For anyone who thinks the story of overfishing is a recent tragedy, they need to know that handwritten medieval tomes contained complaints about taking too many fish from the sea.
Now, a University of New Hampshire lecture series will explore how historical ocean stories can help guide ecological decision in the future.
The Saul O Sidore Memorial Lecture Series “Sea Stories for the Future: Interdisciplinary Conversations on Historic Oceans and Contemporary Marine Science” will feature historians and marine scientists who are working to understand what history can tell us about science and nature.
"This pioneering, collaborative research combines historical, ecological, and mathematical methods that far exceed boundaries of traditional academic disciplines," said Jeffrey Bolster, associate professor of history and Sidore series co-organizer.
Lecture series is as follows:
Running Silver: Shifting Baselines and the Decline of Freshwater-Sea Fishes
John Waldman, professor of biology, Queen’s College, City University of New York
Wed., Oct. 20, 2010, 4-5 p.m., Handly Auditorium, DeMeritt Hall 112
Alewives, shad, salmon, sturgeon and 18 other diadromous fish species, which migrate between marine and freshwater to spawn, once made rivers and streams “run silver” with their abundance around the North Atlantic basin, a region known for pronounced declines in fisheries for many marine species.
Too Many Catches? Consumption, Habitat, Climate, and Competition in Medieval European Fisheries
Richard Hoffmann, professor emeritus of history, York University, Toronto
Wed., Oct. 27, 2010, 4-5 p.m., Handly Auditorium, DeMeritt Hall 112
This sea story relates the historic complexity of fisheries in medieval Europe, including local and regional overfishing, to a thousand-year evolution of fishing that culminates in exploration and expansion to the northwestern Atlantic.
Sea Change in the Gulf of Maine, 1850 – 1900
Jeff Bolster, associate professor of history, UNH
Wed., Nov. 3, 2010, 4-5 p.m., Handly Auditorium, DeMeritt Hall 112
The second half of the 19th century saw dramatic changes in the Gulf of Maine, both in the abundance and distribution of species and in fishermen's attitudes about regulations.
It’s Not About the Fish
Jeremy Jackson, Ritter Professor of Oceanography and Director of the Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, Calif.
Mon., Nov. 15, 2010, 4-5 p.m., Granite State Room, MUB
Overfishing, pollution, and climate change are laying the groundwork for a mass extinction in the oceans with dire implications for human wellbeing.
Sea of Plenty? Historical Trends, Current Issues, and Future Perspectives on Our Use of Seafood
Heike Lotze, Canada Research Chair in Marine Renewable Resources, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada
Tues., Nov. 30, 2010, 4-5 p.m., MUB Theater II
Since ancient times, coastal people all around the world have used seafood as a major contribution to their diet, but until recently we did not know much about the environmental history of the sea.
For more information go to www.unh.edu/humanities-center or call 603-862-4356.
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