Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Rule #65: Cod moratorium

In July of the year nineteen hundred and ninety two the Canadian government shut down the Newfoundland cod fishing industry. Effectively putting 40,000 people out of work over night. Realistically, it was the responsible thing to do as once-plentiful fish stocks had dwindled to near extinction.

The problem, however, was putting all the Newfies out of work was like putting a band aid on a brain tumor.

Despite efforts to manage the fisheries, governing bodies overestimated the abundance of northern cod as well as the stock's growth rate leading up to and after the moratorium. Thus assigning quotas that were too high to be sustainable. Over exploitation by international fishing fleets forced the species into further decline.

So while the fishermen of Newfoundland pulled in their nets and
beached their long liners, the international fishing fleets fired up their fish finding super computers and factory freezer trawlers as usual and continued to rape the seas of whatever cod dared to peek outside the 200 mile limit along the grand banks. And because vessels like the Russian super trawlers have the ability to process up to 250 tonnes of fish per day and can store over 6000 tonnes of frozen fish, they can fish for months on end without coming into port. Not to mention the nets they use are as big as 13 jumbo jets!

In the new world, there will be a world moratorium on the cod fishery until stocks rebound to 1970 levels. But just to balance things out a bit, Newfies will be the only ones allowed to fish cod for 2 years after the world moratorium is lifted. Yes By'!

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