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Chapter 3 - Environmental Science

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Northern Cod is the most abundant and most valuable groundfish stock in the ... John Cabot marveled in 1497 that they virtually blocked his ship. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Chapter 3 - Environmental Science


1
Chapter 3 - Environmental Science
  • The Northern Cod

2
What is a Cod?
  • Northern Cod is the most abundant and most
    valuable groundfish stock in the Northwest
    Atlantic Ocean.
  • Ground fish all have the same characteristic
    they feed near the bottom in the more shallow
    waters of the submerged plateaus or "banks" of
    our Continental Shelf.

3
Where are they found?
  • The cod fish is found on both sides of the
    Atlantic and is restricted to the banks
  • A Bank is an elevated an area on the continental
    shelf. (page 89 of your text)
  • Banks are ideal for the cod because the nutrients
    there support a large base of food.
  • See the next slide for the Grand Banks.

4
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5
The History
  • John Cabot marveled in 1497 that they virtually
    blocked his ship.
  • In the centuries to follow, fish became the main
    reason anyone ever came to Newfoundland, or
    stayed for that matter.
  • Until the mid-twentieth century, we fished
    mainly in waters relatively closer to shore, in
    small craft with traps, jigging, or small inshore
    gill-nets and loneliness.

6
The History
  • Local fishers were joined by fishing boats from
    Spain and Portugal who fished in the northwest
    Atlantic since before Newfoundland was colonized.
  • The most productive cod fishing area off
    Newfoundland yielded an overall annual catch of
    about 250,000 tons for more than a century prior
    to the mid-1950s.

7
The History
  • The Cod meant work for Newfoundlanders with 60
    of our fishers and 70 of our plant workers
    dependent upon the cod.
  • In 1991 the cod was worth 700 million dollars,
    the next year we started the moratorium.
  • Over 40,000 people lost jobs and communities are
    struggling to recover. The marine ecosystem is in
    a state of collapse.

8
What is a stock?
  • A stock is a group of fish of the same species
    that inhabits a region. They will reproduce here
    and migrate within the region.
  • Scientists have identified over 12 stocks and
    they are distinct from each other.
  • Our 200 mile limit does not protect all the
    stocks and spawning areas.

9
Cod move!
  • Cod are very fussy fish. They like water
    temperatures (0-4 degrees) and select very
    limited areas to spawn.
  • Cod will spawn during the winter and move in
    shore during the summer.
  • If the water temperature changes, the cod will
    move to where it is 0-4.

10
New recruits
  • Every population needs to have a turn over with
    new recruits.
  • Cod fish spawn millions of eggs per fish, only
    one in every million will survive to reproductive
    age.
  • Cod are an important part of plankton and many
    are taken by predators.

11
Pressure
  • The Northern Cod has been overfished.
  • At the present time it is commercially extinct
    and this has resulted in quota cuts (finally).
  • The TOC has been too high for decades.
  • The problem is that when a fish stock declines
    the fishers work harder to get fewer fish.
    Draggers and offshore fishing has decimated the
    cod stock. (see page 91)

12
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13
Inshore/Offshore
  • The alarm bell for the decline of cod and the
    moratorium was sounded by the inshore fishers.
    Why?
  • The catch per unit effort increased.
  • The catch per unit effort increased for the
    offshore too.
  • They both fished hard...they blamed each other!
    The Cod lost!

14
Foreign Fishing
  • There are exposed areas on the fishing banks
    referred to as the nose and tail.
  • International quotas are set and agreed upon by
    government representatives.
  • They catch more than they are allowed because
    regulations are weak (page 91).
  • Other problems - Bi-catch, High Grading, Flagged
    Vessels, mesh size violations

15
Solutions?
  • Presently remaining fishers in St. Johns have a
    limited quota and are fishing other species such
    as crab.
  • Until the stock recovers, commercial fishing on
    any scale will be impossible and the recreational
    fishery will be cut.
  • Rules - if only the people who created them
    enforced them properly, we wouldnt be in this
    economic mess!

16
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