Cod

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Cod

  1. 1. Cod<br />By: Mark Kurlansky<br />
  2. 2. Origins<br />Originally founded by the Vikings<br />They were able to travel to distant shores due to their successful method of preserving cod<br />Hung it in the bitter winter air until it lost 4/5 of its weight and became a durable woodlike plank; which they would then break off pieces of cod and chew. <br />The Basque’s then improved these techniques by “salting their catch”<br />This salt not only preserved the cod but gave it a more nutritious value and better taste.<br />Cod meat has virtually no fat, .3%, and when salted is almost 80% concentrated protein.<br />
  3. 3. Why Cod?<br />“The more durable the product the easier it is to trade.”<br />Salting food was a not a new method. In pre-classical Egypt and Rome salting meats was an extremely common technique.<br />Before the Basque’s turned to cod they often salted whale meat. <br />However, they discovered that cod, if dried and salted, lasted for an incredibly long time.<br />This truth allowed the Basque’s to trade cod more effectively and efficiently, and pass on the method of salting to other cultures.<br />
  4. 4. Demand for Cod<br />After cod trade spread rapidly and successfully through Europe, France, Britain, Potugal, and Spain all wanted to claim the New Lands where cod was most plentiful. <br />By 1508, 10% of all the fish sold in Portugal were salted cod.<br />By 1510, the salt cod was a staple in Normandy’s busy markets. <br />By 1550, 60% of all fish eaten throughout Europe was cod. This percentage remained stable for the following two centuries, as well. <br />
  5. 5. Power Struggles<br />The one difference setting Britain aside from Spain, Portugal, and France was that:<br />They had only a moderate supply of salt.<br />As a result, the British fisherman invented a product that grew very popular in the Mediterranean and Caribean markets: a lightly salted dried cod.<br />However, Britain quickly regained its wealth and further began to fight for the Newfoundland coast along with Spain, Portugal, and France.<br />
  6. 6. Taking Sides<br />Britain and Portugal were the first of these four major countries that made an arrangement.<br />With Portugal having “the best salt” and Britain having the cargo and new drying techniques, these two countries became prominent.<br />France, however, turned down this agreement when the Portugese accused the king of France that French ships had taken 300 Portugese vessels in the past ten years.<br />Spain similarly did not agree to a treaty. With their new and improved cargo ships, Spain believed that their innovations would allow them to regain the trading power.<br />
  7. 7. War Begins<br />The agreement between Britain and Portugal lasted until 1581, when Portugal merged with Spain.<br />And in 1585, the British attacked and successfully destroyed the Spanish fishing fleet. Their military fleet was also destroyed in its disastrous attempt to invade England.<br />Even though, Spain attempted to bring Portugal down with them, the Portugese continued to fish in the Grand Banks. However, in 1586, the Canadian government expelled them.<br />Breaking all their alliances not only with Spain but also with Britain, were broken and they were never again the dominate force in Newfoundland.<br />
  8. 8. Britain’s Rise<br />Because Britain viewed cod as “strategic,” the tightly controlled Newfoundland as if cod was a “weapon at war.”<br />And although England had the smallest market for cured cod of any of the other fishing nations, the British Crown still inhibated foreign trade in cod.<br />Plymouth, on the Cornish Peninsula, became England’s rising market. And as a result, in 1597 Britain sent in roughly a 50 ship fleet.<br />
  9. 9. In 1598, a Newfoundland fleet sold most of their cod to the French who then resold it to Spain. However, with both France and Spain dealing with Catholic religious wars with the Huguenots, the British began to understand the commercial value of their Newfoundland fishery.<br />However, this newly found trade ultimately resulted in a small group of religious protesters, who had fled England, noticed a small hook of land that was called – Cape Cod. <br />
  10. 10. Cape Cod<br />By the 18th century, cod had raised New England from a distant colony to an international marketable power. <br />Not only did these newly formed states and legislations have slaves, but they also had a great advantage: the cod market was becoming in fact a low-end market. <br />For example, badly split fish, poor weather conditions, excessive or not enough salt, and bad handeling were few on the long list of unacceptable requirements to the Mediterranean market. However, the West Indies offered a rising market for the reject fish. Or in that matter, anything that was cheap. <br />In other words, the good cod went to the Mediterranean while the unacceptable cod went to the West Indies. And as a result, no matter how the cod “turned out,” there was always a profit being made.<br />
