expressing much in few words
Chapter Five: Being a
concise history of the politics of fish
compensates for a shortage of food by making fish grow more slowly.
increase in extent
intensified after 1944 when Iceland became independent.
the territory in an administrative district of a nation
For a time, it worked well for Canada—especially Newfoundland and Labrador, a poor
province that survived almost entirely on fishing for cod.
a commodity sold to a foreign country
Fish, an important
export for Canada, was helping the country to bring in money from other countries.9i
a small flat-bottomed fishing boat
For centuries, cod fishermen in Newfoundland braved the icy waters of the Great Banks in
dories (small boats with high sides and flat bottoms) that offered little protection against the raging sea.
a small boat propelled by oars or by sails or by a motor
skiff fishermen went to scientists, and many scientists agreed with them.
the process of becoming aware through the senses
Mayo called this the "
perception problem." With fish, he said, you "see some cod and assume this is the tip of the iceberg. But it could be the whole iceberg."
undergo renewal and reconstitution
There are still cod there, but the population has not
being or involving basic facts or principles
But at least the
fundamental debate was now over.
lessen or to try to lessen the seriousness or extent of
mitigate the destruction ever so little, and the number of species will almost instantaneously increase to any amount."
the rear part of a ship
The draggers removed huge spools of net from their
sterns and hauled in crab traps on pulleys fixed on the sides of the boats.
Just as species need
diversity in order to survive and prosper, it may be that human civilization needs a wide variety of cultures, different ways of life, in order to survive and prosper.
living in or characteristic of farming or country life
In the United States alone, thousands of family farms are closed down every year, changing the relationship of people to the land, the nature of
rural life, and the kind of food we eat.
a specialist in the study of language
Only eighty-three out of 7,000 languages are commonly spoken today, and
linguists estimate that a language from somewhere on earth dies as frequently as every other week.
incongruity between what might be expected and what occurs
In the ultimate
irony, the restaurants that cater to tourists import cod for their menus because when people travel to Newfoundland, they want to eat cod.
a district that is set aside for particular purpose
When the parks department of Canada proposed turning Bonavista Bay, a one-time inshore fishing ground, into an aquatic
reserve for tourists, the fishermen rebelled.
sailing vessel used in former times
Rudyard Kipling's famous book, Captains Courageous, is about a boy who accidentally serves a Gloucester
schooner to the Grand Banks, and the American classic Moby Dick by Herman Melville starts in the New Bedford and Nantucket whale fisheries.
come into or dock at a wharf
Yacht owners pay prices fishermen can't afford for harbor-front
mooring and dock space.
capable of being prolonged
This is called
sustainable fishing. This is the real answer to overfishing.
generate and separate from cells or bodily fluids
Serafino explained how hag fish
secrete slime all over their bodies when they become afraid...and how they tie themselves into knots to wring the slime off.
any usually predatory wild animal considered undesirable
varmints. But they fetch good money.
make fit for cultivation and service to humans
We have already seen this in the farming and domestication of mammals.
a complex protein produced by cells that acts as a catalyst
A cod might lack the
enzyme it needs to release to keep from freezing in subarctic water.
Furthermore, overcrowded pens produce such enormous quantities of waste—including chemicals that are sometimes used—that they
pollute surrounding waters.
a prescribed number
The second problem with regulating in this way, which is known as fishing
quotas, is that most fish that are caught are dead by the time they reach the fisherman's deck.
a positive motivational influence
These laws also give fishermen
incentive to waste fish.
the act of contending with others for rewards or resources
Darwin noted that
competition is particularly intense between related species because they tend to eat similar things.
impossible to rectify or amend
But if the fishermen also kill too many of the haddock before the cod have recovered, a wide swath out of the food chain will have been irreparably damaged, shifting the entire balance of nature.
It is extremely
destructive to a fishing society to stop fishermen from working.
a social group that forms part of the society or the economy
A group of fishermen form a
sector and agree that this group will fish only a specific quantity of each of the seventeen species of groundfish that are allowed in New England.
issue commands or orders for
The group regulates themselves however they want, as long as at the end of a year they have landed only the
the act of judging a person or situation or event
Daniel Pauly, a scientist at the University of Britsh Columbia and one of the leading experts on fish-stock
assessment, is one of the many scientists who has called for "ecosystem-based management" but the idea is only catching on very slowly.
unnecessary procedures that obstruct action
bureaucracy needs to read Darwin.
the quality of being magnificent or splendid
grandeur in this view of life...from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful have been, and are being evolved.
being effective without wasting time, effort, or expense
So many of the problems of modern fishing were created by the development of equipment that was just too
put down by force or authority
The problem is that technology, once it is invented, is very difficult to
use up, as resources or materials
History shows that since it was invented, wherever this type of ship has gone it has left the fish populations
a feeling of righteous anger
But suggestions that bottom draggers themselves be banned are usually met with
outrage or disbelief by most fishermen.
spear with a lance with a shaft and barbed point
But fishermen who employ the old methods, such as hook-and-line fishing—or even
harpooning—don't need to have nearly as many regulations.