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Cod’s Had Its Chips!

September 29, 2019

By Paul Homewood



Cod’s off the menu, and it’s due to climate change!



Cod from the North Sea may be off the menu for millions of families concerned about the environment after a dramatic fall in fish numbers.

Stocks peaked at 270,000 tons in the 1970s, but they are predicted to hit only 81,755 tons next year.

Scientists say anything under 107,000 tons increases the possibility of fisheries collapsing. Now the Marine Stewardship Council has decided to remove its ‘blue tick’ sustainability label from supermarket and restaurant cod fished off the coast of Britain.

It marks a major turnaround because two years ago the MSC announced North Sea cod could be eaten with a ‘clear conscience’ as fish numbers were healthy at 152,207 tons – the highest since 1982

The North Sea cod decision – based on scientific advice – is a blow to the fishing industry, which has been trying to avoid catching young cod and stay out of spawning areas.

However, the North Sea fish make up only a small proportion of the cod eaten in British homes with 94 per cent imported from countries such as Iceland, Norway and Russia. Warmer waters in the North Sea caused by climate change are thought to be cutting numbers, with fewer young cod surviving into adulthood.


This is all very strange, however, because the report also states:

It marks a major turnaround because two years ago the MSC announced North Sea cod could be eaten with a ‘clear conscience’ as fish numbers were healthy at 152,207 tons – the highest since 1982

It’s funny how those “warmer seas” did not affect cod populations two years ago!

  1. Ian Magness permalink
    September 29, 2019 12:24 pm

    And of course it’s got nothing to do with fishing quotas of sand eels (stable food for so of the fish life in the North Sea) being raised to ridiculous, totally unsustainable levels again.

  2. Graeme No.3 permalink
    September 29, 2019 12:37 pm

    Amazing. Time for another “cod war” with Iceland?
    Certainly overfishing should be avoided as in the destruction of the cod fishery off New England and in Newfoundland although there is a hint in the USA Consul’s report from Bergen in 1920/2 about the effect of warming oceans on fish numbers.
    Wait a few years and see what Global Cooling brings (apart from hysteria about climate changing).

    • Broadlands permalink
      September 29, 2019 2:13 pm

      Fish and global warming

      A little deja vu perspective for all the alarmists..Drinkwater, 2006 wrote: “Ecosystem changes associated with the warm period included a general northward movement of fish. Boreal species of fish such as cod, haddock and herring expanded farther north while colder-water species such as capelin and polar cod retreated northward. The warming in the 1920s and 1930s is considered to constitute the most significant regime shift experienced in the North Atlantic in the 20th century.”

      October, 1922: “The Arctic seems to be warming up. Reports from fishermen, seal hunters, and explorers who sail the seas about Spitzbergen and the eastern Arctic, all point to a radical change in climatic conditions, and hitherto un-heard-of high temperatures in that part of the earth’s surface.” …”With the disappearance of white fish and seal has come other life in these waters. This year herring in great shoals were found along the west coast of Spitzbergen, all the way from the fry to the veritable great herring. Shoals of smelt were also met with.”

  3. September 29, 2019 12:50 pm

    The red flag for me is that 2-word phrase, “Scientists say….” which is supposed to make us fall down in agreement.

    Who are these “scientists?” What are their credentials? Is there any reason to give any credence to what they say?

    • dennisambler permalink
      September 29, 2019 1:12 pm

      The other one I like is “thought to be”. Climate science in a nutshell.

  4. Jason permalink
    September 29, 2019 12:50 pm

    I’m incredibly sceptical of all claims about fish stocks.

  5. Barbara Moir permalink
    September 29, 2019 1:06 pm

    Let us eat hake

  6. dennisambler permalink
    September 29, 2019 1:12 pm

    Brian Fagan, Floods, Famines, and Emperors: El Niño and the Fate of Civilizations (Basic
    Books, 1999).

    “Sea temperatures around Greenland and Iceland dropped precipitously for much of the time between 1600 and 1830, decimating cod populations, another staple of the Icelandic diet. Cod flourish in waters between two and thirteen degrees Celsius, but their kidneys do not function in colder water. Even a minor shift in polar water causes the fish to follow warmth.

    The Norse had subsisted off cod during the heyday of their settlements in Greenland, but there were no stocks off Greenland during the Little Ice Age. Cod disappeared completely from the Norwegian Sea during the seventeenth century as polar water spread southward.
    Iceland has exported fish since the fourteenth century, although the size of cargoes was limited until the introduction of decked ships in 1890.

