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Recounting a Legacy of Overfishing

  • Mariner and historian Jeffrey Bolster.
    Mariner and historian Jeffrey Bolster.

Location: Garfield Center for the Arts at the Prince Theater

November 01, 2014
Maritime historian Jeffrey Bolster, author of The Mortal Sea, shares lessons from his research during a talk Saturday night in downtown Chestertown as part of the schooner Sultana’s Downrigging Weekend.

CHESTERTOWN, MD—The Center for Environment & Society at Washington College, in partnership with Sultana Education Foundation and its Downrigging Weekend events, is sponsoring a a talk by noted maritime historian Jeffrey Bolster with lessons from his latest book, The Mortal Sea: Fishing the Atlantic in the Age of Sail. Bolster will speak Saturday, November 1, at 8:00 p.m. at the Garfield Center for the Arts in historic downtown Chestertown. The event is free and open to the public. 

By integrating story telling, ecology, and history, Bolster describes how humans have shaped the Atlantic, and how the Atlantic has shaped humanity, since the days of the Vikings. Over generations, he explains, fish harvesters have created a quiet catastrophe as the sea loses its capacity to renew itself. 

In an interview in the Chestertown Spy, Bolster said he was surprised to learn from his research “that we as a society have been having the same ‘discussion’ about degraded fisheries since just prior to the Civil War! And I was also surprised to learn that fisheries regulations to prevent overfishing had been tried in different ways and different places since the 1630s – yes, the 1630s. The federal government first regulated ocean fisheries to try to prevent depletion of mackerel in the 1880s. … Americans have known for a very long time that we have been handling our fisheries in unsustainable ways.” 

Read the full Chestertown Spy’s interview with Bolster here.

– Kaitlyn Fowler ’17


Last modified on Nov. 17th, 2014 at 10:18am by .