Open Collections has several collections related to fishing. Today, we will introduce a few of these collections and our favourite digitized items!

Fisherman Publishing Society Collection

In the Fisherman Publishing Society Collection, we have digitized around 4,000 photographs taken from 1862 to 1989. The Fisherman Publishing Society formed in 1937 and had published a bi-weekly newspaper, The Fisherman, for the Salmon Purse Seiners Union and its successor, the United Fisherman and Allied Workers’ Union. The paper was about the fishing industry and union events to promote unity among West Coast fishermen. The photographs depict labour and union activity, fish and fishing vessels, and the men and women who worked in the fishing industry. The archival collections are housed in UBC Rare Books and Special Collections, with other correspondence, a scrapbook, meeting minutes, ships’ logs and the Harry Allison papers.


View of Dave Carlson’s boat the Spirit of B.C. at launching June, 1968.


Herring sale by Fishers Union at New Westminster to aid CKNW orphans fund December, 1968.


Hawthorn Fly Fishing & Angling Collection

UBC Library has more than 2,200 books on angling and fly-fishing, known as the Harry Hawthorn Collection. The collection started when a group of UBC professors went fishing for a holiday in 1953. They decided to launch a foundation with the accumulated money from various bets and fines for alleged illegal or non-ethical fishing methods. The current members of the Foundation are continuing this tradition to go fly-fishing in early August, and the increased funding has gone towards developing the collection.

In Open Collections, we have digitized around 50 representative titles as Hawthorn Fly Fishing & Angling Collection with generous support by the Harry Hawthorn Foundation.


Sparrow, Walter Shaw. Angling in British art through five centuries: prints, pictures, books, 1923.


[Lang, Cecil]. The mighty mahseer and other fish : or hints to beginners on Indian fishing, 1906.


Traité général des pesches

Traité général des pesches consists of a digitized book with two volumes, Traité général des pesches, et histoire des poissons qu’elles fournissent, tant pour la subsistance des hommes, que pour plusieurs autres usages qui on rapport aux arts et au commerce, [between 1769-1782]. These volumes, written by a French physician and botanist, Henri-Louis Duhamel du Monceau (1700-1782) and Jean-Louis De La Marre between 1769 and 1782, were considered one of the finest works on fishing and fisheries.

Duhamel du Monceau, M. Traité général des pesches, et histoire des poissons qu’elles fournissent, tant pour la subsistance des hommes, que pour plusieurs autres usages qui on rapport aux arts et au commerce, [between 1769-1782].

Duhamel du Monceau, M. Traité général des pesches, et histoire des poissons qu’elles fournissent, tant pour la subsistance des hommes, que pour plusieurs autres usages qui on rapport aux arts et au commerce. Seconde partie, [between 1769-1782].

Along with the entire volumes, we also separately digitized all of the illustrated plates in the books:


Duhamel du Monceau, M. Part 1, Section 1, Plate 2, [between 1769-1782].

Duhamel du Monceau, M. Part 2, Section 1, Plate 10, [between 1769-1782].

UBC Institute of Fisheries Field Records

UBC Institute of Fisheries Field Records have more than 10,000 digitized records on fish specimens in the UBC Fish Collection housed in the Beaty Biodiversity Museum, which is the third-largest fish collection in Canada.

The fish records include information about where and what kinds of fish were caught. This data has been used in environmental assessments, conservation efforts and research projects in an aquatic ecosystem.

The oldest record in 1877, for instance, shows the record of Hyperoplus lanceolatus (Greater sand eel) caught in Estonia:

UBC Institute of Fisheries Field Record B.C. 63-943, 1877.


The latest record in 1991 have 13 different types of fishes caught near Helby Island, BC:

UBC Institute of Fisheries Filed Record B.C. 90-191, 1991.


If you want to explore more about these collections, please visit our past blog posts:



Three UBC researchers have been named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Three UBC ecologists who study the natural world at very different scales–from marine ecosystems, to plant and soil systems, to microbial communities–have been named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). AAAS is the world’s largest general scientific society, and the publisher of the journal Science.

UBC’s Steven Hallam, John Klironomos and Daniel Pauly are among 388 members recognized by the AAAS today because of their “scientifically or socially distinguished efforts” to advance science or its applications. Six researchers at Canadian institutions are among the new fellows.

In the UBC Fisheries Centre annual report for 2010-2011, Dr. Rashid Sumaila, Director and Professor of the UBC Fisheries Centre states:

The years 2010 and 2011 have been very exciting for those of us here at the Fisheries Centre. We welcomed two new faculty members, increasing the number of faculty at our Centre to twelve. First, we hired Dr Sang-Seon Yun, who comes to us from Kunsan National University in Korea, and is working with the Aboriginal Fisheries Research Unit in examining chemical communication systems of fishes. We also welcomed National Geographic Fellow Dr William W.L. Cheung, who obtained his PhD at UBC in 2007 and has returned to work on global change biology and fisheries.

The year 2011 also included the launch of a new website and visits from very distinguished guests thus helping the Fisheries Centre to ‘persevere in [its’] scholarly productivity and outreach efforts, with the goal of cultivating local and international fisheries awareness’.  Click on ‘View/Open’ to read the rest of the report in cIRcle at:

Did you know?

There are 190+ items in the Fisheries Centre collections in cIRcle. Explore these titles – Modelling the trophic role of marine mammals in tropical areas (2009); Total marine fisheries extractions by country in the Baltic Sea: 1950-present (2010); Trade in seahorses and other syngnathids in countries outside Asia (1998-2001) (2011) and more. Or, browse the Fisheries Centre collections by Author, Title, Subjects and By Dept. Affiliation.

Map of population trends of native and invasive species of jellyfish by LME.

Jellyfish are increasing in the majority of the world’s coastal ecosystems, according to the first global study of jellyfish abundance by University of British Columbia researchers.

In a study published in this month’s edition of the journal Hydrobiologia, UBC scientists examined data for numerous species of jellyfish for 45 of the world’s 66 Large Marine Ecosystems. They found increasing jellyfish populations in 62 per cent of the regions analyzed, including East Asia, the Black Sea, the Mediterranean, the Northeast U.S. Shelf, Hawaii, and Antarctica.

“There has been anecdotal evidence that jellyfish were on the rise in recent decades, but there hasn’t been a global study that gathered together all the existing data until now,” says Lucas Brotz, a PhD student with the Sea Around Us Project at UBC and lead author of the study.

To read the rest of this article, click the link provided here:

You can read now the full report in cIRcle, UBC’s Digital Repository in the Fisheries Centre Research Reports collection at: And take a moment browse through this growing collection found at:

Did you know?

Three members of UBC’s Fisheries Centre won the UBC Library’s Innovative Dissemination of Research Award in 2012 for The Sea Around Us portal. To find out who they were and to learn more about this award for new and innovative ways of communicating and disseminating knowledge, visit the Scholarly Communications @ UBC website at:

Above partial excerpt in italics and image are courtesy of the UBC Public Affairs website at The University of British Columbia.


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