Change Region...

Discovery Press Web United States

Discovery Channel

Choose Network...


The Discovery Impact Special Broadcasts in 2017

September 1, 2016

Contact - Jessica Driscoll
VP - Communications, Discovery Channel
Contact - Laurie Goldberg
EVP, Communications

(New York, NY) – Discovery Channel announced the purchase of global rights of the revealing documentary SACRED COD. The film will make its world premiere at the 2016 Camden International Film Festival and debut on Discovery in 2017 under the Discovery Impact banner.

An official selection of the 2016 Camden Film Festival, SACRED COD chronicles the collapse of the historic cod fishery in the waters off New England in the United States. Scientists and environmental advocates have attributed the collapse to overfishing, climate change, and government mismanagement. Many of the fishermen -- who are losing their livelihoods and way of life as the species have declined -- have argued that the science is wrong and have protested government policies that have banned them in recent years from fishing for cod. SACRED COD features interviews with fishermen and their families, along with scientists, advocates, and federal officials who warn about the risks of overfishing and climate change and say that the plight of cod could be a harbinger for fish around the world. The film tells a complex story that shows how one of the greatest fisheries on the planet has been driven to the edge of commercial extinction, while providing suggestions about how consumers can help support sustainable fisheries.

“For centuries, cod was like gold. Wars were waged over it. Settlers sailed across oceans in search of it. And early America used it to finance a revolution,” said David Abel, one of the filmmakers and a Boston Globe reporter who has covered the fishing industry for years. “Cod were so abundant in the waters off New England that fishermen used to say they could walk across the Atlantic on the backs of them, and generations of men from places like Gloucester and Cape Cod spent their entire lives chasing the coveted fish. Cod played such an important role in the early history of New England that a carved replica of the fish has hung for centuries in the Massachusetts State House. It’s called the Sacred Cod.”

“Unfortunately, what is happening in New England is being seen in many fisheries and fishing communities across the world,” said John Hoffman, EVP Documentaries and Specials, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and Science Channel. “The decline or collapse of fish stocks is a complex issue rooted in climate change, overfishing and shifting legislative policies, which together have destroyed many once thriving communities. SACRED COD is an epic tale of our times about a collapsing ocean ecosystem, which threatens a community’s livelihood, and the scientists who are working to rescue a species and way of life.”

SACRED COD is directed and produced by Steve Liss, Andy Laub and David Abel. The film is presented by Discovery Channel in association with Endicott College, The Boston Globe, In Our Own Backyard, and As It Happens Creative. For Discovery: Ryan Harrington is Supervising Producer and John Hoffman is executive producer.

About Discovery Channel

Discovery Channel is dedicated to creating the highest quality non-fiction content that informs and entertains its consumers about the world in all its wonder, diversity and amazement. The network, which is distributed to 100.8 million U.S. homes, can be seen in 224 countries and territories, offering a signature mix of compelling, high-end production values and vivid cinematography across genres including, science and technology, exploration, adventure, history and in-depth, behind-the-scenes glimpses at the people, places and organizations that shape and share our world. For more information, please visit

About Discovery Communications

Discovery Communications (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) is the world’s #1 pay-TV programmer reaching nearly 3 billion cumulative subscribers in more than 220 countries and territories. For 30 years Discovery has been dedicated to satisfying curiosity and entertaining viewers with high-quality content through its global television brands, led by Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Investigation Discovery and Science, as well as U.S. joint venture network OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network. Discovery controls Eurosport, the leading pan-regional sports entertainment destination across Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa. Discovery also is a leading provider of educational products and services to schools, including an award-winning series of K-12 digital textbooks, through Discovery Education, and a digital leader with a diversified online portfolio, including Discovery Digital Networks. For more information, please visit