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Topic: Cod catch rates to be reduced, 55% - 77% for New England fisherman< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 01 2013, 12:39 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

http://www.cnn.com/2013....t=hp_t2

This is going to be a major hit to the city I was born in and lived in for 25 years.  :(   New Bedford, MA has been the top commercial fishing port in the country for the past 12 years by dollar volume (and I bet you've never even heard of my hometown!!)

It's also just one of the  several communities in MA and the rest of New England that will be severely impacted by the reduction in cod catch rates in the Gulf of Maine (77%) and Georges Bank (55%).  

For those who have connections to the fishing industry (I have a few uncles who have or are still active fishermen), we knew this was a long time coming, and quite honestly, I think it will be looked on as the right choice in the long run.  However, there's no doubt that cities and towns that are strictly driven by the fishing industry will be negatively impacted over the next several years, and unfortunately that's the last thing good ol' New Bedford needs right now...

Eat a pollock, save a cod!!!


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 01 2013, 12:44 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Ouch.  I was stationed on the Cape when I was USCG and know New Bedford well. The fleet will not survive this in it's current form.  I've seen what the limits in MD did to our fleet when they had to restrict it for crabs, rockfish and oysters.  I knew a few kids growing up with watermen as dads or uncles.  I don't know any professional watermen anymore.  There's no doubt that the limits are needed, but the fleet will suffer.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 01 2013, 12:53 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yeah, it doesn't sound good. But you can't harvest a crop that isn't there. Unfortunately, over-harvesting has been far too prevalent in many areas, whether fishing, farming, ranching etc.

I've seen far too many pastures overgrazed by ranchers who are desperate to derive a living that is not sustainable under the conditions they create. I don't know what the cod population is, but it doesn't sound like many of the fishermen who live off it have placed due concern for sustainability.

I can sympathize with the loss of employment and families affected, but you can't keep over-harvesting a crop and expect your job to survive anyhow.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 01 2013, 1:03 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(TravisNWood @ Feb. 01 2013, 12:53 pm)
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I can sympathize with the loss of employment and families affected, but you can't keep over-harvesting a crop and expect your job to survive anyhow.

Yeah, I feel like I've been reading the same story several times a year, for the last 10 years.  There have been suggestions that cod (and other species) were being over-harvested years ago, and instead of taking a gradual approach - which would have likely been a pill easier to swallow - the fishing industry continually resisted any infringement on "its" estimate of the cod population over the years.  Quite frankly, this is the outcome that had to happen.

Jim - it's definitely going to have an impact on the fleets. No question about it.  From a personal standpoint, the uncle who is still active has been working in Alaska for a while, as he too saw this coming a mile away.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 01 2013, 1:07 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Uncontrolled over fishing results in commercial extinction for the fishery with modern resource exploitation technology. A biological oceanography professor once displayed the problem through showing a series of advertisements for the netting for Atlantic Salmon: each year's netting size smaller then the previous one as they vacuumed each immature year class down until they'd wiped the species out from the commercial harvest. All with deliberation and forethought since "if they didn't some one else would".

Makes for tough choices all around.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 01 2013, 1:28 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(EastieTrekker @ Feb. 01 2013, 11:03 am)
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(TravisNWood @ Feb. 01 2013, 12:53 pm)
QUOTE
I can sympathize with the loss of employment and families affected, but you can't keep over-harvesting a crop and expect your job to survive anyhow.

...- the fishing industry continually resisted any infringement on "its" estimate of the cod population over the years.  Quite frankly, this is the outcome that had to happen.

Jim - it's definitely going to have an impact on the fleets. No question about it.  From a personal standpoint, the uncle who is still active has been working in Alaska for a while, as he too saw this coming a mile away.

As the recent "Sushi-gate" demonstrates (where DNA analysis showed much of the fish sold were different species),  the fish industry will substitute some other white fish for it (say, the invasive Asian carp) and just call it cod.  

