Sacred Cod chronicles the collapse of the historic cod fishery in the waters off New England in the United States. Scientists and environmental advocates have attributed the collapse to overfishing, climate change, and government mismanagement. Many of the fishermen — who are losing their livelihoods and way of life as the species have declined — have argued that the science is wrong and have protested government policies that have banned them in recent years from fishing for cod. Sacred Cod features interviews with fishermen and their families, along with scientists, advocates, and federal officials who warn about the risks of overfishing and climate change and say that the plight of cod could be a harbinger for fish around the world. The film tells a complex story that shows how one of the greatest fisheries on the planet has been driven to the edge of commercial extinction, while providing suggestions about how consumers can help support sustainable fisheries.
Directed and produced by Steve Liss, Andy Laub, and David Abel.