chasing the caplin would be led into the traps by means of a leader. Read the rest here 09:35

Cod is king — in China, Ryan Cleary, St. John’s

TJI_groundfishing-cod_121715-450x166The king of Newfoundland and Labrador is dead, long live the codfish king. But it will take a monumental effort to elevate our iconic cod back to its historic throne of global powerhouse. Challenge appears on every front — including reintroducing cod into a world fish market dominated by cheap, Chinese product, and a potential foreign takeover of local plants and quotas.  Read the letter here 08:37

2014 study shows haddock is booming and cod remains in decline in the northeast

cod-fishU.S. government scientists reporting on fish stocks off New England are reaching the same conclusions as their Canadian counterparts who have found that haddock is booming and cod remains in decline in the northeast. On Monday, the Northeast Fisheries Science Centre at Woods Hole, Massachusettes released an assessment of 20 northeast ground fish stocks from 2014 surveys. “The rapid increase in haddock, redfish, pollock and white hake contrasts sharply with the decline of cod and the flatfish species,” the report states. Read the rest here 09:13

Fishermen obeyed their quotas, so why did Maine cod stocks collapse?

NOAA ScientistDr. Andrew Pershing from the Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI), lead author of the study released Thursday in Science, explained for the first time why cod stocks in the Gulf of Maine have decreased to 3 to 4 percent of sustainable levels, despite numerous harvesting restrictions in 2010 by fisheries managers. Fisheries published strict quota limits for fishermen without accounting for ocean warming in the Gulf of Maine,,, By not accounting for such an influential change, fisheries set quota ceilings that were too high and inadvertently endorsed severe overfishing. Read the rest here  13:09

Scientists: Warming ocean factor in collapse of Gulf of Maine cod fishery

cod-fish-852The scientists behind the Science report say the warming of the Gulf of Maine, which accelerated from 2004 to 2013, reduced cod’s capacity to rebound from fishing pressure. The report gives credence to the idea — supported by advocacy groups, fishing managers and even some fishermen — that climate change has played a role in cod’s collapse. The lead author of the study, Andrew Pershing of the Gulf of Maine Research Institute in Portland, said the gulf is warming at a rate 99 percent faster than anywhere else in the world, and as a result, too many of the fish aren’t living past age 4. Cod can live to be older than 20. Read the rest here 07:58

Warming waters a major factor in the collapse of New England cod, study finds

newstudywarmPershing and colleagues from GMRI, the University of Maine, Stony Brook University, the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, and NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory, including the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder, found that increasing water temperatures reduce the number of new cod produced by spawning females. Their study also suggests that warming waters led to fewer young fish surviving to adulthood. Read the rest here 18:04

The enigma behind America’s freak, 20-year lobster boom

lobster discardEven as biologists puzzle over Maine’s strange serendipity, a more ominous mystery is emerging. A scientist who tracks baby lobsters reports that in the last few years their numbers have abruptly plummeted, up and down Maine’s coast. With the number of breeding lobsters at an all-time high, it’s unclear why the baby lobster population would be cratering—let alone what it portends. It could reflect a benign shift in baby lobster habitats. Or it could be that the two-decade boom is already on its way to a bust. To form a clearer picture why, we first need to unravel the possible causes of the current lobster glut. Read the rest here 09:23

UK FISHERIES survey logbooks from the 1930s to 1950s have been digitised for the first time – What took them so long?

Scientists at the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) and the University of Exeter found that at the time, the warm seas experienced around Norway benefitted the cod, similar to the conditions there today. The Barents Sea surveys were mainly carried out by the steam vessel RV Ernest Holt, which was commissioned especially to withstand Arctic conditions. Scientists at the time knew that the cod were being affected by their environmental conditions, but digitising this data has meant that much more modern techniques can be used to delve into the responses of cod to changes in their environment and diet. Read the rest here 15:45

Cod comeback

“Last year was a pretty good sign of fish around, and this year was even better — more places, and a really good sign, places like Renews Rock. They hadn’t been there in 15 years, and the fish are back there now,” he said. “Ferryland right on down to Calvert, Bay Bulls, all those places are seeing a lot of fish.” George Rose, director of the Centre for Fisheries Ecosystems Research, said the scientific surveys it has done of cod populations bear out what fishermen are saying: the cod are back. Read the rest here 11:30

Recovery of Marine Mammal predators causes unexpected conservation challenges

In the paper, published in the journal Conservation Letters, scientists explored the effects of these recovering predator populations on their home ecosystems, outlining three major unintended conflicts that have resulted. In the Pacific Northwest the comeback of California sea lions and killer whales, as well as Pacific harbor seals (Phoca vitulina), all protected under the MMPA, has increased the animals’ competition with humans for fish. Furthermore, all three predators feed on the ESA-protected Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), whose populations are declining. And competition for fish among the predators could adversely affect them all. Read the rest here 10:40

