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Seafood for Thought

Jan 16, 2017

Maine Magazine: The Gulf of Maine, a diverse watershed stretching from Cape Cod to the southern tip of Nova Scotia, has historically been one of the richest fishing grounds in the world. Its famously plentiful codfish sustained early settlers—the Pilgrims survived one winter thanks to stockpiles of cod landed on Damariscove Island off Boothbay—and became a staple of New England cuisine. The cod population today, already depleted from overfishing, faces a newer challenge. A 2015 study led by Andrew Pershing, chief scientific officer of the Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI) in Portland, found that cod stocks were a fraction of sustainable levels, despite dramatic restrictions on the catch put into place in 2010. The study reveals why: the Gulf of Maine is warming faster than 99 percent of the world’s oceans.