Warming Drives Off Cape Cod’s Namesake

PORTLAND, Maine – Fishermen have known for years that they’ve had to steam farther and farther from shore to find the cod, haddock and winter flounder that typically fill dinner plates in New England.

A new federal study documenting the warming waters of the North Atlantic confirms that they’re right and that the typical meal could eventually change to the Atlantic croaker, red hake and summer flounder normally found to the south.

“Fishermen are businessmen, so if they have to go farther and deeper to catch the fish that we like to eat, eventually it won’t be economical to do that,” said Janet Nye, a fishery biologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the lead author of the study.

“It just won’t be in your local seafood store, or maybe it’ll be more expensive,” said Nye, who works at the Northeast Fisheries Science Center in Woods Hole, Mass. “So I think there’ll be a natural, hopefully slow, switch to different seafoods.”

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