Bad News for Gulf of Maine Cod

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A recent stock assessment of the Gulf of Maine cod population by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration showed bad news for the potential recovery of the iconic fish stock.

The results of the assessment showed virtually every indicator of cod stock condition declined or worsened in 2013. Spawning biomass levels are estimated to be at 3 to 4 percent of the biomass target for maximum sustainable yield. And fishery resource survey indices and spawning stock biomass are at all-time lows.

NOAA officials said part of the rationale for developing this update was to move forward in their efforts to streamline the way in which they alert fisheries managers to changes in stock conditions or other data collected between full assessments. Additionally, they examined the most recent survey data for Gulf of Maine cod, and all major indicators of stock health appear to have deteriorated since the 2012 assessment.