Dansk Cinematographer Dan Säll  
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  Final Cod

This film, which opens in a coastal fishing community, will document the story of gaddus morhhua, the remarkable cod, and its increasingly tragic relationship with man. Prized by fishermen all over the world hunted to the point of commercial extinction, the cause of violent confrontations between nations and even between Vikings, the cod is one of the last, great wild animal populations on the planet harvested for food.

Living in the so-called Cod Belt, a vast circle of the North Atlantic, including the coastal waters of northern Nova Scotia, eastern Newfoundland, all the way up to Ungava Bay, over to Greenland, Iceland, and finally to the North, Baltic and Barents seas bordering England, Ireland, and several Scandinavian countries, the cod has made fortunes for North Americans and Europeans alike. It created wealth in England greater than all the gold and silver plundered from Central America, it built the great country homes in Poole and Exeter, and despite being fished by 60 countries for more than 400 years, has always had the resilience to survive - until now.

The cod is in trouble on every important fishing ground in the Cod Belt. The Norwegian fishery experienced a cod collapse in the mid to late 80s, and Newfoundlandʼs great schools of Northern Cod all but disappeared after the fishery was closed down in 1992 after years of declining catches. Nearly ten years later, this once great fishery remains closed. There was a comparable stock collapse in the Barents Sea, and today the Icelandic industry, hitherto a model of sustainability, is also flirting with a bio-crash.

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