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The Future Of The North Sea Cod Once Again Becomes Uncertain

The North Sea cod once sustained communities of people across the east coast of Britain, however, after years of overfishing, its population became almost deplete. Over the last decade or so, the EU and Scottish fisherman have played an important role in its recovery, shifting its conservation status from endangered to being in relative abundance.

Since the UK’s departure from the EU, the fate of the North Sea Cod in Britain has become uncertain again, as a stand-off ensues about who now has the rights to reap the rewards of the cod recovery. British fishermen are demanding that initial agreements (which divided the annual catch of cod between Norway and the EU) be disregarded when the UK leaves the EU. Scottish fishermen, in particular, believe they are now entitled to a greater share of the stock than previously agreed (a 21% increase in the UK’s share of the fish), based on geography and the hard work and sacrifices they made to ensure the North Sea Cod’s survival.

Managing fish populations has always been a challenging and difficult issue to resolve, given the fact that they can swim across borders and migrate to different countries to feed or reproduce. The policies that regulate the management of the North Sea Cod are complex and if this situation is not resolved soon, it could be disastrous for the stock and undo all the efforts that have been done over the last decade or so.

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