Boston Globe: The troubled future of Atlantic cod is murkier than ever as science reveals a myriad of behaviors in this iconic fish, making it more daunting to say when and where it should be caught. “We’re almost overwhelmed with complexity,” said Tom Nies, groundfish analyst for the New England Fishery Management Council. “We still have vast areas that have not been sampled, vast areas where we don’t know what’s happening.”
The complexity was clarified last week at a scientific conference convened by the council and the Gulf of Maine Research Institute. The conference was held in the wake of the discovery earlier this year that cod were not recovering as hoped for in the Gulf of Maine under a 10-year-plan to reestablish stocks by 2014. Fishermen are currently operating under a 22% cut in their allowable catch, and likely face a far more dramatic cut next year from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.