Portland, Maine • Environmentalists and commercial fishermen both say they are fearful of proposed changes to the federal rules that govern New England’s beleaguered cod fishing industry. The rules govern an industry that has fed New England for centuries and is now in steep decline. Most codfish sold to consumers in the region now come from foreign countries such as Norway, Iceland and Russia.
Cod is closely associated with fish and chips. Regulators who typically split New England’s cod into two stocks want to slightly raise the Gulf of Maine quota but more dramatically cut the Georges Bank quota for the coming fishing year. The catch limit would rise 30 percent, to 500 metric tons, in the Gulf and fall nearly two thirds, to 762 metric tons, on Georges.
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