Cod Fishermen’s Alarm Outlasts Reprieve on Catch Limits

from Fishermen and federal officials grappled Friday with the increasingly bleak prospect of finding some way for the historic New England cod industry to avoid collapse amid troubles with the health of Gulf of Maine cod. Their meeting came in the week after regional regulators bought fishermen a year’s reprieve from devastating cuts to the allowed catch in the 2012 fishing year, which begins in May. But projections showed that fishermen still face cuts next year that most will not survive. “It’s going to be hard to preserve the industry at those low numbers, and that’s something that concerns us a great deal,” said Sam Rauch, the head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s fisheries arm, who led the meeting of fishermen, scientists and regulators. “This truly is one of the iconic fisheries,” he said.

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