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Document Type

Note

Publication Date

Winter 2015

Publication Citation

91 Indiana Law Journal 165 (2015)

Abstract

In response to a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) survey that showed “record-low levels of abundance” of groundfish in the Gulf of Maine (“Gulf”), local fisherman Brian Pearce asserted: “It concerns [me] that what [NOAA is] saying and what we [the local fishermen] are seeing is such a contrast . . . . Who sees more fish in the ocean than the fishermen?” Despite Mr. Pearce’s skepticism, the state of the cod fishery in the Gulf of Maine—home to “critical” and “legendary" fishing grounds in Canadian and American territories—is, in fact, dire. According to the NOAA survey, conducted in August 2014, the cod population within the Gulf has dwindled to an estimated 2100 metric tons—an all-time low. To make matters worse, young cod, which generate cod production through “spawning,” have all but disappeared, as cod within the Gulf are spawning at an estimated three to four percent of what is considered a sustainable level. Quite simply, the current state of the cod fishery in the Gulf is “nothing short of Armageddon.”