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Old 11-21-2011, 04:37 PM
Striper Hunter
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Long Island Sound
Posts: 87
Default Scientists Surprise Fishermen with Talk of Cod Collapse

In 2008, a NOAA assessment of the cod fishery in the Gulf of Maine gave groundfishermen cause for hope. The cod stocks, which had been heavily overfished in the 80s and 90s, were showing strong signs of recovery. Cod numbers were stronger than they had been in three decades, according to the assessment, and recovery seemed reachable by 2014. The report caused many Maine fishermen to believe they could count on cod in the coming years, said Ben Martens, policy director of the Midcoast Fishermen’s Association.

“People build business plans around that,” Martens said.

But a lot may have changed in the last three years. In a recent NOAA cod stock assessment working group meeting, scientists revealed data showing the fishery has collapsed. If the assessment is accurate, there is no chance cod numbers will recover to meet the 2014 recovery target, even if the fishery is closed completely. While this assessment is only a preliminary interpretation of the data, it is enough to cause groundfishermen to hold their collective breaths and brace for the worst.
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