The annual catch limits for Gulf of Maine cod will increase slightly in 2016, while the quota for haddock will more than double if recommendations passed this week by the New England Fishery Management Council are approved by NOAA Fisheries.
One year after slashing total cod quotas by more than 75 percent to 386 metric tons, the council voted at its three-day meeting in Portland, Maine, to raise the total cod annual catch limit (ACL) to about 440 metric tons, with 280 metric tons designated for the commercial fishing industry in each of the next three fishing seasons.
The commercial industry’s Gulf of Maine cod ACL this year is 207 metric tons.
“It’s a slight increase and of course that’s always good,” said Jackie Odell, executive director of the Gloucester-based Northeast Seafood Coalition. “But it doesn’t come close to reflecting what fishermen — commercial and recreational — are seeing on the water and it’s certainly nothing that’s going to sustain the fishery.”
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