Federal regulators say an analysis of Gulf of Maine cod suggests the important species will continue to decline.
The National Marine Fisheries Service says in a statement that "virtually every indicator" of the cod stock's condition declined in 2013. The service says cod's spawning levels are estimated to be three to four percent of target levels. It also says spawning stock biomass is at an all-time low.
The news comes at a time of steep decline in the cod fishery in the Gulf of Maine. Maine's cod fishery declined from more than 1.2 million pounds in 2009 to 286,299 pounds last year. The value of the fishery declined by more than half in that time.
The New England Fishery Management Council meets Monday to discuss the status of the fishery.