Synopses & Reviews
The collapse of the North Atlantic cod fishery in 1992 was one of the world's worst ecological disasters, and in 1995 Spanish and Canadian trawlers faced off over the dwindling supply of turbot. Where there used to be plenty, there is now virtually nothing; fishing communities that once survived (or even prospered) now face ruin.
The twenty essays in How Deep is the Ocean? take a detailed look at the evolution of the Canadian east coast fishery. The book begins with aboriginal fishers before European contact; then it follows the European fishery through the days of sail, when boats could scarcely make headway through the teeming cod, to the diesel age, when electronic aids can find almost no cod. How Deep is the Ocean? covers the sociology of early fishing communities, the impact and significance of the credit system, and the techniques and technologies of aboriginal, European, and Canadian fisheries. The essays on the twentieth century include old-time fishing patterns of living memory and the changed state of the North Atlantic's ecology.