Codfish numbers at key fishery hits all-time low

Temperature change could be one factor
Associated Press
Aug 10, 2014

 

The level of codfish spawning in one of the most critical fisheries in the Northeast U.S. is at an all-time low, putting more pressure on a fishery already dealing with declining catch and dramatic quota cuts.

National Marine Fisheries Service scientists say the amount of cod spawning in the Gulf of Maine is estimated to be 3 to 4 percent of its target level. That number declined from 13 to 18 percent three years ago.

Low levels of reproduction in the fishery are holding repopulation back, scientists say. They are investigating what might be driving down the numbers of cod but believe temperature change — which they have also linked to a declining Northern shrimp stock and northern migration of herring — may be one factor.

The Gulf of Maine, along with Georges Bank, is one of two key areas where East Coast fishermen search for cod, a vital commercial fish in New England that appears in supermarkets and roadside fish-and-chip shops.

An updated assessment of the Gulf of Maine cod shows the fish spawning at levels lower than seen in data stretching back to the 1930s, scientists say. Records of cod catches dating back to the 19th century indicate the population has never dipped this low before, said Russ Brown, deputy science and research director at the Northeast Fisheries Science Center.

"The analysis really presents a grim picture for the recovery of the stock," Brown said. "Every indicator of the stock condition has declined or worsened between 2011 and 2013."

Before the 2013-14 fishing season, federal regulators cut the Gulf of Maine cod harvest quota by 77 percent, to 1,550 metric tons, in the hopes of spurring growth in the fishery, and that's still in effect.

The federal New England Fishery Management Council is working on new management measures for the species, including a potential new quota for the 2015-16 fishing season that begins May 1. A recommendation could come in November, a spokeswoman said.

Commercial catches have plummeted, with Maine dropping from more than 560 metric tons of cod in 2009 to less than 130 metric tons last year. Massachusetts, the most productive cod-fishing state in the Northeast, fell from 6,810 metric tons in 2011 to 4,075 metric tons in 2012, federal data show.

The number of fish surviving their first year has also dipped since 2009, a spokeswoman for the council said.

New England's cod fishermen, who typically also catch other groundfish such as haddock and pollock, are "kind of getting used to bad news," said Ben Martens, executive director of the Maine Coast Fishermen's Association. However, he said, some preliminary signs in the current fishing year are positive. Cod catches for sale at the Portland Fish Exchange, Maine's largest fish auction, are up 50 percent from last year, he said.

Maggie Raymond, executive director of the Associated Fisheries of Maine and the owner of two Boston-based groundfish boats, said the availability of Icelandic and Alaskan cod could avert a price spike at markets. However, deeper quotas and poor spawning could make New England cod more of a rarity, she said.

"I'm sure there's going to be less New England cod available to the consumer in this region," he said.

Comments

ohioengineer

"Temperature change could be one factor"

"They are investigating what might be driving down the numbers of cod but believe temperature change — which they have also linked to a declining Northern shrimp stock and northern migration of herring — may be one factor."

A clever, but misleading article. Reading the above one would assume in this day of so-called Global Warming, that "temperature change" means that the water is getting warmer. Nope! Just the opposite. According to Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Canadian Department charged with overseeing oceans, the reason that the codfish population has not increased is threefold:
1. Inadequate food supplies
2. Genetic problems due to overfishing of large cod
3. COOLING of the North Atlantic

Congratulations to the AP and the SR for setting the journalistic bar so low. Is this what is being taught in Journalism school today?

eriemom

June was the Earth's warmest such month on record since instrument data began in 1880, propelled by ocean temperatures that were so far above average that they broke a separate milestone. Global ocean temperatures during the month had never been this unusually hot, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which released the new data on Monday.

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/gl...

Blackberry Phale

And July brought below-average temperatures for much of the central and eastern U.S.

Oh please, please, please Al Gore, save us, save us, save us. How will we live?????

eriemom

Cod live in the ocean and not in central and eastern U.S. FYI: below-average temperatures would qualify as Climate Change.

Blackberry Phale

No, below-average temperatures would qualify as weather.

Pterocarya frax...