    But the industry has always been at the mercy of cooler sea temperatures. Even with modern industrial-scale fishing, herring and cod catches rise and fall with water temperatures.

    One of the major reasons for Iceland’s bitter confrontations with Britain in the 1960s over fishing rights was the deterioration of fish stocks around Iceland as a result of falling sea temperatures. Iceland’s dependence on cod and herring has made it vulnerable to sudden climatic change and resulted in firm, even extreme, political stands on fishing rights.”

  7. Gamecock permalink
    September 29, 2019 1:44 pm

    ‘Warmer waters in the North Sea caused by climate change’

    Teleological. ‘Climate change’ (sic) is a result, not a cause.

    • dave permalink
      September 29, 2019 2:26 pm

      Way back (nearly fifty years ago) one of the early Open University lectures on TV extolled the virtues of mathematical modelling of fish stocks* and talked about cod. Apparently, collapses of stocks due to over-fishing was to be a thing of the past. A few years later the stock of cod collapsed.

      Scientists, and their modelling, eh?

      *Merely some inter-related first-order differential equations, if I remember correctly.

      OTT: The maximum winter extent of sea-ice in the Antarctic (which happens now) is almost exactly equal to the average of 1981-2010.

      • Harry Passfield permalink
        September 29, 2019 4:18 pm

        Yet, on Farming Today, the other morning, they claimed it wasn’t so much that Cod stocks had diminished, they had just moved slightly north.

  8. September 29, 2019 2:19 pm

    Owing to the CFP, no one, I repeat, no one has the slightest idea of fish stocks.
    Fisherman have to lie about their catches (they don’t want to, but the CFP forces them to, unless they want to lose their boats and go to prison as bankrupts) and they are almost the only source of data; period.

  9. jack broughton permalink
    September 29, 2019 3:23 pm

    Looks like we’ve all had our chips and the “believers” are victorious. I’ve just read that Sheffield Uni are to force all undergrads to attend “lectures” on climate change. Their VC, one Koen Lambert (a Belgian Psychology academic), is apparently behind this brainwashing: hope that the students fight back, (but not a lot of hope with the snowflakes).

    Sheffield was a centre for energy and fuels research for many years: this is truly the madmen running the asylum.

    • Paul H permalink
      September 29, 2019 10:18 pm

      Stop Press! Was in Sheffield town centre yesterday, Sat 28th, and confronted a stall of Climate Activists and after things became a little heated, a sixties something chap who had Uni Lecturer stamped all over him, bellowed at me ‘I’m a Trotskyite! We have to re-nationalise public transport, ban private transport, run the buses on solar power, have the people format policy!’ etc etc. The group also claimed Sheffield would suffer more severe flooding if these measures were not adopted. Back at the hotel I mentioned the encounter to one of my group who was a Sheffield resident and she explained that the only floods Sheffield had experienced were in 1856 when a dam burst and in 2006 when the cause was put down to the drains being neglected and were blocked.

  10. jack broughton permalink
    September 29, 2019 3:46 pm

    A further rant about Sheffield Uni’s “greening”.
    Apparently they have a serious pension deficit, but are planning to follow Norways’ example by divesting its fossil fuel investments (Norway can easily afford any foolishness it wishes).
    They are also squandering our money on reducing their carbon footprint. Can only see them falling in the merit tables and letting down their 25,000 students in the process.

    • saparonia permalink
      September 29, 2019 4:00 pm

      Yet they have a planned mission to Venus where they will generate fuel from the carbon dioxide to power their floating atmospheric vessels, in the name of science of course.

    • saparonia permalink
      September 29, 2019 4:03 pm

      I have to add that I received an email about an extra access tax on road users in Sheffield center, including delivery vans and buses. . I wrote and added that council workers should be obliged to leave their cars at home

      • Iain McPhee permalink
        September 30, 2019 1:40 pm

        Interesting letter in the Telegraph today.

        SIR – The impact on the nation’s favourite dish – fish and chips – of the suspension of North Sea cod fisheries (report, September 25) is concerning, but it shouldn’t prevent Britons from continuing to enjoy this wondrous meal with a clear conscience.
        It must be stressed to consumers and businesses that Norwegian cod and haddock imported to the UK is fully sustainable, traceable and certified by the Marine Stewardship Council, and can meet British demand. Consumers must be made aware of the sustainable origins of seafood, and we encourage them to ask for this information.
        Hans Frode Kielland Asmyhr
        UK Director, Norwegian Seafood Council
        London W1F

  11. saparonia permalink
    September 29, 2019 3:56 pm

    The decline of our waters is due to the trawlers dragging up the ocean floor and the dumping of dead fish back into the sea and we didn’t do this before in those lovely days of seaside fish and chips. Don’t think that it isn’t worth bothering about it if the fish are gone, we do need back our waters and we are capable of restoration of the fish stocks if those other people aren’t abusing them.

