FTT Due October 26 by 11:59pm

In the opening sections of Billion Dollar Fish there are some immediate similarities and differences to the northern cod story of Newfoundland. What strikes you as similar? What is different?

Share with us in a post of at least 250 words by 11:59 pm on the 26th. Join the conversation with at least 2 posts by 11:59 pm on the 27th as per usual.

43 thoughts on “FTT Due October 26 by 11:59pm”

  1. I found the pollock and Atlantic cod fishery to be very similar. The United States and the Canadian government that are responsible for both fisheries are and were very confident in their management practices. We all know that the Atlantic cod fishery collapses, but it is still up in the air how the pollock fishery will do in the long run. While reading Billion Dollar Fish I also noticed that the international community was heavily involved in the fishery up until EEZs were established in 1976. It seems that the American fisherman desired EEZs to prevent bycatch of what they saw as economically valuable fish, while the Canadian fisherman wanted EEZs so that they could exclusively fish the cod. I have a feeling in chapter four the same mad dash to capitalize upon the Atlantic cod made by Canadians will happen to Pollock by the Americans. Another similarity that stuck out to me between the two fisheries was how they were heavily impacted by World War II. Both experienced a lull in fishing due to the danger posed by mines and enemy warships, but the pollock fishery experienced a longer lull because the Japanese had been the only country really pursuing them in the North Pacific. The United States limited Japanese fishing to its territorial waters for a few years after the war. The war impacted both fisheries in generating technological advancements in refrigeration and machinery that made industrialized fishing possible. One of the big differences that immediately stood out to me was the history of each fishery. The Atlantic cod fishery went back centuries while the pollock fishery is barely a century old. The versatility of the fish also seemed to be different. The Cod was the everyman’s fish with very little done to doctor it up. After reading the first few chapters, I gathered that pollock is used for a lot of different industries. Ranging from artificial crab to chicken feed. I am excited to learn more about the pollock fishery.

    1. Wow, those are similarities I hadn’t considered. The use of this fish in so many areas is good to see because it has proven so accessible by so many people. Pollock providing resources ranging from fillet to artificial crab meat will hopefully help with the demand on other fisheries over fishing as well. It will be interesting how the Pollock fishery itself is viewed in this book. Great read.

    2. I thought it was interesting that so many things at the market are made out of pollock, but aren’t actually pure fillets or anything. My fish oil pills are actually AK pollock. Fish oil supplements are pretty interesting to read about.

    3. I agree with you, I am too excited to learn about the polluck industry. There hasn’t been much information given anew to me in my other classes regarding this industry, so this is brandnew. What countries do you think would appear to be interested in this industry besides america?

    4. Bryce, you touched on some things from the reading that I hadn’t considered, like when you were talking about the EEZs, you made some connections that I hadn’t thought of. I also like how you mentioned that cod was everyman’s fish–like Peter had talked about in an earlier lecture, people called all cod there “fish” because that’s what they served everywhere.

    5. I think that the amount of time for the two industries to come to the same conclusion is very alarming. It shows me that enough damage to completely destroy a fish stock is happening faster and faster. If we don’t regulate quickly enough we could deplete stocks with decades.

  2. Some of the similarities that I have noticed so far between Four Fish and Billion Dollar Fish is that we are taking a look at the fisheries evolution over time. Where Four Fish has a more direct interest in fisheries in the beginning, the biologist in Billion Dollar Fish landed his fish job involving the fisheries monitoring a Japanese fishing fleet in the Pacific ocean. The first species he was involved in monitoring was the Tanner crab. Another similarity that I have noticed so far is the behavior between the local fishermen of Newfoundland, as well as the local fishermen in Alaska with Mr. Greenberg as well as the Japanese fishermen all have very negative reactions to fish and game. The regulation and management of the fishery is not typically accepted with open arms. Examples of changing behavior in order to get the young fisheries biologists support is evident in the fishing crews nightly parties that abruptly stopped when they actually started asking questions about the inconsistencies between the reported tonnage caught and the actual weight of crab caught. Once the accusation was made of dishonesty, they shunned the biologists. Which is unfortunate because it shows a deceitful side of humans we don’t like to admit is there. One last thing is the relationship thus ended with deceit from the fleet, by offering lavish foods and not covering the bill like agreed, but then the reciprocated action of smiling internally when the 30% quota was implemented the next year. Lots of jabs to the ribs so to speak on the international relations aspect so far. It will be interesting to see how things progress.

