About the Survey
Given the poor stock of Gulf of Maine (GOM) cod, low catch limits, and many fishermen’s claims that the cod status is better than currently assessed; MarineFisheries implemented a new GOM Cod Industry-Based Survey (cod IBS) in April 2016. Relying on fishermen’s guidance with additional input from the Massachusetts Marine Fisheries Institute (MFI), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries, and the Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC), MarineFisheries is administering a three-year study in the southwestern portion of the GOM where remnants of the GOM cod stock currently reside.
The cod IBS will:
• Provide another science source (resource data and information) for use in assessments
• Test fishermen’s hypothesis about GOM cod redistributing offshore in response to warming water
• Demonstrate relevance and importance of a GOM cod IBS for improving our understanding of the distribution of cod at times and in areas when the NEFSC surveys are not performed
• Acquire additional scientific data on other groundfish stocks in the survey area
• Enable minimum estimates of swept-area biomass
• Determine the cod IBS’s potential for providing indices of abundance
The survey follows a stratified-random design with stations occurring from 10 fathoms to 160 fathoms, including waters west of 69° 30’ within the GOM cod stock boundary. The first year of cod IBS was completed in January 2017, with the second year of surveys to continue April - July 2017 and October 2017 - January 2018. Approximately ten days of sampling will occur in each survey month, making 30-minute tows and, depending on weather and sea conditions, average five tows per day.
Updates to this project will be posted on this webpage with links. Additionally, announcements and information will be made available through written notices, email listserv, text message alerts, social media accounts, and via VHF radio on Channel 16.
For more information on the previous GOM cod IBS, please see our page: Industry Based Survey for Gulf of Maine Cod (2003-2007).