Yet your comment at 8:51pm clearly indicates that you don't know the difference between climate and weather.

Dr. Information

Why is it with the climate change nuts that no matter what happens, its all bad and not suppose to be that way? Accurate weather recording didn't happen until the early to mid 1900's.

Humans think that because things have changed in their lifetime that the earth is self imploding but fail to realize that their existence on earth is a micro fraction of earths age.

Things change, they never stay the same. Weather goes up, it goes down. 3 years ago we had a really hot hot summer, followed by 2 below avg. summers in Ohio. For the last 10 years we had very mild winters until this last winter in Ohio. Whats amazing is the down right overreaction with weather these days.

Oh btw, more ice was recorded this year than ever before in the ocean as a whole.

Licorice Schtick

There's more ice in the oceans because it's falling off the polar ice caps, you idiot.

Blackberry Phale

Didn't take long for you to resort to your typical name calling when you don't agree with someone.

Licorice Schtick

In this particular case, it's not name-calling, it's clearly a clinical fact. Only an idiot can perceive more icebergs as evidence AGAINST global warming. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

And my name-calling isn't typical. Mostly I'm more disciplined. For example, I've refrained from calling you an idiot, or a crank, or a troll. But if I said your comments were typical of denier irrational hogwash, that's technically not name-calling, right?

But I concede that I could have been more sensitive when responding to a comment from one who's obviously mentally differently-abled. Instead of "you idiot" I might have said, "You seem to have drawn a fallacious conclusion," at the cost of truth.

Dr. Information

L S is just another "I don't get my way so Im going to name call" liberal.
The levels of Antarctic sea-ice last week hit an all-time high – confounding climate change computer models which say it should be in decline.
America’s National Snow And Ice Data Center, which is funded by Nasa, revealed that ice around the southern continent covers about 16million sq km, more than 2.1 million more than is usual for the time of year.
It is by far the highest level since satellite observations on which the figures depend began in 1979.
In statistical terms, the extent of the ice cover is hugely significant.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/...
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Blackberry Phale

RE: Is this what is being taught in Journalism school today?

Yes.

Greenies never let a simple thing like TRUTH get in the way of a good temperature change story.

coasterfan

More than 99% of experts think the opposite as you. I think I'll side with them - the people who actually HAVE studied the issue; the people with evidence.

It's going to get rather embarrassing for those who buried their heads in the sand, since many of the things Gore predicted are already happening.

Blackberry Phale

Al Gore predicted on December 14th, 2008, the North Polar Ice Cap would be completely ice free in five years. That means that now the North Pole should be completely melted by now. Al Gore’s prophesy has been nothing but a hoax.

So drink up. Unfortunately there are too many people still drinking from the socialist kool-aid.

eriemom

From Gore's speech:
"Last September 21 (2007), as the Northern Hemisphere tilted away from the sun, scientists reported with unprecedented distress that the North Polar ice cap is "falling off a cliff." One study estimated that it could be completely gone during summer in less than 22 years. Another new study, to be presented by U.S. Navy researchers later this week, warns it could happen in as little as 7 years."

Blackberry: Take note that Gore was quoting others. Including the Department of the Navy.

Our Navy is Socialist and a hoax?

Blackberry Phale

More accurately it is not the Navy in general but the US Naval Postgraduate School Department of Oceanography that predicted this. Gore was just the fool to repeat it.

It all boils down to this, the current administration wants the public to believe that climate change is a threat to national security.

The Bizness

It is a threat to humanity and our current way of life...not just national security.

Dr. Information

Its no threat, ITS A MONEY MAKER, ask Al Gorge. Its yet another way of controlling the American mass and you socialists eat it up because you love when someone tells you something and says they will take care of you.

Blackberry Phale

So you are saying small temperature changes is a threat to our current way of life?

The global-warming agenda is increasingly being revealed for the scam it is.

