Saturday, February 02, 2008

Sea captains' logbooks reveal secrets of New England's Overfishing

Researcher Bill Leavenworth collects logs from the mid-1800s, which offer clues about yesterday's – and today's – cod stocks. In the yellowing pages of these surviving logbooks lie the secrets of the ocean fisheries' past – and perhaps lessons for its troubled present.

The books contain daily entries on the vessels' movements, the weather, unusual occurrences, and careful tallies of the number of fish caught by each man aboard. The numbers and words have yielded some bracing revelations about just how many cod there once were in New England and the Canadian Maritimes. (...more)

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