Nova Scotia cod fishery indicates initial recovery

John Timmer

Nova Scotia cod fishery shows initial indications of recovery

Like other areas off Canada’s east coast, the Scotian Shelf suffered a collapse of its fisheries during the 1990s. Haddock and cod were caught in an unsustainable fashion, eventually leading to a tremendous decline in their numbers that prompted the government to shut the fisheries. Despite this drastic action, stocks of fish like cod and haddock have remained low for years, raising the prospect that these ecosystems had shifted into an entirely new structure, one in which the former top predators would only occupy a tiny niche. Now, however, researchers are reporting the first signs that this alternate structure itself may be collapsing, raising the prospect that the Scotia Shelf may be on the verge of returning to its former self.

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