Oh my Cod! Fish in decline


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The Independent Online

Bad news from the seas. A recent survey of cod catches in Northern Europe shows that the number of mature cod, who produce far more eggs than their younger peers, is tumbling.

"Most of the cod being caught are sexually immature, and the rest are just entering maturity. As for the great flood of eggs from older fish — as many as nine million in a single spawning — they have vanished. In other words, we have fished our way down the population until we’ve reached the boundary of reproduction."

"Scientists are calling for a sharp reduction in next year’s North Sea cod quota — down to 25,600 tons from 32,000 tons this year. Even this lower quota may be too high, aimed more at protecting fishermen than protecting cod."