Federal regulators announce emergency plan designed to reverse decline in New England cod

Associated Press

Federal regulators are implementing emergency measures designed to begin rebuilding the Gulf of Maine's cod population, which is at an all-time low.

The emergency plan announced by NOAA Fisheries on Monday includes closures to commercial and recreational fishing in certain areas and a 200-pound limit on how much a fishing vessel can catch during a single trip.

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NOAA Fisheries Regional Administrator John Bullard says the rules offer the "best chance to prevent a cod stock collapse and a complete fishery closure."

The group also announced that it's doubling the quota for Gulf of Maine haddock from more than 600,000 pounds to about 1.3 million pounds because the stock has rebounded.

The rules will go into effect on Thursday and will remain in place until May.