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Atlantic Cod Fishing

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A fishery by definition, is “the occupation, industry, or season of taking fish or other sea animals (shrimp, squid, clams) and selling them for profit” (Webster Dictionary). Atlantic Cod used to be considered as one of the richest fisheries in the world. Atlantic Cod, scientifically known as,Gadus morhua, are heavily bodied, blunt snouted fish that are typically brown or grayish in color with a series of spots located on their bodies along with a pale lateral line. This species of fish have a schooling behavior when feeding but remain isolated when traveling. The Atlantic Cod once densely populated the waters of the Atlantic ocean, from Greenland to North Carolina. Despite the wide range in location, Atlantic Cod are a nonmigratory species…show more content…
The effectiveness of catching the plentiful fish resulting in the fishing to later develop as part of the triangle trade, where the cod caught were sold to England for profit along with other goods like rum (Connor and Taitano). By the 1920s and 1930s, more advanced fishing methods like the gillnet were developed. A gillnet “is a wall of netting that hangs in the water column, typically made of monofilament or multifilament nylon.” (NOAA Gillnets 2014). The size of the holes in the net allow for a fish to fit its head through however the fish’s whole body cannot fit and as the fish tries escape the net it becomes more entangled. (NOAA Gillnets 2014). With new commercial fishing methods, the fishing industry grew. In 1925 the refrigerator was introduced onboard fishing vessels (Connor and Taitano).Refrigerators gave fisherman the freedom to fish further out to sea without returning to port because they could now keep the fish preserved. As the fishery for Atlantic Cod increased, more foreign vessels came in, to fish the cod (Connor and Taitano). The Magnuson Act of 1976 was put in place which prohibited foreign fisheries from entering the exclusive economic zone (EEZ). The EEZ starts 200 nautical miles around the U.S. (Connor and Taitano). Atlantic cod were high in demand and as the years continued, the fishing vessels and gear became more advanced. Soon cod were being…show more content…
In Canada, the Grand Banks habitat is in “environmental degradation” (Connor and Taitano) due to bottom trawlers tearing up the sea floor displacing and destroying the vegetation at the seafloor and therefore disrupting the habitat of the small fish the cod prey upon (Connor and Taitano). Bottom trawls also disrupt the “breeding patterns of the cod.. Damaging fertilized eggs.. And greatly reducing the amount of young born” (Connor and Taitano). In the United States, the Gulf of Maine provides evidence of a loss of the young and old cod due to predation (Connor). Farming atlantic cod, like many fisheries are doing to replenish the atlantic salmon populations, have resulted in a breakout of the disease Yersiniosis (Connor and Taitano).The disease affects the fish’s intestinal tract before spreading throughout its body. The mortality rate with this disease is low, about 5%, however the illness prevents the affected cod from being sold at a market due to health violations (Connor and
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