Sole of Discretion CIC - Cod 300 G
|1 x 300g
Gadus Morhua: Cod is a brownish green colour with spots on the dorsal side with a strong lateral line, and is distinctive with it’s small barbel under its chin which is used to look for food. Cod produce millions of eggs from February to April and are a relatively fast growing species, sexually maturing around 2-4 years of age. They can live to a grand old age of 25 years and grow to as long as 2 metres and weigh over 90kg!
Recent scientific research suggests that because we have fished out the larger populations and put pressure on their breeding effort, they now breed at a younger age and the larger fish have effectively been bred out, resulting in a smaller sized population. Our fishers catch fish that are usually 4 yrs. plus old. The marine biology students from Exeter University took the otolith ear bone from Graeme’s cod and from this could measure that the smallest fish was 4.5yrs old. The otolith bones have rings - similar to rings in trees – that allow scientists to track their age and even analyse the water they’ve swam in and food they've eaten. We are thinking of a sideline business in cod bone earrings …..!
Cod roe and milt or sperm is also eaten and we hope to be able to offer it to customers, too. Because of their long period of months with roe, we aim not to catch the cod at it's peak spawning but will be catching it earlier on in it’s season.
Western Europe accounts for 70–80% of the world cod market, with the UK being Europe’s largest importer and consumer. The collapse of cod stocks was well documented following the collapse of the Grand Banks fisheries in Newfoundland in the 1990s, finally proving that our oceans are not a bottomless pit to be exploited without care or concern for the consequences. Closer to home, with the exception of cod from the northeast Arctic, Iceland and the Eastern Baltic, all other cod stocks in the northeast Atlantic are overfished, inefficiently managed or at an unknown level. The North Sea cod stock is primarily fished by EU states and Norway. In 1999, the catch was divided among Denmark (31%), Scotland (25%), the rest of the United Kingdom (12%), the Netherlands (10%), Belgium, Germany and Norway (17%).
In the 1970s, the annual catch rose to between 200,000 and 300,000 tons. Due to concerns about overfishing, catch quotas were repeatedly reduced in the 1980s and 1990s. In 2003, ICES (the scientific body that provides fishery data to the FAO) stated a high risk existed of stock collapse if then current exploitation levels continued, and recommended a moratorium on catching Atlantic cod in the North Sea during 2004.
However, the advice was ignored and in the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) rounds, fisheries ministers endorsed the EU/Norway Agreement and set the total allowable catch at 27,300 tons, a fraction of the earlier annual catches. Cod remain at risk from overfishing in the UK, Canada and most other Atlantic countries. Continued unregulated, unreported and illegal fishing, together with liberal quotas mean the stocks do not have a chance to recover.
Use of indiscriminate fishing gear which leads to cod bycatch also contributes to the problem. Our fishers of course don’t contribute to this as their methods of catch are marine-friendly, plus the fair pricing that Sole of Discretion offers them means that instead of discarding cod that is over quota, they are now confident to buy quota knowing that they can recoup the additional cost. This is one of the many areas Riverford have helped immensely by providing the fishers with a fair, stable price for their fish. Recently, thanks to the conservation measures that the CFP introduced, cod stocks appear to have made a recovery, albeit from low levels, so there is hope that this iconic fish can soon be removed from the ‘fish to avoid’ lists. The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) has recently certified a number of cod fisheries following concerted European effort to protect the cod stocks.
Nutritional content Per 100g and % GDA
Calories 320kj/76kcal, 3.8%
Fat 0.6g, 0.9%
of which saturates 0.16g, 0.8%
of which sugars 0g
Protein 17.5g, 38.9%
Salt 0.09g, 1.5%
Shelf Life: 5 Days