In November of last year, a six-month ban on cod fishing went into effect in the Gulf of Maine which stretches from the U.S. state of Massachusetts to Canada’s border.
CCTV America’s Karina Huber tells what this means for area fishermen.
Amid fears of extinction U.S. authorities issue Cod fishing banIn November of last year, a six-month ban on cod fishing went into effect in the Gulf of Maine which stretches from the U.S. state of Massachusetts to Canada's border. CCTV America's Karina Huber tells what this means for area fishermen.
Authorities are trying to revive the cod fish population, which scientists say is plummeting, but new bans on fishing are keeping local fishermen waiting to know when they can start making money again.
“In the month of January we were completely closed. Now in February we have a little area open but if there’s cod in the area we won’t be able to go there,” local fisherman Al Cottone said.
Throughout Gloucester, Massachusetts, empty boats lie in the harbor with an uncertain future.
For more than 400 years fisherman supported families in the area have relied on cod and other fish to make a living, but according to scientists and regulators, cod is now struggling for its survival.
“Cod is on its way to extinction and so our response had to address the severity of the problem,” John Bullard, regional administrator of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries said.
John Bullard said the overall weight of the population of cod is down to 3-4 percent of its historic highs.
Bullard said climate change is exacerbating a problem initially caused by over fishing. He said once the ban expires in May, there will still likely be steep reductions in cod quotas. “This is very severe medicine. And what we’re all hoping is by reducing the catch of cod it’s going to allow the cod population to come back,” he said.
It’s severe medicine that may have dramatic consequences for fishermen.