New video system can help count cod population

New England catch has dwindled from 33M lbs. in 2001 to 5.2M lbs. in 2014

FILE - In this Nov. 15, 2013 file photo, fishermen Ed Stewart, left, and Tannis Goodsen mend groundfishing nets on Merrill Wharf in Portland, Maine. The nets will be used to catch ground fish such as haddock, flounder and cod. The federal New England Fishery Management Council's Groundfish Oversight Committee recommended on Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014, a battery of emergency restrictions to protect the Gulf of Maine's declining cod fishery. The restrictions include new prohibitions on some commercial groundfishing vessels, and would prohibit fishing by private recreational and charter boats in the spawning closure areas. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)

DARTMOUTH, Mass. (AP) — Researchers with the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth say a new video system will help provide data to better inform management of New England’s beleaguered cod population.

UMass Dartmouth School for Marine Science and Technology scientists say their new video system will help assess the species in the Gulf of Maine. The system uses open-ended fishing net with video cameras mounted on its frame to take pictures of fish passing through.

The university says the scientists tested the system on Stellwagen Bank in January with good results.

Cod are one of the most important food fish species in the Atlantic, but the stock has collapsed. Cod fishermen caught more than 33 million pounds of the fish in 2001 and managed only about 5.2 million pounds in 2014.


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