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Cod Prohibition May Hurt Charter Fishing in Maine

cod fishing
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Ban placed on cod possession makes many fishing charter businesses anxious about the upcoming season in the Gulf of Maine. 

Cod prohibition in the Gulf of Maine will soon be enforced for next year’s fishing season as the population is dwindling.

Federal regulators will institute a ban on the possession of cod for all recreational fishing in the Gulf of Maine starting on May 1, and could last for an entire year.

Many charter fishing businesses who lead recreational fishing trips into these waters are expecting to take a big hit. While there are many other species of fish in the Gulf of Maine, cod are preferred over haddock and redfish, because of their superior size and taste.

Barry Gibson, captain of a charter boat in East Boothbay, told reporters, “They will have to re-market, re-invent themselves without cod. It’s going to be tough.”

In the past, cod prohibition has lasted for a couple months at a time, and during those periods charter fishing businesses saw a significant decrease in commerce. Federal regulators feel this extended cod prohibition is necessary since the stocks in the Gulf of Maine are at their lowest levels in 40 years.

Last month the National Fisheries Service (NFS), a part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, imposed emergency measures to restrict any commercial fishing on cod populations in the Gulf of Maine.

These measures still need final approval from the NFS, which may result in a complete ban of all recreational fishing boats in these areas.

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Cod Prohibition May Hurt Charter Fishing in Maine