Scientists, Fishing Fleet Team Up To Save Cod — By Listening

In the ocean off of Massachusetts, an unlikely alliance of scientists and fishermen is on a quest. They’re looking for mating codfish. The goal is not only to revive a depleted fish population, but to save an endangered fishing community as well. Frank Mirarchi, a fisherman in the area for 52 years, was one of those who came forward. “We know the fish are spawning somewhere in this fairly large area of several hundred square miles,” he told the scientists. “Help us find out where.” “We’re trying to fish but not catch cod,” says Mirarchi. “That’s the new strategy.” Read the rest here 08:20

Scientists say Newfoundland’s cod stocks are coming back. Can we get it right this time?

Sometimes, it seems as if cod is all anyone talks about, inside the Cupids Legacy Centre and on the streets of St. John’s, where cab drivers and tattooed twentysomethings still talk about family fishing rights. So when scientists announce the cod is coming back, it’s big news. It rubs salt into old wounds throughout Atlantic Canada. And it raises questions: Can we get it right this time? If the moratorium is lifted, can we find a way to manage the fishery sustainably? Read the rest here 17:34

Massachusetts: Cod fishing restrictions to remain in place for another year

Federal regulations implemented in November to restrict cod fishing in the Gulf of Maine will remain in place for at least another year, the state Division of Marine Fisheries announced Wednesday.Additionally, the state Division of Marine Fisheries has reduced the commercial trip limit for Gulf of Maine cod from 800 to 200 pounds for all state and federal permit holders fishing in state waters. Read the rest here    14:32

N.S. cod quota cut in half as species struggles – Surveys show fish dying before reaching age five or six

cod-fish-852Scientists found this year’s catch brought in fewer younger fish. “If they do grow, they hit age four or five and they seem to disappear,” Leslie said. “In our surveys at age five or six, they are practically non-existent.” Scientists don’t understand what’s happening to the fish. Haddock and cod are managed in the same way, but cod remains in trouble while haddock booms. “The assumptions we had to make several years ago about what level of fishing would allow [us] to rebuild didn’t pay out. Fishing mortality remained high. The stock didn’t rebound,” Leslie said. Read the rest here 17:32

Blagg: Following the cod

Back when European colonists first began arriving on North American shores, hoping to build viable communities in a land that promised seemingly endless land and opportunity, they were following a fish. Long before anyone thought seriously of living here, fishermen from Spain, France and England had been making the perilous journey to the Grand Banks off Maine and the Maritime Provinces to spend the summer catching tens of thousands of the perfect fish — the cod. Read the rest here 09:06

Regulations have done little to boost cod in Gulf of Maine: Lobster management offers clear direction

Colonial America’s first true industry, groundfishing, has followed the path of many others. Technology improved as the industrial revolution took hold — it kept improving afterward — and a growing population of fishermen, both domestic and foreign, became more productive as they pursued cod, haddock and other species found near the ocean floor.  Yada yada yada!  Read the rest here 21:20

Interview: John Bullard shut down cod fishing in the region for at least six months. It’s not making him any friends.

130307_GT_ABO_BULLARD_1You served three terms as mayor of New Bedford, which made you one of the chief advocates for one of the biggest fishing ports in the country. Now, with the cod fishing ban that you ordered, you’re being called the guy who’s killing the fishing industry. When I left City Hall, I was actually hired by the fishing industry. I worked for New Bedford Seafood Co-op for six months,,, Read the rest here 12:34

‘Where have all the cod gone?’ and the sustainability imperative – By Brian J. Rothschild

In “Where Have All the Cod Gone” (New York Times, Jan. 2) history professor W. Jeffrey Bolster claims that the “..recent ban on cod fishing in the Gulf of Maine (GOM) was an important step toward restoration.” ,,,But Bolster’s analysis is an oversimplification and a misunderstanding of this important conservation issue. And in a broader sense, it is symptomatic of how we misunderstand and oversimplify our conservation and sustainability issues, and how this limits our ability to develop efficient and cost-effective solutions. Read the rest here 18:03

Fishery may be in transition, but don’t bank on cod as a saviour

I love this idea that gets floated by political decision makers, that the fishing industry in this province is in transition. Well, of course it is. But from what to what? Shrimp and crab are clearly in serious decline in most commercial fishing areas.,, The cod fishery on the United States’ side of Georges Bank in the Gulf of Maine was shut down this past November when American scientists suggested stocks had plummeted to about three per cent of their historic level (although fishermen there argue the scientists are wrong — sound familiar?) Read the rest here 07:09

For the love of cod, do it right this time: fishermen

cod sake articleFishermen along the south coast of the province fear lessons learned from years of being under cod fishing moratoriums might be forgotten.And if history repeats itself — as signs of cod stocks growing and talks of quotas increasing make the news — they say the next blow might be the last for the inshore fishermen and many rural communities that have a stake in groundfish stocks. But fishermen are frustrated they cannot land the total cod quota available because local processing companies are not buying the cod when the fishermen are able to fish it. Read the rest here 08:10

Can this province have a successful small boat cod fishery?

mza_1601165783653993600_255x255-75Tonight we speak with fishermen from the south coast of Newfoundland, where the province’s only commercial cod fishery currently exists, to get their take. Listen to the podcast here 12:43

Where Have All the Cod Gone?

