Check out this pilot project of the Department of History at Oregon State University and Oregon Sea Grant, to bring together information on the fisheries history of the Pacific. They hope to establish a virtual community of people interested in the history of fishing throughout the Pacific.
The history of fishing has been well documented in other part of of the world. People interested in the development of fishing in the North Atlantic Ocean have been organized for more than a decade. Scientists meet internationally on a regular basis, to discuss fisheries, but even a group like the History of Marine Animal Populations, which met in Vancouver, B.C. in May of 2009, is more about science than it is about history.
Pacific history in general is a relatively new field. Most of the work on Pacific fisheries has been about salmon, this project is interested in the ocean fisheries, and their development after the 1930s, when marine refrigeration made it possible for boats to fish further from home and to stay longer at sea. The development of this technology linked fishing to foreign policy concerns for many nations, including the United States and Japan, as well as Canada, Russia, and Latin American countries, including Mexico, Peru, Ecuador, and Chile.
The story of the development of fishing in the West coast is part of several much larger set of stories-like the industrialization of the food supply, and unique position that fishing played during the Cold War for both the U.S. and the Soviet Union. But at the same time, it is the story of individuals, living in small coastal communities, trying to wrest a living from the sea, as people have done for thousands of year.
They are in the initial stages of trying to write this history. If you were involved in fishing along the Oregon coast, as a fishermen, a scientist, a wife, a child, coastal resident or just somebody interested in history, You are invited to visit and contribute to our Pacific Fishery History Project website.