Tough break for the locals who made their living fishing the oceans though.  They have their own industry to blame however.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 01 2013, 4:02 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Modern man is destroying animal life on our planet Earth including fish in our oceans.  However history shows that is nothing new if there is a buck to be made just as it is now off New England.  There are far too many greedy inconsiderate humans that would catch every fish, chop down every tree, until the last ones are gone.  


Between 1873 and 1922 commercial fishing operations harvested 100,000 to 200,000 pounds of Lahontan cutthroat trout each year from Pyramid (Lake), Walker (Lake) and Lake) Tahoe.  Some snippets below from this link, a story worth reading in its entirety:

http://truckeehistory.org/historyArticles/history18.htm

When John C. Fremont first discovered and named the Truckee River in January of 1844, he called it the Salmon Trout River. He found the Pyramid Lake sub-species of the Lahontan cutthroat trout that grew up to four feet long and weighed forty pounds. Fremont commented " their flavor was excellent--superior, in fact to that of any fish I have ever known " . Industrial uses of the river and over fishing led to the ultimate demise of the native trout population.  The trout relied on the Truckee River and its tributaries for their spawning runs in spring, traveling up the entire river's length (140 miles) as far as Lake Tahoe and Donner Lake, where they used the cool, pristine waters and clean gravel beds to lay their eggs.
...
They too were trapped, speared, and netted in large numbers. Charles F. McGlashan visited a Washoe fish harvest in 1878 and noted that they were catching 500 pounds per man per day. They were spearing fish just 400 yards up McKinney Creek, and most other streams had camps on them. They were shipping and carrying fresh and smoked fish to Carson City and Virginia City (silver mines).
...
As many as fifty dams (lumber mills) were built from Lake Tahoe to Verdi in the timber belt alone. More were built on tributaries such as the Little Truckee River and Prosser Creek. In March of 1871 the Nevada Legislature enacted laws that allowed only catching fish in the Truckee River by   hook and line. The law excluded the Paiute and Washoe, so they were hired to fish for white businessmen.   It also required that fish ladders be installed on the dams, but the law was not enforced. In April of that year Renoites went down river to Wadsworth and proceeded to blow up a dam that was blocking fish migration.
...
Even with fish laws and public outcry, dams continued to be built. A large dam on the Truckee River without a fish ladder was built by Jack Foulkes at his sawmill at Verdi (near Reno) in 1875. This dam stopped almost all trout from migrating up the river...In 1880, the total disappearance of Lahontan cutthroat trout above Verdi was noted.
...
However, in 1887, Mackinaw (lake) trout (from the Great Lakes) were planted in Tahoe. The Mackinaw were direct competition to the cutthroat trout and would soon become the dominant sport fish in Tahoe. The mackinaw also carried a parasite with them that depleted the native trout. The lake subspecies that were in Donner and Independence Lakes were also killed off by competition from foreign species and by dams at the outlet of the lakes that reduced their spawning grounds.
...
The Pyramid Lake subspecies of the Lahontan cutthroat trout finally became extinct in the Truckee River system about 1940.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 01 2013, 4:19 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(High_Sierra_Fan @ Feb. 01 2013, 1:07 pm)
QUOTE
All with deliberation and forethought since "if they didn't some one else would".

The sad thing about that reasoning is it's mostly true.  In the sixties American fisherman took about 90% of the fish caught in George's bank.  After the Russians showed up to fish in the seventies, American fisherman were taking about 10% of the total haul.  There are still a lot of foreign ships fishing off our waters that will keep doing what they're doing.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 01 2013, 4:29 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(EastieTrekker @ Feb. 01 2013, 10:03 am)
QUOTE

(TravisNWood @ Feb. 01 2013, 12:53 pm)
QUOTE
I can sympathize with the loss of employment and families affected, but you can't keep over-harvesting a crop and expect your job to survive anyhow.

Yeah, I feel like I've been reading the same story several times a year, for the last 10 years.  There have been suggestions that cod (and other species) were being over-harvested years ago, and instead of taking a gradual approach - which would have likely been a pill easier to swallow - the fishing industry continually resisted any infringement on "its" estimate of the cod population over the years.  Quite frankly, this is the outcome that had to happen.

