Forty years ago, the wife of the editor at the local paper for the remote Lofoten islands in Norway’s far north had an idea to boost its tiny circulation. The newspaper started to award a bag of coffee and a certificate to any angler who landed a cod over 30kg (66lb).
Now the paper’s records, painstakingly compiled over the decades, bear witness to a remarkable outcome of climate change and far-sighted fisheries management.
The catch of monster cod has exploded in the last five years, as the fish have feasted on shoals of capelin thriving in warmer waters. Meanwhile, commercial fishing has been tightly controlled, allowing the fish to age and grow … and grow and grow.