01 | Context
For hundreds of years, the waters around Newfoundland were alive with cod. Canada’s cod stocks were legendary around the world, and cod was a mainstay of the local economy.
In the 1990s all that changed. After years of overfishing, cod stocks on the Northeast coast of Newfoundland and Labrador drastically declined, and in 1992 a moratorium was imposed, effectively putting an end to commercial cod harvesting in that area. Over 30,000 jobs were lost, and coastal communities were devastated. It was the single largest lay-off in North America during the 20th century.
For about 25 years, the future of this once abundant cod stock was grim. However, in 2006, scientists began to witness a slow and steady trend in stock growth in some areas.
To ensure this recovery continues and is scientifically monitored, WWF Canada and the Fish, Food, and Allied Workers Union, representing 9,000 fish harvesters and processing workers in the fishing industry, agreed to launch a Fishery Improvement Project to enhance rebuilding efforts and help restore this iconic fishery for the benefit of nature and people alike.
Keywords: Canada; cod; fish stocks; Newfoundland and Labrador; WWF Canada
02 | Photography