This encouraging story from CBC News, “East Coast cod found to be recovering” (Jul 27, 2011), shows why ecology is a science and apocalypse isn’t. The cod fishery, destroyed by human mismanagement, is slowly recovering. During the ban on cod fishing, several things happened, including,
The study shows that the collapse of predators such as cod resulted in a population explosion of plankton-eating “forage fish.” The peak mass of such fish in the ocean reached up to nine times what it was before the cod collapse, spiking in 1994 and 1999. At such levels, they competed with and sometimes ate cod eggs and baby cod, hampering the cod population recovery.
But the overpopulated plankton-eaters eventually began running out of food, and their population started to decline steadily in the early 2000s.
And by 2005, the cod populations started to recover. All the system needed was to be left alone for a while. Not that it was designed or anything … 😆