Sure, I know, the latest stock assessment of the Northeast population suggests that you are weaker than you were even two years ago when it appeared that you were gaining strength.
Maybe the survey numbers don’t confirm the magnitude of your existence. But Northeast groundfishermen say they see you in abundance. Cod, they say, is everywhere.
But cod, the survey results could result in dire consequences for a beleaguered groundfish fleet that has long been hamstrung by Magnuson-Stevens Act timelines for rebuilding lagging fish stocks.
There’s bipartisan support in Congress for a new emergency assessment of the Gulf of Maine population. Groundfishermen are hoping another assessment of you would be more favorable and stave off even more severe catch limits that could cripple the fleet.
Cod, I know you’re out there. You’ve been an integral part of this nation’s fishing industry for some 400 years. It’s hard to imagine a U.S. fishing industry without you.
But if you could do us all a favor and be fruitful and multiply, I think everyone — fishermen, scientists, regulators and environmentalists alike — would breathe a lot easier.