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Fishing Measures

A Critique of Desk-Bound Reason

By Daniel Banoub
Categories: History, Economics, Food Studies
Paperback : 9781894725972, 264 pages, December 2021

An investigation into the economic, political, and scientific history of the saltfishery in Newfoundland.


Fishing Measures investigates the introduction of fisheries science to Newfoundland’s saltfishery between the 1880s and 1930s. Banoub argues that during this period fishers’ embodied knowledge came to be seen as less reliable and authoritative than modern scientific state management. Fishing Measures situates this crucial shift in the history of capitalism, showing how the development of abstract scientific knowledge is integral to capitalist value relations.

Fishing Measures trawls a variety of archival sources to document the introduction of scientific knowledge to the extraction, processing, and consumption of saltfish. The book lucidly documents scientific developments on subjects ranging from artificial propagation, to curing techniques, to cod liver oil production. Fishing Measures makes an invaluable contribution to contemporary debates regarding relationships between capitalism, the environment, and science.