Jim - it's definitely going to have an impact on the fleets. No question about it.  From a personal standpoint, the uncle who is still active has been working in Alaska for a while, as he too saw this coming a mile away.

Capitalism, I truly believe, is overall the best system we've got.  But one big flaw of capitalism -- pricing supply vs. demand -- is the system's inability to price in future costs.  And this inherently favors short-term benefits over longer term ones.

If there is money to be made, folks want it now -- assuming someone or something down the road will fix the future.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 01 2013, 4:30 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

It's a shame what we've done to our fisheries, both oceanic and freshwater. Reading the accounts of hauls from colonial times seems almost mythical.

A few years ago I read a book about an Adirondack hermit from the 1800s. He used to fish in a pond near his cabin. In one hour, he'd have enough trout to eat  for a month. When the fish really got biting, he wouldn't even use bait on his hook, and would pluck them out with every cast.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 02 2013, 1:37 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I am surprised to learn about the size of the fishery back there, I had no idea it was so large by dollar value, or still so lucrative given what happened to the cod fishery on the Grand Banks. Interesting to look at the numbers, too. Dutch Harbor lands over 3 times the weight, but only a little more than half of the dollar value of New Bedford.

Our ability to completely misunderstand, or to not even bother to acquire, or to igonere, solid scientific knowledge about fishery science never ceases to amaze me.  

The most recent case I read about was the Orange Roughy fishery in the Pacific, where after the catch plummeted, THEN the research was done.  "Hey guys, it turns out all these fish you are catching are about 100 or so years old...they reproduce way slower than you are pulling them out of the ocean."  Ooops.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 02 2013, 8:02 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(EastieTrekker @ Feb. 01 2013, 10:39 am)
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Eat a pollock, save a cod!!!

Yeah, or Haddock. Nothing like Fish Chowder with Haddock!

No doubt most fish are on the precipice of overfishing.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 02 2013, 8:13 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I was born in New Beddy, and lived there for a good 19 years. Frankly, the downtown area could improve from a less fishy character/aroma, to say the least.

I actually despise New Bedford, and wish it would rot away into nothingness. Despite the wealthy "Moby Dick-era whaling glory" of its hey-day, it has become an abject, depraved slum whose place would be better taken by lowland forest expanses. Although I have family in Fairhaven and Rochester and the like still, New Bedford is simply a forsaken place. There were PCBs in the Acushnet River when I was growing up (probably still there from all of the old mills). I would be lucky to never get cancer.

I haven't read about the background the fishery reductions, but our fisheries could really stand for less fishing either way.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 02 2013, 8:14 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Just because something is a "centuries old tradition," just like superstitious harvesting of wild animal parts (often times affecting endangered species) as opposed to pure economics in this case, does not ever by extension make it moral or somehow immune to attack.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 02 2013, 8:17 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

After seeing this is indeed about conservation, all the better. I am not aware of a single population model that sustains overharvesting indefinitely without an exponential drop in numbers of individuals, of course resulting in extinction.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 02 2013, 8:26 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Someone deleted their post...

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(Reminiscence @ Feb. 02 2013, 6:13 pm)
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I was born in New Beddy, and lived there for a good 19 years. Frankly, the downtown area could improve from a less fishy character/aroma, to say the least.

I actually despise New Bedford, and wish it would rot away into nothingness. Despite the wealthy "Moby Dick-era whaling glory" of its hey-day, it has become an abject, depraved slum whose place would be better taken by lowland forest expanses. Although I have family in Fairhaven and Rochester and the like still, New Bedford is simply a forsaken place. There were PCBs in the Acushnet River when I was growing up (probably still there from all of the old mills). I would be lucky to never get cancer.

I haven't read about the background the fishery reductions, but our fisheries could really stand for less fishing either way.

Agreed.

NB is a hold-over from another era. It's a hard thing to live in the center of such a town, clinging to what was.

My ancestors were the founding family of Lynn, MA... another decaying town.

