National Fisherman

Mixed Catch 

jerryJerry Fraser is NF's publisher and former editor.



Norwegian cod harvesters are experiencing a problem that their New England brethren haven't for some years now: an overabundance of cod.

"It's paradoxical, but we have too many fish this year," Norwegian fisherman Kurt Ludvigsen told Reuters environment correspondent Alister Doyle. "Prices have fallen 30 percent... we're having to work far harder."

There will be little cod delivered by New England harvesters this year following major cuts to Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank catch limits that will begin in May. But the quota off Norway and Russia this year is a record 1.02 million metric tons, the Reuters article says. It's up one third from the 2012 quota and it's six times higher than the 1990 limit.

According to the article, one reason for the burgeoning cod population is that global warming has shifted the cod habitat northward. Strict quota management by Norway and Russia is also cited as a factor.

Meanwhile, despite the cod bounty, Norwegian fishermen say that it's proving difficult to convince European consumers that all cod stocks aren't in trouble. A Norway Seafood Council campaign designed to persuade the British to use Barents Sea cod in their fish and chips dinners isn't making much headway so far, the article says.

Maybe so. But even if the demand may not be all the Norwegians might hope for, at least the supply is there. The Reuters article offers hope that cod stocks can eventually return to health in New England, too. Restoring the health of the region's historic groundfish industry could prove to be the more difficult task.

Inside the Industry

NMFS recently released a draft action plan for fish discard and release mortality science, creating a list of actions that they hope can better inform fisheries.

We know that fishermen have to deal with bycatch by discarding or releasing unwanted catch overboard, but there is a data gap regarding how those fish survive.


A new study has identified a set of features common to all ocean ecosystems that provide a visual diagnosis of the health of the underwater environment coastal communities rely on.

Together, the features detail cumulative effects of threats -- such as overfishing, pollution, and invasive species,  allowing responders to act faster to increase ocean resiliency and sustainability.

Try a FREE issue of National Fisherman

Fill out this order form, If you like the magazine, get the rest of the year for just $14.95 (12 issues in all). If not, simply write cancel on the bill, return it, and owe nothing.

First Name
Last Name
U.S. Canada Other

Postal/ Zip Code
© 2015 Diversified Business Communications
Diversified Business Communications