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  • Writer's pictureBen Martens

Podcast: A Haddock Disaster With Dr. Jamie Cournane


In the world of New England fisheries, groundfish like cod, haddock, and flounder are essential to both the economy and the ecosystem. The New England Fishery Management Council regulates these species through a quota system, ensuring a balance between industry and environmental sustainability.



Recently, the Council announced a startling development: an over 80% reduction in the allowable catch of Gulf of Maine haddock. This decision stems from scientific assessments indicating a sharp decline in the haddock population despite fishermen not exceeding their allowable catch for over a decade.

However, many local fishermen disagree with this analysis. Their experiences on the water reflect a healthy haddock population and recent landings corroborate those

Fisherman on the Gulf of Maine
A groundfish fisherman in the Gulf of Maine

observations. The New England Fishery Management Council responded to that new data with an emergency action request to the Regional Administrator and the Secretary of Commerce.


Regardless of the outcome of the emergency action, the drastic quota cut will indisputably impact the local fishing industry. In this podcast, Ben Martens interviews Dr. Jamie Cournane, lead fisheries analyst for the groundfish management plan at the New England Fishery Management Council, about the haddock science, management, and the process that got us to where we are today.


haddock
Haddock: Photo credit True Fin Seafood

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