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Cod Food Web
Prof. David Lavigne
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council
Project Description:
The importance of fully understanding the dynamics of scale-free networks as been recognized by the cod fishery industry in the worst way. The collapse of the Northwest Atlantic cod fishery has become a metaphor for ecological catastrophe and is universally cited as an example of failed management of a natural resource" (MacKenzie 1995). Peter Meisenheimer in his paper "Seals, Cod, Ecology and Mythology" says, the use of seals as scapegoats for the failings of Canadian fisheries management is an example of a global problem in the management of fisheries and wildlife. Whether the system is aquatic or terrestrial, tropical or arctic, the predators of the world are seen as problems to be controlled, not as integral parts of a functioning ecosystem.

Prof. David Lavigne, a zoologist researcher sponsored by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and the International Marine Management Association is a leading force in combating this miscomprehension of food webs. Regarding the cod stock decrease, he also claims that seals are being used as scapegoats because government scientists are failing to look at the problem in a macro level, the way any network should to be analyzed. The graph on the left is Lavigne's effort to understand the complex dynamics of a food web. This astonishing work shows the Cod food web displaying some trophic interactions for part of the Northwest Atlantic.

For a hi-res version of this image click here.

Comments (1):
Thank you for such a detailed overview of the cod food web - most helpful for my essay

Posted by JAYS on May 31, 2007 at 7:28 PM (GMT)

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