The New England lobster industry is currently experiencing a boom. For instance, Maine catches have climbed sharply in recent years, with many crediting the increase to regulations aimed at sustaining the lobster population. This was not the case in the 1980s, when population levels were at a low and concerns over whether the lobster would become extinct abounded.
However, as the lobster industry is slowly recovering, the health of the cod industry is in decline. While many look to rebuild the ailing cod population — much like the lobster industry — with a prescription of regulatory measures, more can be done to ensure the livelihood of the Massachusetts cod fishing industry and the coastal economy.
This past May, federal officials enacted a severe cut in how much Gulf of Maine cod fishermen can catch — a 22 percent cut from what fishermen were allowed to catch last year, creating an uncertain future for the tens of thousands of jobs relying on the Massachusetts fishing industry. In the most recent assessment, scientists shockingly estimated there were only 10,778 metric tons of adult cod in the Gulf of Maine.