Tag Archives: gulf-of-maine-cod

New net opens a way to help fishermen and protect cod

Catching the wrong fish, or catching too much of a low-quota fish like cod, can end a season for a commercial fisherman. In recent years, the interstate New England Fishery Management Council has slashed the number of cod that can be landed from the Gulf of Maine from about 1,550 metric tons in 2014 to 280 metric tons now. Fishermen who catch too many, even by accident, can be shut down for the season. A team of scientists and fishermen led by the Gulf of Maine Research Institute has created a new kind of fishing net that can catch popular flatfish like yellowtail flounder without busting strict quotas set to protect the Atlantic cod from overfishing. The net redesign team was led by Eayrs, himself a former commercial fisherman in Australia, and Massachusetts state fisheries biologist Michael Pol. The team included four commercial fishermen from Massachusetts and New Hampshire, two other scientists and a Rhode Island netmaker. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Saltonstall-Kennedy program funded the $265,000 project in 2015, when it awarded $22 million in fisheries grants. Read the story here 07:57

New Trawl Avoids Cod

ulot_webA new fishing net has been designed in New England, US, which avoids catching cod while retaining flatfish, reports Gulf of Maine Research Institute. The net was designed in response to the drastic reduction in catch quotas for Gulf of Maine cod. The reduced quotas have made it difficult to target other species that are more abundant. The ultra low opening trawl (ULOT) has a smaller vertical opening than a typical trawl net; just over 2 feet compared to the 6-foot opening in standard nets. This design allows for cod to swim up and over the net, escaping capture. Read the rest here. – Read more about this – Ultra-Low-Opening Groundfish Trawl Development This project is a collaboration with scientists (Mike Pol – MA DMF; Chris Glass – UNH; Pingguo He – SMAST), fishermen (Jim Ford – F/V Lisa Ann III; Dan Murphy – F/V Bantry Bay, Tom Testaverde – F/V Midnight Sun) and a net maker (Jon Knight – Superior Trawl). Click here to read 13:31

Recreational fishermen can target cod starting Monday

charter, cod restrictions, yankee freedomAs of Monday, recreational anglers will get a chance to reacquaint themselves with the much-coveted Gulf of Maine cod when federal fishing restrictions for the species are lifted until the end of September. The bag limit for the iconic species, whose stock NOAA Fisheries maintains is in freefall, will be one cod per fisherman per day. (Anglers are mentioning the huge numbers of cod they have to throw back.) The anglers’ comments are representative of the overall narrative of local fishermen — commercial, recreational and lobstermen — who continue to insist they are seeing far more cod in the water than the scientists at NOAA Fisheries say are there. It is a disconnect that, in many ways, has come to define the plight of the commercial fishing industry and its lack of trust in the science that comes out of NOAA Fisheries. They hear one thing in the stock assessments. They see another with their eyes when they’re out on the water. Read the story here 09:16

Researchers use the North Atlantic Oscillation as a predictive tool for managing Gulf of Maine Cod

27-researchersuIn recent decades, the plight of Atlantic cod off the coast of New England has been front-page news. Since the 1980s in particular, the once-seemingly inexhaustible stocks of Gadus morhua—one of the most important fisheries in North America—have declined dramatically. In 2008, a formal assessment forecasted that stocks would rebound, but by 2012, they were once again on the verge of collapse. Two years later, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration instituted an unprecedented six-month closure of the entire Gulf of Maine cod fishery to allow stocks to recover. While overfishing is one known culprit, a new study co-authored by researchers at UC Santa Barbara and Columbia University finds that the climatological phenomenon known as the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) is also a factor. And it contributes in a predictable way that may enable fishery managers to protect cod stocks from future collapse. Read the rest here 17:37

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

Savage quota cuts will finish off the New England small boat groundfish fishery

manatthewheelFishermen and fishing stakeholders say the darkness that has descended on the Northeast groundfish fishery over the past three years is only going to grow deeper in 2016, with some fishing stakeholders envisioning the final collapse of the small-boat industry due to slashed quotas for species they believe are abundant. “We’ve never had a greater gap between what the fishermen are seeing on the water and what the scientists are saying,” Giacalone said. “Never.” Read the rest here, if you can stand it. 06:23

