PORTLAND, Maine — Fishing managers are recommending that cod remain off limits to recreational fishermen in the Gulf of Maine.

Cod were once harvested in colossal numbers from New England waters, but the population has collapsed in the Gulf of Maine and elsewhere. The New England Fishery Management Council is calling on the federal government to maintain a year-round ban on possession of Gulf of Maine cod by recreational fishermen.

Commercial fishermen are still allowed to catch cod in the Gulf of Maine, though quotas for the fish are so low that many try to avoid the fish altogether. Cod are widely used to make fish and chips. America gets most of its cod from countries such as Iceland, Norway, and Russia now that local stocks are in poor shape.

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