Monday, November 10, 2014

Statement on Additional Gulf of Maine Cod Regulations Implemented by NOAA

Today I released the following statement regarding NOAA’s decision to implement debilitating fisheries management measures for Gulf of Maine cod:

Boston- “The emergency and interim measures announced today by NOAA Fisheries will be severely damaging to a groundfishery that is already struggling to survive on a day-to-day basis. That groundfishery certainly depends on healthy cod stocks, but it also depends on New England’s fishing families and fishing infrastructure, particularly the inshore fleet, being able to carry on against the overwhelming threats posed by the measures released today.

We don’t have a moment to waste to protect our commercial fishing industry and now is the time for anyone who cares about the industry to rise up and defend it with bold and decisive actions, including but not limited to:

  • An unprecedented scientific collaborative research effort to determine what the actual condition of the cod stock is with the real, engaged partnership of fishermen who stand to lose their livelihood from today’s announced measures. That effort must determine why the many strict measures that have been undertaken to date haven’t worked, and why the tremendous hardships that have been sustained because of them haven’t produced a healthy cod stock.

  • Immediate measures to preserve and protect New England’s domestic fishing infrastructure, including vessels and shoreside facilities.

  • Financial assistance for those who depend on groundfishing for their income.

Given the severity and immediacy of these emergency actions, NOAA, the New England federal legislative delegation, and its counterparts in state government can’t afford to wait for them to do damage, we all need to move forward now to develop and implement a plan to mitigate that damage before it’s too late.


To read NOAA Regional Administrator John Bullard’s statement on the issue, please click here. Posted below is a map of seasonal closures affecting Gulf of Maine cod.