Discard Mortality: What happens when a fisherman tosses a fish back overboard? It’s not a frivolous question.

discard mortality studyWhat happens when a fisherman tosses a fish back overboard? It’s not a frivolous question. The government bases catch quotas and other rules in part on the mortality of tossed fish, and there isn’t always accurate data available about how many fish survive the fling. Now, a group of New England scientists says it’s finding that a surprisingly high percentage of the lucky fish might live to swim another day. Read the article here 08:44

Recreational Cod study aims to help fish crisis

AR-151229933.jpg&MaxW=650With cod at historically low population levels and commercial fishermen limited to landings that are just a fraction of what they once were, the recreational catch is now believed to account for as much as one-third of total landings of Gulf of Maine cod. But recreational landings data was considerably poorer than the commercial data, which made it hard to estimate their true impact on the population or know the effectiveness of regulatory measures. Solving the cod crisis will take a lot of research, (of course!) Read the article here 12:04

New England: Fleet could see haddock quota double

haddockThe annual catch limits for Gulf of Maine cod will increase slightly in 2016, while the quota for haddock will more than double if recommendations passed this week by the New England Fishery Management Council are approved by NOAA Fisheries. One year after slashing total cod quotas by more than 75 percent to 386 metric tons, the council voted at its three-day meeting in Portland, Maine, to raise the total cod annual catch limit (ACL) to about 440 metric tons, with 280 metric tons designated for the commercial fishing industry in each of the next three fishing seasons. Read the article here 08:20:38

Warmer Gulf of Maine clobbering the cod

AR-151209869.jpg&MaxW=650Desperate measures have been taken, cod quotas have been slashed again and again, and yet fish numbers continue to slide. Now, a new study by the Gulf of Maine Research Institute suggest the Gulf’s warming waters have led to the collapse of the fishery and recovery depends “as much on temperature as it does on fishing.”,, But if is the prime culprit, not over zealous fishermen, what more can be done on a local level? Andrew Pershing,  “Our work suggests that had temperature been factored in,,,” Read the article here 09:18

Gulf warming study based on bad science, stakeholders say

cod-fishThe study, performed by the Gulf of Maine Research Institute and appearing in the journal Science, concluded the Gulf of Maine’s surface water is warming more rapidly than 99.9 percent of the rest of the world’s oceans and that climate change is a contributing factor to the demise of the cod stock.  “My first question was whether any part of the study started out to understand the true status of Gulf of Maine cod or if they just assumed that the data from the assessment — which we contend is consistently wrong — is fact,” said Vito Giacalone, policy director for the Gloucester-based Northeast Seafood Coalition. “I was told it was the latter.” Read the rest here 08:39

New England Stock Assessments – If it’s the same, it will never be different, Don Cuddy

We are having a serious problem in New England with the performance of the models used in fishery management. To remedy a situation that, along with some other factors, has led to the current crisis in the groundfish industry, we need new data … and maybe we need new models.,, Getting better data is a theme familiar to anyone with connections to the fishing industry in New England. It is central to the mission at the Center for Sustainable Fisheries and was the focus of the forum CSF sponsored at the New Bedford Whaling Museum in May. Read the rest here 09:03

‘Now I’m at half what I’d normally be at.’ Cod restriction’s rip the charter fleet

charter, cod restrictions, yankee freedomIt isn’t just the Northeast commercial groundfishing fleet that is struggling under the weight of the more restrictive federal fishing regulations that have completely taken cod off the table in the Gulf of Maine. The tendrils of those new regulations have reached the charter and for-hire fishing operators, who now try to combat both the reality — no cod — and the perception — no other groundfish species is worth the time and expense of a charter trip that have been generated by increasingly restrictive regulations instituted for the 2015 fishing season. Read the rest here 08:50

Our view: New fishing limits another blow to the New England fishing industry

cod-fish-852One might think that the lifting of the emergency cod regulations imposed by NOAA last November would bring sighs of relief across the Gloucester waterfront and elsewhere as the new commercial fishing year dawns Friday. But there is little relief and there are no cheers being heard among groundfishermen here and elsewhere across the North Shore and New England. For in lifting a number of the area closures that kept many fishing boats tied to the docks late last year, NOAA and the New England Fishery Management Council have replaced those rules,,, Read the rest here 08:43

