2020 Maine Cod Haul Lowest in History

Roccus7

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Midcoast Maine

Maine cod fishery posted smallest catch in history in 2020​

pressherald.com/2021/04/03/maine-cod-fishery-posted-smallest-catch-in-history-in-2020/

By PATRICK WHITTLE
April 3, 2021
Press Herald

One of the oldest marine industries in the United States suffered the least productive year in its recorded history last year, in part because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Maine cod fishery stretches back centuries but has been in dire straits in recent years because of tough new management measures and a lack of fish.

The 2020 fishery brought 58,730 pounds of fish to the docks. That is more than 20,000 pounds less than 2017, which previously was the least productive year. The fishery routinely topped 10 million pounds per year in the 1980s and early ’90s.
Members of the industry said the pandemic played a role in last year’s low total because of such factors as the disruption to the broader seafood industry and the closure of restaurants.

“We had a pretty lean year,” said Jodie York, general manager of Portland Fish Exchange, a Maine auction house. “It really is in large part due to the pandemic.”

The fishery has also struggled in recent years because of cod population levels that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has described as “significantly below target levels.” The cod population off New England has suffered due to past years of overfishing and environmental change, marine regulators have said.

The trouble in Maine is reflected in the broader cod fishery around the U.S. The fishery, based largely in New England, brought about 2.2 million pounds of fish to the docks in 2019, the most recent year for which nationwide statistics are available. In the 1980s, the fishery topped 100 million pounds several times.

The fish are often used to make fish and chips. Cod remains available to American consumers because of foreign sources from countries such as Iceland and Norway.

People have harvested cod off the Maine coast for centuries, and the modern industry remained one of the most lucrative marine businesses in the state as recently as the 1990s. More recently, it no longer ranks among the most valuable fisheries in the state, having been eclipsed by species such as scallops and oysters.

The pandemic affected all fisheries in the state, though some, such as lobsters, managed to keep pace with recent history in terms of value and volume of catch.

“Maine harvesters, dealers and aquaculturists have faced an unmatched year of challenges,” said Maine Department of Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher.
 

Pangaroo

Angler
Jan 15, 2021
107
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You could hop on a west end Party boat on Long Island in the early 1980's and easily catch 5-10 cod a man . The NY Bight was full of whiting and ling, there was spring and fall flounder fishing. And commerants, seals , pollution ended all that ????? Please shut down commercial fishing for good, they left nothing for the rest of us and we should leave them with nothing.
 

Pangaroo

Angler
Jan 15, 2021
107
48
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10 million pounds in the 1980's and early 1990's ? Exactly why the stock is way down and what happened to all the other fish stocks. Greed !
 

OVERBORED

New Angler
Jan 6, 2021
85
78
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We were all guilty............From dumpsters full of weakfish to totes with rotting bluefish on the dock that fares left behind.

Recreational fishermen did their part as well.

Problem is finding a solution that EVERYONE can be happy with. Im not sure if one exists.
 
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BennyV

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Dec 21, 2018
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We were all guilty............From dumpsters full of weakfish to totes with rotting bluefish on the dock that fares left behind.

Recreational fishermen did their part as well.

Problem is finding a solution that EVERYONE can be happy with. Im not sure if one exists.
A wise man once told me in some situations you can’t make everyone happy.
 
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Pangaroo

Angler
Jan 15, 2021
107
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28
Pay the commercials money if they don't fish. Fund it with a small tax on recreational fishing tackle ,boats, etc. Shut it down till all the stocks recovered 100 percent and then they can pin hook for as many fish as they want and sell to restaurants/local supermarkets for top dollar. Our fish shouldn't be shipped to Japan and for the next 30 years we have nothing to catch. We have to throw back 18 inch fluke because commercials went wild 30 years ago.
 

OVERBORED

New Angler
Jan 6, 2021
85
78
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Pay fishermen money not to fish, pay farmers money not to farm,..........And you want me to foot the bill?
 

Capt Richie

Angler
Feb 16, 2019
953
536
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tell a farmer he cant farm , tell a fisherman he cant fish , tell a truck driver he cant drive..Its a hard pill to swallow ..

tell a hard working man or woman that they cant fish on their day off...we have no one to blame but our self's ,,,Its time we find solutions and stop blaming the other guy..

but what are the solutions ? we will never know unless we try..One thing is true ,We cant keep doing the same things & hope for a different outcome .
 

OVERBORED

New Angler
Jan 6, 2021
85
78
18
See, therein lies the problem. Many comms think recs are the other guy and recs think the comms are the other guy. There is no other guy!

We are all guilty. When the bite was on, we fished hard and killed everything. Need to move past that and figure out what to do next.

EVERYONE has a right to the resource. Problem is, no one has figured out how to manage it effectively.
 

