Big offshore draggers using their own and acquired catch share allocations have worked inside Stellwagen Bank for the last year — where they'd not been seen before — depleting a rebuilding stock of Gulf of Maine cod.
That was the testimony Tuesday from more than a dozen charterboat captains during a day-long meeting of the New England Fishery Management Council's Recreational advisory panel meeting held at a hotel complex in Wakefield, Mass.
"This is the most troubling situation that I've ever had to deal with," said Capt. Barry Gibson of Boothbay Harbor, Maine, chairman of the Recreational Advisory Panel and who served on the council for nine years through 1995. "Ninety-foot boats (in Stellwagen) and no trip limits."