Jes Hathaway is the editor in chief of National Fisherman magazine and NationalFisherman.com.
Thursday, 22 December 2011
...Is a cod assessment.
The bipartisan pressure is on this holiday season for Secretary of Commerce John Bryson to respond to a recent Northeast cod stock assessment that declares the species severely overfished.
Despite years of attrition in the New England groundfish fleets, fishermen are still paying the price for depleted cod stocks without the long-promised payday.
Gulf of Maine fishermen have long been reporting a return of cod more in line with an optimistic 2008 survey that extended hopes for rebuilding the groundfish stock by 2014.
If nothing else, I hope the assessment helps lawmakers make the case for scientific analysis of the Magnuson rebuilding timeline. Perhaps it's time to look at each fishery individually rather that slapping an all-purpose deadline that truly only hampers fishermen, whether or not the cause of a stock's decline is fishing related.
(If Santa or anyone in Washington is listening, I'd take a payroll tax-break extension, too.)
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