In New England, fishing boat operators and scientists continue to debate just how many fish there are in the sea. Some observers say the cod and other groundfish stocks are dwindling to a dangerously low level in the once-bountiful Gulf of Maine. But last month a federal management council backed off from a plan to implement emergency restrictions on cod fishing in the gulf. In the meantime, hundreds of miles to the south, where fishing grounds have been closed for four years, there are signs that the cod may be coming back. This could mean good news for Gloucester, Massachusetts, the nation's oldest seaport, which has had a difficult time adjusting to the economic realities that come with closed fishing grounds. An old icon of the town's fishing legacy has become the focal point of a debate about its economic future. Living on Earth's Sandy Tolan has this chapter in our continuing series, "Gloucester at the Crossroads."
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