CURWOOD: A hundred and twenty five years ago the French and Prussians went to war, and thanks to them and fish tycoon Julius Wolf, Americans learned to love sardines. The war cut off the supply of French sardines, so Mr. Wolf built a cannery in Eastport, Maine, to package those small, silvery fish that belong to the herring family. Commercial fishing towns sprang up along coastal Maine and even spread to California, where John Steinbeck immortalized them in his classic Cannery Row. At its peak in 1950, Maine alone boasted 75 canneries and produced more than three million tins of sardines packed in oil with those neat little keys on the bottom. But with no catch limits, the hunger for sardines soon emptied the bays. Today only five Maine canneries remain. In recent years, though, the fish have begun to recover. That's thanks in part to a 1997 federal law which prohibits large-scale sardine fishing until there are studies that show it would be sustainable. This is one industry that's learned the hard way, there aren't always more fish in the sea. And for this week that's the Living on Earth almanac.
(Music up and under)
Living on Earth wants to hear from you!
P.O. Box 990007
Boston, MA, USA 02199
Newsletter [Click here]
Donate to Living on Earth!
Living on Earth is an independent media program and relies entirely on contributions from listeners and institutions supporting public service. Please donate now to preserve an independent environmental voice.
Sailors For The Sea: Be the change you want to sea.
Innovating to make the world a better, more sustainable place to live. Listen to the race to 9 billion
The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment: Committed to protecting and improving the health of the global environment.
Energy Foundation: Serving the public interest by helping to build a strong, clean energy economy.
Contribute to Living on Earth and receive, as our gift to you, an archival print of one of Mark Seth Lender's extraordinary wildlife photographs. Follow the link to see Mark's current collection of photographs.
Buy a signed copy of Mark Seth Lender's book Smeagull the Seagull & support Living on Earth