January 24, 2014
The Northeast groundfish fishery performed at an almost historically low level in 2012, with alarming declines in landings and gross revenues and a continuing downward spiral in the number of vessels actively fishing, according to a report released yesterday by NOAA.
The 120-page document — basically a state-of-the-fishery report — paints a stark picture of America’s oldest commercial fishery, using the most somber hues to press the current, and escalating, fishing crisis into ever sharper relief.
The bad news is spread across the fishery as a whole — with groundfish landings falling 24.9 percent from the 2011 fishing season — and here in Gloucester, where the values of groundfish landings and the landings of all species hit four-year lows in the season that ran from May 2012 to April 2013.
During that period, the value of Gloucester groundfish landings fell 16.2 percent to $14.27 million and the value of all Gloucester landings plummeted by nearly 25 percent to $32.17 million.