The fall and future of Newfoundland's cod fishery
The 1992 collapse of the northern cod undermined a centuries-old way of life in Newfoundland. This ecological change has had broad social consequences, especially the loss of livelihoods for people and places that possess few alternative resources. Using a biology-based model, we explore possible paths to fishery recovery under a range of policy scenarios. Recovery could take decades, even under an absolute fishing ban. Recovery with substantial growth in jobs can be achieved under 'precautionary' low-fishing policies. High-fishing policies initially create more jobs, but eventually crash the resource. Interactions between social and biological systems create a policy trap. Developments since the 1992 moratorium show the force of this trap and offer an explanation for why no recovery has yet been seen. Model results highlight the importance of level and time, as specifics that give content to the widely discussed goal of sustainability.
Society and Natural Resources
Taylor & Francis
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Haedrich, R.L., Hamilton, L.C. The fall and future of Newfoundland's cod fishery. (2000) Society and Natural Resources, 13 (4), pp. 359-372.