Capt Richie

Angler
Feb 16, 2019
953
536
93
Pay the commercials money if they don't fish. Fund it with a small tax on recreational fishing tackle ,boats, etc. Shut it down till all the stocks recovered 100 percent and then they can pin hook for as many fish as they want and sell to restaurants/local supermarkets for top dollar. Our fish shouldn't be shipped to Japan and for the next 30 years we have nothing to catch. We have to throw back 18 inch fluke because commercials went wild 30 years ago.
There is a tax on fishing gear ..Its called an FET and we all pay it..in the business or not...what they need to do is put in on imported gear ...not just American made ..Or stop buying Shimano or other imported rods & reels ..unless they build them here & pay FET .
 

Pangaroo

Angler
Jan 15, 2021
107
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28
Fish Traps wouldn't be bad either if they were limited. They can cull the fish they want and return all the other species. Dragging big nets along the bottom is too indiscriminate and kills almost everything in its way including striped bass. And the same with long lines. They wanted to extend the longlines to 25 miles. Crazy ! Look at all the great fishing ground those draggers ruined. They rolled over 17 fathoms and ruined the bottom there , they rolled over the codfish grounds out of Jones Inlet. One group of fishermen shouldn't ruin fishing for the next 30 years for everybody else. That's exactly what they did. For years the recreationals caught large amounts of flounder, whiting, ling and it was sustainable and in less than 5 years the commercials destroyed everything. The Spring use to be mackerel ,flounder. whiting, codfishing. Now it's boat yard work. I have no sympathy for commercial fishermen.
 

OVERBORED

New Angler
Jan 6, 2021
85
78
18
So you want to bankrupt many legitimate small business owners who follow the laws, pay taxes and work harder than you ever could imagine just because you cant catch a limit of Stripers? Or fill your burlap with 200 mackerel?

Your argument is non-sensical.

if you told me to eliminate roller gear, I would agree. if you told me to limit the number of pots a guy can fish, I would agree.

If you tell me to eliminate an industry that if part of the fabric of our country, I'd say we have a problem.

Todays problems stem from many factors: Warmer oceans, Oceanfront development, Loss of marshland.....overfishing is just a part of the complicated equation.
 
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So you want to bankrupt many legitimate small business owners who follow the laws, pay taxes and work harder than you ever could imagine just because you cant catch a limit of Stripers? Or fill your burlap with 200 mackerel?

Your argument is non-sensical.

if you told me to eliminate roller gear, I would agree. if you told me to limit the number of pots a guy can fish, I would agree.

If you tell me to eliminate an industry that if part of the fabric of our country, I'd say we have a problem.

Todays problems stem from many factors: Warmer oceans, Oceanfront development, Loss of marshland.....overfishing is just a part of the complicated equation.
I believe your response really nailed it, OB and I completely agree.

I have been a recreational fisherman on the NY saltwater scene for over 60 years and run my own successful charter business in the same area for the last 20 years. I too have witnessed the rise and fall, and sometimes rise again, of many of our more popular species. To suggest that any complex problem involving wildlife, the environment, and ever advancing technology can be solved by simply restricting one aspect of such a problem is looking at things with tunnel vision.

I am not a big fan of many of the non discriminating forms of commercial fishing that take place. However, I have been to enough open comment meetings on the nature of regulations to have learned and come to understand some of the challenges the commercial guys face as well. In most cases, it is really the larger American and Multinational Fishing Corporations with deep pockets and political clout that are doing the most damage in the name of huge profits. Most of the smaller full time fisherman are not the ones depleting the resource faster than it can replenish itself. Same holds true for the recreational sector, as large as it has grown.

I do believe that just like we have found more effective methods of controlling forestry, mining, and agriculture, similar solutions can be found to protect the world's shared and precious fish resources.
 

Pangaroo

Angler
Jan 15, 2021
107
48
28
So you want to bankrupt many legitimate small business owners who follow the laws, pay taxes and work harder than you ever could imagine just because you cant catch a limit of Stripers? Or fill your burlap with 200 mackerel?

Your argument is non-sensical.

if you told me to eliminate roller gear, I would agree. if you told me to limit the number of pots a guy can fish, I would agree.

If you tell me to eliminate an industry that if part of the fabric of our country, I'd say we have a problem.

Todays problems stem from many factors: Warmer oceans, Oceanfront development, Loss of marshland.....overfishing is just a part of the complicated equation.
I never said I wanted to fill up a sack with 200 mackerel , recreational fishermen should only take a few dinners and that's all. I haven't kept a fish in years and only keep a fish if it's badly injured. I remember in the early 1980's throwing back flounder when I had enough and nobody else did the same. But that was the norm for the previous 30 years and flounder always came back year after year. Recreationals learned their lesson and want catch limits now. But when one user group destroys the fish stocks for 30 years in just a few years I have no sympathy at all for them. No fishing in the spring anymore, just boat work. I remember the last time I caught whiting in May of 1991 . Fishing off Jersey and hundreds catching nice fat whiting. The next 5 years I waited for whiting and they were all gone. There was a party boat mate back in the late 80's early 90's who worked in Freeport and was also a part time commercial fisherman , he blamed commercials for wiping out the whiting. He was Disgusted seeing miles and miles of dead whiting on the surface off Jersey. I remember Guys in the bays flounder fishing when the weather was bad offshore. All the fish in trouble now all declined around the same time and it wasn't environmental. A disease might come along and destroy what remains. Scientists said years ago that fish stocks might drop to very low #'s and never recover. That happened to Winter Flounder in NY, the predators keep the small stock from recovering. The average recreational fisherman with no business thinks exactly like I do.
 

