Using primary and secondary historical data, descriptive time-series data, and site observations, this study unpacks the developmental history of one of the United States' oldest, largest, and still working fisheries. This study uses narrative analysis to explore how processes of commodification and the institutional workings of capitalist food regimes drove specific developmental outcomes. Internal comparison across periods enables an analysis of why the fishery declined in recent decades. The case also reveals important dynamics of the capitalist world food system and demonstrates how intersectional considerations, particularly the intersection of race and class dynamics, can bolster the “tragedy of the commodity” theoretical framework. The study thus tests and expands on that framework by including the considerations of cross-cutting inequalities and the world food system. Overall, this study demonstrates how the demands of generalized commodity production, in conjunction with the institutional parameters of a world capitalist food system, link processes of development across terrestrial and aquatic food systems. Furthermore, the internal comparison elucidates the socio-structural factors that drove the severe decline of the 170-year-old Atlantic menhaden fishery.

INTRODUCTION

The Atlantic menhaden is a small, fatty fish that migrates up and down the Eastern Seaboard of the United States. As a critical species in a complex Atlantic marine food web, the Atlantic menhaden are ecologically valuable in their role as food for other fish. Via their prolific consumption and digestion of microscopic marine life low in the food chain, the menhaden are effectively a “conduit through which the sun's energy gets passed from single-celled animals to top-level predators” (McKenzie 2010:145). Also, in recent decades, marine biologists have explored the Atlantic menhaden's ecological role as a filter fish, noting that its feeding habits can potentially regulate water quality in bays and estuaries (Friedland, Ahrenholz, and Haas 2005; Gottlieb 1998; McHugh 1967; Oviatt, Gall, and Nixon 1972). Thus, the Atlantic menhaden are a critical component of a marine ecosystem and food web that has consistently, for centuries, provided a material basis for human communities along the Eastern Seaboard.

The economic development of the menhaden fishery is also of vital socio-historical importance. The Atlantic menhaden are the basis for the United States' oldest, on-going capitalist and, arguably, its largest and most important fishery (Franklin 2007). But today, due to contention between fishers, tourists, and environmentalists, the management of Atlantic menhaden generates a tremendous amount of controversy. In 2016, the Atlantic Marine States Fisheries Commission received more public comments on Atlantic menhaden management than any other fishery in its history (Nature Conservancy 2017). While such fervor over such a small and unassuming fish may seem unusual, the economic importance and controversy over managing the fishery are nothing new, and indeed such conflict dates back centuries (Bolster 2012; Franklin 2007; Frye 1978).

In parallel fashion to other overlooked marine and coastal problems (Longo and Clark 2016), few who do not live and work in Atlantic coastal communities have ever heard of this important but controversial little fish. The explanation for the durable anonymity of the vital menhaden lies in its peculiar developmental history. While there are a number of uses for menhaden, the Atlantic menhaden have been—at least over the last 170 years—predominantly used as an input commodity for industries within the capitalist agri-food system. Prior to its commodification, there is some record of colonial settlers eating the fish directly (Catesby 1771; Lawson 1709). Historians debate the extent to which Native Americans used the menhaden (Ceci 1975; Franklin 2007), but one “pattern of veracity” across the historical record is clear: Atlantic menhaden “purpled” the waters in their abundance and were a critical component of a vibrant, pre-industrial marine food web that settlers and Natives relied on (Frye 1978).

The subsuming of Atlantic menhaden to the logic of a capitalist market place radically changed this complex social-ecological relation. The dominant uses of Atlantic menhaden across the age of capital include oil, fertilizer for crops and fields, livestock feed, and aquaculture feed. To be sold as input commodities, Atlantic menhaden are captured and then processed, or “reduced,” into oil, powder, and pellet forms. The ways in which menhaden have been predominantly used were not inevitable, though, and the developmental history of the fishery has had critical consequences for the socio-ecological relations of coastal communities along the Atlantic coast.

This study examines key inflection points in the history of the Atlantic menhaden fishery to explore why certain uses emerged. I also compare political economic factors across periods to explore the lasting socio-ecological effects of the fishery on the Atlantic marine system, and account for the social drivers of the fishery's recent (1980s onward) decline. In brief, the conclusion will emphasize the following key findings. One, rather than an indicator of sustainable development, fishery decline in this case is driven by socioeconomic change in the capitalist world food system. Two, the history of the Atlantic menhaden fishery demonstrates the need to integrate studies of terrestrial and marine food systems. Ecosystem disruptions in both these sorts of socio-ecological systems condition one another in important ways. Three, the racialization of the fishery's workforce helped enable the naturalization of racial inequalities, and this naturalization accelerated processes of commodification.

THEORY

First, this study draws on Longo, Clausen, and Clark's (2015) “tragedy of the commodity” approach, which underscores the importance of a capitalist political economy for understanding socio-ecological change. The theory emphasizes that under a capitalist political economy, commodities are primarily produced for exchange rather than for use. Because exchange value is valorized as money and accumulated as capital, ecosystems become subject to a logic of endless, quantitative expansion (Burkett 1999; Longo, Clausen, and Clark 2015). Capitalist production thus depends on what Wallerstein (1983) referred to as the commodification of everything, and thus complex socio-ecological processes—or what Polanyi (1957) referred to as commodity fictions—are simplified according to the reductive logic of capitalist commodity exchange. Finally, this process is far from a natural socio-historical occurrence; rather, it typically comes about after the annihilation of social forms of production not amenable to capitalist commodity production (Foster and Clark 2018; Longo, Clausen, and Clark 2015; Marx 1976).

An important aspect of the Atlantic menhaden fishery is the composition of its workforce. Records and testimony indicate that it was 80 to 90 percent African American. I thus borrow from the sociological theory of intersectionality to more fully understand the interactive role of a black working class in the development of this fishery. In particular, I use Davis's (1983) and Collins's (1993) writings on the racialization of black bodies and labor. In short, white-dominated discourse imposes certain controlling images on black Americans (both men and women, in unique and overlapping ways), which naturalizes black labor to a relegated status. As Davis (1983:94) explains, white employers would often “compliment” their black servants as “good … and faithful creatures,” whose true purpose was realized as menial servants for whites. Collins (1993) notes that black workers were conceived of as “mules,” and so assigned more physically grueling labor at the factory, and as domestic servants for white families. As Du Bois (1999:69) emphasized, such discourse adapts over time to repeatedly justify racial hierarchies, where those relegated to the bottom tiers perform “necessary duties and services which no real human being ought to be compelled to do” (cited in Clark, Auerbach, and Zhang 2018).

Commodification can thus entail intersectional power struggles that tend to deepen capitalist relations amenable to commodification within certain industries and communities. As Longo, Clausen, and Clark's theory would suggest, the outcomes of this struggle are often tragic for socio-ecological systems. Under a capitalist mode of commodity production, ecological wealth is typically extracted until a point of systemic exhaustion or collapse. When ecosystem stresses become more and more apparent, capitalist firms and states tend to prioritize the implementation of techno-efficiency solutions or geographic fixes (e.g., moving production/pollution elsewhere) over solutions that promote holistic ecosystem rejuvenation (Longo, Clausen, and Clark 2015).

Capitalist commodity production has always operated in the context of a world economy, delineated according to a certain division of labor based around core capitalist nations extracting economic and ecological wealth and, ultimately, value from peripheral states (Bunker 1984; Wallerstein 2004). Semi-peripheral nations consist of an amalgamation of core and periphery productive characteristics, and often serve as mediating forces between core centers of capital and peripheral zones of extraction (Chase-Dunn and Hall 1997; Frame 2018). In recent decades ecological degradation and productivity stagnation in core states, foreign investment in profit-oriented agricultural modernization in the global South, and the collapse of the USSR combined to generate important changes in the institutional dynamics across core, peripheral, and semi-peripheral nations (Amin 2015; Chase-Dunn 2005; Chase-Dunn and Hall 1997).

The changing institutional dynamics of the capitalist world system are especially apparent through the lens of food regimes. In brief, a food regime can be understood as the international relations of food consumption and production that are governed by a certain set of rules, norms, and institutions for the purpose of capital accumulation and the maintenance of a capitalist world order, or system (Araghi 2003; Friedmann 1993; Friedmann and McMichael 1989). For example, the structure of food relations for production, distribution, and consumption between the United States and Great Britain resulted in opportunities for Atlantic menhaden capitalists to market and sell their products to address contradictions inherent in the capitalist food system. In recent years, emergent semi-peripheral peripheral nations like Thailand have emerged as “new agricultural countries” where production is export-oriented and geared toward nations in the global North (McMichael 2012). Following trends in the global fisheries workforce, fishers in Thailand are often migrants from still more peripheral states like Cambodia, Myanmar, and Laos (Clark et al. 2019). Overall, then, this theoretical framework demonstrates the complementarity of several theories of political economy with intersectional approaches to understanding cross-cutting inequalities—in this case, the intersection of race and class power dynamics. This complementarity is particularly useful for building on prior understandings of the structured, socio-ecological relations in a capitalist political economy, or what Marxist scholars refer to as the social metabolic order of capital (Foster 2000; Mészáros 1995).

