When you think of New England, you can’t help but think of great seafood – delicious, mouth-watering scallops and groundfish freshly harvested from certified-sustainable fisheries in Georges Bank and the Gulf of Maine.
However, there was a time, not long ago, when stocks of our local seafood industry’s most commercially important groundfish species, including haddock, ocean perch (Acadian redfish) and Atlantic pollock (saithe), were in danger.
In 2012, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and NOAA declared the U.S. North Atlantic groundfish fishery an economic disaster. Many species, including haddock, ocean perch and Atlantic pollock, had been overfished and stocks were nearly depleted.
Today, the U.S. North Atlantic groundfish fishery is back with key species now at their healthiest levels in over 25 years, thanks to years of careful guidance by the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries and the New England Fishery Management Council, in collaboration with fishermen and industry leaders.
Catch limits for MSC-certified haddock, ocean perch, and Atlantic pollock from Georges Bank and the Gulf of Maine are back up and continue to be strong. Haddock stocks are among the healthiest with a combined Annual Catch Limit (ACL) of 88,266 metric tons. Atlantic pollock and ocean perch stocks are also healthy with ACL’s of 18,549 metric tons and 9,677 metric tons respectively for FY 2021.
Blue Harvest Fisheries, the single largest groundfish permit holder in New England, recognizes that the revitalization of the groundfish fishery serves as a valuable lesson on how our industry can work together to bring positive change to our waters. As both a beneficiary and steward of our oceans, sustainability continues to be at the heart of what we do. From 100% dockside offload monitoring of all groundfish offloaded at our SQF-certified plant, to participation in an electronic monitoring pilot with the Gulf of Maine Institute, we are committed to protecting the health of our local fisheries and the marine environment.
To learn more about our MSC-certified fresh and frozen haddock, ocean perch and Atlantic pollock, visit our products page and follow us on LinkedIn and Facebook.