The Bizness

Yes, a small change, makes a big difference.

eriemom

What is, "the Navy in general"

Mission Statement:

The mission of the Naval Postgraduate School is to provide relevant and unique advanced education and research programs to increase the combat effectiveness of commissioned officers of the Naval Service to enhance the security of the United States. In support of the foregoing, and to sustain academic excellence, foster and encourage a program of relevant and meritorious research which both supports the needs of Navy and Department of Defense while building the intellectual capital of Naval Postgraduate School faculty.Perspectives on NPS

"The best and brightest military officers from the United States and around the world come to the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, to work with world class faculty on real military and defense problems. At NPS, they gain both the intellectual know how and the practical skills for improving defense technologies, systems and programs."

George H.W. Bush
41st President, United States

Current administration? I believe that the quote in question was stated in 2007. Keep in mind that the thesis and research was completed prior to that publication date--Bush Jr. administration.

grumpy

H. W. was the first Bush. In office from 89-93. Bush jr. was just W.

Factitious

The top three problems with cod are: overfishing, overfishing, and overfishing.

Blackberry Phale

Lets not forget western Europe accounts for 70–80% of the world cod market. The British even used warships during the Cod Wars.

sugar

There has been NO warming in 15 yrs, zip, zero, nada.
That 99% figure you sight coaster is a figure retrieved from only 1/3 of the group polled. Meaning 3/4 of the scientists polled did not answer the poll, of the 1/3 who did it was 99%. Changes it a bit, eh?

The Bizness

The "no warming" claim people make is made by picking and choosing data start and end points. I could pick a year and draw a trend line that would show cooling, or heating.

So this argument doesnt hold scientific weight.

Dr. Information

So wait, those claiming there IS warming do not have a starting and end point? How is your argument any more solid than sugars. Problem is, it isn't.

The Bizness

Yes, the starting point is when we startec manipulating our atmosphere, and creating the changes we see.

grumpy

So you go back to the first time man started a fire? I don't think you really mean what you just wrote. The atmosphere was first changed by Man the first fire that he started a fire. Do you wish to change your definition? Or will you stick with it?

AJ Oliver

Denialists have no science on their side. Try to grasp that weather is not the same as climate. And it's beyond stupid to attack the messenger - be it Gore or whomsoever.

YoMamma

Your wrong AJ it is not stupid to attack the messenger. Personal attacks are wrong, but to not point out the fallacies in their statements is wrong. Especially when they are acting like experts.

Licorice Schtick

But "Blackberry Phale" made a Gore comment that was sarcasm and nothing else. I think maybe that's the stupidity to which AJ refers. But misquotes and out-of-context distortions count, too.

Blackberry Phale

Al Gore predicts no Arctic ice In 2013.

http://youtu.be/GPLD8aylRiw

Licorice Schtick

I'm not the first to point out that he made no such prediction; he was quoting various examples of others' predictions. Is that lost on you or are you deliberately distorting the facts?

grumpy

Why would Gore repeat a quote from someone if he didn't agree with it? To infer he agreed with it, or to infer he disagreed with it?

eriemom

So, your video link proves that Al Gore did not predict no Arctic ice in 2013. I have already commented with a direct quote to disprove your prior comment on the same subject.

To repeat a lie does not make it any more true.

Dr. Information

Socialists hate those who do their own homework and question things. They like big brothers "anything we say is gospel" approach and just lap it up, take their pill and move on.

sugar

There's no room for thought in a socialists world! It's been settled! Lol!
In science nothing is ever settled, the data is waiting for the next theory. The left always cites science but has no clue about anything scientific, or how science works.

eriemom

The following link will take you to a pretty good page that explains climate change history.http://www.aip.org/history/clima...

There are two problems with your comment.

First, science is pretty democratic. Second, changes in technology can and does move theory.

Licorice Schtick

Deniers don't respond to reason, and they dismiss real facts and make up their own. You may as well talk to a wall.

When the Northwest Passage recently became navigable for the first time in recorded history, the deniers denied that. And they think they know more than the U.S. Navy, which has altered Arctic operational plans due to reduced ice.

eriemom

Dr. Information: I guess it would depend on what research is done. Did you analyze the data yourself? Or did you use opinion of others when you did your homework?

ohioengineer

Actually my point was that the article is deliberately misleading and most of you have helped make this point with your comments. The media has so conditioned us to have a Pavlov response to Global Warming (I'm sorry, Climate Change), that when we see the words "temperature change" we automatically assume that it means hotter; even though in this case it meant colder. Rather than doing their homework, the AP and SR just let this misconception stand unchallenged since it bolsters their Global Warming position.

