Panel upholds dire cod findings

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A peer review panel Thursday validated an exceedingly grim stock assessment of Gulf of Maine cod, finding that the foundation fish for the inshore dayboat fleet, operating primarily out of Gloucester, is overfished and subject to continued overfishing.

So bad was the assessment — reversing the optimistic report from a benchmark 2008 assessment — that the rebuilding deadline of 2014 could not be met even if all Gulf of Maine landings of cod were halted, experts say.

"The results will have devastating implications for the Gulf of Maine groundfishery," said SSC member and former chairman Steve Cadrin. "Even in the best-case scenario, the impact will still be devastating."

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