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Discovery's Sacred Cod Features GMRI Research

Apr 11, 2017
Stewarding the Ecosystem

If you’ve been following our research for a while, you probably remember Chief Scientific Officer Andy Pershing’s study on the impacts of warming on cod in the Gulf of Maine. The report, published in the journal Science, showed that rapid warming of Gulf of Maine waters — faster than 99 percent of the global ocean over the last 10 years — reduced the capacity of cod to rebound from fishing, leading to a collapse of the fishery.

Now, a new documentary profiles and explores the impacts of this collapse on fishing communities. The film, Sacred Cod, will air on Discovery at 9 p.m. on Thursday, April 13. The film features a variety of perspectives on the future of New England’s groundfishing industry.

Last fall, Andy shared some of the findings of his research with the Sacred Cod film crew:


While it’s important to understand why cod has declined, we’re also committed to supporting the fishing communities that are most affected. It’s no surprise that our research team isn’t the only GMRI presence in the film. Additional scenes in the documentary were shot at our community team’s Fish Tank meeting, as well as a Boston-area dogfish tasting event put on by our seafood team. These events convened people with varying, sometimes conflicting, ideas and interests. Still, part of our mission is to facilitate these kinds of discussions between fishermen, scientists, fishery managers, seafood dealers, NGOs, and others, to talk about the pressing issues facing their communities.

Discovery’s Sacred Cod puts the questions facing New England’s groundfishing industry squarely in the public eye. While there are differing views on Gulf of Maine cod, we’re dedicated to the resilience of both the Gulf of Maine ecosystem and the communities that depend on it.

Tune in Thursday night to see the film, and learn more at