So the Atlantic Cod’s depleted– now what?
The decline of Atlantic cod is a complex problem with roots in worldwide, systemic problems. The warming of the Gulf of Maine is linked to global climate change which, despite overwhelming evidence, continues to garner debate. And there aren’t always more fish in the sea – many of the fish we prefer to eat are suffering huge declines in number and body size baseline. These problems are so huge it’s hard to conceptualize your place in them, but rest assured that the tragedy of the commons occurs when individual’s actions aggregate – so we can, as individuals, refuse to engage in these destructive spirals. Check out the fish you’re eating: http://seafood.edf.org/ provides not only data on the sustainability of commercial fish, but also the mercury content. If you’re thinking, ‘That’s great, fish are really an impulse buy for me,’ try out the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch App for sustainability info on the go.
The Atlantic Cod fishery hasn’t rebounded despite regulations — it’s going to take even stricter, but passing such legislation uncertain and slow. In the meantime, we can make personal choices to head off these situations in the future.