Peer Review of Industry-Based Survey for Gulf of Maine Cod
August 29-30, 2006, Portsmouth, NH
Ghislain Chouinard, Ken Weinberg, and Jack McGovern
The following report is a review of a cod industry-based survey (Cod IBS) designed to
examine the distribution and demographics of the cod stock in the Gulf of Maine. The
survey design utilized a standardized grid as well as randomly selected locations provided
by fishermen. An additional objective of the study was to provide information on the age
and length structure of cod within rolling closure areas. An external panel was invited to
review the technical aspects of this survey following the terms of reference provided in
Appendix 1. The organization of this report follows the terms of reference. Participants
at the review are listed in Appendix II.
It should be noted that the review was originally intended to also examine the southern
New England yellowtail flounder industry-based survey; however, no presentation of the
information could be made at the meeting and that review was dropped from the agenda.
Main Findings and Conclusions of the Panel
• The Cod IBS represented an enormous amount of work for the investigators,
cooperating fishermen, and NCRPP. Much care was taken in the development of the
survey design and gear. An outreach program designed to keep the fishing community
and general public aware of survey activity was initiated consuming considerable time
and energy. The panel commends the survey team for their thoroughness and dedication.
• The Cod IBS provides valuable information on cod in the Gulf of Maine when no other
sources of data are available. The Cod IBS is a good example of a cooperative project.
• The survey provides high resolution information on the spatial and temporal
distribution, size composition, maturity and potentially age of cod and augments existing
• There is some concern that the lack of sampling of cod in water deeper than 75 fathoms
may not provide a com