Elvers and salmon: Moral ecologies and conflict on the nineteenth-century severn

Carl J. Griffin, Iain J.M. Robertson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)


Tensions over customary use rights have been dominant in social histories, although such studies have been overwhelmingly of the soil. This chapter, instead, focuses on attempts to restrict the popular custom of fishing for elvers-the fry of the eel-in the River Severn/Severn Estuary. The creation of the Severn Fisheries Board in 1867 pitted the poor of the communities of the estuary and river who relied on elver fishing against those elites who sought to protect their interests in salmon. The analysis draws upon Karl Jacoby’s conception of ‘moral ecology’ and shows that the discourses and practices of conservation, in the water as much as the land, are often little more than fig leaves to justify class-based acts of dispossession and social regulation.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe New Coastal History
Subtitle of host publicationCultural and Environmental Perspectives from Scotland and Beyond
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9783319640907
ISBN (Print)9783319640891
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


Dive into the research topics of 'Elvers and salmon: Moral ecologies and conflict on the nineteenth-century severn'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this