Cod are one of the most important fish in the world, and stocks in the North Atlantic ocean are finally making a comeback after years of overfishing.
The northern Atlantic cod has long been a symbol of the tragic overfishing that occurs throughout the world’s oceans. Once so abundant you could “walk across the water on their backs,” cod stocks nearly crashed in the 1990’s and have since been under strict regulation. According to a press release from Eurekalert, a new study reveals that cod stocks have since been doing much better.
The study, published today in the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, was led by Dr. George Rose, and follows what many consider to be one of the most important fish species on the planet. It tracks the populations found off of Newfoundland and Labrador, which were historically the world’s largest source of cod.
Following nearly fifteen years of a moratorium on cod fishing, the ecosystem off of the Canadian east coast has had ample time to heal and rebuild the Bonavista Corridor spawning-migration route followed by the fish. Two additional routes to the north saw numbers return, and subsequent generations of these fish have continued to increase.
The important take-away from this study is that with favourable environmental conditions, in this case the increase in capelin as a key food for this stock, and a severe reduction of fishing, even the most decimated fish stocks have the potential to recover, says Dr. Rose.”