    • Derek Reynolds permalink
      September 29, 2019 9:21 pm

      John Ashcroft is the man to listen on fishing:

    • saparonia permalink
      October 1, 2019 3:32 pm

      Iain McPhee, re the letter from Hans Frode Kielland Asmyhr.
      He just isn’t getting the point is he? The fish is “Norwegian cod and haddock imported to the UK ” not fresh out of Our Waters. How long does it take for (dead) fish to be transported to Norway or wherever, then certified as edible by whomever, and shipped back to UK.

  12. Tim Spence permalink
    September 29, 2019 4:44 pm

    It sounds fishy, the authoress needs to be battered. Thank god we still have … er.. Roast Beef?.

    When they come for the Yorkshire puddings there’ll be civil war

    • Gamecock permalink
      September 30, 2019 1:21 am

      No doubt she is a Pisces, working for scale.

  13. Alaskan Sea permalink
    September 29, 2019 5:12 pm

    From ‘’
    “The vast majority of cod used by fish and chip shops is caught in the icy clear Arctic waters of the Barents Sea and Iceland where stringent measures have ensured good management of cod stocks in these waters. Cod quotas have also been increased in recent years in these regions.”
    Same for fish fingers too.

    • dennisambler permalink
      September 29, 2019 6:06 pm

      Do fish fingers get frost bite?

  14. September 29, 2019 5:18 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate-

  15. Nancy & John Hultquist permalink
    September 29, 2019 5:23 pm

    Hurricane Lorenzo will be on hand late this week to say hello!
    The northern half of your fair lands are in the current forecast. Of course the models could be wrong.
    If not consider Thur-Friday good days to go to a pub for some fish and chips.

  16. cajwbroomhill permalink
    September 29, 2019 5:44 pm

    Very many have been brainwashed into reacting to such stories as yes,
    ” It’s climate change, caused by man but offsetable by decarbonising.
    Otherwise, the costs of doing nothing will far exceed hose of decarbonisation”.
    Everything above is speculation and/or untrue.
    We, in UK at least, need take no action beyond waiting for reliable news, since it is all still unproven cr@p and our release of greenhouse gases is negligible

  17. Thomas Carr permalink
    September 29, 2019 9:29 pm

    An estimate of stocks in excess of 150,000 to the nearest full ton? We do not need to be cynical to see that such a figure is unlikely in itself.

  18. Chaswarnertoo permalink
    September 29, 2019 11:14 pm

    What part of overfishing do these morons not understand? Sand eels mainly.

  19. September 30, 2019 1:45 am

    Global warming? A Dalton Minimum is imminent. The ice is returning. Winter is coming. Prepare!!!

  20. Bertie permalink
    September 30, 2019 9:04 am

    A recent letter to the Telegraph from a proper scientist (retired) in response to this scare claim pointed out that the disturbance caused by all the wind farm activity in the North Sea – the extreme disturbance caused by their construction and the ongoing undersea vibrations etc. caused by their operation – might, of itself, be having a deleterious effect on fish stocks by disturbing ancient spawning and breeding grounds.

  21. AZ1971 permalink
    September 30, 2019 3:21 pm

    We have known about below-normal SST’s in the North Atlantic for more than a few years now, which kind of undermines the whole “climate change induced warmer waters” narrative being pitched by so-called scientists.

    When you have the same people switch from “clear conscience” levels of consumption to “remove the blue label of sustainability” in two years’ time, it’s a sure indication that CO2 emissions have zero to do with any of that.

  22. avro607 permalink
    September 30, 2019 9:52 pm

    Perhaps the favourite food of the cod is sand eels that are being hoovered up by the Danes using their EU increased quota.
    Also the cod ,over centuries,have always moved to where the sea temp. is advantageous to their existence.

    • September 30, 2019 9:55 pm

      Yes, I meant to add this to my post:

      “Fish swim! These misleadin reports suggest that cod are dying out. Isn’t it more likely that they are migrating to more favourable places, where it is cooler or where food is more abundant?

      • saparonia permalink
        October 1, 2019 3:21 pm

        They are going where they can feed. The bottom is roughed up by trawlers making them move on.

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