Cod fishery moratorium begins

June 28, 2017

Cod in a coffin folk sculpture

Cod in a coffin folk sculpture, Dan Murphy. Smithsonian National Museum of American History, 1999.0078.01


For nearly 500 years, cod fishing in the waters off the coast of Newfoundland and in the Grand Banks had been an integral part of the North Atlantic economy. But between 1962 and 1992, northern cod stocks dropped by about 93 percent. Fearing that cod would become extinct if action was not taken, Canada announced a moratorium on cod fishing in July 1992. An estimated 30,000 people were put out of work as an industry closed overnight. While cod stocks have started to rebound, the moratorium remains in place.

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