An Alaskan fisherman holds up part of his catch, a large Alaskan King Crab. As successful catches became more costly and less efficient, fishing areas around the world entered a new era of global and national management. Not too long ago, we viewed the oceans as an inexhaustible resource. Now, from the Gulf of Mexico to the Baltic, from the Mediterranean to the South China Sea we find our oceans struggling, in some cases dying.
Helping out on the boat earned Tony good money.
The fish would flop on the deck so deep they were up to his hips. He had to wade in them, wade in the money. An eight pence note in Massachusetts state currency, issued in These "codfish" bills, so-called because of the cod in the border design, were engraved and printed by Paul Revere. Wikimedia commons The cod off Canada and New England are essentially gone now.
Stocks have been so depleted that marine biologists doubt they can ever recover. Cod fishing in the Gulf of Maine has now been banned by federal fisheries managers in a desperate last minute attempt to save a species that was once so plentiful that, as far back as 1, years ago, it drew Vikings and Basques and thousands of Europeans across the Atlantic to make their living.
Cape Cod was so named in18 years before the pilgrims came ashore in Plymouth. By the way, they chose that destination because of the plentiful cod.
But the decimation of the cod fishery off North America goes way back too. As early asthe Massachusetts legislature tried to minimize overfishing by ordering farmers to stop using cod as fertilizer. For the next years more and more boats with better and better technology vacuumed cod from Georges Bank and the broader Grand Banks that flank Canada up to Newfoundland.
And just as predictably, fishermen and business interests fought conservation efforts, denying scientific evidence that they were harvesting away their own futures. The Newfoundland fishery collapsed and was closed by the Canadian government in the s.
Finally, the federal government has stepped inbanning all cod fishing by net or trawling, including recreational, for at least the next six months. Other species appear to have taken over the marine ecosystem.
Tony started taking his son, Francesco Jr. But starting in the s, every time the net would come back up, there were fewer and fewer fish. Government restrictions cut into how many days he could fish, and where.
Tony sold his boat to investors who took "The Frankie C" out to the west coast. Tony bought a little fish and chips place in town. But he was depressed. His pride was gone.
His sense of self was gone. The profits he had put in the bank were all but gone. He found comfort the way a lot of out-of-work fisherman in New England did.
Tony died of a heroin overdose a few years ago. Examples of "The Tragedy of the Commons" are everywhere in our crowded world. New England and Canadian cod are one. The facts in this piece are true — but the names have been changed, out of respect.A Second Look at The Tragedy of the Commons.
leading to a significant collapse of the cod population. But was the overfishing really driven by the individual actions of private fishermen, or was it global market forces, large corporate interests, and lax environmental regulations?
Commercial fishing like that of the North Atlantic cod. Assessing impacts of simulated oil spills on the Northeast Arctic cod fishery. North Atlantic Cod Commons: Overfishing and It's Solution Essay. Robert ‘Ben’ Johnson Engr - North Atlantic Cod Commons: Overfishing and It's Solution Essay introduction.
EW 10/31/12 North Atlantic Cod Commons: Overfishing and it’s Solution Over fishing has led to an almost complete wipe out of the mature cod population in the area of Northern Europe.
In November , Fisheries and Oceans Canada released an article suggesting that the unexpectedly slow recovery of the cod stock was due to inadequate food supplies, cooling of the North Atlantic, and a poor genetic stock due to the overfishing of larger cod.
Disappearing Cod and the North Atlantic The Northwest Atlantic cod fishery is a particularly disastrous example of the results of treating the ocean as a nearly unregulated commons for too long.
Dec 03, · The Atlantic cod is an incredibly robust and fecund fish, but predictably, it couldn’t stand up to intense pressure from a fleet of factory fishing trawlers armed with GPS-directed fish finding.