DATA AND METHODS

This study relies on primary and secondary data that span the Atlantic menhaden's industrial history. For secondary data, I use a series of marine and environmental histories of the Atlantic region and other works that focus specifically on aspects of the Atlantic menhaden fishery. For primary data, I use archived government and state agency documents and reports from the U.S. Fish Commission, Maine Board of Agriculture, Pacific Guano Company, newspaper articles, county histories, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, the North Carolina Sea Grant program, and some unpublished local histories. Many of these sources also contain unaltered letters, interviews, and fishery records. Furthermore, I collected archived, primary data from marine history museums, including logbooks, receipts, correspondence, and interviews of retired workers and owners. Overall, I examined over 250 primary and secondary source documents related to the fishery's history before I reached a point of saturation as related to my research questions. Finally, I also used time-series data of fishery records and fish captures, taken from UN software and reports on the fishery from regulatory agencies. For further description of sources cited in this article, please see the  appendix.

I use ideographic within-case methods to explore my research questions. Ideographic insight is typically case-specific, and is useful for building and testing theory, constructing historical narrative analyses, and highlighting the complexities of particular cases (Lange 2012). Over the last century and a half, most of the productive activity in the Atlantic menhaden fishery has moved from Maine to as far south as North Carolina, where the migrating fish reach a stage in their life history when they are large enough to justify capture. It is thus a regional fishery prone to changes in geographic concentration. Temporally, my analysis begins in the 1840s, generally regarded as when the industrialization of the fishery began (Bolster 2012; Franklin 2007; Frye 1978). Within this case, I pose two research questions. One, what factors contributed to the use of Atlantic menhaden as oil, fertilizer, livestock feed, and aquaculture feed? Two, why has the Atlantic menhaden fishery suffered severe economic decline in the last several decades? In answering these questions, I also detail the socio-ecological consequences of these developments and the fishery's eventual decline.

Answering these questions allows me to explore how changes in the broader capitalist agri-food system can affect local and regional outcomes in a particular fishery. At the same time, this study will detail how this fishery shaped the socio-ecological system of the U.S. Eastern Seaboard, a place where humans have made lives as fishers, farmers, and hunter-gatherers for centuries (Catesby 1771; Cronon 2011; Lawson 1709). To explore and to understand why certain uses of the fish emerged, I first construct narrative analyses within different periods of use. I determine periods (Table 1) according to dominant, temporally specific, market uses of the Atlantic menhaden since the fishery's transition into a capitalist system of production.

TABLE 1.

Periodization of the fishery

Time periodDominant useRegion
1840s to 1870s Oil Northeast Atlantic 
1870s to 1920s Fertilizer Mid-Atlantic, Southern 
1920s to 1970s Livestock feed Mid-Atlantic, Southern 
1980s to present Aquaculture feed Mid-Atlantic 
Time periodDominant useRegion
1840s to 1870s Oil Northeast Atlantic 
1870s to 1920s Fertilizer Mid-Atlantic, Southern 
1920s to 1970s Livestock feed Mid-Atlantic, Southern 
1980s to present Aquaculture feed Mid-Atlantic 

I define dominant use as the market use for which the majority of Atlantic menhaden were fished. To answer the first research question, then, this study uses a holistic and ecologically grounded political economic history of the fishery in different periods of time that provides some causal insight regarding economic development in the fishery. This analytical process involves uncovering the drivers of events, or patterned processes that can causally spark social change (Lange 2012:44). To understand the pivotal workings within periods, I must consider several specific social factors in the temporally specific narrative process. Across periods in the fishery, I will describe “events,” which Griffin (1993, quoted in Lange 2012:44) defines as “distinguishable happenings, one with some pattern or theme that sets it off from others.” This study orders these events temporally, within periods, to analyze how the fishery became oriented to certain kinds of market uses. Within-case methods also emphasize theory testing, or the exploration of specific observable implications and intervening processes that should be present if a theory is valid (Mahoney 2007). By incorporating intersectional and world food system considerations into my socio-historical analysis of the Atlantic menhaden fishery, I test and expand on the “tragedy of the commodity” thesis.

In the use of internal comparison, this study generates ideographic insight across these periods of the Atlantic menhaden fishery (Lange 2012). In particular, this methodological tool enables me to explore why, in recent years, the fishery has failed to expand and instead suffers from flagging economic growth. In comparing periods within the case, I can determine which factors were unique to the most recent use period and thus form an argument about the drivers of decline. Internal comparison thus explores and answers the second research question. The following section presents a narrative analysis for each use of the fishery over its industrial history, beginning with oil.

NARRATIVE ANALYSES OF ATLANTIC MENHADEN USES

Oil

Prior to the industrialization and capitalization of the fishery, most Atlantic menhaden were caught by quasi-subsistence, New England–based fisher-farmers who used the fish in rudimentary ways to fertilize their crops or for direct food consumption. Farmers cooperatively shared boats and seines, or large fishing nets, which at that time were often homemade from flax grown on their own farms (Franklin 2007). A notable few boiled the fish, skimmed the top for oil, and sold it to local merchants (Frye 1978). Though they are regarded today as inedible (Ellis 2003), there is some record of the Atlantic menhaden being directly eaten in the eighteenth century, as it was described by some as “an excellent sweet fish,” with no butter needed to fry it (Catesby 1771; Lawson 1709). Yet broader socio-structural conditions channeled the fish into a wholly different use that demanded new forms of productive relations.

Some business-minded farmers began to realize the local market potential for Atlantic menhaden oil in the late 1840s. Goode (1880) noted that around 1850 an elderly lady of Blue Hill, Maine, boiled a kettle of fish for chicken feed and subsequently skimmed off and bottled the oil that had risen to the top. She then took this oil to a local merchant, who likely worked in the flagging whale oil trade. This relatively small-scale demand for oil generated a local, in-shore Atlantic menhaden fishery that other fishers regarded as somewhat of a sideshow (Bolster 2012).

However, the failing whaling business generated acute interest in Atlantic menhaden as a potential replacement for whale oil, and this development rapidly drove the early Atlantic menhaden fishery toward commodification. Whale oil was indeed a critically important commodity, referred to today as the plastic of its age (Davis, Gallman, and Gleiter 1997). The U.S. whaling industry in the mid-nineteenth century depended on capital-intensive technologies, such as ships designed for long voyages, to chase increasingly scarce Atlantic whales. After the U.S. Civil War, in which many of these boats were destroyed, the U.S. whaling industry could not recover sufficiently to chase the increasingly scarce right and sperm whales of the Atlantic coast (York 2017). Thus, as the United States' globalized whale industry faltered, Atlantic menhaden fisheries entered into a world market organized according to capitalist imperatives to grow profits, outcompete rivals, and accumulate capital.

The commodification of Atlantic menhaden led to conflict between the industrializing Atlantic menhaden fleet and independent fishers. Due to the widespread recognition that Atlantic menhaden were a favorite food of larger fish, hook-and-line fisher-folk began to see the new Atlantic menhaden oil industry as a threat to their economic security. For example, in 1852, more than 150 fishers from a single Maine fishing village petitioned the state legislature to put an end to seine fishing of Atlantic menhaden, as they considered this practice a threat to the food supply of larger fish caught on hook and line (Bolster 2012). Bolster (2012:132) cites a struggling fisher, Josiah Hardy, who spoke for many fishers when he argued that the use of advanced harvesting technologies, such as seines, “should be abolished in these waters,” to preserve the hook-and-line fishing which “good fishermen” used. Further, he reasoned, the use of seines required expenses and capital. Thus, the cost of this productive technology favored only “a present monopoly to the few” who could afford it, Hardy reasoned. Independent Maine fishers would try (and fail) repeatedly to ban or limit seine fishing over the next several decades (Frye 1978).

Thus, one of the earliest developmental junctures in the history of this fishery came with the eradication of commons fishing. In his discussion of primitive accumulation, Marx (1976:928) described the “annihilation” of prior forms of property relations not amenable to capital accumulation. Such expropriation typically sets the stage for a historical phase of capitalist commodity production, or commodification (Longo, Clausen, and Clark 2015). As hook-and-line fishing became increasingly difficult for social and ecological reasons, the social definition of what it meant to be a fisher transformed from one of a quasi-subsistence, in-shore fisher who extracted resources from a commons, to a worker on a fishing boat earning a wage to pay for consumer goods. As marine historian Matthew McKenzie (2010:150) notes in his environmental history of nineteenth-century Cape Cod, “increased removals” of forage fish like menhaden “imposed upon independent hook and line fishermen a dire choice”: to continue to fish in a struggling coastal environment or to “abandon their homestead.” Many chose the latter, and between 1865 and 1895 Cape Cod fishing villages lost 20 percent of their population, with fishers often moving to work in industrial fishing centers. Ecological change thus became a mechanism of expropriation, or a vast shift in property relations (Foster and Clark 2018), where access to the sea for work became more and more untenable for those who were not waged workers.

In 1864, with the help of investment from Rhode Island–based capitalists, the first factory for rendering Atlantic menhaden into oil was constructed in Maine. The factory cost about $12,000, or about 60 times what a typical, independent New England fisher made annually (Bolster 2012). State governments and congress thus did little to slow the tide of industrial purse seine fishing, leaving it virtually unregulated (Smith 1895). As the fishery entered into a capitalist world market and industrialized with the infusion of capital investment, the Atlantic menhaden were further subjected to the logic of capitalist commodification. This logic prioritizes the never-ending expansion of quantitatively limitless exchange, valorized as money and accumulated as capital (Burkett 1999).

Fertilizer

Broader conditions in the capitalist agri-food system began to stimulate increased demand for a fertilizer product—guano—that justified further commodification of menhaden. Indeed, as the menhaden fishery began to solidify itself as a reliable source of oil for other industries, Great Britain and the United States were desperately seeking sources of nitrogen to amend their increasingly infertile soil. Unlike prior forms of agricultural production, capitalist agriculture geographically alienated systems of production, distribution, and consumption across urban and rural zones and, in doing so, dismantled processes of nutrient recycling that maintained soil fertility (Foster 1999; Marx 1976). Marx built his ecological critique of the nineteenth-century soil crisis by reading and corresponding with the leading soil chemist of his day, Justus von Liebig (1859), who warned that “certain existing relations” constituted a “robbery” of the soil that, if not aggressively dealt with, could bring about the “ruin of agriculture.”

