SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — Federal regulators recommended a host of emergency restrictions to protect the Gulf of Maine's declining cod fishery on Wednesday, including expansions to existing inshore spawning closures.


The federal New England Fishery Management Council's Groundfish Oversight Committee recommended a battery of changes, including one restriction that would prohibit fishing by private recreational and charter boats in the spawning closure areas.


The committee also recommended new prohibitions on some commercial groundfishing vessels, and requested a review of the extent of cod bycatch in the lobster fishery.


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