NIJ article Arctic fisheries are now a popular choice for people seeking fresh seafood, but those who live in the northernmost US state of New Jersey are finding their options limited.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is now proposing that fishing quotas for Arctic cod and other northern cod stocks be limited to 1,000 tonnes per year.
This is a change from the current 1,300 tonnes per years that has been in place.
It comes amid concerns about climate change, with the Arctic ice melting at a rate of 10 centimeters per year in the last two decades.
The agency is also trying to increase the number of cod stocked in the North Atlantic.
Fishermen in New Jersey, a state of about 28 million people, will be forced to eat fewer fish and move closer to sea ice if they want to keep up with demand for the cod.
Fishing quotas are set by the federal government to protect species, including polar bears, wolves, and other animals.
The quotas are supposed to be set at one tonne per person per year for cod, which can be consumed by the whole family.
The new quota for cod would come as a huge blow to fishers in the state, who have been unable to catch the cod that is a mainstay of their diet for generations.
Fishers who have caught cod on land have been struggling to feed themselves and their families.
And because cod stocks are not protected under the Endangered Species Act, many fishermen are worried about losing their fishing rights, too.
A group of fishermen in New York state, however, said that the new quota is a win for fishers and their communities.
“The quota is just going to give us a little more stability to be able to fish, so we can still do that,” said Jeff Buechler, the chairman of the New York Fishermen’s Association.
Buechlers group is trying to help to lobby the federal agency to make the change.
“We want to make sure that if they do go down to 1/3,000, that the community can be supported and that the fishers can be financially supported,” he said.
Farms in the southern US state, New York, are also trying, but are struggling to keep their catch.
Farming is a major source of income for New York’s fishermen, who rely heavily on their subsistence farming practices.
In a statement, the New England Aquaculture Federation (NEAF) said the current quota would be a blow to fisheries.
“The current 2,500 tonnes per annum for cod is insufficient to feed the communities in New England, especially on the Upper West Side and the Bronx,” NEAF Executive Director Tom Schlep said.
The NEAF is also working to find a new market for cod in New Mexico.
The organization’s president, Steve Ehrlich, said the new limit would affect a lot of fish species in NewMexico.
But, he said, cod in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska are growing quickly.
“If the new quotas go down, it’s going to be a real setback,” he told the Associated Press.
The proposed quota is the first time the federal agencies of the two states have tried to limit cod.
On March 25, the US Fish Department proposed that the federal administration limit cod quotas at 1,500 tonnes per year to protect the species from being depleted.
The USFWS then approved the new cod quota.
The federal government is now considering how to limit fishing in the polar region.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently released a draft of a plan that would limit the number and amount of cod caught in the Arctic.