Editorial: Latest cod limits reiterates need for assessment changes

gdt iconOne might think that the lifting of the emergency cod regulations imposed by NOAA last November would bring sighs of relief across the Gloucester waterfront and elsewhere as the new commercial fishing year dawns this Friday. But there is little relief and there are no cheers being heard among groundfishermen here and elsewhere across the North Shore and New England. “Now the game of make-believe begins,” says Vito Giacalone,  “Now it’s all about running away from fish that we know exist, but are not recognized by the assessment. Read the rest here 09:27

Lean year for New England cod ahead as shutdown looms

cod-fish-852Catch limits set to take effect this week will take a bite out of an industry that dates back to America’s colonial past: New England cod. But Gulf of Maine cod are what fishermen call a “choke species,” as they must also stop fishing for some other species when the cod fishery shuts down. Haddock, pollock and hake — groundfish that, like cod, dwell on the ocean bottom and share space in with it in markets, restaurants and seafood auctions — will also be harder to come by.  Read the rest here 15:09

Letter: Fishermen grateful for Congressman Seth Moulton’s efforts

manatthewheelWe would like to publicly thank Congressman Seth Moulton for his support for fishing business in Gloucester. During the campaign, Congressman Moulton promised to advocate for sound policies for the fishing industry. In office for less than one month, he has delivered on that promise. Congressman Moulton’s strong and timely support of a sector-based solution offered by the Gloucester Fishing Community Preservation Fund was critical and well received. Ultimately, NOAA agreed to amend the Gulf of Maine cod for the remainder of this fishing year. Read the rest here 09:31

NOAA should extend fishermen’s input to new year’s rules, too

The announcement that g0002580000000000000bea0810c3a6cac2be28188b42d824fdbd10e7d9 Fisheries has agreed to pull back elements of last November’s emergency Gulf of Maine cod protective measures represents good news on several fronts. Now, it’s important that this cooperation be extended when it comes to setting regulations for the next fishing year, which is due to start May 1 — or in just eight weeks. Read the rest here 07:53

A Tale of two pictures – NOAA and Enviros have it all wrong on Gulf of Maine Cod!

This is a picture of approximately 2000 lbs. of cod.  It represents the first time I have targeted cod in two years.  While one picture does not determine the status of the stock it is a powerful illustrator of our current assessment shortcomings.  This presentation is on Gulf of Maine Cod but the problems it illustrates cut across numerous species.  By way of background, this was a one hour research tow in an open area.  I travelled 20 miles to make this tow and it represents the first area that had not been taken over by lobster traps.  This alone is cause for concern because most of the Gulf of Maine is now defacto closed to commercial fishing and the trawl survey, by the proliferation of fixed gear.  The fact is, none of us now know how many cod exist because no one, including the NOAA trawl survey can fish here. Read the rest here, by David Goethel 16:36

Enviros Petition for Immediate and Permanent Rule Making to Prohibit Fishing for Gulf of Maine Cod

Enviros Petition for Immediate and Permanent Rule Making to Prohibit Fishing for Gulf of Maine Cod

Today’s petition, filed under the Administrative Procedure Act, urges the Fisheries Service to follow the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act requirement to rebuild overfished species. The  called for the Fisheries Service to prohibit fishing for Gulf of Maine cod, allowing catch only incidental to other targeted fish, and reduce such bycatch to levels that allow the cod population to rebuild. Read the rest here 13:33

The Great Cod Compromise of 2015: NOAA, fishing industry find rare common ground on cod actions

The industry stakeholders and NOAA/NMFSAtlantic-Cod-Dieter-Craasmann arrived at a compromise: NOAA would eliminate the trip bycatch limit and leave the broad stock areas open, but it only would be able to accept up to 30 metric tons of the surrendered cod allocation and the rolling closures scheduled for March would stay in effect.”We felt like what we came up with addresses two of the major complaints by the fishing industry,” Bullard said. “We think there is a conservation benefit to that and it’s a good proposal.” Read the rest here 15:57

