Cod prices up 40% in six years

Decline in fish population, tight restrictions to blame

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Those who love traditional New England seafood will have to spend a little more money to enjoy it. At Schermerhorn’s fish market and restaurant in Holyoke, they have seen the price of cod rise 40% over the past six years.

Codfish are reproducing at an all-time low rate in the Gulf of Maine, according to the National Marine Fisheries Service. The study cites water temperature change as a possible reason for reduced cod re-population. The decline has inspired catch restrictions, which have further driven up prices. If cod continue to struggle to bounce back in this re-population effort, lots of people could be affected.

“With it being pricier, people will buy less or they don’t buy it as much. They’ll buy something else. It just hurts. It hurts everybody,” Schermerhorn’s owner Michael Fitzgerald said.

Overfishing in the past caused a reduction in available cod. Now, this latest setback could bring further increases in price. The size of cod has also been affected, with larger cod less available for purchase.

Fitzgerald told 22News that his fishing colleagues in Maine believe the fish population is doing better than this latest study portrays.

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