As early as the 1850s, fishermen from Maine and Massachusetts began to pester their governments to do something about declining cod catches. Those men fished with hooks and lines from small wooden sailboats and rowboats. Fearing “the material injury of the codfishing interests of this state” by increased fishing for menhaden, a critical forage fish for cod, fishermen from Gouldsboro, Me., implored the Legislature in 1857 to limit menhaden hauls. Read the rest here 18:04

Tagging in Newfoundland showing cod, halibut activity

Atlantic halibut catches provided a landed value of $5.6 million to the Newfoundland and Labrador fishery in 2013, with over 40 per cent caught off the Island’s west coast. The stock estimates for that area, as with other parts of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, face regular dispute, with some fishermen saying there are more fish to catch. Harvesters argue current bottom-trawl surveys do not provide a true assessment at the end of the day. Read the rest here  21:22

$200k investment in Canadian cod processing

Canadian cod and , is investing in new equipment to help boost product yield and quality after receiving CAD$200,000 from the Provincial Government.The funding, provided through the Fisheries Technology and New Opportunities Programme   Read the rest here 08:16

Waters Warm, and Cod Catch Ebbs in Maine

421238_367823369911134_2112714610_nIn the vast gulf that arcs from Massachusetts’s shores to Canada’s Bay of Fundy, cod was once king.,,“A fisherman’s job isn’t to get an unbiased estimate of abundance. It’s to catch fish,” said Michael Fogarty, the chief of the ecosystem assessment program at the Northeast Fisheries Science Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the federal agency that monitors sea life. “The world they see is a different world than we see in the surveys.”. Read the rest here 09:48

NOAA Regional Administrator John Bullard concedes Gloucester, Scituate, and Portsmouth faces heavy hit

130307_GT_ABO_BULLARD_1“We’re trying to follow the cod and that’s going to have a disproportionate impact on these ports,” he said, naming Gloucester, Scituate and Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Bullard said he expects those closures also will preclude groundfishermen from fishing for other, more plentiful species such as gray sole, dabs, haddock and flounder in the closed areas. “It’s almost impossible to protect cod while allowing the fishing of other species,” he said. “That’s one of the real difficulties.”  We’re not giving up on cod,” Bullard said. “We believe the cod stock can be rebuilt, but it needs to be protected.” Read the rest here 09:01

Guest View: Saving cod won’t be easy

Atlantic cod-Cod, the fish that has fueled New England seaport economies for nearly four centuries, have all but disappeared from the Gulf of Maine, and recent stock surveys indicate that even with tightened catch limits, their numbers are not rebounding as hoped., There are a variety of reasons for the ongoing decline, not the least of which is a changing marine ecosystem driven by climate change. According to the region’s leading scientists, Read the rest here 07:46

How Norway and Russia Made A Cod Fishery Live and Thrive

Atlantic-Cod-Dieter-CraasmannThe prime cod fishing grounds of North America have been depleted or wiped out by overfishing and poor management. But in Arctic waters, Norway and Russia are working cooperatively to sustain a highly productive — and profitable — cod fishery. by john waldman. Steve Cadrin comments at the bottom, and should be read. Read the rest here 00:50

Cod pot fishing method a hit with Fogo Island fishermen, chefs

An experimental method for catching cod is proving to be a big success, according to some fishermen in the Fogo Island area. The cod pot was developed locally at the Marine Institute in 2007, and while only a handful of fishermen are using them, the idea appears to be catching on. Read more here  09:04

Scott Lang – Northeast Fisheries Science Center cannot ignore other fishery data

From the article: Prior to the June meeting, NEFSC hosted an “empirical approach” TRAC Yellowtail Benchmark meeting in April to “evaluate all relevant data sources with respect to their support for alternative hypotheses on stock status and . . . their directional impact on catch advice.”  With NEFSC pledging that the “empirical approach” meeting would be new, innovative, inclusive, and transparent, there was much hype leading up to the April “Empirical Approach” meeting.  NEFSC has been criticized in the past for a lack of transparency,,, Read more here 17:41

Fishery resource state at Newfoundlands Grand Bank assessed

Researchers at Vigo Oceanographic Centre of the  are evaluating the state of exploitation of the fishery resources of the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. The research tasks are performed from 25 May aboard the vessel Vizconde de Eza under the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment (MAGRAMA). Read more here 09:17

Better science for better fisheries management.

