WWF UK Blog  

Don’t cod yourself, buy well

 

Cod.

A historic fish!

A fascinating fish!

A healthy fish!

And a fish that needs our help!

Cod is a remarkable fish that has played an historic role in UK fisheries and our lives for approximately 2,000 years.

Did you know; if left to grow it can reach 6 foot long and live for over 20 years. (In fact older cod produce more eggs and those eggs are healthier and stronger than those produced by a younger, smaller cod). It swims with its mouth open eating as it goes and produces a protein that acts as an anti-freeze, so it can survive in freezing water.

The sad reality is that now, after hundreds of years of overfishing, cod stocks around the world are severely depleted. At one stage cod was so plentiful old fishing tales tell of waters so brimming that all one needed to do was dip a bucket into the open ocean and you’d be returned a bounty of wonderful proportions.

Indeed French writer Alexandre Dumas predicted in 1873 that if cod multiplied any more it would be possible to walk across the Atlantic on their backs.

In a way the drive for ever more cod fisheries is understandable. Cod is fantastic for us and our bodies. It’s very nutritious, has virtually no fat (0.3%), a very high level of protein of 18 % and when processed to make cod liver oil, supplies us with an important source of Vitamin A, Vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids.

Thankfully there are solutions now that will hopefully keep cod on the menu while allowing its population to recover to numbers that can be fished sustainably.

You can do your part by looking for and buying MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) certified cod.

We shouldn’t cod ourselves, the fight to save this fantastic fish for future generations will not be an easy one – but it is one we can and I’m confident we will win.

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