Overfishing is often thought of as a contemporary problem. But Jeff Bolster’s lecture on The Mortal Sea reveals humans transforming the sea long before factory trawlers turned fishing from a hand-liner’s art into an industrial enterprise. The western Atlantic’s legendary fishing banks, stretching from Cape Ann to Newfoundland, have attracted fishermen for more than five hundred years. In his innovative re-telling of that supposedly well-known sea story, Bolster, a historian and professional mariner, creates a spell-binding environmental history focused on coastal New England in the age of sail. The Mortal Sea is available for purchase in the Museum shop or online. Book signing to follow the talk.
This program is $5 CAM members/ $10 non-members. Registration required; please call 978-283-0455 x10 or register online at Eventbrite. For more information email email@example.com.
Blending marine biology, ecological insight, and a remarkable cast of characters, from notable explorers to scientists to an army of unknown fishermen, The Mortal Sea illuminates a story that is both ecological and human: the prelude to an environmental disaster. The Mortal Sea is for sale in the Museum’s shop.
Licensed for many years by the U.S. Coast Guard as Master of Motor, Steam, and Auxiliary Sail Vessels of not-more-than-200-tons upon All Oceans, Jeff Bolster continues to mess about in boats. He is now Professor of History at the University of New Hampshire, where he writes about the sea.
His newest book, The Mortal Sea: Fishing the Atlantic in the Age of Sail (2012), won several prizes, including the Bancroft Prize, generally regarded as one of the most prestigious awards in American History. Educated at Trinity College (BA), Brown University (MA), and the Johns Hopkins University (PhD), Bolster is the father of two grown children. He lives with his wife, Molly, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, though they sail their Valiant 40, Chanticleer, to the Caribbean whenever possible.