No quotas, no fish

An Atlantic cod.

An Atlantic cod.

From Robert Whitcomb's "Digital Diary, '' in

No fishing regulations, no fish. It’s good to remember that when reading the news that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has ordered around 60 fishermen and 22 vessels, mostly out of New Bedford,  to return to shore as a result of cheating on fishing catches of cod, haddock, flounder and some other ground fish. The owner of many of the boats, Carlos Rafael, aka “The Codfather,’’ has been convicted in federal court of massive fishing violations.

The fishermen haven't been keeping accurate counts of their catches: Translation: They’ve been cheating on the quotas meant to protect the viability of valuable species in the waters off New England. The cod population is under particular pressure, with surveys saying that it has fallen to about 6 percent of what’s needed for long-term sustainability.

We almost made the American bison (buffalo) extinct by acting for decades as if they were inexhaustible. We sometimes seem to be taking the same attitude toward fish in the sea. Anyway, this is bad news for New Bedford for the next couple of year