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Fishing for Truth

A Sociological Analysis of Northern Cod Stock Assessments from 1977-1990

By Alan Christopher Finlayson
Categories: Fisheries, Environmental Studies, North Atlantic European Studies, Oceans, Policy And Politics
Series: Social and Economic Studies
Series Number: 52
Paperback : 9780919666795, 186 pages, January 1998


Fishing for Truth is the complex story of the role of science in the decline of the Northern Cod stocks. At issue are conflicting interpretations of recent events, institutional and scientific texts, and scientific data. The central claim of the book is that all knowledge, including scientific knowledge, is influenced by social process. Finlayson, a sociologist, conducted extensive interviews with scientists and bureaucrats in the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO); he argues that failure to predict fish stocks is closely related to the failure to recognize how scientists' interpretations of natural reality are themselves socially constructed to a crucial degree.


"This is an interesting book since it gets to the core of the modern stock assessment and applied fisheries management science. "

- Sam Pooley, Marine Resource Economics

“Finlayson’s work challenges us to learn constructive lessons and continue to build learning into our political and scientific process…[It] is a welcome contribution to human ecology. ”

- E. Paul Durrenberger, Human Ecology