The soil crisis of the mid-nineteenth century generated an unsustainable and imperialistic rush for nitrogen-rich bird deposits, or guano, off the coasts of Peru and Chile (Clark and Foster 2009, 2013; Magdoff 2011). The 1870s collapse of the guano trade translated to high demand for new sources of fertilizer inputs to replenish degraded soil. Nitrogen-rich menhaden were marketed to fill this need of the capitalist agri-food system. The technical advancement of rendering menhaden flesh helped structure demand for the product that menhaden capitalists referred to as fish “guano.” By the mid-1870s “demand for [fish] scraps” was “represented as exceeding three times the present supply” for trade with southern U.S. states alone (Maine Board of Agriculture 1875). “Guano” companies and associations began investing capital all over New England. The Pacific Guano Company (1876:9), which moved operations from the Peruvian Pacific coasts to a Massachusetts fishing village, declared that “the exhaustion of supplies on the Pacific islands compelled the Company to look in other directions for original sources.” U.S. farmers clamored for the relatively cheap fish scrap, and agricultural reports of the time document the fertilization of upwards of 2 million bales of cotton via Atlantic menhaden alone (Goode 1880; Titus 1885).

The institutional arrangements of the first global capitalist food regime opened up new market potential for menhaden fertilizer commodities. The first food regime, with Britain as hegemon, was geared toward enabling British dominance in an increasingly globalized capitalist world system via cheap importation of staple crops like wheat and corn from settler states such as the United States (Friedmann 2005). The abolition of the English Corn Laws, for example, drove the costs of food imports down and served as further means to feed and sustain an industrial army of wage workers in Great Britain (McMichael 2013). Domestically, in the United States, grain crop production and trade soared, became highly capitalized, and was governed by speculative markets (Cronon 1991). Atlantic menhaden were argued to be an “inexhaustible” source of cheap fertilizer for “all grass and grain crops” (Maine Board of Agriculture 1875:45). Thus, the menhaden became a critical component that spurred industrial methods of farming in the United States.

Because the entirety of the menhaden, the oil and flesh, could now be used to satisfy the demands of capitalist markets, the Atlantic menhaden industry rapidly expanded its technological capabilities and political clout. It was the first U.S. fishery to become reliant on steam power, and also became one of the earliest and most powerful agricultural lobbies in the United States—so much so that federal officials, such as U.S. commissioner of fisheries Spencer F. Baird, hesitated to critique it publicly for overfishing (Bolster 2012). Baird's colleague and eventual successor, George Brown Goode (1880), who led the most exhaustive review of the nineteenth-century menhaden fishery, attributed declining menhaden stocks to changing weather patterns, aggressive non-human predation, and the natural fickleness of fish stocks—everything, in short, except the fishery. Independent fishers despised the “damned pirates” of the Atlantic menhaden industry “sneakin' into our waters,” who, they charged, were unchristian and “heathen” (Lippincott's 1883). But, like the protests of Maine fishers in the 1850s, such complaints were in vain.

As the fishery transitioned to a distinctly capitalist form of productive relations, its capitalization, productivity, and wage labor force expanded while its fleet and factories consolidated (Table 2).

TABLE 2.

Fishery consolidation and capitalization

187318751877
Factories in operation 62 60 56 
Sail vessels employed 383 304 270 
Steam vessels employed 20 39 63 
Total employees 2,306 2,633 2,631 
Capital invested $2,388,000 $2,650,000 $2,047,612 
Fish taken 397,700,00 563,327,000 587,624,125 
Gallons of oil 2,214,800 2,681,487 2,426,589 
Tons of guano 36,299 53,625 55,444 
Total value of manufactured products $1,218,675 $1,582,015 $1,607,722 
187318751877
Factories in operation 62 60 56 
Sail vessels employed 383 304 270 
Steam vessels employed 20 39 63 
Total employees 2,306 2,633 2,631 
Capital invested $2,388,000 $2,650,000 $2,047,612 
Fish taken 397,700,00 563,327,000 587,624,125 
Gallons of oil 2,214,800 2,681,487 2,426,589 
Tons of guano 36,299 53,625 55,444 
Total value of manufactured products $1,218,675 $1,582,015 $1,607,722 

Source: Goode (1880).

The fishery again expanded as it moved southward in the 1880s, but by the end of the nineteenth century it had all but disappeared in the North Atlantic due in part to collapsed stocks in the Gulf of Maine. Collapse is indeed no understatement. Records indicate that menhaden stocks virtually disappeared, as catches in the Gulf fell from 140,000 pounds in 1877 to near zero in 1880 and beyond (Vaughn and Smith 2009; Association of the Menhaden Oil and Guano Manufacturers of Maine 1878). The fishery subsequently consolidated to 55 plants across the Mid-Atlantic, Chesapeake Bay, and North Carolina (Garrity-Blake 1994; Goode 1887; Smith 1895). In an effort to reduce competition, companies used strategies of vertical integration, the firm-driven practice of owning as many links in the commodity chain as possible. This included acquiring the failing fishery businesses and buying out commercial fishers in an effort to integrate supply chains (Gabriel 1920). A 1897 article in the Long Island Trader (cited in Gabriel 1920) described this process: “On the twenty-fifth of the latter month all the important concerns yielded to the inevitable, and, on that day, was consummated the final transfer of their properties to the American Fisheries Company. Together with those of Long Island went practically all the factories of the Atlantic coast.”

With the boon of fertilizer, the menhaden fishery exploded economically (Greer 1912) and entrenched itself as an important component of the nascent capitalist world food system. Moreover, the declines of fish stocks in the Gulf of Maine and elsewhere in the northern regions (Goode 1880, 1887) signified a need to be both mobile and technologically capable of making longer voyages. This ecological change favored financially endowed capitalists who could out-compete smaller-scale ventures. Economic power translated to social and political power, as the highly capitalized menhaden lobby effectively prevented the U.S. Congress from imposing regulations despite calls for limits from scientists, small-scale fishers, and politicians (Bolster 2012).

Yet the growth of the menhaden fishery was not without obstacles. Arguably the most important industrial innovation of the twentieth century, the Haber–Bosch process, made possible the mechanical production of nitrogen fertilizer (Schrock 2006). This innovation, along with the rise of relatively inexpensive and abundant fossil fuel, severely challenged the market viability of Atlantic menhaden. External market pressures thus placed the fishery at a critical juncture in its history.

Livestock Feed

However, other conditions in the capitalist world food system presented some opportunity for the fatty and protein-rich Atlantic menhaden. Along with the importation of grains discussed in the previous section, a characteristic of the first capitalist food regime was the increase of food flows of meat from settler states such as the United States (McMichael 2009). Integration of agriculture and industry strengthened in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The industrial production of meat proliferated and virtually wiped out local butchers and meat packers in the major U.S. cities (Cronon 1991; Friedmann and McMichael 1989). Moreover, meat consumption in the form of beef, pork, and increasingly chicken came to signify an affluent, modern diet, as crystallized by a Herbert Hoover 1928 campaign flyer, which promised widespread prosperity in the form of “a chicken for every pot” (Smith 2017).

As previous research in the social drivers of seafood consumption demonstrates, terrestrial and aquatic protein consumption show some positive relation over time (Clark et al. 2018). This protein consumption treadmill occurs for nuanced and often unexpected reasons, as this particular case demonstrates. Indeed, the Atlantic menhaden became integral for supporting the growing terrestrial meat industry in the United States. By 1918, the Federal Bureau of Fisheries had already begun funding and conducting research to explore how fish scrap could be produced for use as a feed for hogs and other livestock (New York Times 1918). Less than a decade later, the bureau confidently explained that “very fine poultry and pig foods are easily prepared” with feeds augmented by menhaden scrap (Ellis 1927:2).

In the 1920s and 1930s, menhaden capitalists expressed optimism for the new market. In a letter to menhaden factory owners, supply chain brokers noted the healthy demand for menhaden scrap for feeding livestock (Jett 1927). This demand was so intense that one menhaden distributer chastised factory managers for “carelessly handled” scrap shipments “owing to the heavy production and the need to move it quickly” (H. J. Baker and Bro. 1933). When one considers that the vast majority of menhaden were used for fertilizer purposes as late as 1912, the shift to scrap-based livestock feed in less than two decades is especially impressive (Greer 1912). Moreover, the date of this letter suggests that the demand for menhaden scrap was healthy enough to remain strong during the peak of the Great Depression, and this resilience is confirmed by local histories (McKenney 1959).

