A Few Good Books

I have, for the last three months or so, been steadily reading through a succession of not particularly useful, yet interesting, books about fishing. A good few have been dismissed as soon as I have seen the contents page – sometimes the ambiguous title gives little indication of what lies within…

Here are a few of the more interesting, if only faintly relevant ones:

 – The North Atlantic Fisheries: Supply, Marketing and Consumption, 1560-1990.

A collection of essays covering a wide geographic range, from Newfoundland to Spain. my favourite articles are the ones “Fish promotion in the Netherlands, c. 1690-1983” and “Creating a demand: the marketing activities of the  German fishing industry, c.1880-1990”. Another good one is “Concentration or disintegration? Vessel ownership, fish wholesaling and processing in the British trawl fisher, 1850-1939 “. They are all rather academic (as they should be, I suppose) but have lovely pictures – the marketing articles have great pictures of industry posters from the early 20th century, as well as following the changes and progression of the industry. And if you fancy a change from fishing industry, there’s a nice piece about fish consumption – aboard the 17th century Swedish warships.

The North Atlantic Fisheries: Markets and Modernisation.

This collection of essays is much like those above; covering a wide geographic range and dates. Not really relevant for the pelagic stuff, but some interesting ones. The one that was most relevant was “The impact of steam vessels on Britain’s distant water fisheries before 1914” – the changeover from sail to steam is one I find fascinating. “Modernizing the fishing: regional fisheries policy in northern Norway, 1945-1970” charts the changes and development of the industry post WW2, dealing with a rough period in European history with clarity and logic.

A History of Fishing

A really nice little book, albeit a tad out of date. Not too academic, but very much written by people who know their stuff, and covers the simple stuff simply and the more complicated stuff logically. Covers the early stuff (pre-history), the medieval stuff before giving half the book over to the 20th century and the progression from sail to steam. When the book starts into the modern stuff, it lays out statistics and the explores the development of the modern fishing industry by nation. A very useful book, I found.

A Guide to Fishing Boats and their Gear.

Published in 1968, this little gem isn’t too up to date but it is rather lovely. there are numerous hand drawings to accompany this guide to different boats, ships and fishing techniques. It is a lovely little book, and although it is of little use i am loathe to return it to the library.

So these are a few from the pile. Although they are not particularly relevant, I found them interesting and they certainly broadened my knowledge somewhat!

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