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Cod

Atlantic Cod are one of the most important fish species in history. Early abundance of this fish was so high that explorers honored the species importance when naming Cape Cod. The historic fishing port of Gloucester MA was established by colonial charter to profit from Cod fishing. Since 1874 a hand carved “sacred cod” has hung in the MA State House. This important fish ranges from Greenland to Cape Hatteras and is targeted by multiple commercial and recreational communities. Many on the East Coast first experienced salt water fishing aboard a “deep sea” party/head boat whose main target was historically Atlantic Cod.

In the US Atlantic Cod are managed by the NEFMC as two separate stocks under the Northeast Multispecies (ground fish) Fishery Management Plan: Gulf of Maine Cod & Georges Bank Cod. The two stocks are separated by the “42” degree line off of Cape Cod. Currently both stocks are considered overfished and many would claim both of these stocks are in a state of collapse. There are both anecdotal and scientific signs of slight growth but overall both species are in very bad shape. Because these are highly desired fish with very low quotas; both commercial and recreational management of both stocks are in a constant state of controversy.

The New England Fishery Management Council met in Portland Maine Between June 20 & 22. The agenda for the week had two items that would be of special interest to many Fissues.org readers. First; the Groundfish Committee agenda included a discussion about Amendment 23 which deals with monitoring of the commercial groundfish fleet. Considering Carlos “The Codfather”

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