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The devastation of many of the greatest North Atlantic cod stocks, particularly those of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Grand Banks, has become an icon for the unsustainable relation between human exploitation and Nature. Here, George Rose tells the full story of that devastation, in scientific detail, for the first time – from the formation of the North Atlantic marine ecosystems to the massive stock declines in the last half of the 20th century. Politics and the fisheries are inextricably entwined. In Cod, Rose recounts the many political influences on the fisheries over several centuries and describes how neglect from the late 1800s onward led to insufficient scientific knowledge and little protection for the stocks when massive Euro-Russian fleets targeted the Grand Banks after World War II, destroying the most prolific fishery the world has known. Cod is no armchair account, but a controversial one that includes original information on the North Atlantic fisheries.