Atlantic Cod Journal
The following description appears on the inside cover of your journal.
Atlantic Cod (Gadus morhua)
A beautiful gray-green fish, the Atlantic Cod has had a greater impact on human history than perhaps any other fish in the world.
Once there was an amazing abundance of cod—found off the North American coast from Greenland to North Carolina. Cod was a sustaining food for many indigenous peoples of those coastal regions. Colonization efforts of Portugal, France, Spain and England were financed by the fishing industry created around cod. Some say that the training British soldiers received while fishing for cod in the Americas led to the later dominance of the English Navy as a global power.
Once America and Canada became countries, cod continued to serve as a cornerstone of their economies. In the late 1700’s, two hundred thousand tons of cod were being caught annually.
Two hundred years later, in the 1960’s, almost two million tons of the fish were being caught each year. These plentiful catches ended abruptly in the 1970’s when, due to overfishing, the cod stocks collapsed. Communities with entire economies based on cod were devastated when the nets began to come up empty. Fishing regulations have been instituted in an effort to help the cod population rebound, and are meeting with success. Although cod may never regain their original incredible abundance, they promise to remain among the most important fish species in the North Atlantic.
artwork and text ©Emma Skurnick