Once the population of codfish was abundant that explorers use to dip baskets into the ocean to catch them. But the fact is that for hundreds of years people did not value their presence thinking that the millions of eggs laid by female cod would mean millions of fish for man to eat -- and make money out of. The good population of cod and the fact that they could be easily dried and preserved was a source of encouragement for the Vikings to cross the cold Atlantic Ocean to America. In fact Christopher Columbus and the other explorers were dependant on this staple diet. Once the source of the invention of frozen food, and an inspiration of the modern efficient fishing systems, is now threatening the laws of the seas. This is just a reminder of the distressing effect man has had on our earth.
Fishiest of all fishy places was the try pots, which well deserves its name; or the pots there were always boiling chowders. Chowder for breakfast, and chowder for dinner, and chowder for supper, till you begin to look for fish-bones coming through your clothes... There was a fishy flavor to the milk too, which I could not account for, till one morning happening to take a stroll along the beach among some fishermen's boats, I saw Hosea's brindled cow feeding on fish remnants, and marching along the sand with each foot in a cod's decapitated head." -- Herman Melville, "Moby Dick" (1851) - quoted in "Cod" by Mark Kurlansky (1997)
Kurlansky made brilliant use of the collections of quotations by other people. The book itself is very interesting because of the incorporation of maps, old photos of fishing activity, quotes concerning codfish from literary personalities like Cervantes, Melville, W.B. Yeats, Thoreau, Daniel Webster, and others. The recipes that have been sprinkled throughout the book from the 1300s to the present from various countries around the world along with occasional original points-of-view make Cod an odd type of a biography but a thoroughly amusing read.
Kurlansky, Mark. Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World. New York: Penguin Books, 1998.
Kurlansky, M. Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World. New York: Walker and Company, 1997.
1. Kurlansky, Mark. The Cod's Tale. New York: Putnam Publishing Group, 2001.
2. Milazzo, Matteo. "Subsidies in World Fisheries: a Re-examination." The Economist Newspaper Group, 1998.
3. Moore, Dene. "North Atlantic Really was Full of Cod." The Toronto Star, May 3, 2005.