What Has Happened to the Cod Stocks Off the Shores of Newfoundland?
The Newfoundland cod stocks. What has happened to cod fishing off the Grand Banks of Newfoundland?
Several centuries ago, John Cabot, sailing under the English flag, found the richest fishing area the world would come to know. Cod stocks in the Grand Banks region off the coast of Newfoundland were so bountiful and endless that the wheels starting to turn. England saw the potential wealth that cod fishing could bring their country.
Cod fish, once caught, could be dried and salted and sailed back to Europe. Cod was light and easily transported and furthermore, less expensive that other meats such as beef, pork, or lamb. At that point in time, the wealth that cod could bring to the European market was thought to surpass that of South American gold or Caribbean sugar.
The English fisherman saw large cod fish, sturgeon and salmon and very much plentiful. Huge oysters, herring, and squid were also found in endless amounts.
Today, sorry to say, that Newfoundland's cod stocks are gone. During the deep-sea, mechanized trawler days, the cods stocks have been no match for the large nets of these trawlers. The entire peninsula of Newfoundland was dependent upon the fishing industry for its employment. People either fished the waters, built the ships that fished the waters or worked in the fish plants. Now the employment is gone as well.
The cod stocks are returning but we will ever see cod rebound to their once glorious numbers? We can only hope.