Cod Assessment Shows Rise in Recreational Pressure
February 22, 2012
Working Waterfront: As the New England groundfishing community absorbs the shock of the National Marine Fisheries Service cod reassessment in the Gulf of Maine, stakeholders are beginning to sift through the data for unexpected factors that might account for the diminished cod numbers.
One surprise they’ve found is the National Marine Fisheries Service’s (NMFS) assertion that recreational fishing played a significant role in diminishing cod stocks in the Gulf of Maine. The newest assessment numbers on recreational fishing have led officials to believe rod-and-reel fishermen have been taking more cod at a quicker rate than in the last assessment, said officials.
“The data has shown that it’s increasing over time,” said Chris Legault, a NMFS assessment biologist at the Northeast Fisheries Science Center.