GLOUCESTER, Mass. — Federal regulators had some bad news for New England’s recreational saltwater fishermen last week.
Last week, NOAA Fisheries announced new management measures for the recreational cod and haddock fisheries in the Gulf of Maine.
Effective last Thursday, July 27, the regulators banned all recreational cod fishing in the waters between Cape Cod and the Canadian border know as the “Gulf of Maine Regulated Mesh Area.”
The ban applies to possession of any cod by recreational fishermen.
In addition, NOAA has reduced the daily bag limit for haddock from 15 fish to 12 and will close the fishery from Sept. 17 through Oct. 31.
The Gulf of Maine recreational haddock fishery is already closed between March 1 and April 14 each year. The 17-inch minimum size limit remains unchanged.
The regulatory changes arose from recognition that last year’s recreational catch of both cod and haddock was far larger than anticipated.
Landings of cod by recreational fishermen exceed the 2016 harvest limit set by federal regulators (157 metric tons) by 92 percent. The haddock catch exceeded the harvest limit (928 metric tons) by 15 percent.