Colin's Journal

Colin's Journal: A place for thoughts about politics, software, and daily life.

December 17th, 2002


A good article on what happened to the cod in Newfoundland in 1992. It’s a story I hadn’t heard before – about how Canada (with a little outside help) managed to fish the waters so completely clean that the entire industry collapsed. The article is meant as backdrop to the current debate on setting the EUs fish quotas issue, and it does a good job of it.

The best piece of the article for me is a couple of quotes from a marine scientist:
“If you look at the data on the catches-per-unit of the trawler fleet, the highest ever recorded in this fishery were in 1992, when the stocks were on the verge of collapse,” said Professor Rose.
“So if fishermen are still saying they can find concentrations, that’s good news for now, but it should give no reassurance that you couldn’t take those last bits of fish down and push the whole thing right over the edge.”

It just goes to show that the “common sense” response (there’s lots of fish – see!) isn’t always superior to scientific advice.

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