Fish Culture and Human Culture: Historic Contexts of Modern Research and Management

Scientific Disciplines
Biological Sciences - Aquatic
Fisheries science
Fisheries management
Sport fishing
fish culture
human culture
Volume 16, No. 4

Fish culture and human culture: historic contexts of 
modern research and management

Paul Schullery, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming 82190
The intellectual and social foundations of three overlapping enterprises—fisheries 
science, fisheries management, and sport fishing—are incredibly complex. Practitioners of 
each of the three confront vexing, yet stimulating, instances of this complexity as they attempt 
to interact with practitioners of the other two. Historically, comparatively little scholarly 

attention has been paid to coming to terms with the character of these essential interactions.
This paper reinforces the urgency of advancing such scholarly attention. The paper will 
invoke C.P. Snow's provocative "two cultures" lecture (1959) on the persistence and power 
of such "incomprehensibility gaps" as now often exist among the "three cultures" of science, 
management, and sport fishers. The paper will also critique H. Jones' contemporaneous and 
controversial Maxim on Field Research (1957) as a way of proposing at least some means 
for a better understanding among the three cultures—and countless subcultures—of human/
fish endeavors. Results will include a fast-and-loose overview of random but helpful if not 
inspiring cases that indicate possible directions for improvement of this difficult situation. The 
talk's tone will not be anything like this abstract.