What wrecks reveal
DOI link for What wrecks reveal
What wrecks reveal book
This chapter explores the continued presence of wrecks and what they reveal about broader ecological and economic systems. Jason Moore shows how capitalism itself is a world-ecology, co-produced by nature and the accumulation of capital and power. The market ontology encouraged poor vessel maintenance, boats staying out in bad weather, crew pushing past the limits of fatigue, and owners increasing the size of their fishing gear and the power of their engines. The contradictions fishers experienced between the market ontology and the ontology of seamanship was most vividly illustrated in how it affected their judgement of the weather. Market pressures created a market ontology among fishermen, where being a good fishermen meant maximising the value of their catch, even if fishermen were a bastard. Ecologies of seamanship and markets produce distinctive ontologies: what it means to be a safe mariner and what it means to be a good fisherman are frequently in conflict with each other.