A few weeks ago, I presented some information about the collapse of the Atlantic Cod fishery – was it real or just a political argument between the US and Canada? The “it’s real” narrative is the collapse was caused by overfishing. As demand exceeded supply, fishing boats caught younger and younger fish, wiping out most of the Cod big enough to reproduce. The hope was that by limiting the quantity harvested, the surviving fish would grow up and with each female spewing out a million eggs, in 5 years, the fish would return. It hasn’t The smaller fish the Cod ate for food are now eating most of the cod eggs.
So the Alaskan Pollock has replaced most domestic fish consumption. Hoping to avoid the cod mistake, the Pollock Fishing is tightly controlled. The main premise is that fishermen will only be allowed to catch 1/7th of the population in a year. The fishing season is split into four pieces. Each fishing boat has a catch limit, and when it is reached, they go home.
The annual catch is about 2.7 billion pounds. That’s a lot of fish, until you realize there are about 7 billion people. Here is an hour long documentary of how Pollock fishing works on a huge factory ship.