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Word Count: 691
Cod are a very valuable source of food as they are a source for cod-liver oil In the past cod have also formed a profitable fishery in the North Atlantic to which England France and Portugal all began to send boats yearly in the 16th century Such fishing nowadays is still a very important part of the economy in countries such as Iceland and Great Britain The decline of fish stocks has made the remaining sources vital enough to cause aggressive confrontation for instance the Cod War in 1973 where Royal Navy frigates clashed with Icelandic gunboats in what for Iceland was a war of national survival Right now cod is to be added to the list of endangered species by WWF which fears that Britains traditional dish of fish and chips is to disappear along with thousands of fishing industry jobs WWF says the species is threatened with virtual extinction by overfishing According to scientists cod are outside safe biological limits which means there may not be enough breeding stock left to stop the species from disappearing Most cod are now caught between two and four years before they reach sexual maturity Cod stocks in the North Sea are down to one-tenth of the level 30 years ago The catch used to be 250000 tons a year but the maximum permitted cod catch this year under EU rules is 34301 tons but even this seems far too high Scientists fear that North Sea cod may go the way of those on the Canadian east coast cod fisheries where overfished stocks disappeared in 1992 and have not yet revived Elliott Morely the UK fisheries minister said the North Sea cods plight had been caused over 20 years by the failure of EU and successive fisheries ministers to take scientific advice seriously and quotas for catches being fixed too high The results have been disastrous That is why we are trying to do something about it
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