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Tuna fisheries facing a cod-like collapse February 23, 2008

Posted by tkcollier in Enviroment, Food.
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Tuna fisheries facing a cod-like collapse – earth – 19 February 2008 – New Scientist Environment
The collapse of north Atlantic cod populations could provide an important lesson for preventing tuna from suffering a similar fate worldwide, researchers say. Over-fishing caused Canada’s cod industry to plummet in value from $1.4 billion in 1968 to just $10 million in 2004. Now researchers warn that tuna fisheries worldwide are on the brink of a similar collapse.

tunacharlie.gif“Cod have been reduced to between 1% and 3% of their natural abundance and people still want to fish them,” says Daniel Pauly of the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. “Are we going to do the same thing with tuna?”

From 1960 to 2000, worldwide tuna production doubled roughly every 10 years and peaked at 4.45 million tons in 2004. But the impact of intensive fishing is starting to be felt. In 2001, the western and central Pacific Ocean yellowfin tuna fishing industry was worth $1.9 billion. By 2004, its value had dropped by more than 40% to $1.1 billion. According to Barbara Block of Stanford University in California, US, Atlantic bluefin tuna populations have declined by as much as 90% since the 1970s and Mediterranean bluefin by about 50%. In both cases, the rate of decline has accelerated in recent years. Thanks to Bruce Potter

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1. Darrel - March 15, 2008

A little more about Cod:

Cod is the common name for the genus Gadus of fish, belonging to the family Gadidae, and is also used in the common name of a variety of other fishes. Cod is a popular food fish with a mild flavor, low fat content and a dense white flesh that flakes easily. Cod livers are processed to make cod liver oil, an important source of Vitamin A, Vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA). Larger cod caught during spawning are sometimes called skrei.

The Atlantic cod, which can change colors at certain depths of water, has two distinct color phases: gray-green and reddish brown. Its average weight is 10 to 25 lb (4.5—11.3 kg), but specimens weighing up to 200 lb (90 kg) have been recorded. Young Atlantic cod or haddock prepared in strips for cooking is called scrod. Cod feed on mollusks, crabs, starfish, worms, squid, and small fish. Some migrate south in winter to spawn. A large female lays up to five million eggs in midocean, a very small number of which survive.

The Pacific cod is found north of Oregon.

The tomcod resembles a young Atlantic cod with long, tapering ventral fins. It rarely exceeds 15 inches (37.5 cm) in length and lives close to shore. The pollock, and coalfish are related species found in cool waters of the Atlantic. Pollock have forked tails and pale lateral lines and grow to 3 ft (90 cm) and 30 lb (13.6 kg). Some grow to 6 feet in length.

In the United Kingdom, Atlantic cod is one of the most common kinds of fish to be found in fish and chips, along with haddock and plaice.

It is also well known for being largely consumed in Portugal, where it is considered a treasure of the nation’s cuisine.

Cod is moist and flakey when cooked and is white in color.

Cod are currently at risk from overfishing.


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