Cod catch at all-time low, but rebound could be near

PORTLAND, Maine — Federal statistics say America’s catch of cod is at an all-time low, but the fishery might finally experience a rebound in the coming fishing year.

Cod were once the backbone of New England’s commercial fishing fleet, but catch has plummeted in the wake of overfishing and environmental changes. Statistics from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration say the 2016 catch was the lowest in recorded history.

But NOAA officials say there are some positive signs for the cod stock, and quotas are set to increase slightly this spring after years of heavy cutbacks. Fishermen seek cod in the Gulf of Maine and on Georges Bank, and both areas are scheduled for quota bumps on May 1.

American markets have become reliant on cod imported from countries including Iceland and Russia.

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