    1. That first story Bailey told about being an observer also caught my attention. I was blown away at how naive he and his collegue were. They are lucky they did not end up tossed in the ocean. I thought of one of the quotes Greenberg used in his book, “Don’t get caught between a fat hog and its trough.” I agree it is an example of how deciutful folks can be. I think it reinforces our need to be sharp in our ability to call B.S. We should also be well versed in our understanding of how to navigate dangerous situations.

    2. It is fascinating to see that even in other countries when scientists try to gather data, people will try to view this as a bad thing, and think they might get into trouble for reporting all the fish. I see why they can view this negatively, but it is always a thing to consider because people from anywhere in the world have different customs for fishing. So a foreighner to their country trying to report things and try to change things, might get the locals all riled up,.

  3. It mirrors cod in that when it is discovered to be plentiful and easy to catch and ship, the exploitation skyrocketed. Huge foreign trawlers outcompeted smaller fishermen and now no one can break into the industry because of the allocation of permits. Modern fishing technology advancements after WWII advanced both the cod and pollock fisheries. Pollock and cod are both used now in commercial uses especially as frozen and fast food seafood dishes. Like cod, there is also other species’ flesh mislabeled as cod and pollock, either in packaging confusion or deliberate subversion to get more money per lb. Like cod, pollock is also an easily recognizable fish that has led to its popularity among consumers.
    Pollock is a newer whitefish fishery, previously fished only by the Japanese while cod has a long history of hundreds of years. However, the pollock industry seemed to explode on the tails of the cod collapse, which led to more conservative management in the industry. While it was too late for cod, hindsight has been crucial in managing pollock. This has thus far warded off collapse, and the fishery seems to be stable. However, with demand increasing only time will tell if it continues being properly managed.
    I am looking forward to learning more about the entire life history and cultural history of pollock in this book. I grew up inland and entirely far away from both of these stories and I love learning about them. It also looks to be a very digestible read.

    1. I’m also looking forward to learning more about pollock! I never actually really heard about them in Sitka as they aren’t anyone’s main target there.

    2. I think it is crazy how we see how populations decrease with one species but then do nothing to prevent it from happening with another. I too am excited for this book !

  4. The pollock fishery is similar to the Atlantic Cod fishery in several ways. It’s popularity boomed after WWII due to the increased availability and innovation of technology, one country sought total control over the fishery (Canada for the Atlantic Cod and America for the pollock), and many, many fishermen catch/caught these fish. Both brought/bring in high amounts of fish annually, both fish were/are in high demand, and both cod and pollock are fairly easy to catch. However, there are a few differences between them. The cod fishery is several centuries older than the pollock fishery and pollock has a greater variety of uses than cod. Most importantly, the Atlantic Cod fishery has collapsed (may it Rest In Peace), whereas the fate of the pollock fishery is yet to be decided.

    1. Zeph , I also thought a lot about how the fate of the pollock industry hasn’t been decided yet. I’m really curious to see what will happen, and it’s interesting how we have the cod fishery collapse fresh in people’s mind, but you don’t hear lots of people talking about worries for the future of pollock, despite what we now know about how quickly a fishery can collapse.

    2. Hey Zephaniah,

      Hopefully those in charge of the pollock fishery closely reference back to what was witnessed during the crash of the Atlantic Cod to see it is possible for an abundant stock to be depleted and prevent this from happening again. I agree, R.I.P. the Atlantic Cod Fishery.

  5. During the preface of “Billion Dollar Fish” I could already start to see some similarities with the story of cod in Newfoundland, particularly concerning how Bailey describes that the alarmingly fast increase of the industry of pollock was quicker than what the scientist could possibly keep up; they couldn’t compete against “an industry on steroids”; and how “Empires were built” on pollock, with fortunes being gained in the process, but also being lost and these “Empires” going into decadence as stocks were over-fished and depleted. Much like the cod, people were rushing into the pollock “gold rush” without any care for sustainability or the future, eventually getting to the point where there are many more boats racing to extract a limited number of fish. The preface also talks briefly about the struggle between environmental concerns and a growing industry. Both stories relate how the promise of hefty profits, with a disregard for the future, was the main driver for all of its following consequences. A difference, as far as I have come to understand it, is that there is a bigger aspect of international relations to the pollock than it was with the cod, and that made it harder to actually enforce or try to keep accountability, as the fishery becomes a game of politics and profits and responsibilities start to blur between nations, like how the Japanese government tried to “bribe” Bailey not with money, but with lavish accommodations and gifts, hoping that he would, in exchange, turn a blind eye to their practices of under-reporting.

