The collapse of cod stocks in the waters off Newfoundland in the early 1990s was widely understood as an ecological disaster and the death of a rural way of life that had endured for centuries. While many areas have remained closed to commercial cod fishing for two full decades, growing numbers of commercial fishers and some fisheries scientists now agree that stocks in several areas are finally showing signs of rebuilding. While the biological recovery of cod populations was once widely viewed as being essential to the future well-being of coastal communities, many commercial fishers now publicly express concerns about the possibility of this scenario actually coming to pass. This article explores the roots of these changing constructions of cod. I argue that making sense of the anxieties and uncertainties that presently surround the question of cod recovery requires paying close attention to the ways in which access to fishery resources has been transformed over time, as well as to the ways in which changing production chains for seafood products, shifting scientific paradigms and practices, and unexpected changes in the marine environment have converged in ways that are fundamentally challenging many previously held notions of the ecological good.


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pp. 695-726
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