A little background. Cod- which are the main species used in the ubiqutous fisn’n’chips, as well as numerous other fish products, as well as fielts are fish that live to 25 years of age, and become more fertile- producing more children, as they age.
The latest cound is that there were only 600 middle aged cod caught (12-13 years old). And Estimates are that the most productive old fish now mumber, at best, 100. 100 fish in an area comprising 290,000 square miles.
A sad omen not only for the fish, and for all the parts of the ocean environment that rely on them, but for industry- everything from the boat and net makers, the diesel suppliers, those that service the boats, the docks that rely on these fleets, the rerigerator and ice makers, the buyers, the restaurants and pubs, the farm and grain mills that ultimately produce the breading, the farms and refiners that make the oil they’re cooked in, the potato farmers, storage facilities and processors responsible for the fries that go with them, the viegar makers…well…you get the idea.
Oh you say. This is a British story- it has no impact on me. Ha! There are two main stocks of the Atlantic Cod- the Northearst, and Northwest. And indeed- this story covers the Northeast Atlantic Cod. By far the “healthist” stock of Cod remaining. The Northwest stock- US and Canada, is, and has been for nearly two decades, in far worse shape.
Indeed- last year NOAA was supposed to reduce the catch in US/Canadian waters by 82%. But in no small part due to the global economic crisis, they (shortsightedly) agreed to reduce it by only 22%..
Make no mistake- as struggling as all the industries are that are based upon this fish- it is of their own doing (and of yours). We are well past the point where this fish can supply the demand…and it’s depletion will have serious impacts on many apsects of our economy. (not to mention the morality of driving yet another species to extinction)