Cod seems as good as any other creature to feature in a redemption story. The editor of the Environment section at the Guardian shares good news on one lucky population of cod that got the attention they needed, seemingly just in time:
A recovery from near total collapse has led North Sea cod stocks to be labelled as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council for the first time in 20 years
Fish and chip lovers can now enjoy North Sea cod with a clear conscience, after the fishery was awarded sustainable status by the Marine Stewardship Council on Wednesday.
Stocks of cod in the North Sea were once one of the world’s great fisheries but plummeted by 84% between the early 1970s and 2006. They came perilously close to the total collapse seen in the Grand Banks fishery off Canada in the early 1990s, which has still not recovered.
But action to decommission fishing boats, ban catches in nursery areas and put larger holes in nets to allow young cod to escape has seen the stock rise fourfold since 2006. The MSC, a non-profit certification group, undertook a detailed 18-month study and has now approved the North Sea cod catch of 228 boats in Scotland and England, which represents the vast majority of the white fish fleet.
Sustainable North Sea cod will carry the MSC’s blue label and is expected in supermarkets as early as next week, with Waitrose likely to be among the first to offer the fish. North Sea cod has never been approved by the MSC in the group’s 20-year history and the MSC certification also requires fishers to protect cold water corals from damage by trawlers…
Read the whole story here.