The fisheries division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has exempted some Gulf of Maine fishermen from emergency fishing restrictions it issued last November. A fisheries analyst said the latest compromise still meets the goal to protect the region’s cod, but not everyone agrees.
NOAA Fisheries issued fishing trip limits last November that would reduce the Gulf of Maine cod catch by 20 metric tons. Fisheries policy analyst William Whitmore said fishermen came back with an alternate proposal.
“They agreed to set aside 30 metric tons of their Gulf of Maine cod allocation in exchange for removing the trip limits.”
Whitmore described these temporary measures as a good first step toward protecting cod.
But Peter Shelley with the Conservation Law Foundation said the original temporary limit weren’t strong enough to begin with. He worries, “By the time new low limits go into effect, we will have damaged the few remaining cod, perhaps irreparably for decades.”
Fishermen have complained the temporary rules are too restrictive, but environmental advocates have echoed they aren’t protective enough. The temporary measures are in place until catch limits are revised through an annual management plan.
Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you: firstname.lastname@example.org.