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Shellfish for the Celestial Empire: The Rise and Fall of Commercial Abalone Fishing in California (Paperback)
  • Shellfish for the Celestial Empire: The Rise and Fall of Commercial Abalone Fishing in California (Paperback)

Shellfish for the Celestial Empire: The Rise and Fall of Commercial Abalone Fishing in California (Paperback)

Paperback 336 Pages / Published: 30/10/2016
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In the 1800s, when California was captivated by gold fever, a small group of Chinese immigrants recognized the fortune to be made from the untapped resources along the Pacific coast, particularly from harvesting the black abalone of southern and Baja California. These immigrants, with skills from humble beginnings in a traditional Chinese fishing province, founded California's commercial abalone industry and led its growth and expansion for several decades.

Today, the physical evidence of historical Chinese abalone fishing on the mainland has been erased by development. On California's Channel Islands, however, remnants of temporary abalone collecting and processing camps lie scattered along the coastlines. These sites hold a treasure trove of information, stories, lifeways, and history. Todd Braje uses them to explore the history of Chinese abalone fishing, presenting a microcosm of the broader history of Chinese immigrants in America.

Publisher: University of Utah Press,U.S.
ISBN: 9781607814962
Number of pages: 336
Weight: 408 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 18 mm

"This is archaeology with a purpose, committed not only to documenting the decline of an ecosystem, but also contributing to its restoration and to communicating this mission with wider academic and public audiences. This is a call to arms, addressing historical wrongs and mapping a sustainable future; it is fascinating, highly readable and recommended." --Antiquity

"Although other authors have documented aspects of the rise and fall of commercial abalone fishing, to my knowledge none has the particular focus of Braje's book: the social context of the industry and links to a deeper history. The book will have a significant impact in the fields of conservation of marine resources and marine habitat restoration."
--Michael A. Glassow, Professor Emeritus and Research Professor, University of California, Santa Barbara

"A new and unique contribution to historical archaeology, the historical archaeologies of Chinese immigrants in the Americas, zooarchaeology, environmental archaeology, historical ecology, and western history. An innovative piece of work."
--Mark Warner, professor of anthropology and department chair, University of Idaho
"An informative and enjoyable read for public and scientific audiences alike. Based on his research focused on the nineteenth-century commercial Chinese abalone fishing industry in California, Braje convincingly makes the argument that the deep time perspective historical ecology can provide should be embraced by marine ecologists, fisheries biologists, resource managers, and policy makers to help address modern ecological issues. ... [The book] sends a powerful message about the immediate need for an interdisciplinary approach to our world's most pressing ecological challenges."--California Archaeology

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