NOAA to reconsider emergency Gulf of Maine cod measures

130307_GT_ABO_BULLARD_1The fishing sector-based proposal to remove some of the most restrictive emergency cod measures in the Gulf of Maine, initially rejected by NOAA Fisheries, is back in play. NOAA Regional Administrator John K. Bullard rejected the sector-based proposal and all other suggested modifications to the emergency cod measures at the New England Fishery Management Council’s January meeting in Portsmouth, N.H., saying the agency had not had enough time to fully study the implications and possible benefits of the sector-based proposal. Read the rest here 10:17

Voracious protected seals starting to overrun waters off New England

seals eat cod 5But what is the cost? Nils Stolpe, a Florida-based fishing industry journalist and advocate, calculated that since each seal consumed 5 percent of its body weight each day in squid, mollusks, crustaceans, and a variety of fish including rockfish, herring, flounder, salmon, hake, and lance, and don’t forget cod, it amounts to q a quarter million pounds daily. Annually he added it up to 450,000 million pounds, about 200,000 metric tons. Read the rest here 07:07 Read Dogfish and seals and dolphin, oh my! by Nils Stolpe here

Setting the record, and John Bullard straight – Fishermen have first-hand knowledge of cod stock levels

Recently the Portsmouth Herald ran a well written, multiple source article on the status of . One of your interviews was with John Bullard, Regional Administrator for NOAA Fisheries. In his statement he said he would be glad to consider my point of view when I produced peer-reviewed scientific journal articles. Apparently Mr. Bullard does not know that I have been involved in peer-reviewed journal articles on several species, as well as trawl bycatch reduction devices, for a number of years. Read the rest here 06:53

Fishing stakeholders rejoin the battle on Gulf of Maine cod

Atlantic-Cod-Dieter-CraasmannThe NSC, in a statement of its opposition to retaining the original interim actions, said that rather than saving cod, the emergency measures will increase cod discards by almost 500 percent. “We’ve shut down the redfish fishery, crippled the pollock fishery, bankrupted the entire inshore fleet and knowingly implemented a management plan that increases discards from 2 percent to 500 percent in the hope we may conserve 200 metric tons of cod that are already accounted for in the recent cod assessment? All to benefit a nation?” the NSC said. Read the rest here 19:09

Bullard: The 200-pound trip limit for cod bycatch in the Gulf of Maine will remain in force

130307_GT_ABO_BULLARD_1NOAA fisheries will not modify or remove any of the restrictive emergency interim actions governing Gulf of Maine cod it instituted last November, NOAA Regional Administrator John K. Bullard said Wednesday. Bullard, speaking during a meeting of the New England Fisheries Management Council meeting in Portsmouth, N.H., told council members that: The 200-pound trip limit for cod bycatch in the Gulf of Maine will remain in force despite a variety of requests by fishing stakeholders for it to be increased or eliminated. Read the rest here 08:09

Federal restrictions hit recreational fishermen

Atlantic cod-John Bullard, Northeast regional administrator at NOAA, said he believes the scientists working with NOAA and who came to the recent conclusions about cod should be fairly acknowledged by the fishermen. Their studies are peer reviewed, he said, meaning they’ve been examined and approved by scientists familiar with the subject not involved with the study directly. He said he sympathizes with the fishermen and others impacted by the economic hit the regulations are causing, but he believes the restrictions are necessary.  Read the rest here 09:34

Fishermen’s offer: We’ll catch fewer cod for chance at more haddock

As trades go, this isn’t exactly guns for hostages or Heathcliff Slocumb for Jason Varitek and Derek Lowe. Still it’s pretty interesting. Fishermen in  and other sectors, with funding assistance from the Gloucester Fishing Community Preservation Fund (GFCPF), are offering to surrender up to 60 metric tons of their annual cod catch entitlement if NOAA Fisheries will relax some of the emergency measures it instituted in November to protect Gulf of Maine cod. Read the rest here  09:53

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

•Locating cod spawning grounds is critical to rebuilding stocks, and ‘torpedoes’ are helping scientists to find them.

