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Discovery Channel fishes for Sacred Cod

Discovery Channel has acquired global rights to new documentary film Sacred Cod.

John HoffmanThe deal continues Discovery along the path president Rich Ross set it on after joining at the start of 2015 – re-establishing the flagship Discovery Communications network has a key distributor of environmentally-focused docs.

Sacred Cod chronicles the collapse of an historic cod fishery in the waters off New England, US, due to overfishing, climate change and government mismanagement.

“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,” said Sacred Cod filmmaker David Abel.

The doc comes from Abel, Steve Liss and Andy Laub, and is a collaboration of Discovery Channel, Endicott College, The Boston Globe, In Our Own Backyard and As It Happens Creative.

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,” said John Hoffman, executive VP, documentaries and specials, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and Science Channel.

Hoffman (pictured) has led Discovery’s push back into more conscientious documentary since joining just after Ross. This month he acquired worldwide rights to animal welfare doc Huntwatch, Morgan Spurlock’s Rats and Louis Psihoyo’s Racing Extinction, and he will executive produce Sacred Cod.

The doc will play in the Discovery Impact strand next year.