Dwindling cod populations means higher seafood prices

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Fishing boats used to catch more than 20 pounds of cod every time the net went out. These days, it’s down to just 3.3 pounds.

Cod is a very popular fish to eat at establishments like Webster’s Fish Hook Restaurant in Northampton. They cook about 150 pounds of cod each week.

Scientists blame overfishing and warm ocean waters for the declining cod population. Federal fishing regulators are expected to set a fishing quota to try and help the population recover. But until they do it could mean changes on restaurant menus, anything from the price to where the fish come from.

“It effects us to the extent that we can’t always get our cod locally from New Bedford,” Dan Webster, the owner of the Fish Hook, told 22News. “We get most of it from New Bedford, but sometimes we have to supplement it with cod from Iceland or Alaska. It’s always good cod, but someday the cod population might be so low that people will have to start thinking of other types of fish to use for their meals.”

Boats caught less cod this past Spring than in any other fishing season since 1968. But for now it won’t change the way the Webster’s does business cooking fresh fish made to order.

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