Bedtime Reading on Fishing
From Fishfolk, with special thanks to Chris Finlayson for compiling
A murder mystery set in the
commercial fishery of southern
Colin Thiele 1969
Paul Watkins 1996
A classic novel
Coastliners; a novel
Joanne Harris 2002
Set in coastal
community suffering from erosion (and fisheries decline, etc.),
painfully coming together to deal with its problems--- including
building a tire reef
Peter Matthiessen 1975
Turtles rather than fin fish but it captures season, weather, sea conditions, boats and seafarers in a way few manage.
Mark Richard 1993
Fiction written after 3 years crewing on trawler out of
Maybe not so much about fishing as what it does to the mind.
Fishermen's Son (The)
Michael Koepf 1998
Koepf worked for 19 years as a fisherman.
Ann Shriver: [This] is the best novel of any sort I have read in a long
time. It's about a
Hunter and the Whale (The)
Laurens Van der Post
A young Boer hunter ships out with
a multi-cultural crew on a whaling vessel from
Barbara Painter and Yam Lovelock (original
1948, translation 1973)
The boatmen, fishermen etc of a river community in
Old Man and the Sea (The)
Greg Billington 2003
Greg was an inshore fisherman then worked for the New Zealand Fishing Industry Board.
Martin Cruz Smith
A murder mystery set on a Soviet
factory trawler working a joint venture with US catcher vessels in the
Peter Hawes 2002
The author grew up in
on the West Coat of the South Island (NZ). Its an account of the first
(alleged) bluefin caught by a New Zealander and tracks its shipment to
Tsukiji Market Tokyo.
Silver Darlings (The)
Neil M. Gunn 1941
"herring fishers of the wild Scottish coast".
It's about life on two
Leo Walmsley 1932
The story of
North-East coast (
B.S. Johnson 1968
stranger on a fishing trawler burrows through the corridors of
his mind, recreating the past, trying to discover the reason for eternal
Against the Tide, the Fate of the
Richard Adams Carey
A beautifully written memoir of a
salmon runs in the
Canal can be one of the nastiest bits of water in
Pierre Loti (1886)
William W. Warner
commerce of the blue crab fishery in the
Richard Grossinger 1974.
subsequent volumes). The journal of
an observer of lobster fishermen.
Joseph Mitchell 1959
This is an anthology of essays Mitchell originally published in the
New Yorker in the 40s and 50s. Most have to do with the NYC
waterfront-- the Fulton Fish Market, oyster fishermen in Staten
Island-- and some go a little further afield: dragger fishermen for
Buried Dreams: The Rise and Fall
of a Clam Cannery on the
the Lake Clark/Katmai National Park and Preserve,
Randy Wayne White
commercial net ban controversy in the state of
Cod: A Biography of a Fish that Changed the World
J.Russ McGoodwin 1990.
A critical overview of world's fisheries, their management problems, the science employed, fishing people and their cultures (Icelandic captain: "if you want to fish cod, you must think like cod"). Simply a classic; well-written, easy to read, and a great eye-opener.
Distant Water: The Fate of the North Atlantic Fishermen
William W. Warner
The story of the last years of the factory trawler fleets in the North Atlantic prior to the extension of the EEZ to 200 miles.
Describes the bygone herring driftnet fishery of East Anglia, Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth
Entanglements: The Intertwined Fates of Whales and Fishermen
Tora Johnson, ISBN: 0-8130-2797-7, Publisher: University Press of
Centuries of whale-human interaction have led to the crisis explored in
this book about the battle between conservation, tradition, and economics in
the waters of
Paul Powell 1976.
Lobster fishing in the sounds in the southwest corner of NZ's
Fishermen: The Sociology of an Extreme Occupation (The)
Jeremy Tunstall 1962
The book deals with the distant water trawl fishery from
Hull and has a detailed description of community life of the fishermen's
wives and families.
Fishing for a Living
"Fishing for a Living" is
a somewhat odd assembly of essays, true
stories, interviews, anecdotes, short family sagas, and technical
description of boats. However, it makes a lot of sense, and after reading it
one feels strangely at home with the BC fishing community and the associated industries.
Fishing for Truth: A Sociological Analysis of Northern Cod Stock Assessments from 1977 to 1990
Alan Christopher Finlayson 1994
Follow the Whale
Ivan T. Sanderson (1956)
The history of whaling from prehistoric times to 1950.
