Due to years of overfishing, the North Sea’s cod population is lower than it has ever been, and experts are worried that the region will never recover unless commercial cod fishing is banned indefinitely.
The article notes that a fishing ban would destroy the economies of some Danish towns. Surely, though, it would be better (and cheaper, in the long run) for the European Union to subsidize those towns temporarily rather than watch the cod stock dwindle to nothing.
There’s another more difficult issue here, as the article acknowledges: “[E]ven if the North Sea cod are saved, the pressure will likely move to other fisheries to meet the voracious appetite for fish sticks, fish and chips and fried fish sandwiches–or it will go to other species.” The only way around that problem is for people to change the way they eat. (Farm-raised fish are an alternative, but they’re far from a panacea.)