Cod Rush! An edited extract from the CSIRO Publishing book, The Life and Times of the Murray Cod

November 13th, 2023

In his book, The Life and Times of the Murray Cod, river ecologist Paul Humphries reveals the many roles this iconic fish species has played throughout the history of Australia, from its place at the heart of the Aboriginal creation story of the Murray River, its role as a food source for explorers surveying inland Australia in the early 1800s, to it forming the basis of a commercial fishing industry up to the early 2000s.

In this edited extract from the book, Paul describes how a proposal to feed hungry miners on Victoria’s goldfields led to a Murray cod fishery – and the collapse of cod populations, the effects of which are still with us today.