Cod compromise reached in US

04 Mar 2015

A sector examination request to preserve 30 tonnes of cod in exchange for relaxing some of the Gulf of Maine cod Interim Management Measures enacted in November 2014 has been approved.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) approved the request submitted by US-based Gloucester Fishing Community Preservation Fund (GFCPF), which says the compromise meets its cod conservation goals while providing regional fishermen and ancillary businesses with the opportunity to catch and sell abundant and under-harvested groundfish species.

GFCPF says previous emergency measures made it much harder for fishermen to successfully catch abundant groundfish species, and much more difficult for shoreside businesses to fill orders and meet market demand. 

Even though stocks of pollock, haddock, and redfish are plentiful, fishermen have caught less than 30% of their allotted quota on all of these species: 23% for pollock, 21% for Georges Bank haddock, and 35% for redfish. 

Regional businesses, federal and state government are urging the development markets for, and encouraging the harvesting of, these healthy species.

The compromise also allows for the full retention of any cod that is caught rather than being wastefully discarded, and remedies current disruptions in the market for underutilised groundfish, which regional businesses have developed in recent years. 

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