Returning to Selective Fishing through Indigenous Fisheries Knowledge The Example of K'moda, Gitxaala Territory charles r. menzies and caroline f. butler The historical abundance of salmon along the west coast of North America has been significantly reduced during the last two centuries of industrial harvest. Commercial fisheries from California to Alaska and points in between have faced clearly documented restrictions on fishing effort and collapse of specific salmon runs.1 Even while salmon runs on some large river systems remain (i.e., the Fraser and Skeena rivers), many smaller runs have all but disappeared. The life histories of many twentieth-century fisheries have been depressingly similar: initial coexistence with indigenous fisheries; emergence of large-scale industrial expansion followed by resource collapse; introduction of limited restrictions on fishing effort, which become increasingly severe, making it hard for fishing communities to survive and to reproduce themselves. Yet for nearly two millennia prior to the industrial extraction of salmon, indigenous peoples maintained active harvests of salmon, which are estimated to have been at or near median industrial harvests during the twentieth century.2 Part of the explanation for salmon stock collapses in the twentieth century resides in the different methodologies used by the indigenous and industrial
The American Indian Quarterly – University of Nebraska Press
Published: Aug 7, 2007
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