Another review of Jeffrey Bolster's BancroftPrize-winning The Mortal Sea - which restructures the ecological history of the north Atlantic in a sophisticated and careful analysis of the ideological and material matrix that led to the disastrous state of our ocean fishery. - GWC
Environment, Law, and History: More on "The Mortal Sea":
by Michael J. Chiarappa
"The paradox of precautionary sentiment, of wanting to fish but also wanting to preserve fish, runs throughout The Mortal Sea. In the nineteenth century, more efficient harvesting technology sharpened these debates in both tone and substance as signature sea fishes such as cod and mackerel showed stress, along with their forage base, menhaden. In a political and cultural climate that was hardly inclined to deny fishing rights, competing claims and perspectives devolved along various lines, but one loomed large: whose experience, be it small-scale fishermen, scientists, politicians, or capital-intensive fishing firms, would exert authority and be credibly accounted for in reckoning the increasingly complicated environmental politics of the northwest Atlantic?"
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