NEW BEDFORD — The fish auction that’s been a daily institution on the city’s waterfront for decades could see periodic closures over the next month or so, as a co-owner said Monday that this year’s significant cut to the cod quota is keeping many boats tied to the docks, rather than bringing in fish.
Richard Canastra, co-owner of the Whaling City Seafood Display Auction since 1994, said Monday morning that in his view, “there won’t be” fish auctions on some days between now and July 4, when he expects commercial fishing activity to pick up again.
“There’s not many fishermen fishing anymore,” Canastra said as he stood outside the auction building on Hassey Street. “A lot of the boats are just tied up — they’re not going to fish. Why would they fish if there’s only so much (allowable) cod?”
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), in conjunction with the New England Fishery Management Council, instituted a 62-percent reduction in the allowable catch for Georges Bank cod this year, in quotas that took effect May 1.