Time marches on and waits for no man.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 04 2013, 10:26 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Well...nice to know a few folks here who know of New Bedford, and someone else even grew up there.  Who would have known?  Small world...

Well, no doubt it's not jewel of Massachusetts any more, but I think you (BradMT & Reminiscence) would be surprised if you ever visited NB again.  

Rt. 18, the highway that horribly divided the downtown waterfront from the rest of downtown, is know being converted to a slower speed thruway with lights, to encourage more pedestrian traffic on the water.  

The downtown area itself has gone from basically a slum, to a bunch of new and successful independent businesses being run by 30 & 40-somethings.  *This whole movement actually started by a big commitment from the local community college to take space downtown.

There also a brand new hotel downtown, and they are converting one of the old abandoned industrial sites into a major East Coast port for shipments containing alternative energy components.

Again, to be sure NB is still rough around the edges.  There's some sections where gang-life has a stronghold, but I'd argue that New Bedford has taken some significant steps forward in the past 5-10 years.  I probably still wouldn't move back though :D

ETA: Oh yeah and the ol' PCB filled Acushnet River is a Superfund site, and is a lot cleaner than it used to be.  Now all those years I spent in Jr. High and High School that were built on a dump...that's a different story.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 04 2013, 10:33 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(SnidelyWhiplash @ Feb. 01 2013, 1:19 pm)
QUOTE

(High_Sierra_Fan @ Feb. 01 2013, 1:07 pm)
QUOTE
All with deliberation and forethought since "if they didn't some one else would".

The sad thing about that reasoning is it's mostly true.  In the sixties American fisherman took about 90% of the fish caught in George's bank.  After the Russians showed up to fish in the seventies, American fisherman were taking about 10% of the total haul.  There are still a lot of foreign ships fishing off our waters that will keep doing what they're doing.

That is true here for sure, once you get into international waters there are huge factory ships, hauling in and canning on the spot.  Unaffected by whatever the local regulations decide for limits.

My oldest son just graduated high school in 2011 and started in October on a tuna run, now on the same boat he is working the crabbing season here.


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(Echo @ Feb. 04 2013, 10:33 am)
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My oldest son just graduated high school in 2011 and started in October on a tuna run, now on the same boat he is working the crabbing season here.

Well despite the over-fishing controversies, and the limits being imposed in various fisheries, I hope he enjoys his time at sea.  While it was never my particular cup of coffee, I always enjoyed hearing stories from my uncles, and they always seemed to thoroughly enjoy making their living on the water.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 04 2013, 12:50 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(EastieTrekker @ Feb. 04 2013, 7:45 am)
QUOTE

(Echo @ Feb. 04 2013, 10:33 am)
QUOTE
My oldest son just graduated high school in 2011 and started in October on a tuna run, now on the same boat he is working the crabbing season here.

Well despite the over-fishing controversies, and the limits being imposed in various fisheries, I hope he enjoys his time at sea.  While it was never my particular cup of coffee, I always enjoyed hearing stories from my uncles, and they always seemed to thoroughly enjoy making their living on the water.

My Father-in-law was raised in a "shack on stilts" over the water at Galveston by a shrimper and he hated the life of a fisherman, although now in Wyoming he likes trout fishing, but strange that my son is eager to follow in great grandpa's family tradition

here are some pictures he sent back to me,



and my picture of the boat he is on

The Barbara Marie on 365 Project

He is a pot baiter and started the season with the flu and the fever and ache's almost ended the job but he stuck it out and seems to be exhausted but happy


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 04 2013, 1:46 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Nice photos.  Thanks for sharing!!  There's something so romantic and terrifying to me about a view where the horizon is air and sea, and nothing else (like the bottom left picture in the collage).

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(EastieTrekker @ Feb. 04 2013, 10:46 am)
QUOTE
Nice photos.  Thanks for sharing!!  There's something so romantic and terrifying to me about a view where the horizon is air and sea, and nothing else (like the bottom left picture in the collage).

Yeah, like it is easy to imagine the flat world theory is true and everything just pours over the edge?

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