It appears to be an unanswerable question: “How many fish are in the ocean?” But marine research scientist Kevin Stokesbury is searching for that number, and his findings could have far reaching implications for fisherman facing catch limits.

Part of Stokesbury’s efforts have been documented in “Counting Fish”, a film shot and produced by Mattapoisett’s Don Cuddy.

In the 1990s, Stokesbury developed new video technology that brought big changes to the scallop industry. The methods showed that scallops were being undercounted with the old methods, drastically increasing catch limits for New Bedford fishermen.

“For ground fisherman who chase cod, haddock and flounder, the picture isn’t quite as rosy,” said Cuddy, who is program director of the Center for Sustainable Fisheries.

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