Abstract: Business Historians and the Global Over-Fishing Crisis: Opportunities for Research

Mansel G. Blackford


In the late 1990s and early 2000s, seafood firms supplying the American market—Red Chamber, Trident Seafoods, and the Pacific Seafood Group, to name the three largest in 2006—were privately held family firms engaged exclusively in catching, processing, and selling seafood. They had displaced publicly held diversified corporations as seafood industry leaders. In this essay, I look at how and why that change occurred by setting the stage for business actions through an examination of the nature of modern-day fishing and over-fishing and through an investigation of efforts to mitigate over-fishing through national and international government bodies such as United Nations Law of the Sea Conferences. I discuss how seafood firms have met the challenges of their new circumstances, leading to a substantial reconfiguration of their industry. I also touch on the need for additional historical oceanic research.

BEH On-Line Paper