However, market demand for scrap in the capitalist agri-food regime was not the only factor driving a durable and growing fishery. By the mid-1920s, more than 80 percent of the factories and vessels in the fishery were located in southern or mid-Atlantic states, across the Chesapeake Bay and North Carolina (Franklin 2007). The fishery thus geographically transitioned to the south, with a southern and predominantly African American labor force. Many of the fishers were former slaves or their immediate descendants. Black workers, who comprised the crew, rarely ascended to positions of authority such as captains or mates, and were relegated to lower-wage, physically intensive labor (Frye 1978; Garrity-Blake 1994). These racialized class dynamics confirm the intersectional writings of Du Bois (2003) on race and class at the turn of the twentieth century, where black agriculture workers lacked direct access to the means of production, along with the leverage to improve their social standing. One former captain, interviewed, described the pay scale of this period: “Everybody [worked on commission]. … When I started fishing they paid the captains 80 cent a thousand. They paid the mate and pilot 20 cent a thousand. The chief engineer, then they paid a second engineer about 18 cents a thousand. … Then they got out to the crew and paid them 3 and a half cents a thousand.”1

Thus, the strict racial hierarchy ensured that a large portion of the labor army would earn pennies on the dollar. While there were key differences, the fall of the racialized guano trade of the nineteenth century, where Chinese workers were quite literally enslaved to provide fertilizer for British and American farms (Clark, Auerbach, and Zhang 2017), preceded another racialized work structure meant to supply the input needs of the capitalist world food system.

The crew's labor required extreme physical exertion. One black fisherman said that he and his fellow crewmen had lifted 700,000 pounds of fish into the boat in a single day, with no mechanical assistance (Curry interview with Frye, 1989). Fishers also endured difficult physical conditions, such as sleeping in cramped and often dirty quarters and dangerous working conditions, where pain, injury, and fatal accidents were constant, common, and not unheard of, respectively (Garrity-Blake 1994). Fishers used coordinated songs, commonly called chanteys, to synchronize their pulling of the nets to avoid injury and improve efficiency as they manually drew in the haul (Frye 1978). Along with the coordinated muscle movement, the fishers sang chanteys to cope with the emotional and psychological difficulties of the job, such as sleepless nights, stress over finances, tensions with bosses, and, as this example shows, leaving loved ones behind for a fishing season:

Chanteyman: I left my baby standin' in the back door cryin', Honey, don't go!

Fishers' (response): Lawd, lawd, don't go!

Chanteyman: I'd go home but ain't got no money!

Fishers' (response): Lawd, lawd, ain't got no money. (UNC Sea Grant 1988)

Such hardship lacked just compensation due to a racialized system of control, where black workers' physical and psychological stress was obscured. Citing an archived Princeton dissertation (Ligouri 1968), Garrity-Blake (1994) stressed that white fishers' attitudes strongly encouraged black fishers to remain in “their place,” which typically meant working in more undesirable and dangerous positions. Similarly, according to the testimony of former captains, black workers were recruited to perform the more physically grueling tasks of the job due to their supposed superior physical strength and natural inclination to hard labor (Garrity-Blake 2010). Meanwhile, the white captain's work was “cerebral,” and “thought to be the brains of the operation” (Garrity-Blake 1994:53). A 1957 New York Times piece captures the effects of this racialization quite well. Black fishers are a “happy, hardworking lot … with little labor to perform” outside of hauling in the catch; they “fare like kings” and prefer to sing their chanteys “in the major key” (Wharton 1957). Subjugation, servitude, and physical labor was the most natural and thus most pleasant, even easy-going, state of being for African American men in the fishery.

Of course, as evidenced by a bounty of testimony from black fishers, the exhausting work imposed on them was far from natural. In the early 1950s, black menhaden fishers across coastal communities organized more radically, framing their fight against class exploitation as a civil rights issue (Cecelski 2018). Yet efficiency gains in the late 1950s curbed the power of this increasingly agitated black working class, many of whom had unionized and attempted a failed strike in the early 1950s. During this time, industry firms acquired discounted military surplus such as diesel-powered steel boats and spotter planes to find fish more easily (Franklin 2007). Innovations like fish solubles intensified the efficiency of fish meal, and mechanized inventions like the power block—a device that mechanically pulled in the nets—reduced the need for human labor and boosted catch rates (Frye 1997; Garrity-Blake 1994). As in other fisheries, gains in efficiency did not lead to less effort to procure sustained yields, but instead further subjected natural cycles of marine life reproduction to the limitless, exchange-oriented logic of capital (York 2017).

Indicative of commodification, innovation in the fishery centered around mechanizing technology for the more efficient capture and use of menhaden, regardless of the fish's natural cycles of reproduction; in parallel fashion, this technology enabled the fishery to further cut labor costs (Longo, Clausen, and Clark 2015). Gains in productive efficiency under a system of generalized commodity production typically lead to expansion of the scale of productive operations (Clausen and Longo 2012; Longo and Clausen 2011). These factors, along with abundant reproductive years of menhaden (Henry 1971), created perfect conditions for catch rate growth (Figure 1).2

FIGURE 1.

Aggregate Atlantic menhaden catch, thousands of metric tons, 1950 to 1960

FIGURE 1.

Aggregate Atlantic menhaden catch, thousands of metric tons, 1950 to 1960

In its interview of a 1950s menhaden captain, the Saturday Evening Post (1959)—which described the fishery as “fiercely competitive”—detailed how the captain was attempting an unusual early night run to perhaps trick other captains, and how other captains would bend an “elastic” code of ethics to deliberately mislead others about fish location. Thus, gains in techno-efficiency did not necessarily make the lives of fishers easier. Certainly, for black fishers, the mechanization of labor coincided with even less political leverage. Furthermore, the expectation to expand catch rates became untenable for many companies unable to sustain the capital required to catch more fish and boost profit. In their written explanation for the 1961 sale of the American Fishing Company, retired executives explained that on-boat installation of power blocks cost $250,000 per boat, which was simply too expensive and risky given the nature of the capital-intensive, competitive industry (Colonna and Colonna 1993).

Their sale was likely a wise decision. Capture rates plummeted in the 1960s (Figure 2), meaning that smaller-scale menhaden boat and factory owners would have an increasingly difficult time competing with better-capitalized companies.

FIGURE 2.

Aggregate Atlantic menhaden catch, thousands of metric tons, 1960 to 1970

FIGURE 2.

Aggregate Atlantic menhaden catch, thousands of metric tons, 1960 to 1970

Aquaculture Feed

Parallel to broader socio-structural conditions in the mid-twentieth century, competitive capital gave way to a more monopolistic structure controlled by a handful of powerful firms (Baran and Sweezy 1966). Put differently, between 1960 and 1980, the Atlantic menhaden fishery experienced severe consolidation (Figures 3 and 4) (Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission 2011).

FIGURE 3.

Total vessels, 1960 to 1980

FIGURE 3.

Total vessels, 1960 to 1980

FIGURE 4.

Total factories, 1960 to 1980

FIGURE 4.

Total factories, 1960 to 1980

These declines in vessels and factories do not correlate well with fish captures, which actually made a modest recovery in the 1970s. On-boat refrigeration appeared in frequent use by the early 1970s and enabled longer voyages, but its cost further squeezed out smaller competitors (Dudley 2012). By 1980, the fishery had experienced two decades of consolidation but had failed to regain the catches of the 1950s. These factors, along with amplified competition from an increasingly globalized food system, created a rush to market the menhaden for new uses—specifically, aquaculture feeds.

Aquaculture is the controlled rearing of marine and aquatic species. The cultivation of high-value carnivorous species requires fish meal and fish oil products such as feed to ensure fish growth. In the late 1970s, industrial aquaculture production emerged as a technique for supporting increased consumption of seafood across nations (Clark et al. 2018). The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service provided financial and organizational support for expanding aquaculture production in the United States to provide for domestic seafood consumption, which had soared by 20 percent (per capita) between 1975 and 1985, in the context of declining wild captures of seafood (Parker 1989).

Despite stagnating rates of wild-caught fish, global consumption of seafood has increased over the last several decades (Food and Agriculture Organization 2016; Longo, Clark, and York 2013). Much of this growth in global seafood consumption has been sustained by the rising aquaculture industry. In 2014, for the first time at a global scale, aquaculture systems surpassed capture fisheries as the primary source of fish directly consumed by humans (Food and Agriculture Organization 2016). The most economically prolific segment in aquaculture production consists of species like salmon and shrimp that require meal and oil products derived from fish such as Atlantic menhaden (Longo, Clausen, and Clark 2015).

Equally important is the globalized nature of the emergent neoliberal or corporate food regime (McMichael 2005) within which aquaculture production and trade are key elements (Longo, Clark, and York 2013). In large part as a response to indebtedness to financiers centered in the global North and structural adjustment programs, many nations in the global South reconstituted their agricultural production systems and food trade relations (Friedmann 1991). Fish meal and fish oil are both globally traded products, and according to Dudley (2012) these dynamics limit the “market power” of the contemporary U.S. fishery because the consumers of fish meal in the United States could buy cheaper, similar products from external suppliers rather easily if needed. For example, Thailand, which has revolutionized its agricultural production and trade in recent decades, now produces more fish meal annually than the United States (McMichael 2012).

Aquaculture production began to influence demand for Atlantic menhaden in the 1980s (Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission 1992). The economic possibility of aquaculture feed was a potentially welcome development after an ecologically volatile and economically precarious two decades (Hale et al. 1991). This volatility is reflected in a rather unpredictable rate of capture over the course of the 1970s and 1980s (Figure 5).

FIGURE 5.

Aggregate Atlantic menhaden captures, thousands of metric tons, 1970 to 1990

FIGURE 5.

Aggregate Atlantic menhaden captures, thousands of metric tons, 1970 to 1990

In the 1970s, soy emerged as a strong competitor to fish meal in livestock and poultry feeds (Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission 1981). As the market for cheap soy expanded, the price of menhaden declined throughout the 1980s, falling to its lowest levels in 35 years (Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission 1992). Thus, while menhaden products are still used to feed terrestrial livestock animals, they no longer dominate the market, due to an inability to compete with soy, which can be reliably and industrially produced, without Atlantic menhaden's mercurial population fluctuations. These economic conditions led to dire conditions in the fishery in the mid 1980s, as one menhaden boat owner explained: “At that time it cost about $300 a ton to produce fish meal. And I got a call from Holly Farms, they'd been offered fish meal at that time from Zapata-Haney at $125 a ton. That's losing $175 [per ton], so the more fish you caught the more money you lost.”