 Sitting half-submerged in the ocean east of Scituate, the canary-yellow glider with swept-back wings looked like little more than someone’s errant model plane. Appearances can be deceiving, especially in this electronic age where more and more sophisticated technology is being loaded into ever smaller and sleeker packages. Read the rest here  19:23

Granite State Fishermen – Trying to stay afloat

aluminum boatGov. Maggie Hassan will write a letter to federal fishing regulators supporting an alternative plan that, while still protecting local ,,, The measures stem from an unscheduled and controversial cod stock assessment conducted by federal officials that claimed cod stock continue to be in danger, not rebounding after restrictions cut the allowable cod catch by 77 percent about 18 months ago. Read the rest here 08:34

New Cod Restrictions Will Not Affect Rhode Island Fishermen

Christopher Brown, president of the Rhode Island Commercial Fishermen’s Association, reassures none of these fishing restrictions will have a direct impact on Rhode Island fishermen. Read the rest here 18:48

Gulf of Maine Cod: “It’s more hysteria that seems to be driving management right now, and not thoughtful approaches to meeting the law,”

After an emergency move by federal officials last week to close commercial and recreational cod fishing in parts of the Gulf of Maine, the  is in Newport this week mapping out a long-term plan for fishermen throughout the region. Video, and Read the rest here 12:31

UPDATED – New Hampshire’s small commercial fishing fleet is reeling – at odds with NOAA over cod reductions

y“The fishermen vehemently dispute this latest assessment,” said David Goethel, captain of the F/V Ellen Diane out of Hampton Harbor. He’s served on the New England Fisheries Management Council and fished for more than two decades, and said the new measures may put him out of business. “It’s a completely idiotic program,” he said. “It is intended to kill fish and kill fishermen.” Read the rest here 09:09 and On the Seacoast, cod fishing blues read it here 10:23

Baker questions federal findings on fishing limits while meeting with Gloucester fishermen today

Charlie BakerLocal state senator, the minority leader Bruce Tarr, greets governor-elect Charlie Baker as he arrives to meet with fishermen to hear their concerns about the recent ban on cod fishing, at the Gloucester House restaurant in Gloucester, on Nov. 15. Baker questioned research findings used by federal regulators,,  Read the rest here 17:07

Editorial: Fishery panel (NEFMC) holds chance to show need for reforms

130307_GT_ABO_BULLARD_1Angela Sanfilippo,,, violates standards of Magnuson-Stevens that require NOAA to consider the economic impact on fishing communities.,,And given the secrecy of the “unscheduled” study, there are more questions than ever about NOAA’s use of the “best available science” ,, Read the rest here 09:43

Fishermen Question Cod-Fishing Ban Data -one boat couldn’t catch any cod — and that boat happens to belong to the U.S. government.”

“I am certain that the science is wrong by a lot on this one,” said Vito Giacalone,,, David Goethel, captain of the Ellen Diane out of Hampton, New Hampshire, agreed. “I think there are a lot more cod than they are finding,” Goethel said. “I think we’re in the position we’re in basically because one boat couldn’t catch any cod — and that boat happens to belong to the U.S. government.” Video, and read the rest here 08:53

“The entire system is broken, the fishing industry is being driven into the ground.”

Ed Barrett, president of the Massachusetts Bay Ground Fishermen’s Association, says the new regulations to restrict cod fishing in the Gulf of Maine for the next six months are a for the fishing community “complete disaster” for the fishing community.  Read the rest here 13:03

Fishermen say new restrictions unfairly overlook cod caught in lobster traps

Emergency restrictions aimed at protecting plummeting cod stocks, set to go into effect Thursday in the Gulf of Maine, have some fishermen complaining that one group that routinely kills cod won’t be affected by the new rules – the region’s lobstermen. Read the rest here 07:38

Cod closures to sting Gloucester fleet

gdt iconNo one thought it was going to be good news for Gloucester. Turns out everyone was right. Bullard said the disproportionate suffering inflicted on Gloucester and other nearby groundfish ports is unavoidable to the mission of protecting the cod.“ We’re trying to absolutely shut down fishing where there are concentrations of cod, so that zero cod will be caught (in the Gulf of Maine),” Bullard said. Read the rest here  13:32

Gulf of Maine Cod – Here’s the dope

130307_GT_ABO_BULLARD_1Statement by John Bullard, regional administrator, NOAA Fisheries  – Gulf of Maine Haddock Emergency Management Measures – Gulf of Maine Cod Interim Management Measures – Q&As – Bulletin (letter to fishery permit holders) Gulf of Maine Haddock Stock Assessment (2014) – Gulf of Maine Cod Stock Assessment Update (2014) –  http://www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/stories/2014/gomcodandhaddock.html 13:57

