This time, though, the council’s announcement of a stiff drop in the allowable catch of cod and other groundfish has been met by many on the Cape with something else: resignation.
Fisherman Greg Walinski of Dennisport was one who saw this coming, but he said there’s more to the problem than just overfishing.
A year ago, Walinski and his crew caught 2,000 to 5,000 pounds of groundfish during a typical trip to the Gulf of Maine. This year, on the same 35-foot boat, they average about 1,000 pounds per haul.
Over Walinski’s three decades in the business, cod and haddock from Georges Bank and, more recently, the Gulf of Maine were typically where he made his living.
But that’s changed.
“There are not a lot of fish around,” he said, calling the reason for the dearth a “complex issue” — including global warming, overfishing and a huge seal population feasting on the fish.
So, Walinski said, while a drastic drop in groundfish quotas set by New England fishing regulators this week will hurt, the lack of fish to catch is the problem.
The quota reductions will “put a lot of people out of business, but they are going to be out of business regardless of the cuts,” said Walinski, who’s changed his focus to bluefin tuna and dogfish.
“I know everyone else is going to do the same thing,” he said. “Either that or go out of business.”
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