Cod, Is It for Dinner?

Publication: Edible Boston

Author: Cynthia Graber


03/25/2011 - In January, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, a national arbiter of fish choices for concerned Americans, announced significant changes to its Seafood Watch list. East Coast fisheries—haddock, pollock, summer flounder and even some stocks of cod—slid from the alarming red “Avoid” zone to “Good alternatives.” Hook-and-line-caught Atlantic haddock was even knighted “Best choice.”

Jennifer Dianto Kemmerly, director of the Seafood Watch program, says the changes were based on developments in management techniques that led to healthier stocks.

This is good news for a variety of actors, including the fish, the fishermen and New England consumers. And it may help solve a conflict that consumers face at the fish counter when considering whether to eat that iconic local fish: cod.

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But this tide turned in May 2010. After years of review, the New England Fishery Management Council worked with various interested parties to devise a new management system, called “catch shares,” also called a sector management system, that gives fishermen quotas for yearly catches—instead of daily catches—of particular fish. With this system, they don’t have to fight to fish as fast as possible on a given day.

“We’re seeing very strong incentives for people to fish more selectively,” says John Crawford, science and policy manager of the Pew Environment Group.

Read the full article Cod, Is It for Dinner? on Edible Boston's Web site.

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