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Industry-based Gulf of Maine cod survey now in progress

COD1-ibs2_study_areaGLOUCESTER, MA – Using  a portion of the federal Groundfish Disaster Relief funds for Massachusetts, the MA Div. of Marine Fisheries (DMF) initiated a three-year Gulf of Maine Atlantic cod industry-based survey (IBS) in April to better inform management decisions and enable minimum estimates of swept area biomass.

Last fall, Massachusetts chose to spend $700,000 of its “Bin 3” disaster relief funds on a research project to test the fishing industry’s concerns that cod are more abundant and are found in deeper, cooler waters.  The cod IBS is a collaborative research effort developed and designed with the help of groundfish fishermen.

“The study design surveys the entire GOM cod stock throughout the area where it is most prevalent.  We used fishermen’s VTRs,  observer reporting, data from federal trawl surveys, and a previous cod survey to determine areas of highest abundance,” said DMF senior biologist and co-principal investigator Bill Hoffman.

Fifty, stratified-random, 30-minute tows will be selected each month and will cover the western portion of the GOM, out to 69°30’ longitude (see map).

Maine state waters were excluded due to lack of accessible bottom and…

 

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