New England Cod Fishermen are again facing stricter catch limits.
Last year, fisherman faced a 77 percent cut in how many cod they could catch, and now the New England Fisheries Management Council has voted to establish another 75 percent cut. Together the cuts reduce the catch limit for Gulf of Maine Cod from 6,700 metric tons in 2012 to 386 in 2015.
A study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or NOAA finds that Atlantic Cod cod stocks have reached the lowest level ever.
Russ Brown, with the NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center, says after researchers observed declining cod stocks in 2011, counts during the last fishing season showed cod populations continue to slide.
"All three of the bottom trawl surveys have all reached record low levels, and our estimate of spawning stock biomass coming out of the stock assessment has also reached record low levels," says Brown.
New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen is meeting with fishermen to discuss the impact of a plan to distribute $32.8 million in federal fishery disaster funds across New England.
New Hampshire is getting more than $2 million in disaster relief with more than $900,000 going to direct assistance for New Hampshire fishermen, and more than $1.1 million being used at the state's discretion.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, announced Wednesday morning that it will give $33 million in disaster relief funding to fishery communities in the Northeast.
New Hampshire’s fisheries were declared a federal disaster in September of 2012. About a year later, Congress approved $75 million for fishery relief nationwide, with $33 million earmarked for New England and New York.
Many of the world’s fisheries are in crisis today due to years of overfishing, pollution and habitat destruction. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, some of the most popular fish -- including cod (pictured here), snapper and tuna, are dangerously depleted yet continue to be overfished.
Dear EarthTalk: I understand that many of the world’s fisheries are on the brink of collapse, “fished out,” to put it bluntly. How did this happen and what is being done about it?-- Mariel LaPlante, New Orleans, LA
New Hampshire fishermen who are hoping for federal disaster relief funds will have to wait a bit longer for those dollars. Money slated to go to the Northeastern ground-fishermen was caught up in the discussions surrounding the so-called fiscal cliff.