Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Upcoming book from Dean Bavington

Dean Bavington is an assistant professor and Canada Research Chair in Environmental History at Nipissing University. I expect his first book, from University of British Columbia Press in May, to have a big impact on resource debates.

Here's the publisher's blurb:

Managed Annihilation: An Unnatural History of the Newfoundland Cod Collapse
Dean L.Y. Bavington

The Newfoundland and Labrador cod fishery was once the most successful commercial ground fishery in the world. When it collapsed in 1992, fishermen, scholars, and scientists pointed to failures in management such as uncontrolled harvesting as likely culprits. Managed Annihilation makes the case that the idea of natural resource management itself was the problem. The collapse occurred when the fisheries were state managed and still, nearly two decades later, there is no recovery in sight. Although the collapse raised doubts among policy-makers about their ability to understand, predict, and control nature, their ultimate goal of control through management has not wavered – it has simply been transferred from wild fish to fishermen and farmed cod.

Unlike other efforts to make sense of the tragedy of the commons of the northern cod fishery and its halting recovery, Bavington calls into question the very premise of management and managerial ecology and offers a critical explanation that seeks to uncover alternatives obscured by this dominant way of relating to nature.
– Bonnie McCay, Department of Human Ecology, Rutgers University

1 comment:

  1. Of course the poor codfish had to deal with the explosion of seals due to the collapse of the seal fur market....or the illegal Spanish nets....or the cost saving reduction in fishery patrols when they closed Summerside and retired my beloved Tracker aircraft....or the discovery that most systems (ecological, climatological, or whatever) have "tipping points" which are impossible to recognize until you are over them. I fear Mr. Bavington, that finding bad management or culpability will be like (excuse the expression) shooting fish in a barrel.

    Me...I blame the seals.
    This doesn't make me a popular person at parties...except in Newfoundland!