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Atlantic Fishermen Grapple With Cod Restrictions

Fishermen Ed Stewart, left, and Tannis Goodsen mend groundfishing nets on Merrill Wharf in Portland, Maine in 2013. The nets will be used to catch ground fish such as haddock, flounder and cod. (Robert F. Bukaty/AP)
Fishermen Ed Stewart, left, and Tannis Goodsen mend groundfishing nets on Merrill Wharf in Portland, Maine in 2013. The nets will be used to catch ground fish such as haddock, flounder and cod. (Robert F. Bukaty/AP)

Beginning Thursday, East Coast fishermen will face strict new regulations on cod fishing, limiting them to 200 pounds per trip, and closing off some commercial fishing areas.

Fishermen say the new rules, expected to stay in place until May, will devastate them economically, in some cases forcing them out of business altogether.

But federal officials say the drastic measures are the only way to repopulate cod stocks, which are at their lowest levels since monitoring began 40 years ago. According to the U.S. National Marine Services, cod spawning in the Gulf of Maine have declined by up to 18 percent from three years ago and is currently only at about 4 percent of the target level.

Ben Martens, executive director of the Maine Coast Fisherman’s Association, joins Here & Now’s Robin Young to discuss the impact of the new rules.

Guest

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