If you want to protect New England's most iconic fish and still allow fishermen to catch them, it’s critical to know when and where they reproduce. The trouble is, we don't.
It turns out cod and humans may not be as different as you'd think. Chris McGuire, marine programs director for The Nature Conservancy, says cod spawning (a.k.a. baby-making) behavior is a lot like a night club scene. During the day, things are pretty segregated; females are holed up in rocky outcrops, while males hang out around the edges. But after dark, things heat up. The females venture out and the "singles scene" ensues, as females check out their options and males grunt to attract a mate (cue the Barry White).
This is how cod spend the winter.
Unfortunately, sometimes, this love fest gets interrupted. Fishery scientists think that fishing boats can have the same effect as cops breaking up the party (Can you hear the needle scratching across the Barry White album?), and not just for one night. Once broken up, a spawning aggregation may not reform again that year.
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