Study

A comparison of cod life-history parameters inside and outside of four year-round groundfish closed areas in New England, USA

  • Published source details Sherwood G.D. & Grabowski J.H. (2016) A comparison of cod life-history parameters inside and outside of four year-round groundfish closed areas in New England, USA. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 73, 316-328.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Cease or prohibit all (mobile and static) fishing gears that catch bottom (demersal) species

Action Link
Marine Fish Conservation
  1. Cease or prohibit all (mobile and static) fishing gears that catch bottom (demersal) species

    A replicated, paired, controlled study in 2007–2009 of four bottom fishing grounds in the Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank, North Atlantic Ocean, USA (Sherwood & Grabowski 2016) found that prohibiting fishing gears that target bottom-dwelling fish (groundfish) for between five and 15 years, resulted in higher numbers of larger and older cod Gadus morhua and improved growth, compared to openly fished areas. Across all sites, in areas closed to bottom fishing gears, average cod length (inside: 55.6 cm, outside: 50.0 cm) and age (inside: 3.3 y, outside: 2.8 y) was higher, more cod age >5 were found (inside: 47, outside: 5) and cod growth was higher (data reported as growth functions and coefficients). At individual sites, cod length was significantly higher at two of four sites, and age at one. From 1994–2002, five year-round closed areas (22,000 km2) were implemented in the Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank prohibiting certain commercial bottom gears, primarily trawls and gillnets. Other fishing activities such as recreational fishing, and scallop dredging and longlining in special access areas was allowed. Four of the five closed areas were sampled from late spring to early autumn 2007–2009. Cod were collected at by rod and reel from inside (n=520) and outside (n=316) >5km away from the boundaries. Cod length, total weight and weight of removed organs was recorded, and ages determined from the otoliths (ear organs).

    (Summarised by: Natasha Taylor)

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