But since this has been turned into a Climate Change discussion, I will note a few things:
1. Sure the climate is changing. It has changed since the beginning of time and will continue to change long after we are gone. In fact, the world has just recently come out of a fairly significant climate change called the Little Ice Age. It is this warming trend, which started before the Industrial Revolution, which has influenced most of our weather up to the present.
2. The only argument is whether these normal, ongoing changes in climate are being influenced in some way by human activity. And there is absolutely NO scientific proof connecting human activity to climate change. What we had was a warming trend during the 1990's that corresponded to worldwide growth in population and industrial activity and CO2 emissions, so the assumption was made that one caused the other. Again, there is only this assumption; but no proof that human activity is causing any type of climate change. I challenge anyone who believes differently to present that proof.
3. There is no consensus of scientists on the issue of human caused climate change. The scientists who support global warming fall into two camps: university professors whose livelihood depends on government grants (good luck getting a grant to prove that Global Warming is NOT caused by humans); and scientists employed by the United Nations, one of the most political and agenda-driven organizations on the face of the earth. On the other side are many respected scientists who have risked reputations and jobs to speak out against Global Warming.
4. Finally, I know when it gets cooler it is "weather" and when it gets warmer it is "climate change," (note: this is satire)but the undisputed fact is that the majority of the world has been cooling now for almost a decade. You can bend the facts in different ways, but it doesn't change things.

Licorice Schtick

The problem with American engineers is that many don't really understand what science is. They are trained technicians - practitioners of applied science. They're taught how to use science to solve difficult problems and design mundane and amazing sewers and bridges and cheese graters and Teslas and iPhones but contribute nothing to the body of scientific knowledge, because that's not their job. That's not to say they aren't intelligent, because it takes a fair amount of smarts to get an engineering degree. But, to over generalize, they have have an inflated sense of self-worth, not even realizing that they're not "scientists," because no one ever mentioned that in school.

I think human intelligence is bimodal; to oversimplify, there's ordinary human intelligence, that we often call "common sense," that large numbers of ordinary people possess. Then there's the brilliant, enlighten few who see what most can't, know what is incomprehensible to most, and influence humanity in varying degrees of awesomeness, and in a good way, when things go well.

In between, there's a stupidity sweet spot where people are smart enough to recognize what they know, but not enough to recognize their ignorance. Hence, "A little knowledge is a dangerous thing."

eriemom

ohioengineer take note:

Lead researcher Dr Shaun Marcott, from Oregon State University in the US, said: 'We already knew that on a global scale, Earth is warmer today than it was over much of the past 2,000 years.
'Now we know that it is warmer than most of the past 11,300 years.
'This is of particular interest because the holocene spans the entire period of human civilisation.'
The study, published in the journal Science, provides the first truly global view of climate at millennia timescales.
Many previous temperature reconstructions have been based on regional data, according to co-author Professor Peter Clark, also from Oregon State University.

Although "only" an academic, he makes some good points.

ohioengineer

Actually, it is just the opposite. Being very practical, engineers have learned to recognize and trust in facts only; which is by the way a pretty good definition of science. And yes, engineers recognize they are not scientists, because engineers, unlike scientists, are not allowed to get things wrong; if they do, bad things happen. Consequently, engineers learn quickly to see through the hand-waving that accompanies a lot of what passes for science in this age.

Licorice Schtick

You just pretty much proved that you don't know what science is.

AJ Oliver

Sorry Ohio - You are incorrect in wrting . . " there is absolutely NO scientific proof connecting human activity to climate change."
http://www.skepticalscience.com/...
And point # 3 is unfortunate. You are questioning the integrity of thousands of scientists, and the entire system of peer reviewed research.
Come on "Ohio", have you ever published a peer reviewed article? How about a link to it?

eriemom

Unfortunate is an understatement. I am devastated that every time I read a comment that attacks the messenger as "only" a scientist. The thinking involved in answering questions related to why nature works the way it does, and developing a way to answer the question are quite different from that of an engineer.

