October 14, 2019

Fishing Conservation Traditions Lecture at Connecticut River Museum

Essex, CT – For two hundred years, European settlements along the southern New England shore managed to maintain alewife (shad) runs for food and fertilizer. Within a decade of the creation of the US Fish Commission in 1872, however, those traditions had come to an end, and inshore communities of fish and fishermen alike faced a challenging new world. 

Learn about the controversy leading up to the establishment of the Commission and its ensuing impact on the fishing and environmental communities when maritime historian Matthew McKenzie from the University of Connecticut American Studies Program presents “Conservation Traditions and New Science: Fishermen, Naturalists, and the Southern New England Inshore Fishery Controversy” on Sunday, Nov. 21 from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Connecticut River Museum in Essex. 

Sponsored by the Horace Beck Maritime Folklife Lecture Series, the talk will explore conservation efforts in the late 19th century from the perspective of the fisherman and naturalist alike.  Mr. McKenzie’s forthcoming book, Clearing the Coastline: The Nineteenth Century Ecological and Cultural Transformation of Cape Cod, explores perceived changes in nineteenth century southern New England’s inshore marine ecology; fishermen’s and scientists’ responses to those changes; and how these economic and ecological transformations helped create the modern tourist communities of the early twentieth century. 

Admission for the general public is $5.  Connecticut River Museum members admitted free.  The Connecticut River Museum is located on the Essex waterfront at 67 Main Street.  For more information go to www.ctrivermuseum.org or call (860)767-8269 to reserve your spot.