Recreational fishermen that fish for Atlantic cod in the Gulf of Maine received notice concerning 2012 regulations on April 2. NOAA announced that that a total of 6,700 metric tons (mt) of GOM cod would be available to commercial and recreational fishermen for the 2012 fishing year, down from 8,000 mt in 2011.
In 2011, a stock assessment found that the cod biomass was much smaller than presumed, and that a cutback in the range of 90% would ultimately be needed. For 2012, NOAA accepted a 22% reduction in the total allowable catch, but predicted that a much more stringent reduction would likely need to be implemented for
the 2013 fishing year.
2012 Gulf of Maine recreational Atlantic cod regulations will include a reduced daily possession limit from 10 cod to nine, and a smaller minimum size (19 inches). The new minimum size is intended to reduce the number of cod discarded by anglers attempting to reach their nine-fish limit, thus reducing discard mortality.