In research published online last month in the journal Reviews in Fisheries Science & Aquaculture, Grabowski found that mobile fishing gear such as trawls and dredges that drag along the bottom cause more damage to areas inhabited by groundfish than stationary gear like traps and gillnets. Read more here  17:14

Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC): Endangering an industry

It all began in the fall of 2013 when reports surfaced about the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) making recommendations to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) to list Atlantic cod under the Species at Risk Act. Read more here  23:19

Fishing for innovation, Maine finds Iceland’s got it hooked

In 1981, Icelanders were catching 400,000 tons of cod annually. Twenty years later, although the annual catch had fallen to 180,00 tons, revenue adjusted for inflation more than doubled. Icelanders figured out that they could make more money by selling almost all parts of the fish rather than just fillets, Read more here portlandpress  17:48

Cod: The great mystery – New England’s Refugee’s are unwanted, will be deported. Whole.

mza_1601165783653993600_255x255-75There can’t be too many things more confusing for the casual fisheries observer than cod.  See, we had cod. Lots of it, then we lost it. But now we have it again … maybe.  It’s worthless. Nobody wants it. Fishermen are lucky to get 50 cents a pound for it. That’s if anybody will even buy it. But it’s worth north of $20 per pound in some international markets. But there’s no market. Our quality is bad, but also, our quality is great. Read [email protected] 10:16

Cod’s mysterious defence strategies

g0002580000000000000bea0810c3a6cac2be28188b42d824fdbd10e7d9Low prices for wild-caught cod have kept cod farming profits minimal up to now. The additional challenges of expensive feeds, destructive diseases and high mortality have also proven difficult to solve. On the disease front, Norwegian researchers showed in 2011 that the cod immune system is very unlike that of other production fish such as salmon. Read [email protected]  10:06

What has Changed? Published: October 27, 1994 – Commercial-Fishing Halt Is Urged for Georges Bank

nefmc logoFaced with a fishery on the verge of collapse, a Federal council today recommended virtually shutting down commercial fishing in the Georges Bank off Cape Code, once one of the world’s richest fishing grounds. While some fishing could continue, the council, the New England Fishery Management Council, directed its staff to come up with measures that would reduce the catch of cod, haddock and yellowtail flounder, the principal species sought on the Georges Bank, to as close to zero as practical. Read [email protected]  16:07

Baker: The year that cod could not be sold at any price

863a4ac9dc_64635696_o2In the fishery you can always tell if something is going pretty well because you don’t hear a lot about it, and that was the case this year in both the crab and shrimp fisheries. They make up about 80 per cent of the entire industry’s wealth in this province, and it seems things went well on the water and in the market for the most part in 2013. That said, it is clear there are some resource challenges coming: the ocean is changing, groundfish are returning and we may see crab and shrimp stocks taking dips as a result. Read more @cbcnews  06:05

Increasing utilization of the province’s cod and yellowtail resource, OCI opens expanded processing facility in Fortune

863a4ac9dc_64635696_o2“The provincial government’s agreement with Ocean Choice International reflects our commitment to maximizing economic benefits from our fish resources, and ensuring the well-being of residents in rural areas,” Hutchings said in a news release. The province says OCI is committed to creating a minimum of 110 full-time processing positions for a minimum of five years. It also says the agreement between Ocean Choice International and the provincial government has improved the utilization of the province’s yellowtail resource and generated more economic activity for the fishery.  In 2011, 3,955 tonnes of yellowtail was harvested, but in 2013 more than 7,500 tonnes has been caught. [email protected]  15:20

Cod continues to move north into Arctic – scientists

The main driver behind this sizeable  migration is warmer seas further south. Marine scientists from five countries bordering the Arctic Ocean  met in Tromso, Norway recently to discuss this phenomenon and concluded that cod stocks in the Barents Sea are at record levels. Norwegian oceanographer Alf Håkon Hoel said in a recent article that some of the most important fisheries in the world take place in waters around the North Pole. [email protected]  08:29

Not Enough (Cod)Fish In The Sea? – Audio and Counting Fish | Estimating the Gulf of Maine’s Fish Population

Not Enough (Cod)Fish In The Sea? – There’s long been a debate over exactly how many fish there are in the sea — especially cod. Cod has been overfished for decades and because of that, strict catch limits were put in place, particularly in the Gulf of Maine where cod were once plentiful. [email protected]

Counting Fish | Estimating the Gulf of Maine’s Fish Population – My shift ends at midnight. I deliver Ziploc bags of herring heads to the walk-in freezer, power-wash the fish gunk off my foul-weather gear, and turn my work­station over to the night watch, who will work until noon. I’ve been on duty aboard the Henry B. Bigelow,, [email protected]  10:37