Managed Annihilation: An Unnatural History of the Newfoundland Cod Collapse

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UBC Press, 2010 - Nature - 186 pages
Managed Annihilation pleads for renunciation of "the holy grail of manageability," the belief that all problems...can be solved merely by exerting more effort, and obtaining greater efficiency, within the status quo order of advanced industrial societies. In the end, this book urges a new view of human-environment relations, one that would replace Western society's long-standing drive to manage nature.-from the Foreword by Graeme Wynn

Unlike other efforts to make sense of the tragedy of the commons of the northern cod fishery and its halting recovery, Bavington calls into question the very premise of management and managerial ecology and offers a critical explanation that seeks to uncover alternatives obscured by this dominant way of relating to nature. Bonnie Mccay, Department of Human Ecology, Rutgers University

The Newfoundland and Labrador cod fishery was once the most successful commercial ground fishery in the world. When it collapsed in 1992, fishermen, scholars, and scientists pointed to failures in management such as uncontrolled harvesting as likely culprits. Managed Annihilation makes the case that the idea of natural resource management itself was the problem. The collapse occurred when the fisheries were state managed and still, nearly two decades later, there is no recovery in sight. Although the collapse raised doubts among policy-makers about their ability to understand, predict, and control nature, their ultimate goal of control through management has not wavered-it has simply been transferred from wild fish to fishermen and farmed cod.

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About the author (2010)

Dean Bavington is an assistant professor and Canada Research Chair in Environmental History at Nipissing University, Ontario.

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