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

Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives Association in full battle mode for the Gulf of Maine fishery – Reinforcements needed

“Right now, John Bullard is thinking about what he is going to do,” Angela Sanfilippo, president of the Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives Association told a small group of fishermen this week. “We need to remind him that people like you are going to be greatly affected by this.” “We need to make people understand that this is going to kill the industry,” she said. “This will be the last nail in the coffin and every day it’s moving closer and closer.” Read the rest here 08:50

Scientist: Cod quotas too high in retrospect

nmfs_logoOctober 14, 2014 Because of a reporting error, a story on the cod crisis on Page A1 of Sunday’s Times misrepresented a statement by National Marine Fisheries Service scientist Michael Palmer. Scientists knew only in retrospect that fishing quotas had been set too high to rebuild Gulf of Maine cod, likely because they had overestimated the current stock size, overestimated how many young fish would be produced, or . Here 07:36

Cod crisis: Iconic species faces an uncertain future

Our cod crisis has become a sad cliche, ironic enough to catch the eye of the national media, and the truth does indeed hurt. Just ask Chatham and Harwich fishermen, who fished in what was once one of the top cod ports in the country but now catch mostly skates and dogfish and very little cod. Read the rest here 08:18

Gentlemen, I am addressing these comments to you and not the council – David Goethel

100_1726Mr. John Bullard, Dr. Bill Karp, Gene Martin, Esq.,     Gentlemen, I am addressing these comments to you and not the council because I believe you are the people that have to address the issue. From my perspective, as a scientist, NOAA committed two unpardonable sins with its press release on Gulf of Maine cod on August 1. Science was replaced with advocacy that day when statements were made about the condition of cod, and that immediate action must be taken after a secret, experimental stock status update before peer review. Read the rest here 18:47

New England Fishery Management Council punts – Officials struggle to find cod fix

NEFMC SidebarWith the federal government now drawing up emergency measures to address a cod disaster in waters from Maine to Rhode Island, the New England Fishery Management Council approved two plans in the hope that one of them would provide a longer term solution to the problem. But it was more like throwing water on the fire after the barn’s burned down as both of them included closing down large areas of inshore fishing grounds for much of the year. Another alternative essentially prohibits any Gulf of Maine cod landings at all by commercial or recreational fishermen.,,, Read the rest here  10:10


130307_GT_ABO_BULLARD_1Back in July 2012, John Bullard was the newly minted Northeast regional director for the National Marine Fisheries Service. Soon after he took the reins, Bullard anguished over quota cuts of 77 percent for Gulf of Maine cod and 55 percent for Georges Bank cod, deemed necessary to rebuild those failing stocks. Read the rest here 09:41

Cod threat: Closures, ban in mix

gdt iconThe full New England Fishery Management Council  for managing Gulf of Maine cod when it meets this week for the first time since the release of the unscheduled and dire stock assessment that showed the state of the species worsening rather than improving. Read the rest here 09:22

I had to post this. – “Known is a drop. Unknown is an ocean.” Talking Fish

From the article: Is the science about Gulf of Maine cod wrong? Probably, if one is talking about any kind of precision. Population models are now being asked to look into biological territory that the people who build these models have never seen before. Peter thinks we need a little more we-ness, and less me-ness. I’m thoroughly entertained with that notion!  Read the rest here  16:59

The First Indicator – Looking Back. The 2nd indicator, looking forward.

hatLet me say first off, no one ever accused me of being smart, not even me. I learned at an early age what a stupid son of a bitch was, and I learned it the hard way.,, “This is pretty dire,” said Russell Brown, deputy science and research director of the Northeast Fisheries Science Center, the branch of NOAA that did the research. Warning! Savory language ahead. Not to be read if offended easily! Read more here 09:06

Could This Be the End for Gulf of Maine Cod?

