All the Boats on the OceanHow Government Subsidies Led to Global Overfishing

All the Boats on the OceanHow Government Subsidies Led to Global Overfishing

Carmel Finley

Print publication date: 2017

ISBN: 9780226443379

Publisher: University of Chicago Press


This transnational history explores how postwar fishing changed from a coastal, in-shore activity into a global industry. Fueled by the new technologies developed during the war and by government subsidies, nations went fishing on an industrial scale. As Cold War policies hardened, fishing became a territorial claim in the oceans, and many nations, including Japan, the Soviets, Spain, South Korea, Taiwan, Germany, and a host of Eastern European states industrialized their fisheries. Governments provided subsidies to modernize moving fishing from salting to freezing and the creation of new fish forms. Post-war trade agreements linked Icelandic cod and Japanese tuna; as imports of both increased, fishermen in New England and Southern California were priced out of their domestic markets. The massive explosion in fishing power created pressure for nations to expand their territorial limits in the 1970s, to regulate foreign fishing in their waters. The expansion of fisheries in the Pacific during the Cold War stimulated the globalization of fishing and the creation of international fisheries management. While most histories of fishing deal with the primacy of the Atlantic, this book looks at the post-war movement of boats from the Pacific into the Atlantic.