Intensive Fishing and the Birth of Capitalism, Part 2

8 March 2021 — Origin: Climate & Capitalism

Plundering a New Found Land

While treasure fleets carried silver to Spain, far more ships were carrying men, fish and whale oil across the North Atlantic.

Part One discussed the development of fish as a mass food commodity, and the Dutch use of factory ships in the North Sea in the 16th Century.  Part Two looks at the rise of an even bigger capitalist fishery on the other side of the Atlantic.

“In the sixteenth and partly still in the seventeenth, the sudden expansion of trade and the creation of a new world market had an overwhelming influence on the defeat of the old mode of production and the rise of the capitalist mode.” — Karl Marx[1]

by Ian Angus

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Books: Environment, Labor, and Capitalism at Sea

5 June 2019 — Climate & Capitalism
Book Review

A compelling first-hand study shows that fishing is a deadly occupation because capitalism forces workers to take terrible risks in order to survive. 

Penny McCall Howard
‘Working the ground’ in Scotland

Manchester University Press, 2018

reviewed by Martin Empson

Working at sea in the fishing industry is 115 times more dangerous than the UK average. It’s a startling statistic, that is usually explained by the idea that the sea is “dangerous.” Penny McCall Howard’s important book is a detailed examination of why this explanation is incorrect .

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