‘Historically Low Levels’ of Cod Prompt New Restrictions in the Atlantic

Low levels of cod have prompted regulators to impose restrictions in commercial cod fishing in the Atlantic

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has banned cod fishing in large sections of the Gulf of Maine. 

Federal regulators have imposed restrictions on commercial cod fishing in the Gulf of Maine as of Monday, November 10, reports The New York Times.

For the time being, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have established “temporary rolling restrictions to commercial boats with gear capable of catching cod” as a means of replenishing the gulf’s historically low levels — an August estimate from NOAA puts the cod population at three or four percent of the level needed to sustain the fishery.

Areas that remain open are now subject to a 200-pound catch limit per trip. On Monday, regulators also increased the amount of haddock that fishermen were allowed to catch.

Earlier this year, the same NOAA researchers warned that the rapidly rising temperature levels of the Gulf of Maine were forcing “long-established species of commercial fish, like cod, herring, and northern shrimp [to depart] for colder waters,” and in their place, “black sea bass, blue crabs, and new species of squid — all highly unusual for the Gulf — [were] turning up in fishermen's nets.”

The restrictions are expected to remain in place at least through the spring, although regulators may decide to extend similar restrictions for the subsequent fishing season.

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Karen Lo is an associate editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @appleplexy.

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