Cod Fishy Case Study

Decent Essays
Commercial fisheries for Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) experienced a complete crash in the early 1990s. The collapse extended from southern Labrador to the continental shelf off eastern Nova Scotia (Fig. 1). Abundance of the cod stocks were so low that a moratorium was set on commercial fisheries for cod stocks in 1992. Additionally, the cod fishery was an inherent part of Newfoundlanders social and cultural identity (Higgins, 2009). The fishery represented many individuals livelihood. Thus, with the collapse of the cod fishery was not only economically crippling but also detrimental culturally. The ecological and socioeconomical impacts of the collapse prompted people and the Canadian government to critically evaluate the way in which commercial fisheries were managed in order to recover the cod population and prevent such dramatic declines in abundances happening in other fish species in the future. Moreover, there are numerous explanations for the commercial collapse of the cod population. These reasons range from the of climate change to the advancements in fishing technology. It is hypothesized that poor recruitment, reduced juveniles surviving to be recruited into the population, increased seal predation, along with domestic…show more content…
Harp seals (Phoca groenlandica) were very abundant in the region at the time and there exists evidence suggesting their numbers increased (Sten- son et al. 1993). Additionally, studies have shown that the contribution of cod to the seal diet overwinter area was greater than reported (Hammill et al. 2014). To measure the degree to which seal predation contributed to the fishery cod collapse the results of the study conducted by Savenkoffa and colleagues (2007) will be analyzed and compared to other papers on seal predation pressure on cods near the time the collapse
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