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“Red Herring”: The Unpredictable Soviet Fish and Soviet Power in the 1930s

  • Julia Lajus
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Studies in the History of Science and Technology book series (PSHST)

Abstract

In the beginning of the 1930s, a sudden appearance of herring near the Soviet coasts of the Barents Sea created large expectations for future development of herring fisheries. Authorities constructed the “resource” with the assistance of scientists; voices of local people who knew about fluctuations of herring stocks in the past were silenced. When the herring disappeared after several years of enormous catches, scientists were blamed for faulty predictions. Soviet scientists found themselves between unpredictable forces: warming of the Arctic waters that affected fish distribution and Soviet power that kept archaic beliefs in the ability of its supporters to govern not only humans but natural objects. The Soviet power punished experts who insisted on the necessity of more solid knowledge about resources.

Keywords

Soviet Arctic Herring Fisheries Science 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julia Lajus
    • 1
  1. 1.National Research University Higher School of EconomicsSt. PetersburgRussia

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