The owner went on to explain that soy and other feed products, like corn, received government subsidies that menhaden fisheries did not (Garrity-Blake 2010). Again, these dynamics speak to the broader institutional patterns of the emergent corporate food regime, which solidified northern grain producers via favorable World Trade Organization rules (McMichael 2013).

Aquaculture feed using menhaden oil has one advantage over soy and corn: carnivorous, high-value species require high amounts of protein and fat that fish meal and oil are more effective at providing for farmed species (Longo, Clark, and York 2013). Regarded as a superior ingredient, fish reduction products are even used as a compound feed for omnivorous and herbivorous species (Asche and Tveterås 2004). Thus, since the 1990s, Atlantic menhaden are rendered in greater and greater quantities for use as aquaculture feed (Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission 2017). Contemporary Atlantic menhaden capitalists therefore cite the growth of global aquaculture as a primary driver of demand for menhaden commodities (Whitehead and Harrison 2017).

In sum, several key events in each period drove the Atlantic menhaden to new dominant uses. These events set several social occurrences in motion, such as technological innovation, the role of the state, and shifts in labor relations, all of which had specific socio-ecological outcomes in the fishery, as this study has described. The events are summarized in Table 3.

TABLE 3.

Summary of key events within periods

Market use of Atlantic menhadenPeriodKey events
Oil 1840s to 1870s Flagging U.S. whaling trade 
Fertilizer 1870s to 1920s Soil crisis, fertilizer trade 
Livestock feed 1920s to 1970s Industrialization of meat production 
Aquaculture feed 1980s to present Rise of aquaculture and fish farming 
Market use of Atlantic menhadenPeriodKey events
Oil 1840s to 1870s Flagging U.S. whaling trade 
Fertilizer 1870s to 1920s Soil crisis, fertilizer trade 
Livestock feed 1920s to 1970s Industrialization of meat production 
Aquaculture feed 1980s to present Rise of aquaculture and fish farming 

The question remains, though: why, in recent decades, has the Atlantic menhaden fishery suffered profound economic decline? Indeed, the once-mighty Atlantic menhaden fishery now consists of a single factory on the entire Eastern Seaboard, and the industrial fishery is virtually extinct in all states that do not border the Chesapeake Bay (Whitehead and Harrison 2017). Perhaps most telling, capture rates over the last three decades have trended negatively; recoveries were generally not sustained but were followed by worse years (Figure 6).

FIGURE 6.

Aggregate Atlantic menhaden captures, thousands of metric tons, 1980 to 2010

FIGURE 6.

Aggregate Atlantic menhaden captures, thousands of metric tons, 1980 to 2010

The difficulty for companies to sustain growing profits (Franklin 2007), the declining catch rates of Atlantic menhaden, and the deterioration of economic competition due to consolidation combined, in the words of natural resource economist Jane Harrison (2016), to make the contemporary Atlantic menhaden fishery a “shadow of its former self.”

INTERNAL COMPARISON: EXPLAINING THE DECLINE

Social Drivers of the Decline

The narrative analysis reveals several unique social drivers that contributed to the fishery's decline during the aquaculture period. First, the trend toward monopolization and the historical undervaluing of the black working class eroded political and community support. Second, the Atlantic menhaden fishery cannot compete at a global scale with other, similar fisheries elsewhere across the world food system. Thai fisheries, for example, can extract value from a super-exploited migrant labor force and a stressed marine ecological system (Clark et al. 2018). These social drivers and their outcomes correspond to the most recent, aquaculture period, and are thus critical for a full understanding of why the United States' largest fishery suffered substantial decline.

Combined with a within-case comparative method, these considerations dispel more common and simplistic explanations for decline. For example, lack of fish is not sufficient to account for such sustained decline. Capped at around 170,000 metric tons, the contemporary low rates of catch are in fact mandated by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review 2014). Local fishers and historians both consistently document frequent sightings of Atlantic menhaden, indicating rather abundant classes in recent years (Garrity-Blake 2010). Finally, if the long-term history of the fishery is any indication, the Atlantic menhaden is an extremely resilient population, given its well-documented, prolific breeding habits (Lewis, Ahrenholtz, and Epperly 1987). While the fish is most certainly less abundant than in pre-industrial times, the plain truth is that Atlantic menhaden fishers could be catching a great deal more fish, or at least planning to catch more in the future as stocks recover. And, as discussed in the narrative analyses, concerns regarding overfishing, scarcity, or declines in capture are nothing new in this fishery or in fisheries, generally, along the Atlantic coast (Bolster 2012; McKenzie 2010).

Another common explanation for the decline is the level of political conflict in the contemporary fishery. This conflict stems from environmentalists and sportfishers who see the Atlantic menhaden fishery as a threat to water quality and the marine food web (Franklin 2007). This makes for an interesting, anti-menhaden coalition of Greenpeace (2010) and the American Sportfishing Association (2018), both of whom claim Atlantic menhaden as the “most important fish in the sea” and engage in direct action and political lobbying against the industry. Retired fishing captains consistently accused the sportfishing lobby of successfully spreading misinformation about the Atlantic menhaden fishery. In a 2010 interview, one charged that sportfishers say “the striped bass ain't got nothing to eat … which is a lie. But that's what they want—it's just another weapon to get the menhaden industry, to shut you down” (Garrity-Blake 2010).

Still, in other periods, there was political conflict. As discussed in the narrative analyses, hook-and-line fishers protested the Atlantic menhaden fishery throughout the 1850s, 1860s, 1870s, and beyond, to little avail. Moreover, protests against the Atlantic menhaden fishery from sportfishers themselves are not a new phenomenon. Based on reports of the fishery from the U.S. Fish Commission, the federal government was aware of sportfishers' opposition to the fishery as early as 1895 (Smith 1895). Thus, like overfishing or fish scarcity, political conflict is not sufficient to account for the sustained decline.

A better explanation for the decline recognizes how community economic decline and competition across the world food system have amplified the once surmountable obstacles of overfishing and political controversy. These consequences came to the fore during the aquaculture period, and hampered the resiliency of the fishery and coastal communities. First, because the Atlantic menhaden fishery no longer supported a large workforce, its community economic importance declined. Accordingly, activists against the fishery could target their ire at a single, non-locally owned company: Omega Protein, whose offices were in Houston, Texas.3 It is no longer a “jobs versus the environment” debate, as the lone menhaden factory on the Atlantic coast now only supports an estimated 250 families. This outcome should not be a surprise, though, given the historical tendency in the fishery to devalue the labor contributions of the vast majority of its black workforce.

Further, the Atlantic menhaden fishery struggles to compete in the institutional dynamics of the emergent corporate food regime. Due to growing regulatory ambiguity and the domination of fisheries by transnational corporations, competitors in some regions are able to slash labor costs and avoid state regulations by registering their vessels where they please (Österblom et al. 2010). In Thailand, for example, migrant fishers are, in documented instances, coerced into years of labor and chained to boats while making brief stops in port (Clark, Longo, and Clausen 2018). These practices are typically unregulated and unreported (Österblom et al. 2010).

Theoretical Implications of the Decline

The “tragedy of the commodity” framework, especially when bolstered by intersectional considerations, demonstrates how capitalist development hollowed out its workforce, trended toward monopolization, and degraded the overall productivity of the marine ecosystem. In the short and medium run, this historical process drove extraction and profit accumulation. Yet in the long run, it eroded the potential for community support of the fishery in the face of political controversy. Perhaps if the menhaden capitalists had supported the employment security of black workers at critical, historical junctures, such as during the labor conflicts of the 1950s, contemporary menhaden communities would have the social and political capital to overcome controversy. But such support would have contradicted the socio-structural demands of capitalist commodification to accumulate profit and outcompete smaller firms.

In the contemporary, corporate food regime, the Atlantic menhaden fishery has little ability to expand its market share when competing against semi-peripheral suppliers who can offer a cheaper product by relying on forced labor, unregulated fishing, and other problematic practices. The rise of semi-peripheral agricultural competition, such as Thai fisheries, as a mediator in the global seafood commodity trade is thus of paramount importance for fully understanding the Atlantic menhaden fishery's socioeconomic decline. Ambiguity in global seafood commodity chains favors the multinational corporation, as these entities can seize control and structure the rules in ways that squeeze value from production (McMichael 2009). Semi-peripheral states like Thailand may therefore act as mediating forces in food commodity chains, a kind of middleman between global North buyers and the upstream, periphery sources of value and wealth: exploited workers and ecosystems.

CONCLUSION

This case contributes to the fields of marine sociology, development, and food systems in several important ways. First, this study's consideration of world-system dynamics in relation to the emergent corporate food regime enables a critical evaluation of sustainable development. Second, the study's findings illustrate several key ecological implications that transcend geographic and epistemic barriers. Third, in incorporating intersectional considerations, this study expands on the “tragedy of the commodity” theoretical framework.

