Extracted, with the permission of the author, from "Blind Freddie's Guide to Fishery Management". This list is fully editable and additions or corrections are encouraged.

The laity Edit

Bush, George W

  • "I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully." [Said at Saginaw, Michigan, Sept. 29, 2000]

Churchill, Winston

  • "We must have a policy of utmost fish. Report before midnight." When he was First Lord of the Admiralty at the outset of the war, and beset with naval emergency, Churchill discovered somehow that there was an insufficient supply of fish being caught off the coast. In went the details; out went the famous order[1].

Cohen, Jack

  • "I blame the training of today’s managers. They’ve not been trained to think about robustness and stability. They’ve been trained to think about efficiency. Efficiency, to a modern manager, means that every conceivable component is just about to break down. The big problem here is reductionist managers operating with a complex system as if it were simple" (The Guardian 1.Mar.2001) Not exactly a fishy quotation, but definitely applicable to fisheries management - US National Standard 1 requires, for example, that the "optimum yield from each fishery for the United States fishing industry" be achieved on a continuing basis.

Shaw, George Bernard (1856-1950)

  • polymath, playwright, Nobel prize winner, and the most prolific letter writer in history, was an advocate of English spelling reform. He was reportedly fond of pointing out its absurdities by proving that fish can be spelt ghoti. That is 'gh' as in 'rough' , 'o' as in 'women' and 'ti' as in palatial. [2]

Swift, Jonathan

  • "He was a bold man that first ate an oyster".

Tzu, Lao

  • "if you give a man a fish you feed him for a day but if you teach a man to fish you feed him for life". (Obviously written at a time when there weren't many men around.)
  • The modern equivalent runs thus: "If you give a fisherman a grant he can keep his boat running for a month, but if you show him how to apply for subsidies he can keep his boat running for ever".
  • But variants on the original have been observed such as "Give a Man a Fish and He'll Eat for a Day. Teach a Man to Fish, And He'll Sit in a Boat and Drink Beer All Day" etc.


  • "as easy as shooting fish in a barrel" (Yes, but how easy is it to get the fish into the barrel in the first place?)
  • (cited by King, cited by Magnus Johnson (Fishfolk 11 May 2004)) "The greatest doubt that has been thrown on the authenticity of the biblical miracles is the fact that most of the witnesses were fishermen"
  • (possibly a tourist, after visiting Tiberias): Once Jesus wanted to cross the Sea of Galilee. He went to Tiberias fishermen and asked them if they could take him across the Lake. "Sure thing" - they answered - "for a price". When Jesus heard the price He said, "I'll better walk". And this is why Jesus walked on water.

The Bible Edit

Why Seventh Day Adventism is the faith of choice for marine invertebrate conservationists

  • Leviticus Chapter 11: 9-10. These shall ye eat of all that are in the waters: whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them shall ye eat. And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you"

How Jesus persuaded cast-netters to to reduce overcapacity without a buy-back scheme

  • Matthew Chapter 4: 18-20. "And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him."

Marine protected areas are predicted (or possibly the impacs also shall mourn, and all they that cast angle into the brooks shall lament, and they that spread nets upon the waters shall languish. "

Aquaculturalists don't escape His wrath…

  • Isaiah Chapter 19:10. "And they shall be broken in the purposes thereof, all that make sluices and ponds for fish"

On the similarities between Heaven and fishing nets, and the discard of bycatch...

  • Matthew Chapter 13:47-48. "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away."

God authorizes food-fishing

  • Genesis Chapter 9:1-3: "And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth. And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered. Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things."

God authorizes fisheries management:

  • Genesis Chapter 1:28: "And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea…"