Cod, Gadus morhua, is the most important fish in the history of the world.
As outlined in Mark Kurlansky’s book simply entitled ‘Cod’, he points out how wars have been fought over it; revolutions have been triggered by it; economies and livelihoods have depended on it.
Cod can live up to 20 years and grow to 75 pounds. They are big-headed, brownish bottom feeders or groundfish that prefer a bottom with some structure. These indiscriminate eaters range from Greenland to North Carolina.
I am not alone in believing cod is the best-tasting fish, which has led to its species’ demise. They are now considered commercially extinct, so modern-day fishermen are said to be on the wrong side of a 1,000-year fishing spree, which started with the Vikings.
Tom Byrnes is the owner/operator of Cayman Marine Lab. He acquired his Coast Guard Captain’s Licence when he was a teenager and worked as a commercial fisherman in his youth. He got his first diving certificate in 1974 with the YMCA. He has worked in the local dive industry for more than 35 years and has a PhD in marine biology.