Regarding the first key finding, some environmentalists see the decline of the fishery as a triumph, or a win for the ocean system. Such views risk oversimplification. It is difficult to tell whether state agencies are becoming more concerned with marine ecology or simply more amenable to another, more lucrative form of capital. Since the 2005 closure of Beaufort Fisheries in Beaufort, North Carolina, new construction for a recreational marina has already occurred. Soon a multi-story waterfront condominium, to be completed by the same developer, will occupy the shoreline. In this former fishing hub, locals express concern over rising costs of living. These concerns parallel lamentations over the loss of fishing jobs, the consequences of which were most severely felt by a rural, black working class. Also, as discussed, the decline of the fishery coincides with the rise of unsustainable fishing practices elsewhere, particularly in the capitalist periphery and semi-periphery. In short, for the tourist industry and the global North, firm-driven demands for upstream cost-cutting measures across the capitalist world food system likely carry more weight than the need to restore the Atlantic marine ecosystem.

What is clear is that the ecology of the Atlantic marine system has been undervalued over the last several centuries. Ecological decline is especially evident when one takes a long view of the Atlantic marine ecosystem. Prior to white colonization, explorers and colonial boosters consistently described the Atlantic marine environment as remarkably fertile, with rich biodiversity (Franklin 2007; Catesby 1771; Smith 1609). Such marine life also helped support coastal, Native communities (Cronon 2011; Lawson 1709). Like the fishery itself, the greater Atlantic marine system is a shadow of its former self—pre-capitalist fishers would likely not recognize the marine environment today, as much of the world's once most productive fishing grounds are now ecological dead zones (Ellis 2003). Such ecological degradation is bound up with industrial fishing generally, but marine historians consistently argue that the historic decline of Atlantic menhaden—a species at the heart of the food web, with the potential to regulate water quality—deserves special attention (Bolster 2012; Ellis 2003; Franklin 2007; McKenzie 2010).

The ecological ramifications of this case extend beyond the sea, though. As Clark and Longo (2018) argue, ecological troubles in coastal and marine systems are often a result of terrestrial agriculture problems, such as nitrogen runoff and soil erosion. This case also demonstrates the potential for co-occurring terrestrial and aquatic food system degradation. Capitalist agriculture has, historically, exhausted soil systems and driven animal protein production and consumption to greater and greater ecological intensity (Foster 1999; Longo, Clark, and York 2013; York and Gossard 2004). Input commodities like Atlantic menhaden are essential for the continuous ecological and physiological boundary transgressions endemic to capitalist agriculture. Without ample fertilizer and supplemental protein products, capitalist agriculture simply could not overcome the metabolic disruptions it tends to induce. Thus, environmental change in marine ecosystems and terrestrial agri-food systems cannot be disentangled or understood separately.

Finally, this case demonstrates the utility of incorporating intersectional theory into political economic analysis. The general tendencies of capitalist commodity production—expropriation, expansion of profit, and ecological tragedy—that Longo, Clausen, and Clark (2015) emphasize require socio-political dominance. Thus, these tendencies are not processes per se, but struggles. In considering how the racialization of the workforce naturalized a racialized hierarchy, this case demonstrates how systems and discourses of racial control can accelerate “tragedy of the commodity” dynamics. Future analyses could expand on this study in a comparative fashion by exploring how other intersectional considerations, including gendered power dynamics, may play important roles in the interwoven commodification of fisheries and terrestrial agriculture systems across the world food system.

APPENDIX

TABLE A1.

Summary of cited data sources

Narrative sectionPrimary sources citedSecondary sources citedPrimary data descriptionSecondary data description
Oil Lawson 1709; Catesby 1732; Goode 1880  Frye 1978; Ellis 2003; Bolster 2012; Franklin 2007; Davis, Gallman, and Gleiter 1997; York 2017; McKenzie 2010  Early explorer/naturalist accounts and journals, government documents Marine histories, fishery descriptive histories, journal articles 
Fertilizer Liebig 1859; Maine Board of Agriculture 1875; Pacific Guano Company 1876; Goode 1880; Titus 1885; Lippincott's Magazine 1883; Association of the Menhaden Oil and Guano Manufacturers of Maine 1878; Smith and Vaughn 2009; Goode 1887; Smith 1895; Greer 1912  Foster 1999; Marx 1976; Clark and Foster 2009; Magdoff 2011; Clark and Foster 2013; Friedmann 2005; McMichael 2013; Cronon 1991; Bolster 2012; Garrity-Blake 1994; Gabriel 1920; McMichael 2009  State and federal government records, private company records, archived periodicals Marine histories, journal articles, fishery descriptive histories, environmental histories 
Livestock feed New York Times 1918; Ellis 1927; Jett 1927; H. S. Baker and Bro. Correspondence 1933; Greer 1912; McKenney 1959; Conversation with Former Fishing Boat Captain; Curry Interview with Frye 1989; UNC Sea Grant 1988; Garrity-Blake 2010; Wharton 1957; Cecelski correspondence; Saturday Evening Post 1959; Henry 1971; Colonna and Colonna 1993  Schrock 2006; McMichael 2009; McMichael 1989; Cronon 1991; Smith 2017; Clark et al. 2018; Garrity-Blake 1994; Frye 1978; Du Bois 2003; Clark, Auerbach, and Zhang 2017; Frye 1978; Ligouri 1968; Cecelski 2018a; Franklin 2007; Frye 1997; York 2017  Newspaper clippings, archived internal correspondence, conversations and personal correspondence, government records, archived interviews Journal articles, marine, local and environmental histories, unpublished scholarly works 
Aquaculture feed ASMFC 2011; ASMFC 1992; ASMFC 1981; Garrity-Blake 2010; ASMFC 2017  Dudley 2012; Parker 1989,Clark et al. 2018; FAO 2016; Longo, Clark, and York 2013; Longo, Clausen and Clark 2015; McMichael 2005; Friedmann 1991; McMichael 2012; Hale et al. 1991; McMichael 2013; Asche and Tveterås 2004; Whitehead and Harrison 2017; Franklin 2007; Harrison 2016  Interstate governance records, archived interviews Journal articles, unpublished academic work, IGO review documents, online review articles 
Narrative sectionPrimary sources citedSecondary sources citedPrimary data descriptionSecondary data description
Oil Lawson 1709; Catesby 1732; Goode 1880  Frye 1978; Ellis 2003; Bolster 2012; Franklin 2007; Davis, Gallman, and Gleiter 1997; York 2017; McKenzie 2010  Early explorer/naturalist accounts and journals, government documents Marine histories, fishery descriptive histories, journal articles 
Fertilizer Liebig 1859; Maine Board of Agriculture 1875; Pacific Guano Company 1876; Goode 1880; Titus 1885; Lippincott's Magazine 1883; Association of the Menhaden Oil and Guano Manufacturers of Maine 1878; Smith and Vaughn 2009; Goode 1887; Smith 1895; Greer 1912  Foster 1999; Marx 1976; Clark and Foster 2009; Magdoff 2011; Clark and Foster 2013; Friedmann 2005; McMichael 2013; Cronon 1991; Bolster 2012; Garrity-Blake 1994; Gabriel 1920; McMichael 2009  State and federal government records, private company records, archived periodicals Marine histories, journal articles, fishery descriptive histories, environmental histories 
Livestock feed New York Times 1918; Ellis 1927; Jett 1927; H. S. Baker and Bro. Correspondence 1933; Greer 1912; McKenney 1959; Conversation with Former Fishing Boat Captain; Curry Interview with Frye 1989; UNC Sea Grant 1988; Garrity-Blake 2010; Wharton 1957; Cecelski correspondence; Saturday Evening Post 1959; Henry 1971; Colonna and Colonna 1993  Schrock 2006; McMichael 2009; McMichael 1989; Cronon 1991; Smith 2017; Clark et al. 2018; Garrity-Blake 1994; Frye 1978; Du Bois 2003; Clark, Auerbach, and Zhang 2017; Frye 1978; Ligouri 1968; Cecelski 2018a; Franklin 2007; Frye 1997; York 2017  Newspaper clippings, archived internal correspondence, conversations and personal correspondence, government records, archived interviews Journal articles, marine, local and environmental histories, unpublished scholarly works 
Aquaculture feed ASMFC 2011; ASMFC 1992; ASMFC 1981; Garrity-Blake 2010; ASMFC 2017  Dudley 2012; Parker 1989,Clark et al. 2018; FAO 2016; Longo, Clark, and York 2013; Longo, Clausen and Clark 2015; McMichael 2005; Friedmann 1991; McMichael 2012; Hale et al. 1991; McMichael 2013; Asche and Tveterås 2004; Whitehead and Harrison 2017; Franklin 2007; Harrison 2016  Interstate governance records, archived interviews Journal articles, unpublished academic work, IGO review documents, online review articles 

