Written by Linc Bedrosian
HALIFAX - The recovery of overexploited fish populations such as cod has been slower than expected and many depleted stocks may never be able to bounce back, a new study says.
The study, to be published Friday in the journal Science, was compiled by researchers who examined 153 fish and invertebrate stocks from around the world.
Most fish species are resilient enough to recover within a decade if swift action is taken to reduce pressure on depleted stocks, the researchers say.
"But when you don't take action rapidly ... not only does it result in a much longer potential recovery time, but the uncertainty as to whether recovery will happen at all increases exponentially," said Jeff Hutchings, a professor of biology at Dalhousie University and one of the authors of the study.
Hutchings said that may explain why cod hasn't bounced back more than 20 years after Ottawa declared a moratorium on the commercial cod fishery, a once thriving Atlantic Canadian industry.
"Here we are two decades after enormous depletion of cod stocks ... and people are still wondering about the prospects of recovery," said Hutchings.
"Our study really suggests that recovery is quite unlikely now for cod because of our failure to act when we could have."
Hutchings said the federal government needs to set a population threshold that would determine when action must be taken to reduce pressure on a fishery.
He said legislation is needed to allow for depleted stocks to recover, as they have in the United States.
Read the full story at the Times Colonist>>
National Fisherman Live: 3/10/15
In this episode, Online Editor Leslie Taylor talks with Mike McLouglin, vice president of Dunlop Industrial and Protective Footwear.
National Fisherman Live: 2/24/15
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March date set for disaster aid dispersal
Oregon LNG project could disrupt fishing
NOAA tweaks gear marking requirement
N.C. launches first commercial/recreational dock
Spiny lobster traps limits not well received
The Gulf of Maine Research Institute is partnering with restaurants throughout the region for an Out of the Blue promotion of cape shark, also known as dogfish. Starting Friday, July 3 and running until Sunday, July 12, cape shark will be available at each participating restaurant during the 10-day event. Cape shark is abundant and well deserving of a wider market.
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