    1. I think you brought up a good point, the economic part of the fishery in both cases outpaced our ability to heavily invest in understanding management needs of the fishery upfront. Meaning the fish were being fished well before management was being conducted. It makes me wonder how we could research a fishery before exploitation begins and if that has ever happened?

    2. It really makes you wonder how long it will be until we establish a fishery free of these problems. Surely it will happen eventually, but how many times do we need to needlessly run into these particular problems?

    3. It’s really a bummer that science has to take so long to measure a population efficiently and correctly, but the industry will never wait that long. So when you have the numbers, it is always too late. There are so many populations of fish and so little fish scientists there is no way we could measure the population of every fish just in case it suddenly became a popular food fish.

  6. One thing that strikes me as similar is that pollock and cod were/are both extremely popular fish to consumers. There is a strong market for them which means that those fishermen will always have (or had) jobs so long as there are fish to be caught. They also both became popular fish after World War II, although different in that pollock had a bit more of a break than cod. Both were exploited by foreign fleets of fishermen until laws were put in place to protect local stocks.
    I thought it was interesting how Kevin Bailey compared pollock to the cod and sardine fishery too. With cod and sardines, there was natural fluctuation of the fish populations over the years, but an eventual crash. With the pollock fishery being relatively new and a tad bit less exploited in the past than cod, there is still a chance it could crash. Every time someone predicted it was the end of the pollock fishery though, they made a strong comeback and haven’t faltered, unlike cod and sardines. I think people learned a lot from the cod fishery collapse and have applied that to better management of the pollock fishery. Limiting fisherman to individual fishing quotas is a great way to make sure people get what they need to continue to fish for years to come and make a living, as well as prevent another catastrophic fisheries collapse that would greatly damage an entire ecosystem and way of life for many people.

    1. I agree that both species were extremely popular fish & many people consumed them. As long as there are fish to reproduce, fishermen will still have fish to fish. It was kind of ironic how everyone thought that the pollock would decrease & the cod would keep going strong, I thought. I agree that if fishermen had individual quotas it would help tremendously with keeping everything balanced.

    2. Well pollock was only popular more recently than cod. though, luckily, the location of where they are in the Bering Sea led them to be little exploited until recently. Why would further away fleets even travel there if they didnt know if pollock was even any good? Only the Japanese ate it very much. It is good though that the pollock industry doesn’t seem to have collapsed for now, and seems to have learned a bit from the cod industry.

  7. As for similarities, it says right in the book, the pollock and the cod fisheries are similar in the way that they are being managed and the numbers that are being harvested. In contrast, pollock and bass have different temperaments, pollock adapt to their environment and sea bass (as we learned by trying to cultivate them) are not accustomed to environmental change.

    I also like the quote, ” Fish are the last of hunted animals…”(pg.19). It makes me wonder what is going to happen after we fully switch to farmed fish. I will humans become bored and find something else to hunt, if so what would it be?

    1. That’s a very interesting questions. Putting aside what remains of smaller hunting-gatherer tribes today, what would we do if we stop this massive-scale hunting? I wish I could be more optimistic, but I feel that, with the current state of things, there will just be a next big thing to exploit shortly after.

  8. The pollock fishery is very similar to the Atlantic Cod fishery we recently covered in that it was originally a very abundant fishery where thousands of fish of decent size could be harvested by many people. Both had a strong foothold in the market and were a popular fish to eat both commercially and recreationally. However, the fish is also heavily exploited from over fishing and faced a significant and faced the risk of a serious decrease in numbers, but not as extreme as of what happened to theAtlantic Cod. However, if not managed it could experience a severe drop in population and fish size if the regulations are not followed or set and end up in the same position as that of the Atlantic Cod fishery. Differences between these fisheries is that the cod fishery is a lot older and still has yet to fully recover. The pollock fishery is comparatively newer and has not faced the the extreme extent that of numbers being diminished than that of the cod.

