Skip to content

Your Cart


You have 0 items in your cart.

Register Sign in Wishlist

The Fisherman's Problem
Ecology and Law in the California Fisheries, 1850–1980

$118.00 (C)

Part of Studies in Environment and History

  • Date Published: October 1986
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521324274

$ 118.00 (C)

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Paperback, eBook

Looking for an examination copy?

If you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • The living resources of California's rivers and coastal waters are among the most varied and productive in the world. They also offer a laboratory example of the mismanagement and waste that have attended the settlement and development of the North American continent. The Fisherman's Problem is a study of the interaction among resource ecology, economic enterprise, and law in the history of the California fishing industry. It analyzes the ways in which the natural environment not only provided the raw material for economic development but played an active role in it as well. As this book shows, the natural environment has a history both independent of, and yet influenced by, classic example of 'common property' re-environmental conservation generally, as well as in the management of the fisheries of the world's rivers and oceans. Professor McEvoy discusses the different ways in which human communities have harvested and managed the region's fisheries, from those of the American Indians and immigrants from Europe and Asia to those of modern, industrial-bureaucratic society. By reconstructing the ecological history of the fisheries during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, this study develops a new perspective on environmental problems as contemporary observers understood them and on the results of their efforts to deal with those problems. The book concludes with an analysis of significant changes taking place in the 1970s and 1980s in the politics and theory of resource management. By combining a synthesis of recent scholarship in such disciplines as law, economics, marine biology, and anthropology with original research into the fishing industry's history, the book represents a significant new departure in the study of ecology and change in human society.

    Reviews & endorsements

    "In The Fisherman's Problem, Arthur F. McEvoy researches the ecological and legal background of California's fisheries from the days of the American Indians up to this decade. In it, he clarifies, and annotates in painstaking detail, the environmental and social issues relating not only to West Coast fisheries but also to the theory and politics of resource management in general. In synthesizing a vast amount of recent research, McEvoy builds a strong case for the fisher's problems being, at heart, a social problem, one with enormous implications and lessons for ecological issues across the board." Marty Olmstead, The San Francisco Chronicle

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: October 1986
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521324274
    • length: 392 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 25 mm
    • weight: 0.74kg
    • contains: 12 b/w illus. 4 maps 5 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of figures
    List of tables
    List of abbreviations
    1. The problem of environment
    Part I. The Miner's Canary:
    2. Aboriginal fishery management
    3. The Indian fisheries commercialized
    Part II. Sun, Wind, and Sail, 1850–1910:
    4. Immigrant fisheries
    5. State power and the right to fish
    Part III. The Industrial Frontier, 1910–1950:
    6. Mechanized fishing
    7. The bureaucrat's problem
    Part IV. Enclosure of the Ocean, 1950–1980:
    8. Gridlock
    9. Something of a vacuum
    10. Leaving fish in the ocean
    11. An ecological community
    Selected Bibliography

  • Author

    Arthur F. McEvoy, Northwestern University, Illinois

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.