About Carmel

finleyI’m a historian of science, interested in the development of fisheries and fisheries science in the Pacific. Since 2009, the blog has been the repository for some of the research and writing I’ve done on this topic. I started out as a newspaper reporter, covering ocean fisheries, and after West Coast groundfish collapsed in the 1990s, I went to the University of California, San Diego, for a doctorate that I completed in 2005.

The University of Chicago published my first book,  All the Fish in the Sea: Maximum Sustained Yield and the Failure of Fisheries Management, which looks at how the U.S. State Department shaped fisheries science. My new book, available in February of 2017, looks at how post-war trade and tariffs shaped the development of industrial fishing.

I teach a graduate seminar on the History Fisheries Science at the Department of Fish and Wildlife at Oregon State University. I’ve also taught undergraduate classes in History, New Media, and for the Honors College.

Most of the historiography (that’s a big word for history) on the development of fisheries is written about the Atlantic. Fishing unfolded over hundreds of years in the Atlantic, but development was much quicker and more compressed here in the Pacific. My work deals expressly with developments in the Pacific–although, frankly, Iceland keeps creeping in, because you really can’t talk about modern fisheries development without including Iceland.

If you’re interested in what other scholars think about my work, check on this link to an Environmental Roundtable, sponsored by the American Society for Environmental History. Four scholars take a look at All the Fish and its influence. It was an honor to have the book reviewed and a thrill to read so many good comments on my work.



2 Responses to About Carmel

  1. Susan Elizabeth Reese painter says:

    Hi Carmel,

    I’d like to re-connect with you and maybe talk about what to do with John’s book. Plus you have been hanging around with some of my favorite people like Keith Swenson and you probably know Bruce Mate…
    let me know your snail mail address

    susan reese painter


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