    1. When i first began reading billion dollar fish it seemed like it was a retelling of the Atlantic cod story just with a different fish, and it’s scary to see how many similarities there are between the two stories, and i hope that adequate management it set in place so we don’t repeat what happened to the cod.

    2. Hi, Logan,
      I agree completely with your argument here. The thought that capital greed within fishery / commercial fishing spaces may cause humanity to repeat the destruction it caused with the cod overfishing crisis is quite chilling, don’t you think? It feels as if we haven’t learned our lesson.

  9. In the BIllion Dollar fish book, I founs the similarities of how some people are determine to have their own aquaculture farm for a specific type of species. In billion dollars of fish they had pollock they were trying to reproduce from spawing their own types of pollock. In Four Fish they were trying to do cod and salmon.
    The only thing that was different is that Billion Dollars of fish describes more ways the fish population were dying down because of high demand. SO fishermen would get so happy to be paid to catch the fish, even if it was in large quantities.

  10. In Billion Dollar Fish, Kevin Bailey discusses many similarities and differences between the Alaska pollock and Atlantic cod. He talks about how the Alaska pollock are genetically similar to Atlantic cod rather than Pacific cod. The pollock also evolved from an ancestral cod that migrated across the Arctic Ocean. Pollock and cod were fished once everyone found out about their uses, then the big commercial ships started out fishing smaller local boats which ended up with bans and rules for fishing. Both fish are also used commercially in frozen foods and at fast food restaurants. I also noticed that fishermen started repeating old actions like they did with the cod, just started fishing and fishing without thinking about what would occur. It’s just like with the cod, no one is one hundred percent sure how many fish are in the sea and fishing without limits can cause drastic problems.
    Some differences I noticed between the two was that the cod fisheries have been around quite a bit longer than the pollocks. Pollocks are used more often than cod in certain foods, places, and economically. The cod fishery also collapsed, whereas the pollocks are still to be decided. Scientists thought that the pollock populations were going to decline but they didn’t, whereas, with the cod when they thought the cod were doing amazing, they were actually declining rapidly. Both populations fluctuated, as many populations do.

    1. I wonder if the fishermen that help perpetuate these issues are unaware of the history of fisheries or if they just can’t afford to care about it. Either way, I personally would like to know the answer to that question. Great observation.

    2. I like how you pointed out how the Alaskan Pollock are genetically more similar to Atlantic cod rather that the Pacific. Its like we are moving to the next most similar fish to exploit in yhe absence of the ones that we have over fished.

    3. Hey Charli,

      It is crazy to me that people can become so mislead when trying to determine the abundance of a fish population. For instance, how you mentions how scientist thought the cod population was doing great while it was actually rapidly decline the reverse of that for pollock. It goes to show that catch numbers should not be used to calculate population.

  11. From the introduction of the book there had been this looming shadow of the history of the Atlantic cod com paired to the Alaskan pollock; the stocks bouncing up and down to sentients saying that there was gong to be a collapse, the politics vs science, they are both desirable fish. there was also still the question in both cases of if the sea provided unlimited wealth, despite the events. Both cod and pollock cought the interest of foreign fishermen.
    But there are there differences as well; the cod fishery in Newfoundland had been there for hundreds of years and the pollock had only been around in that near century, and have learning some when the Atlantic cod fishery collapsed management noticed the similar trend and needed better management.
    So far the similarities between the story of Pollock and the collapse of the Atlantic Cod outweigh the differences

    1. Hi, Tyra,
      I really enjoyed your choice of words when describing the cod market/stock. “Looming shadow” feels especially appropriate given the doom and gloom of the fish’s history in fisheries.

  12. There are many parallels between the pollock and cod fisheries.
    Cod fishing in Newfoundland was carried out at a subsistence level for centuries, but large scale fishing began shortly after the European arrival in the North American continent in 1492, with the waters being found to be preternaturally plentiful, and ended after intense overfishing with the collapse of the fisheries in the billon dollar fish the author’s account of the Alaska pollock as an industry, a food source, and a species affect pollock populations

  13. The similarities between the two fisheries are extensive. They both are roughly for the same type of fish. Same dispositions on the planet, have Americans and Canadians fishing them. Both fisheries were affected by the WW2 and both were impacted by development f technology by the war. The differences are two completely different oceans, Japan (more this later), and a big difference in history. The history of the Atlantic cod fisheries is dominated by western cultures and is centuries old. The pollock fishery is not as old by western view but significant to the Japanese. With the war in the Pacific pollock fishing was ceased and after the war heavy restriction were placed on Japan then later lifted. In 1972 with EEZ being formed that basically kicked out foreigners in these two fisheries.

