Where Have All The Cod Gone

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Where Have All the Cod Gone The northern cod fishing industry is in trouble! During the past 20 years the fishermen of the Atlantic coastline have been over fishing the cod of the region, which has lead to the closure of the North Atlantic Cod industry.

Since the 1970's the Canadian northern fishing industry has had many changes in technology such as the big fishing draggers that can stay out at sea for days, week's or even month's at a time. With their refrigerated boats they can keep the fish fresh longer then before. They can also follow the fish further then they could before and this lead to the extension of the season to year round fishing. The development of the GPS (global positioning system) can pinpoint where the fish are so they can call the rest of their fleet to come and help them catch all the fish that are in the area.

Scientists have just developed a machine that can go underwater. It is lead by sonar to find the fish and then the machines shoot out a net that catches the fish. Fish finders have been developed to pinpoint the locations of the fish so they don't have to drag their nets for a long period of time.

The foundation of FPI (fishing products International) by the government has lead to the big quotas being hired and the dragger's being built and the extension of the fishing seasons to year round instead of it only being seasonal. This has lead to more people being hired and less people without a job. FPI has made an increasing affect on the cod fisheries of the Atlantic coast and the grand banks off of Newfoundland. FPI has been sold off to people who want to be involved with the fishing industry.

The government had a major role in the destruction of the northern cod. The government who had set the quotas and started FPI didn't realize that the stock of cod was going to run out eventually. They had the fishing season raised to year round and the draggers and other big fishing ships built so they could follow the fish out to the ocean to where they spawn. When the inshore fishermen started to complain that the offshore fishermen are over fishing, the government ignored them and just said that the offshore fishermen weren't responsible for the fish not coming to the inshore fisheries. The scientist that the government had hired to do research for them to predict the number of cod on the Atlantic coast had got their information from the same spot every year instead of taking it from different location. They thought that if the fishermen were catching so many cod that the number must be greater then they expected so that is why that government raised the quotas. But when they found out that the cod number was going down they told that government that they were wrong and the government didn't believe them because the were wrong before and maybe they were wrong now.

Foreign fleets are part of the problem because they fish in international waters where the Canadian law doesn't, apply to them. That means that they can catch as much as they want and not get fined. They can even use illegal sized nets to catch smaller fish then the legal size. Foreign fishing fleets have had an affect on the cod industry but not as a big of an affect as the Canadian fishing fleets. They have fish factories on some of their boats so they don't have to go to shore and do what ever they have to do to the fish. They can stay out for month at a time and then go into port to get food supplies and fuel so they can go out fore another couple of months.

In conclusion to this report there have been a number of reasons that the cod have died down but the main reasons are because of the fishermen who fish the waters and the governments who set the quotas. Everyone has someone else to blame like the inshore fishermen blame the offshore fishermen, offshore fishermen blame the government, the government blame the foreign fleets, and the foreign fleets blame the Canadians who fish the grand banks. The above people must realize that they are all responsible for this situation.

By Mark Marteinsson