Where Have All the Cod Gone?

by Chris Dixon

02Bolster-superJumbo

Art by Tim Lane for The New York Times. 

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — IN November, regulators from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration shut down recreational and commercial cod fishing in the Gulf of Maine, that enchanting arm of the coastal sea stretching east-northeast from Cape Cod. They did not have much choice: Federal law requires action to rebuild fish stocks when they are depleted, and recent surveys revealed cod populations to be at record lows, despite decades of regulations intended to restore them.

Screen Shot 2015-01-02 at 3.12.55 PM

Screen Grab from Cod: the Fish that Made New England. By the Pew Charitable Trusts. 

It’s easy to imagine this recent drop in the cod population as a new phenomenon — a result, perhaps, of global warming, or some combination of climate change and overfishing by giant steel ships armed with electronic fish-finders and precise GPS navigation systems. And it’s just as easy to imagine that, after a season or two of belt-tightening, fish populations will rebound — it is, after all, a strategy that state and federal regulators have pursued for decades.

Screen Shot 2015-01-02 at 3.13.30 PM

Screen Grab from Cod: the Fish that Made New England. By the Pew Charitable Trusts. 

In fact, humans have been affecting the Atlantic’s fish stocks for centuries, beginning with technology so simple that people today would not even consider it “technology.” Forgetting that history, we opt for short-term fixes, which only compound the problem.

Read more at The New York Times…


Cod: the Fish that Made New England, from The Pew Charitable Trusts.

What Happened to the Grand Banks Cod? From ThisPlace.

 

Facebook Comments