Environmentalists, Fishermen Question New Cod Fishing Rules

COURTESY OF NOAA

COURTESY OF NOAA

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Environmentalists and commercial fishermen both say they are fearful of proposed changes to the federal rules that govern New England’s beleaguered cod fishing industry.

The rules govern an industry that has fed New England for centuries and is now in steep decline. Most codfish sold to consumers in the region are from foreign countries.

Regulators typically split New England’s cod into two stocks, Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank. They want to slightly raise the Gulf of Maine quota but more dramatically cut the Georges Bank quota.

The proposal also includes a reduction in the number of fishing trips that would be accompanied by an “at-sea monitor.” The monitors collect data used to manage the fishery. Environmentalists oppose a reduction in monitoring.

The new rules could apply by May 1.

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