Cod fishermen say catch limits threaten livelihoods

(CBS News) GLOUCESTER, Mass. — On a bright summer day, you would expect the waters off Massachusetts to be filled with fishing trawlers looking for cod. But this year, many of the boats are staying in port — and the crews fear their way of life may be slipping away.

For 400 years, cod dominated New England’s fishing industry. It was central to the economy of Gloucester, Mass.

Al Cattone has fished here for three decades.

“It’s the only job I’ve ever had,” he said. “I started when I was 12 — summers fishing with my dad. And once I graduated high school, I started full-time.”

On a great day, he could reel in 2,000 pounds. But new government limits have reduced his catch to 500 pounds a day. He’s on the water just once a week now instead of six.

How does he survive off of a once-a-week catch?

“You can’t,” he said, and then added, “I haven’t been squeezed. I have been destroyed.”

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