We need engineers that can take the science and apply it to solve the problems associated with climate change. I believe that we are beyond denial. It is time to prepare and it is our engineers who can work with climatologists to mitigate the impact to society's infrastructure, and therefore save human lives.

Licorice Schtick

Point #3 is worse than unfortunate; it's absurd. First, there is no longer any real debate about whether global warming is real; even the deniers have largely conceded that. The nonsense has shifted to whether it's caused by humans. Most of the scientist who are professors or work in the public interest confirm that global warming is mostly caused my humans. The scientist/deniers are often pimps for industry with conflicts of interest, and they're a tiny minority. So the claim that there's no consensus is just false; the evidence is so overwhelming that you can call it practically unanimous, dismissing the deniers as not really scientists, because they fail to subscribe to the tenets of the philosophy of science and the scientific method.

ohioengineer

Websites on both sides of this issue are a dime a dozen. However, I did find it interesting that you choose to quote from one whose reason for existence is to show that people who dare to think differently are wrong. I thought the whole purpose of science was to seek out the truth; a truth which may be found anywhere, even among those who might disagree with me.

With regards to point 3, it apparently is acceptable to question the integrity of scientists who work for industry (see other comments on this page), but not so for university or UN scientists. My point is quite simply that scientists, whoever they are, are human and as such they are subject to the same pressures as anyone else.

As for peer review, that is exactly what those scientists on the other side of the issue (the people your web site calls deniers) have been trying to do for a decade. But instead of accepting this review, the advocates of global warming have declared the game is over and everyone should go home.

Licorice Schtick

It is entirely proper, even imperative, to inquire into the details when there's a conflict of interest, and when it's undisclosed, there is no integrity to question. That typically happens when there's a money interest; university researchers often work under private grants, so it's not so simple, but generally, research in which someone has a financial stake in the outcome is what's most likely to be corrupted. Drug research when FDA approval is being sought is notorious.

Academia rewards new knowledge more objectively, because they have little reason not to. Business rewards knowledge it finds useful, favorable, or convenient, and doesn't want to know about what isn't. And because they're struggling for survival and/or million-dollar bonuses, they shoot messengers.

In three words - money corrupts science.

Blackberry Phale

If the average temp was the same as the iq of some of the commenters here, we would be ok.

eriemom

No need to make condescending comments based on a commentator's disagreement with you.

Licorice Schtick

I liked it. I love irony.

Pterocarya frax...

Blackberry Phale
Mon, 08/11/2014 - 11:10am

Didn't take long for you to resort to your typical name calling when you don't agree with someone.

eriemom

"No need to make condescending comments based on a commentator's disagreement with you."

What name was that?

puddin95

Is Al up for Sainthood? He gave us global warming, The internet, And explicit lyrics stickers.

Dr. Information

Global warming = the next big money maker.

eriemom

Why is it your opinion that economic free markets, with help from governmental subsidies, work for the fossil fuel industry and not for renewable technologies?

AJ Oliver

OK Ohio Eng. I'm calling you out as a coward who lacks the elemental integrity to take responsibility for what you write. You trash people from behind your anonymous curtain. Shame on you.
I thought you righties believed in personal responsibility.
So where is that peer reviewed article you wrote?

eriemom

Worse. He/she tries to sway other readers based on expertise. Engineers apply the work of scientists to solve problems. Scientists are telling you that there is a problem. You refuse to use your expertise to solve the problem.

How is that right? Society needs for you to do you job.

Example: How can we help farmers prepare for chaotic weather events efficiently?

We can either build infrastructure that removes storm runoff from the sewage system or engineer property modifications. To take a stand that changes are unnecessary based on your personal opinion is unprofessional and dangerous.

Back to the fish...
Over fishing was the cause of the population crash. The article is about the failure of efforts to reestablish Cod in a specific region. The Cod are migrating. The population in that region will not rebound. Cod in other regions, north and deeper, may rebound with cooperation between fishermen and biologists.

lunchtime 175

The whole thing sounds a little fishy. Just like the oil companies driving up the price of oil just to make huge profits.