GLOUCESTER – The New England Fishery Management Council’s executive committee may cut the allowable cod catch for fishermen by up to 72 percent, the Gloucester Times reports.
“The Northeast commercial groundfishery — centered in Gloucester and New Bedford, and drawing boats from ports between Maine and North Carolina — is facing an economic abyss in 2013, based on the first hard but unofficial calculations of catch limit cuts that loom beginning next May 1,” reported the news source.
Cod catch was already restricted 22 percent this year by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The new regulations would cut the total allowable catch of Gulf of Maine cod by 72 percent and the catch limit of Georges Bank cod by 70 percent.
In addition to the cuts to the cod fishery, the allowable catch for Georges Bank yellowtail flounder may face a 51 percent cut in 2013 and allowable landings of Cape Cod/Gulf of Maine yellowtail could drop as much as 45 percent. Fisherman may also face cuts up to 69 percent for American plaice or “sole.”
The Gloucester Times called the potential regulations “dire.”