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The Grand Banks, undersea peaks that rise from the continental shelf southeast of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, were once teeming with cod. Where the nutrient-rich Labrador Current meets the warm Gulf Stream, plankton proliferated, feeding small fish like capelin that, in turn, lured cod. As early as the 1400s, Basque fishermen crossed the Atlantic to fish here, using salt to preserve the cod on the voyage home. Over the centuries, the world’s fleets descended. By 1992, the cod were gone. A moratorium on commercial fishing has been in place since, but the fish have been slow to recover. Today, the cod on your plate comes from Iceland, Alaska, Norway, or elsewhere, but not from the Grand Banks.

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