REFERENCES

REFERENCES
American Sportfishing Association
.
2018
.
“Saving Menhaden”
(http://old.asafishing.org/advocacy_and_policy/issues-archive/saving-menhaden/).
Amin
,
Samir
.
2015
.
“Contemporary Imperialism.”
Monthly Review
67
(
3
).
Araghi
,
Farshad
.
2003
.
“Food Regimes and the Production of Value: Some Methodological Issues.”
Journal of Peasant Studies
30
(
2
):
337
68
.
Asche
,
Frank
, and
Sigbjørn
Tveterås
.
2004
.
“On the Relationship between Aquaculture and Reduction Fisheries.”
Journal of Agricultural Economics
55
(
2
):
245
65
.
Association of the Menhaden Oil and Guano Manufacturers of Maine
.
1878
.
“The Menhaden Fishery of Maine: With Statistical and Historical Details, Its Relations to Agriculture and as a Direct Source of Human Food: New Processes, Products and Discoveries.”
Portland, ME
:
Thurston and Co
.
Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission
.
1981
.
“Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Menhaden.”
Fishery Management Report No. 2.
Arlington, VA
.
Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission
.
1992
.
“Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Menhaden.”
Fishery Report No. 22.
Arlington, VA
.
Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission
.
2011
.
“Stock Assessment Report No. 10-02 of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission: Atlantic Menhaden Stock Assessment and Review Panel Reports.”
Arlington, VA
.
Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission
.
2017
.
“Atlantic Menhaden Stock Assessment Update.”
Arlington, VA
.
Baran
,
Paul
, and
Paul
Sweezy
.
1966
.
Monopoly Capital
.
New York
:
Monthly Review Press
.
Bolster
,
Jeffrey
.
2012
.
The Mortal Sea: Fishing the Atlantic in the Age of Sail
.
Cambridge, MA
:
Harvard University Press
.
Bunker
,
Stephen
.
1984
.
“Modes of Extraction, Unequal Exchange, and the Progressive Underdevelopment of an Extreme Periphery.”
American Journal of Sociology
89
:
1017
64
.
Burkett
,
Paul
.
1999
.
Marx and Nature: A Red and Green Perspective
.
Chicago, IL
:
Haymarket Books
.
Catesby
,
Mark
.
1771
(republished 1974).
The Natural History of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahama Islands
.
Savannah
:
Beehive Press
.
Cecelski
,
David
.
2018
.
“The Menhaden Fisherman's Strike”
(https://davidcecelski.com/2018/01/13/the-menhaden-fishermens-strike/).
Ceci
,
Lynn
.
1975
.
“Fish Fertilizer: A Native North American Practice?”
Science
188
(
4183
):
26
30
.
Chase-Dunn
,
Christopher
.
2005
.
“Social Evolution and the Future of World Society.”
Journal of World-Systems Research
11
(
2
):
171
92
.
Chase-Dunn
,
Christopher K.
, and
Thomas D.
Hall
.
1997
.
“Ecological Degradation and the Evolution of World-Systems.”
Journal of World-Systems Research
3
:
403
31
.
Clark
,
Brett
,
Daniel
Auerbach
, and
Karen Xuan
Zhang
.
2017
.
“The Du Bois Nexus: Intersectionality, Political Economy, and Environmental Injustice in the Peruvian Guano Trade in the 1800s.”
Environmental Sociology
4
(
1
):
54
66
.
Clark
,
Brett
, and
John Bellamy
Foster
.
2009
.
“Ecological Imperialism and the Global Metabolic Rift: Unequal Exchange and the Guano/Nitrates Trade.”
International Journal of Comparative Sociology
50
(
3–4
):
311
34
.
Clark
,
Brett
, and
John Bellamy
Foster
.
2013
. “Guano: The Global Metabolic Rift and the Fertilizer Trade.” Pp.
84
98
in
Ecology and Power
, edited by
Alf
Hornborg
,
Brett
Clark
, and
Kenneth
Hermele
.
New York
:
Routledge
.
Clark
,
Brett
, and
Stefano B.
Longo
.
2018
.
“Land-Sea Ecological Rifts. A Metabolic Analysis of Nutrient Loading.”
Monthly Review
70
(
3
):
106
21
.
Clark
,
Brett
,
Stefano B.
Longo
, and
Rebecca
Clausen
.
2018
. “Sea Slaves to Slime Lines: Unequal Ecological Exchange in Global Fisheries.” In
Ecologically Unequal Exchange: Environmental Injustice in Comparative and Historical Perspective
, edited by
R. Scott
Frey
,
Paul K.
Gellert
, and
Harry F.
Dahms
.
Cham
:
Palgrave MacMillan
.
Clark
,
Timothy P.
,
Stefano B.
Longo
,
Brett
Clark
, and
Andrew K.
Jorgenson
.
2018
.
“Socio-structural Drivers, Fisheries Footprints, and Seafood Consumption: A Comparative International Study, 1961-2012.”
Journal of Rural Studies
57
:
140
46
.
Clausen
,
Rebecca
, and
Stefano B.
Longo
.
2012
.
“The Tragedy of the Commodity and the Farce of AquAdvantage Salmon®.”
Development and Change
43
(
1
):
229
51
.
Collins
,
Patricia Hill
.
1993
.
Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment
.
Routledge
:
New York
.
Colonna
,
B. D.
, Jr.
, and
W. W.
Colonna
Jr.
1993
.
Letter Explaining Selling of Fish Boats
.
Atlantic Fishing Company
.
Cronon
,
William
.
1991
.
Nature's Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West
.
New York
:
Norton
.
Cronon
,
William
.
2011
.
Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology of New England
.
New York
:
Hill and Wang
.
Curry
,
Sherman
.
1989
.
“Interview with John Frye.”
Archived at
Mariners' Museum
,
Newport News, VA
.
Davis
,
Angela
.
1983
.
Women, Race, and Class
.
New York
:
Vintage
.
Davis
,
Lance E.
,
Robert E.
Gallman
, and
Karin
Gleiter
.
1997
.
In Pursuit of Leviathan: Technology, Institutions, Productivity and Profits in American Whaling, 1816–1906
.
Chicago, IL
:
University of Chicago Press
.
Du Bois
,
W. E. B.
1999
.
Darkwater
. Mineola.
New York
:
Dover Publications
.
Du Bois
,
W. E. B.
2003
.
The Souls of Black Folk
.
New York
:
Modern Library
.
Dudley
,
Mitchell Ryan
.
2012
.
The Economics of the Atlantic Menhaden Fishery
. Dissertation,
Department of Economics, North Carolina State University
.
Ellis
,
E. T.
1927
.
“The Utilization of Fish Offal.”
Bureau of Fisheries, Department of Commerce
,
Washington, DC
. Archived at
Mariners' Museum
,
Newport News, VA
.
Ellis
,
Richard
.
2003
.
The Empty Ocean
.
Washington, DC
:
Island Press
.
Frame
,
Mariko
.
2018
. “The Role of the Semi-Periphery in Ecologically Unequal Exchange: A Case Study of Land Investments in Cambodia.” In
Ecologically Unequal Exchange: Environmental Injustice in Comparative and Historical Perspective
, edited by
Scott
Frey
,
Paul K.
Gellert
, and
Harry F.
Dahms
.
Cham
:
Palgrave Macmillan
.
Franklin
,
H. Bruce
.
2007
.
The Most Important Fish in the Sea: Menhaden and America
.
Washington, DC
:
Island Press
.
Friedland
,
Kevin D.
,
Dean W.
Ahrenholz
, and
Leonard W.
Haas
.
2005
.
“Viable Gut Passage of Cyanobacteria through the Filter-Feeding Fish Atlantic Menhaden, Brevoortia tyrannus
Journal of Plankton Research
27
(
7
):
715
18
.
Friedmann
,
Harriet
.
1991
. “Changes in the International Division of Labor: Agri-Food Complexes and Export Agriculture.” In
Towards a New Political Economy of Agriculture
, edited by
W.
Friedland
,
L.
Busch
,
F.
Buttel
and
A.
Rudy
.
Boulder, CO
:
Westview
.
Friedmann
,
Harriet
.
1993
.
“The Political Economy of Food: A Global Crisis.”
New Left Review
197
:
29
57
.
Friedmann
,
Harriet
.
2005
. “From Colonialism to Green Capitalism: Social Movements and the Emergence of Food Regimes.” Pp.
229
67
in
New Directions in the Sociology of Global Development
, v.
11
, edited by
F. H.
Buttel
and
P.
McMichael
.
Oxford
:
Elsevier
.
Friedmann
,
Harriet
, and
Philip
McMichael
.
1989
.
“Agriculture and the State System: The Rise and Decline of National Agricultures, 1870 to the Present.”
Sociologia Ruralis
29
(
2
):
93
117
.
Frye
,
John
.
1978
.
The Men All Singing: The Story of Menhaden Fishing
.
Norfolk, VA
:
Donning
.
Frye
,
John
.
1997
.
“Fatbacks, Bunkers, and Pogies.”
Archived at
Reedville Museum
.
Reedville, VA
.
Foster
,
John Bellamy
.
1999
.
“Marx's Theory of Metabolic Rift: Classical Foundations for Environmental Sociology.”
American Journal of Sociology
105
(
2
):
366
405
.
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
.
2016
.
State of the World Fisheries and Aquaculture
.
Rome
:
FAO
.
Foster
,
John Bellamy
.
2000
.
Marx's Ecology
.
New York
:
Monthly Review Press
.
Foster
,
John Bellamy
, and
Brett
Clark
.
2018
.
“The Expropriation of Nature.”
Monthly Review
69
(
10
).
Gabriel
,
Ralph H.
1920
.
“Geographic Influences in the Development of the Menhaden Fishery on the Eastern Coast of the United States.”
Geographic Review
10
(
2
):
91
100
.
Garrity-Blake
,
