photo thanks: Ian Jones

K.N.I. Bell, M.Sc. (Dalhousie), Ph.D. (Memorial)

A few Press clippings re:
COD Status Report & Cosewic

BACK to personal info index page

Conservation depends not only on science, but more critically on process. This issue therefore concerns scientists, academics, democrats, citizens. It impinges not only on conservation and management, but also on ethics of science and policy.

A few Press clippings re: COD Status Report & Cosewic -- (see below for longer list):

"Confidential Report Concludes that Cod is Endangered" [PDF] P.Comeau, Canadian Geographic, July/August: , p. 18-22, 1997

Bringing Bell BackCanadian Geographic, May/June 1998 (Editor's Notebook, p.9)
Put Cod on Endangered ListOttawa Citizen 980418 front page (the following week's front page inverted the sentence to "Cod Put on Endangered List")
New endangered species plan unveiledCanadian Geographic, July/August 1998
Atlantic cod may be made endangered species [PDF] CTV/AP May 02, 2003

Special designation would protect CodKNIB St. John's Telegram 041106

More COD Status Report links below ... conservation depends not merely on a quantity of scientific information, but also (even more critically) on the process that's supposed to use it.    This issue is very properly a serious concern for academia. It impinges not only on conservation and management, but also on ethics of science and policy.

(photo credit: Dave Trattles, courtesy Canadian Geographic, July 1998)

Public service: Status Report on Atlantic Cod in Canada

(see also selected letters), summary of Report & Cosewic, web site with detailed references

The report was commissioned by COSEWIC itself and was done on a voluntary/honorarium (supplied by WWF) basis. It was considered at the April 1998 meeting of COSEWIC (Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada), and Cod in Canada was designated 'Vulnerable' (wrong designation, wrong basis, a political decision -- they tried to change the Report to fit what they did, but not being allowed to do that they refused to release it -- a coverup).

This was the first Canadian designation of a commercial marine species. I had been asked by COSEWIC in 1994 to write a report on the status of Atlantic Cod in Canada. I had declined several times but reluctantly took this on only after COSEWIC repeatedly requested I do it, insisting that it wanted an outside view ("by someone not currently publishing on Cod"). The report received very positive peer-reviews from leading scientists chosen by COSEWIC itself, but the process, including the basis of designation, was heavily influenced by politics (e.g. bureaucratic delays and alterations to the report's text) even though it is mandated to be driven by the best available scientific information.

The report was extensively covered in the media (interviews in print press and radio). Known press coverage includes:

Anderssen, E. 1998. Watchdog urged to protect cod -- Ecologist wants the fish added to endangered list, but Ottawa says that can't be justified. Globe and Mail, Toronto. Wednesday, April 22, 1998, p. A4.

Ayed, N. 1998. Atlantic cod designated 'vulnerable'. The Evening Telegram, St. John's. Saturday, April 25, 1998, p. 1.

Boswell, R. 1998. Cod report likely won't mean change in policy -- DFO managing species 'in precautionary way', research adviser says. Ottawa Citizen, Ottawa. Saturday, April 25, 1998, p. A3.

Boychuk, R. 1997. Order of Nature (editorial). Canadian Geographic, July/August: , p. 9.

Boychuk, R. 1998. Bringing Bell back. Canadian Geographic, May/June: , p. 9.

Bueckert, D. 1997. Report says feds interfered with endangered cod decision. The Evening Telegram, St. John's. Friday, June 20, 1997, p. 14.

Comeau, P. 1997. Confidential Report Concludes that Cod is Endangered"Canadian Geographic, July/August: , p. 18-22. [PDF]

Comeau, P. 1998. 'Put cod on endangered list' - Scientist says once-abundant fish faces extinction, and DFO won't admit it. Ottawa Citizen, Ottawa. Saturday April 18, 1998, p. A1, A4.

Comeau, P. 1998. New endangered species plan unveiled. Canadian Geographic, July/August: , p. 28-30.

Comeau, P. 1998. No cod peace. Canadian Geographic, March/April: , p. 24,26.

Enman, C. 1998. Cod put on endangered list - listing as 'vulnerable' is a first for a commercial fish species. Ottawa Citizen, Ottawa. Saturday, April 25, 1998, p. A1, A2.

Enman, C. 1998. Scientist muzzled in cod talks -- biologist spent four years writing report about Atlantic fishery. Ottawa Citizen, Ottawa. Sunday, April 26, 1998, p. A5.

McIlroy, A. 1998. Cod designated at risk, but kept off endangered list. Globe and Mail, Toronto. Saturday, April 25, 1998, p. A3.

Moore, Dene. 2003. “Atlantic cod may be made endangered species [PDF] CTV/AP May 02.

Sheppard, R. 1997. As the fish shrink. Globe and Mail, Toronto. June 19, p. A19.

Radio interviews including: As It Happens (CBC) and by Stirling Faux in western Canada.

The Report is also cited in an authoritative book on the issue:

Harris, M. 1998. Lament for an ocean: the collapse of the Atlantic cod fishery: a true crime story. Toronto: MacClelland and Stewart, Inc. 342 pp.