August 21, 2014
Data that federal regulators say suggests that populations of Gulf of Maine cod continue to diminish despite severe cuts in fishing quotas will undergo an independent review next week to aid in developing future management practices.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently announced that new, preliminary data show “virtually every indicator” of the cod stock’s condition declined or worsened in 2013.
Through underway surveys, the agency found that the population of spawning Gulf of Maine cod has plummeted to between 3 and 4 percent of what it would take to sustain a healthy stock. Juvenile cod populations are also at an all-time low.
Russell Brown, deputy director of NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center, has said the spawning cod levels were between 13 and 18 percent just two years ago.
Brown stressed that the data detailed in a 95-page report still needs to go through an external peer review, which has been scheduled for Aug. 28 and 29 at the Sheraton Portsmouth Harborside Hotel in Portsmouth, N.H.
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