This Discovery Could be the Key to Managing New England’s Cod Population

Cod has long been a staple of the New England fishery, but this once-plentiful fish has declined in recent decades. Despite repeated attempts to rebuild the stock, assessments suggest that the species has not recovered, frustrating biologists and fishermen alike.

Although the species is managed as a single population, cod in the Gulf of Maine can be divided into two genetically-distinct groups. And according to a new study, understanding the unique behavior and lifecycles of these two groups may be the key to creating a better management strategy.

“These subpopulations are dramatically different from one another,” says Micah Dean, a doctoral student at Northeastern’s Marine Science Center who led the study. “And the mix of these subpopulations changes over space and season, and over time. This sort of complexity needs to be accounted for.”

To read the rest of the story, please go to: Northeastern University