FALMOUTH, Mass. — Scientists are backing a dismal health assessment of Gulf of Maine cod that could have a devastating impact on the local fishing industry.
The Gloucester Daily Times reported that a peer review panel issued its findings Thursday during a meeting at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Science Center in Woods Hole.
The panel upheld an initial finding that even if all fishing ended on Gulf of Maine cod, the species wouldn’t rebuild by a 2014 federal deadline.
Ending fishing on cod could shut down fishing in the entire Gulf of Maine for other bottom-dwelling groundfish, since such fish swim among cod.
The grim assessment comes three years after a major study showed the species rebounding.
A final report and recommendation on how to move forward will be presented in January.