Tuesday, September 2, 2014

02/09/2014: Codfish - a grim picture for one fishery

"A grim picture for recovery." That's how one scientist who is reviewing the evidence that shows a decline in codfish spawning in one the most notable fisheries in the northeast of the United States, in the Gulf of Maine.


Estimates put the spawning at between three and four percent of its normal target and has shown an overall decline from some 18 percent just three years ago.

In turn low spawning levels holds back the recovery of the fishery itself.

But what's causing this low level activity. Scientists point to temperature change as one possible factor.

National Marine Fisheries Service scientists suggest the levels are lower than at any time since the 1930s and may be the lowest since records populations records began in the 19th century, said Russ Brown, deputy science and research director at the Northeast Fisheries Science Center.

"The analysis really presents a grim picture for the recovery of the stock," Brown said.

"Every indicator of the stock condition has declined or worsened between 2011 and 2013."

Quotas have been cut to compensate but no equivalent spur in growth has been seen. Last year the quota was cut by 77 percent to just 1500 tonnes for the 2013-14 fishing season.

Read more HERE.

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