Shortall, David (1973) Environmental perception in two local fisheries: a case study from eastern Newfoundland. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.
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Few attempts have been made to examine the role of perception by fishermen in marine environments, although the invisibility of the prey and the uncertainty of the elements require that fishermen be aware of the effects of the environment. It was the purpose of the present study to examine how two groups of Newfoundland fishermen, the Petty Harbour trap and handline fishermen and the St. John's longliner gillnet fishermen, perceived their natural environment, and to establish how their adaptations were influenced by these perceptions. -- The fieldwork was carried out between May and December, 1971. Structured and unstructured interviewing techniques were used to question the fishermen in both communities, while several trips were made to the fishing grounds to observe the fishing operation. Recorded environmental data were collected from official sources and were used to compare the fishermen's perception of the environment with actual conditions. -- It was found from an analysis of the data that both groups of fishermen expressed an awareness of only certain elements of the natural environment. These elements were selected according to their effects upon fish behaviour and upon the catching operation. In this way, the fishermen formed a mental image or model of the environment which enabled them to simplify their understanding of its complexity. Each group of fishermen was found to form a distinct image of the environment which varied according to the size of the fishing area, the extent of the fishing season, the variety of species sought, and the kind of technology utilized. The fishermen tended to express how they would act in a given situation according to the effects of specific elements. Actual adaptations, however, were influenced from day to day by the unpredictable occurrence of wind, tide, fog, and fish behaviour, as well as by the differing investments in the fishery.
|Item Type:||Thesis (Masters)|
|Additional Information:||Bibliography: leaves -191.|
|Department(s):||Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Geography|
|Geographic Location:||Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador--Avalon Peninsula--St. John's; Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador--Avalon Peninsula--Petty Harbour|
|Library of Congress Subject Heading:||Fisheries--Newfoundland and Labrador|
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