Pangaroo

Angler
Jan 15, 2021
107
48
28
So you want to bankrupt many legitimate small business owners who follow the laws, pay taxes and work harder than you ever could imagine just because you cant catch a limit of Stripers? Or fill your burlap with 200 mackerel?

Your argument is non-sensical.

if you told me to eliminate roller gear, I would agree. if you told me to limit the number of pots a guy can fish, I would agree.

If you tell me to eliminate an industry that if part of the fabric of our country, I'd say we have a problem.

Todays problems stem from many factors: Warmer oceans, Oceanfront development, Loss of marshland.....overfishing is just a part of the complicated equation.
Warmer oceans, oceanfront development , loss of marshland all happened in 5 short years and whiting, flounder, fluke ,cod were gone ? If winter flounder were the only fish that disappeared then you might be right , but commercial fishermen destroyed the fluke stocks and cod stocks in the late 1980's and whiting and flounder right after them. When there was nothing to catch in the winter the blackfish started to disappear . Every recreational fisherman who fished during that time agrees with me. The summer of 1989 there was no fluke , so what did the commercials fish for that year ????that explains everything. Striped Bass were the only fish in short supply in the early 1980's . Then the PCB scare and stripers made a comeback. I saw the whole cycle from the late 60's to the early 90's, I saw what commercials have done. I remember the early 1970's when Fluke were scarce because of the Foreign fleet. I remember white marlin fishing off Long Island and you had a good shot at them. 25 miles of hooks ended that.
 
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Pangaroo

Angler
Jan 15, 2021
107
48
28
Porgies will disappear in the next few years. They raised the daily porgy limit to 50,000 pounds a trip. Man !
 

OVERBORED

New Angler
Jan 6, 2021
85
78
18
Its obvious you have no intention of having a healthy discussion. If you did, you would need to understand that over the past 40 years. ocean temps have increased causing spawning and migratory habits of many species to change.

While you may be rare to catch a whiting at Ambrose bouy, they are quite abundant from the cape and areas north. Winter flounder are still in the bays but now the fish stay offshore and are quite abundant May-July.

Scup are everywhere.

IMHO, tight regs on certain species is causing heavy pressure on others. Needs to be a balance and right now there is none. There needs to be a regulatory game plan and right now there is none.

Want to point a finger, point one at yourself next time you are taking a picture with a dead 50lb Bass or a 10lb Blackfish. Those fish are much more valuable swimming than in your photo album!
 

Pangaroo

Angler
Jan 15, 2021
107
48
28
Its obvious you have no intention of having a healthy discussion. If you did, you would need to understand that over the past 40 years. ocean temps have increased causing spawning and migratory habits of many species to change.

While you may be rare to catch a whiting at Ambrose bouy, they are quite abundant from the cape and areas north. Winter flounder are still in the bays but now the fish stay offshore and are quite abundant May-July.

Scup are everywhere.

IMHO, tight regs on certain species is causing heavy pressure on others. Needs to be a balance and right now there is none. There needs to be a regulatory game plan and right now there is none.

Want to point a finger, point one at yourself next time you are taking a picture with a dead 50lb Bass or a 10lb Blackfish. Those fish are much more valuable swimming than in your photo album!the fish all disappeared
5 years everything disappeared. They banned striped bass fishing because of PCB's and funny how they rebounded so quickly. Money doesn't cloud my thinking.
Funny how whiting, ling ,flounder .cod . , blackfish all seemed to disappear in the NY bight around the same time the commercials destroyed fluke stocks in the late 80's and after Reagan gave out the boat loans to commercial fishermen. I saw the whole cycle from the 60's to the 90's and every recreational without a business tie agrees with me 100 percent.
 

Capt Richie

Angler
Feb 16, 2019
953
536
93
Its obvious you have no intention of having a healthy discussion. If you did, you would need to understand that over the past 40 years. ocean temps have increased causing spawning and migratory habits of many species to change.

While you may be rare to catch a whiting at Ambrose bouy, they are quite abundant from the cape and areas north. Winter flounder are still in the bays but now the fish stay offshore and are quite abundant May-July.

Scup are everywhere.

IMHO, tight regs on certain species is causing heavy pressure on others. Needs to be a balance and right now there is none. There needs to be a regulatory game plan and right now there is none.

Want to point a finger, point one at yourself next time you are taking a picture with a dead 50lb Bass or a 10lb Blackfish. Those fish are much more valuable swimming than in your photo album!
cant agree more that the oceans are changing ..The west end on long island inshore seems to hold less fish every year...

I also agree that some species are killing others ..aka dog fish..wish they you put a price on their heads ,,just thin the schools ..I caught smooth doggies offshore last year had to be 20lbs ..didnt think they got that big !
 
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