New England’s cod fishermen are struggling with drastically reduced catch allowances. A new report says the fish are disappearing anyway. <Read more here> 21:50

Decline of Gulf of Maine cod leaves regulators a tough task

The Gulf of Maine cod population has continued to drop despite decades of catch restrictions, according to preliminary results of a new National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration study. Exact causes are unknown, but they likely include warming of the oceans and continued overfishing, marine scientists said. <Read more here> 08:11

NEFMC Executive Director Tom Nies warns of deeper cod cuts if NOAA data holds

gdt iconThe New England Fisheries Management Council expects to move to reduce the annual catch limit for Gulf of Maine cod in 2015 if an impending peer review process shows the dire conclusions of recently completed, if are accurate. “This is BS,” Vito Giacalone, the policy director for the Northeast Seafood Coalition, told the members of the NEFMC’s groundfish committee at the DoubleTree Hotel. “This is not the way it’s supposed to work.” <Read more here> (no need for 2nd page view) 22:29

2 for the Price of One from El Globo! Gulf of Maine’s cod stock falling, study says – Gulf of Maine Cod Stock at All-Time Low

The cod population in the Gulf of Maine is plummeting more steeply than previously thought, according a new assessment by the federal agency that monitors the fishing industry. Underwater surveys conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimated that the iconic species has dwindled to as little as 3 percent of what it would take to sustain a healthy population. Read more here Gulf of Maine Cod Stock at All-Time Low Read more here  16:15

Trip Limit Adjustment​s in New England Groundfish Fishery

nmfs_logoNMFS  announced temporary measures to increase the possession limits for Gulf of Maine cod, Cape Cod/Gulf of Maine yellowtail flounder, Gulf of Maine winter flounder, white hake, and pollock for Northeast multispecies common pool vessels for the remainder of the 2013 fishing year.  This action is being taken because catch rates of these stocks are low.  Increasing these possession limits is intended to provide additional fishing opportunities and help allow the common pool fishery to catch more of its quota for these stocks.  Click here to read more  09:36

Poor counting plagues New England fisheries – Federal scientists acknowledge problems but make excuses

“I think it’s irresponsible to shut down fisheries based on such inaccurate stock assessments,” said Steve Cadrin, a former federal stock assessment scientist and a professor at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth.

Federal scientists acknowledge errors in assessments of critical New England fish stocks and say they’re working hard to fix them. But they add that their overall methods are proven sound. [email protected]

Which is Bull Bleep! Read this article.

Because New England has one of the longest-running fishery databases in the world, computer modeling had a good track record of predicting future species populations. Federal fisheries law is built on those predictions, and is based on limiting catches when fish stocks decline below a specific population size.

But that model assumes that the ocean environment is relatively stable and that the amount fishermen catch is the biggest variable that must be brought under control. It worked well enough until the ocean began showing signs it was changing, said Steve Cadrin, an associate professor at University of Massachusetts Dartmouth School for Marine Science and Technology and a former NMFS fisheries scientist.

Excellent Article: Fishing the Gulf of Maine: Tradition at a Crossroads By Michael Sanders

When most of us go down to the coast, whether to walk or swim or fish or sail, we take for granted what we see before us. We see the lobster boats and the colorful buoys marking the strings of traps, the bobbing green and red cans marking safe passage, the gulls and other seabirds. In the larger working harbors like Portland and Stonington and Port Clyde, there might be draggers tied up, unloading fish they’ve caught far out in the Gulf of Maine and on Georges Bank. What we don’t realize,,,,,,,,continued

In depth article: Climate Change Impacts Ripple Through Fishing Industry While Ocean Science Lags Behind

Huffington Post – With a limberness that defies his 69 years, Frank Mirarchi heaves himself over the edge of a concrete wharf and steps out onto a slack, downward sloping dock line bouncing 20 feet above the lapping waters near Scituate, Mass. continued

Fishermen challenge stats in limit cuts – calling out the number fudging opportunists!

gdt iconNOAA Regional Administrator John Bullard and Peter Shelley, the senior counsel for the Conservation Law Foundation, point to the table from the NOAA Science Center showing participants in the Northeast groundfishery failed last year to catch anything close to their allocation in virtually every one of the 20 stocks as a sign that the ecosystem was so weak the fishermen could not find enough fish to catch. Both Bullard and Shelley ascribed special significance to the fact that fishermen were able to take about two thirds of the allocation in Gulf of Maine cod, the most important fish for the inshore fleet of day boats. continued