  14. For starters, upon reading the Billion Dollar Fish’s introduction, within the first few sentences, there was something that caught my attention. I found it extremely interesting that, when opening up the discussion of cod vs pollock, they were introduced as one another’s “family”. Referring to pollocks as “cod’s younger sister” and, inversely, cod as “pollock’s cousin”, I felt this made way for the stepping stones needed to dissect this topic. By using familial terms, the narrative was, at least from my perspective, telling us that these two species hold many similarities, while still being very separate entities. Given the discussion and data provided as evidence within this chapter, it’s safe to say that this is an accurate comparison. The cod and pollock face a striking similarity in their value on the human fish market. Pollock has risen to the title of most consumed (by humans) fish within the scope of fishery industries, much like the cod decades prior. However, for one, the history of cod and pollocks in terms of their relationship with fisheries/humans vary greatly. In the 1960’s, pollock was, more or less, exclusively fished by Japanese fishermen. It wasn’t until the 80’s until pollock became more valued in the west. Inversely, as you all know, cod has a much deeper history than that, circling back centuries. Because of this “generational gap”, while, as discussed within our class, the cod population / stock is widely regarded as endangered. Pollock, on the other hand, have not quite reached the point of no return.

    1. You touch on the topic of cod, which is endangered, and then there is pollock, which is still abundant, maybe as we learn more we’ll understand why this fish has endured over our fishing days.

  15. The beginning of Billion Dollar Fish definitely got my attention right off the bat. I was instantly able to draw similarities between pollock and cod–both are fisheries that started off with an abundance of fish, but both seem to have the same fishermen that believe that the ocean is endless. Pollock isn’t as overfished as the cod industry was, however. The pollock fishery was dominated by Japanese fishermen at the beginning of its history, whereas the cod fishery was dominated by western fishermen–Canadians. The two also took place in two separate oceans, but both of them were impacted by World War II and the technologies that were brought forth by the war. In this part of the world–the Pacific Ocean–pollock are some of the most consumed and fished for fish in the area, similar to how cod was the most popular fish in the northern Atlantic Ocean. It’s interesting to read this book and look at the similarities especially–it raises the question for me of how the pollock fishery will end up. I feel like the impacts of a pollock fishery collapse will be very similar to the impacts that are still felt by the northern cod fishery collapse, and I hope we can improve and maintain management of pollock so that we do not end up reaching that point.

    1. Hi, Maya!
      It does seem like there’s often this pattern of fishermen thinking that the ocean is endless. Or more like they don’t really care as long as they get their piece while they still can.
      I can see your point of how the pollock fishery might have the same overarching consequences of cod in Newfoundland. Let’s hope that it does not prove to be as irreparable as the later one.

    2. I agree that we should improve the management of the pollock stock, but I think the most “change”, or “management” comes when the stock is dangerously low. I think that we should change the mindset of the managers/government to regulate as much when the stock is “thriving” rather than it being on the verge of extinction.

  16. There are a few similarities and differences between the North Atlantic cod and the pollock fisheries that make themselves apparent to me from the beginning of Billion Dollar Fish. Both fisheries experienced a bit of a “gold rush” where they were fished extensively to the point that their respective stocks plummeted after prolonged and extensive harvesting. In both cases, the rush to cash the fish before the other guy could swept any thoughts of conservation/proper management to the side, the advice of scientists falling on deaf ears. There are also some key differences, however. The cod fishery of newfoundland was significantly older than the pollock fishery. The former was older, cod fishermen spanning back generations, and cod fishing was deeply routed in Newfoundland culture by the time that it collapsed. The latter on the other hand was developed relatively recently, being born out of necessity after Japan’s defeat in WWII, and America (which controls most of the water where pollock are commonly found) only became interested in the fish when other nations expressed interest in it. In other words, the cod fishery collapse was relatively localized when it came to who was able to catch them, and so it wasn’t difficult to find someone to hold accountable for the collapse (Canadian fisheries management). Pollock on the other hand have been ravaged by so many nations in international waters that it is unclear who, if any one country, should shoulder the blame.

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