Northeast cod catch rates slashed by 77% due to extreme weakness of fish stock

Adam Taggart
By Adam Taggart on Fri, Feb 1, 2013 - 4:01pm

CNN reports the most dramatic cut ever -- 77% -- to the Gulf of Maine's cod fishing catch rate. Catch rates in the George's Bank were cut 55%.

From the article:

Most analysts agree that cod stocks today are no where near healthy numbers, though some fishermen say they've netted more cod recently than in the past. Still, the Gulf of Maine has hit only about 18% of target levels, while Georges Bank fared far worse at around 7%, according to NOAA.

A government survey found that Gulf of Maine cod, considered a top earner, were so depleted that even if the fishing industry were to shut down completely, it would still not recover to the levels mandated by federal law by 2014.

Besides the concerningly low levels of cod stocks, there's another sad story in play here. These cuts will hit the small independent fisherman most, many of whom are throwing in the towel, calling themselves "doomed" by this news.

Corporate trawlers will fare better, leaving many to predict that like Big Ag, the seas will be farmed only by big business soon:

While larger commercial trawlers capable of traveling to more distant fishing grounds are expected to survive, the plan will likely cost most of the region's smaller crews their jobs.

"Fifteen years from now, it'll all be corporate," Robillard said. "The mom-and-pop days are over." 

Click here to read the full article

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Nervous Nelly's picture
Nervous Nelly
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 23 2011
Posts: 209
End of the Line Documentary

Available on Netflick.

Wendy S. Delmater's picture
Wendy S. Delmater
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 13 2009
Posts: 1988
Oh boy, We'd better start

Oh boy, We'd better start farming more fish, and concentrate on inland aquaculture.

I want to try raising catfish.

Grover's picture
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 16 2011
Posts: 878
Farmed Fish

I'm not a fan of farmed fish. Because of the crowded conditions and the potential for profit and loss, the operators inject copious amounts of antibiotics, colorants, and whatnot into the food sources for these fish. It is big business and requires profits so the bankers can be paid. (Backyard catfish ponds that aren't connected to active waterways and are grown responsibly are exempt from my disdain.) Not all of the food (and sundry chemicals) gets consumed. Some makes it into the environment and taints the native stocks. The crowded conditions promote disease pressure - organisms then escape into the wild and infect native stocks.

Commercially farmed fish is not the answer. Please don't consume them.


thebrewer's picture
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Joined: Nov 7 2012
Posts: 110
Corporate trawlers are the problem

The waste created by corporate trawlers is appalling. On some accounts they throw back the unintended species that got caught in the nets at a rate of up to 50%. And by throw back I mean throw the fish that are not wanted for various reasons which don't survive because they're usually already dead or at the very least to weak to survive.

The nets these commercial trawlers use are massive. They extend from the surface to the sea floor and cause extensive damage to the ecosystem so even the life below that escape the nets end up dead because thier habitat has been destroyed.

The only way to maintain a proper balance is with small responible fisherman. This however will never happen.

thebrewer's picture
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 7 2012
Posts: 110
Fish farms

Grover, you are correct about most commercial fish farms as well but that's not to say all are that way. I viisited a trout farm some years ago that was very concious of not only the health of the fish but their environmental footprint. I must say, their trout was delicious.

With that said and in the spirit of what this site is all about, I believe the future of fish farming lies in personal small scale fish farming. Done correctly I believe that this can be done as a very harmounious closed loop system between your garden and your fish. This is an ecosystem I hope to create shortly for myself. I am getting ready to move to a location that is more conducive to this plan then my current one. I hope to share some experiences with the group then.

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