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The case of the shrinking cod

Documentary video
8mn 11s



For many years, Norwegian fishermen have been fishing cod from the sea. Fishing is usually done with nets that catch the large fish and allow the small ones to escape. But one day the large fish started to disappear, and this is bad for the fishing industry. Scientists try to find out what is going on. Did the fish evolve towards a smaller size, so that now they can escape from the fishermen's nets? Are the fishermen loosing their business because of evolution?


Directors: Brant Backlund, Robert Sigl & Marion Hartl - Script: Lawrence Martin, Brant Backlund & Pleuni Pennings - Camera operator: Brant Backlund, Robert Sigl & Aashild Thorsen - Editor: Lawrence Martin - Assistant Editor & Animations: Kerstin Feurle - Illustrations: Anna Jreisat - Equipment Manager: Robert Sigl - Narration: George Mann - Music: JimmyG - Audio Post-Production: Paul Darling - Executive Producer: Pleuni Pennings - Production: LMU Munich (2010)

Scientific expert

Mikko Heino

Mikko Heino

University of Bergen , Norway
Evolutionary biology

«Cod populations are a very valuable resource for humans, and it is important to try to ensure that we harvest them sustainably, both ecologically and evolutionarily. At the same time, cod fisheries are a wonderful opportunity to study evolution in the wild as there is a long tradition of painstaking data collection.»


Canopé Ludwig Maximilians Universität München Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique Westfälische Wilhelms Universität Münster