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September 23, 2016

U.S., Canada in deal to share cod fishery

Photo / Hans Hillewaert, Wikimedia Commons In 2017, the United States and Canada will share the shrinking North American cod fishing business in the Atlantic.

The United States and Canada have agreed to share the dwindling North American cod fishing business in the Atlantic next year, the Associated Press reported.

Cod stocks have declined following overfishing, warming ocean temperatures and climate change, with the two countries’ fisheries overlapping in the eastern part of Georges Bank off New England.

The countries set the total allowable catch at 730 metric tons next year, according to the AP. The Unites States will take 146 metric tons and Canada will get the rest.

The agreement represents an 8 metric ton increase for the United States and an 96 metric ton increase for Canada, which doesn’t sit well with some U.S. fisheries experts.

"Cod fish is very important to the United States, as it is to Canada," Jackie Odell, executive director of the Gloucester, Mass.-based Northeast Seafood Coalition, told the AP. "The sharing agreement hasn't worked out very well for the U.S. fishery."

Atlantic cod are still caught and made available by fishermen in Norway and Iceland, but the AP said the fish's decline off New England is a major threat to the domestic fishing industry.

Want to read more about the growing threat of climate change to Northeast fisheries? Mainebiz Senior Writer Lori Valigra covered a study published in the journal PLoS One that delves into the impact climate change could have upon the economy of these fishing communities.

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