Barbara J.
1994
.
The Fish Factory
.
Knoxville
:
University of Tennessee Press
.
Garrity-Blake
,
Barbara
.
2010
.
“Carolina Voices: An Oral History of the Outer Banks and Down East N.C.”
Harkers' Island, NC
:
Core Sound Waterfowl Museum and Heritage Center
.
Goode
,
George Brown
.
1880
.
A History of the Menhaden
.
New York
:
Orange Judd
.
Goode
,
George Brown
.
1887
. “History and Methods of the Fisheries.”
The Fisheries and Fishing Industries of the United States
, Section 5.
U.S. Commission of Fish and Fisheries
,
Washington, DC
.
Gottlieb
,
Sara J.
1998
.
“Nutrient Removal by Age-0 Atlantic Menhaden (Brevoortia Tyrranus) in Chesapeake Bay and Implications for Seasonal Management of the Fishery.”
Ecological Modelling
112
(
2–3
):
111
30
.
Greer
,
Roy Leon
.
1912
.
“The Menhaden Industry of the Atlantic Coast.”
Document no. 811.
U.S. Bureau of Fisheries, Department of Commerce
,
Washington, DC
.
Griffin
,
Larry J.
1993
.
“Narrative, Event-Structure Analysis, and Causal Interpretation in Historical Sociology.”
American Journal of Sociology
98
(
5
):
1094
1133
.
Harrison
,
Jane
.
2016
.
“Menhaden Management.”
Center for Environmental and Resource Economic Policy
(https://cenrep.ncsu.edu/2016/11/08/menhaden-management/).
Hale
,
Malcolm
,
P. E.
Bauersfeld
,
S. B.
Galloway
, and
J. D.
Joseph
.
1991
.
“New Products and Markets for Menhaden, Brevoortia spp.”
Marine Fisheries Review
53
(
4
):
42
48
.
Henry
,
Kenneth A.
1971
.
“Atlantic Menhaden (Brevoortia tyrannus) Resource and Fishery: Analysis of Decline.”
National Marine Fisheries Service Biological Laboratory
,
Seattle, WA
.
H. J. Baker & Bro
.
1933
.
Letter to Menhaden Products Company
. Archived at
Mariners' Museum
,
Newport News, VA
.
Jett
,
Joseph C.
,
Broker for Fertilizer, Materials, Oils, and Bags
.
1927
.
Letter to Manager of Menhaden Products Company
. Archived at
Mariners' Museum
,
Newport News, VA
.
Lange
,
Matthew
.
2012
.
Comparative-Historical Methods
.
London
:
Sage
.
Lawson
,
John
.
1709
.
A New Voyage to Carolina
.
Chapel Hill
:
Republished in 1967 by University of North Carolina Press
.
Lewis
,
Robert M.
,
Dean W.
Ahrenholz
, and
Sheryan P.
Epperly
.
1987
.
“Fecundity of Atlantic Menhaden, Brevoortia Tyrannus.”
Estuaries and Coasts
10
(
4
):
347
50
.
Ligouri
,
Victor A.
1968
.
Stability and Change in the Social Structure of Atlantic Coast Commercial Fisheries
. PhD dissertation,
Princeton University
.
Lippincott's Magazine
.
1883
.
“The Menhaden Fishery and Factories.”
Archived at
Reedville Fishermen's Museum
.
Reedville, VA
.
Longo
,
Stefano B.
, and
Brett
Clark
.
2016
.
“An Ocean of Troubles: Advancing Marine Sociology.”
Social Problems
63
(
4
):
463
79
.
Longo
,
Stefano B.
,
Brett
Clark
, and
Richard
York
.
2013
.
“The Globalization of Ecologically Intensive Aquaculture (1984–2010).”
Journal of Environmental Studies and Science
3
(
3
):
297
305
.
Longo
,
Stefano B.
, and
Rebecca
Clausen
.
2011
.
“The Tragedy of the Commodity: The Overexploitation of the Mediterranean Bluefin Tuna Fishery.”
Organization & Environment
24
(
3
):
312
28
.
Longo
,
Stefano B.
,
Rebecca
Clausen
, and
Brett
Clark
.
2015
.
The Tragedy of the Commodity
.
New Brunswick, NJ
:
Rutgers University Press
.
Magdoff
,
Fred
.
2011
.
“Ecological Civilization.”
Monthly Review
62
(
8
).
Mahoney
,
James
.
2007
.
“Qualitative Methodology and Comparative Politics.”
Comparative Political Studies
40
(
2
):
122
44
.
Maine Board of Agriculture
.
1875
.
“Twentieth Annual Report of the Secretary.”
Augusta, ME
:
Sprague, Owen, and Nash
.
Marx
,
Karl
.
1976
.
Capital
, Volume
1
.
New York
:
Vintage
.
McHugh
,
J. L.
1967
. “Estuarine nekton.” Pp.
581
620
in
Estuaries
, edited by
G. H.
Lauff
.
Washington, DC
:
AAAS
.
McKenney
,
X.
1959
.
History of the Menhaden Industry in Virginia
. Northern Neck Historical Society. Archived at
Reedville Fishermen's Museum
,
Reedville, VA
.
McKenzie
,
Matthew
.
2010
.
Clearing the Coastline: The Nineteenth-Century Ecological and Cultural Transformation of Cape Cod
.
Lebanon, NH
:
University Press of New England
.
McMichael
,
Philip
.
2005
. “Global Development and the Corporate Food Regime.” Pp.
265
99
in
New Directions in the Sociology of Global Development
, edited by
Frederic H.
Buttel
and
Phillip
McMichael
.
Bingley
:
Emerald Group
.
McMichael
,
Phillip
.
2009
.
“A Food Regime Genealogy.”
Journal of Peasant Studies
36
(
1
):
139
69
.
McMichael
,
Phillip
.
2012
.
Development and Social Change: A Global Perspective
.
Thousand Oaks, CA
:
Sage
.
McMichael
,
Phillip
.
2013
.
Food Regimes and Agrarian Questions
.
Halifax
:
Fernwood
.
Mészáros
,
István
.
1995
.
Beyond Capital
.
New York
:
Monthly Review Press
.
Nature Conservancy
.
2017
.
“Managing for Menhaden: A Small Fish with an Outsized Importance to our Ocean”
(https://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica/areas/easternusmarine/managing-for-menhaden.xml).
New York Times
.
1918
.
“Wants More Fish Meal: Federal Bureau Plans Greater Use of It as Food for Hogs,”
July 21.
Österblom, Henrik,
U. Rashid
Sumaila
, Örjan Bodin,
Jonas Hentati
Sundberg
, and
Anthony J.
Press
.
2010
.
“Adapting to Regional Enforcement: Fishing Down the Governance Index.”
PloS ONE
5
(
9
):e12832.
Oviatt
,
C. A.
,
A. L.
Gall
, and
S. W.
Nixon
.
1972
.
“Environmental Effects of Atlantic Menhaden on Surrounding Waters.”
Chesapeake Science
13
:
321
23
.
Pacific Guano Company
.
1876
.
“The Pacific Guano Company: Its History; Its Products and Trade; Its Relation to Agriculture.”
Cambridge, MA
:
Riverside Press
.
Parker
,
Nick C.
1989
.
“History, Status, and Future of Aquaculture in the United States.”
Review of Aquatic Sciences
1
:
97
109
.
Polanyi
,
Karl
.
1957
.
The Great Transformation
.
Boston, MA
:
Beacon Press
.
Saturday Evening Post
.
1959
.
“They Hunt the Mysterious Menhaden,”
August
22
. Archived at
Reedville Fishermen's Museum
,
Reedville, VA
.
Schrock
,
Richard
.
2006
.
“Nitrogen Fix.”
MIT Technology Review
,
May
1
(https://www.technologyreview.com/s/405750/nitrogen-fix/).
Smith
,
Carolynn L.
2017
.
“A Chicken for Every Pot: The Economics, Evolution and Ethics of the Modern Chicken.”
Australian Zoologist
39
(
1
):
43
51
.
Smith
,
Hugh
.
1895
. “Notes on an Investigation of the Menhaden Fishery in 1894, with Special Reference to the Food-Fishes Taken.”
U.S. Fish Commission Bulletin
. Archived at
Reedville Fishermen's Museum
,
Reedville, VA
.
Smith
,
John
.
1619
.
A Description of New England; or the Observations, and Discoveries of Captain John Smith (Admiral of that Country) in the North of America, in the Year of our Lord 1614
.
London
:
Forgotten Books
.
Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review
.
2014
.
“Stock Assessment Report: Atlantic Menhaden.”
Titus
,
Stephen A.
1885
.
A History of Suffolk County
.
Babylon, NY
:
Budget Steam Print
.
UNC Sea Grant
.
1988
.
“Of Purse Seines and Spotter Planes.”
Archived at
Reedville Fishermen's Museum
,
Reedville, VA
.
Vaughn
,
Douglas S.
, and
Joseph W.
Smith
.
2009
. “Reconstructing Historical Commercial Landings of Atlantic Menhaden.”
Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review
20
,
South Atlantic Fishery Management Council
,
North Charleston, SC
.
von Liebig
,
Justus
.
1859
.
“On English Farming and Sewers.”
Reprinted in
Monthly Review
70
(
3
),
2018
.
Wallerstein
,
Immanuel
.
1983
.
Historical Capitalism with Capitalist Civilization
.
London
:
Verso
.
Wharton
,
James
.
1957
.
“Salvage of the Sea Songs.”
New York Times Magazine
.
Whitehead
,
John C.
, and
Jane
Harrison
.
2017
.
“Socioeconomic Analysis of the Atlantic Menhaden Commercial Bait and Reduction Fishery.”
Report to the
Atlantic Marine States Fisheries Commission
,
Arlington, VA
.
York
,
Richard
.
2017
.
“Why Petroleum Did Not Save the Whales.”
Socius
3
:
1
13
.
York
,
Richard
, and
Marcia Hill
Gossard
.
2004
.
“Cross-National Meat and Fish Consumption: Exploring the Effects of Modernization and Ecological Context.”
Ecological Economics
48
(
3
):
293
302
.

NOTES

1.

This 3½-cent figure is confirmed by fisher Sherman Curry in an interview with John Frye in 1989.

2.

All capture data comes from Fish StatJ software.

3.

It is now Cooke, Inc., as of 2017.