Wesley George Pierce
Great Lobster Chase: The Real Story of Maine Lobsters and the Men Who Catch Them (The)
Hedin Bru. The Old Man and his Sons.
Paul S. Eriksson. 1970.
"The skillfully told story of a handful of people, living their sea-washed,
daring and difficult lives on these remote islands, vibrates with a spirit,
almost at times a savagery, that recalls the ancient Norsemen and Viking
sagas. Yet this is the story of modern times...A pearl of glistening
In the Slick of the Cricket
Russell Drumm 1998
In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship
Nathaniel Philbrick 2001 (Penguin Reissue Edition)
Tomas O Crohan (Thomas O Criomthain)
An astonishing book on life in the Blasket Islands, Ireland
It’s All Politics: South Alabama's Seafood Industry
E. Paul Durrenberger 1992
Pierre Schoendorfer 1976
Gives a picture of fish inspection off St Pierre & Miquelon.
I was very interested by the
technical aspects of the modifications of the
vessels and the stability issues which arise.
It's a raw description by
journalist William Mitford of life aboard the 'Arctic Fox', fishing for cod in the '60's out
Peter Matthiessen 1985
R.B. Robertson 1956 & 1961.
A most vivid and exciting story written by a ship's doctor on
board a whale mothership, about his 8-month long encounter with extraordinary people and the whales they were hunting. High seas fishermen (and their wives) would find in this book many features familiar to them.
Oyster: from Montparnasse to Greenwell Point
Nicolette Strasko 2000
Oyster cultivation in
Francis E. Caldwell 1982
Power Begins at the Codend, Social and Economic Studies, No.261980.
An anthropologist's account of his life and study in a northern
Brazilian fishing village and of what makes jangada fishermen and their
families tick. A social scientist's follow up, sort of, to Gorge Amado's "The Sea of Death".
Sea Around Us (The)
R.C. O' Farrell
A description of
coastal fishery in
John Cordell (Ed) 1989 Artesinal fisheries
Contains an argument for the building of commercial fishing
boats entitled. "
Terranova: The Ethos and Luck of Deep-Sea Fishermen
Joseba Zulaika 1981
Robert Lee Maril 1983
An English naturalist, traveller and writer (the author) going off
for a trip with an Orkney deep-sea trawler in some v. bad weather.
harrowing story of the seal hunt on the spring ice off
Fridman, A. 1998
A book, which apart from his views on the management of world
fisheries, contains an array of amazing stories and recollections from his
work in the fishing fleet and research centres of the
and in particular of the various people he met and worked with during his
long career all over the world. The book is an easy-to-read mix of
fishery science, fisheries management, and more than those, of reflections
on people, problems, and what not. Richly illustrated, it enables
the readers to fit photographed faces to many of the people Fridman
wrote about, from Hemingway to Puretic, and from a Chinese sage from the 5th century BC, Fan-Li, to the Norse god Loki, who turned himself.
Arthur C. Clarke, The
(Suggested by Kara)
James Connelly in the first decades of the 20th century....
Peter Matthiessen, Edgar Watson novel trilogy (Killing Mister Watson, Lost Man's
River, and Bone by Bone)
These are not about fishing or fishermen, but do feature some fisher folk and are set in
the Ten Thousand Islands area of southwest
Orson Welles "Its all True" a series of 4
documentary films he made in
In Fading Light, 1989. Running time: 103 mins, Colour, Optical, Available
in: 16 mm VHS Tape.
It includes the poem:
"In fading light they homeward came windy dispossessed and ravaged and all the lovely ocean sighed in grief for darkness drove the world but some calamity drove the men".
Nick Pluker has one of the most dangerous jobs in the world; he is a wild sea-going cowboy who each year heads out into the perilous Southern Ocean to round up his herd - Southern bluefin tuna. The challenge is to muster the fish, defend the lucrative catch from sharks - eager for a taste of the valuable stock - and return safely to the tuna farm on the coast with every single fish alive and unscathed.
For the first time ever the drama of one of these treacherous musters is captured on camera. Tuna Cowboys ventures 250 miles out to sea to witness the action-packed muster and the fearless wrangles as the cowboys take on the sharks while slowly making their way home.
1 x 1hr (Commission for National Geographic US and National Geographic International)
It still seems to be shown from time to time, so if people keep an eye on NG programming they can catch it.