Cod Collapse cartoon

Cod used to be the top of the fish food chain, although large mammals eat them (Seals, whales, humans)

Cod essentially live and grow without stopping. During their early life as tiny fish, they fall to other bigger fish, including older bigger cod fish. If the young cod survive, they start eating smaller fish instead of crustations – herring, mackerel, whiting. They just keep eating and growing. They max out at about 200 pounds after 25 years.

Fishing for cod by hand doesn’t even need bait – they will try to eat anything. That’s how cod used to be fished before we got in trouble. Then huge factory ships were introduced. With sonar, nets that drag along the sea floor and a huge capacity to store the caught fish, fishing became much more “efficient”. The old fish were all caught and the fisherman moved to smaller and smaller fish. It takes 4-7 years for a cod to reach sexual maturity.

After the cod vanished, the theory was that if you severely limited fishing for a number of years, the cod population would recover by eating the huge masses of prey fish. It has not. Without cod eating them , the prey fish population exploded. Without big cod to protect the younger fish, the prey fish became the predator, eating the cod eggs and hatchlings.

The guy in the cartoon talks very fast, but he paints an interesting narrative.

Cod and EU politics

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