Fishery Managers Approve Groundfish Monitoring Amendment

Will implement 100% at-sea monitoring for overfished species like cod

To save Atlantic cod, CLF petitioned the federal government to take five conservation and management measures. Photo: Brian Skerry

Atlantic cod swimming in Cashes Ledge. Photo: Brian Skerry

April 13, 2022 (BOSTON, MA) – The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), the federal agency responsible for sustainably managing our fisheries, has announced the approval of a management action called Amendment 23, which implements 100% at-sea monitoring in New England’s groundfish fishery for species like Atlantic cod. Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) released the following statement in response.

“This is a watershed moment for New England’s cod population,” said Allison Lorenc, Senior Policy Analyst at CLF. “The groundfish fishery has been plagued by overfishing for decades, but 100% at-sea monitoring will provide critical information needed for sustainable management. It’s time Atlantic cod are allowed to thrive in New England’s waters, and today’s announcement is a major step in that direction.”

Amendment 23 sets a new at-sea monitoring target of 100% of sector trips in New England’s groundfish fishery for at least the next four years. This will establish an important baseline of catch data to help managers stop overfishing and rebuild the Atlantic cod population as well as sustainably manage all groundfish populations in New England.

CLF experts are available for further comment.