  11. 11. The Revolutionary War<br />Roughly around the 17th century, the colonies of the New America’s were becoming more independent in not only their governments but their trading markets, as well.<br />The idea of the colonies wanting to break off from England was appalling to Britain and as a result, they passed the Sugar Act, the Mollasses Act, the Stamp Act, the Restraining Act, rules that fishermen could no longer fish along the Newfoundland coasts, and stationed troops throughout New England.<br />After three years of shooting, in 1778, both sides were ready to negotiate. And by 1781, there were only three main issues:<br />1. Borderlines<br />2. Payment of debts to England<br />3. Fisheries<br />
  12. 12. Although the borderlines and payments became indeffinent, fisheries and fishing rights were the main and undecided issue.<br />
  13. 13. Improvements in Fishing<br />Throughout 18th century these were the most prominent innovations:<br />The chronometer allowed fishermen to fix a latitude and longitude.<br />Schooners which were large and powerful masted-ships.<br />Telegraph and the trans-Atlantic cable allowed long distance fleets to get news of market prices and weather warnings.<br />Engine powered ships were also becoming extremely useful.<br />However these improvements only slightly changed the jobs and roles of fishermen. For example, they still fished the same grounds with only differences in the gear.<br />These new technologies also originated in Europe rather than North America because in Europe the waters had been fished longer and it was harder to catch fish. <br />
  14. 14. Engines<br />From 1880 to 1897, the British had diligentally worked on inventing a successful engine system. <br />However roughly 1,614 fishermen died in this process from experimenting with engines.<br />And during the early 1900’s these engines were put to use. Once motor ships replaced sail and oar, fishing no longer had to be done with “passive gear.”<br />Passive gear meaning equiptment that waited for the fish<br />Furthermore, engines opened up new oppurtunities.<br />The British began to experiemtn with wells and how to pump water, and railroads. These railroads enable landed fish to be transported to inland markets quickly.<br />
  15. 15. Birdseye<br />Clarence Birdseye, born in Brooklyn in 1886, discovered that if he froze “greens,” such as vegetables, that they would last throughout the winter without loosing their flavor. <br />He is ultimately the man who discovered “frozen foods.”<br />His first experiment with this idea required three main pieces of equipment:<br /> An electric fan<br /> A pile of ice<br /> A bucket of brine<br />Birdseye then began to experiment with meats, seafood, and fruits. And in 1925 he founded the General Seafoods Company.<br />
  16. 16. World War II<br />The most important development was that during World War II the three innovations:<br />1. High-powered ships or schooners<br />2. Dragging nets<br />3. Freezing fish<br />With the previous technology of catching and holding their catches in the water, these dragging nets opened up a lot of space on deck. In addition, with the new technology of larger and faster ships, this additional space started to be used for freezing fish. <br />This meant that most of the world’s commerical catches were again rapidly increasing.<br />
  17. 17. Three Cod Wars<br />1st Cod War:<br />After World War II, there were tremendous catches mainly on the Iclandic Shelf, on the North Sean banks, in the Narents Sea, and along the Irish coast.<br />However, Britain, again being in control of the Cod industry, wanted to make new fisheries along the Iclandic shelf. But the Icelanders would not contemplate.<br />Roughly around 1958, British fleets attacked the Icelandic Coast Guard. However, the Icelanders set fire to the British fleet which allowed them to “win” the first official cod war.<br />
  18. 18. 2nd Cod War:<br />By the 2nd war, the Icelandic Coast guard was better prepared with faster and stronger ships. They also had what they called their “cod weapon.”<br />The weapon was in fact a trawler cutter or a line cutter. For example the Coast guard ship would pass over the enemy fishing lines, and cut them, if the enemy refused to move out of Iceland territory.<br />This war basically consisted of Britain not respecting Iceland’s 100 mile radius, which further made the Coast guard not only cut their trawlers, but ram and shoot at several of the British ships. <br />
  19. 19. 3rd Cod War:<br />By 1974, Icelandic cod stocks were appearing to be in trouble again and as a result Iceland extended its limit to 200 miles.<br />And similarly to the 2nd cod war, Britain along with West Germany again violated the limit and refused to move.<br />By the “end” of this war, the Icelandic Coast Guard cut 46 British and 9 German trawls, and had five severe ramming incidents.<br />However, not wanting to ultimately risk the security of their economy, the Britains and the West Germains retreated leaving Iceland victorious.<br />
  20. 20. Cod Today<br />Today the cod market is still one of the largest fishing markets world wide. <br />Although, this different market was the underlying reason of several major conflicts throughout world history, the effects that this white fish has had on the world is tremendous.<br />From creating new, faster, and better fishing techniques to catch these migrating fish to the invention of rail roads and engines, cod has has a lasting impact for many generations to come. <br />
  21. 21. Works Cited<br />Kurlansky, Mark. Cod. New York: Penguin Books, 1997. 282. Print. <br />

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