LECTURE: The Alewives’ Tale: The Life History and Ecology of River Herring in the Northeast

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In this lecture, drawn from her 2014 book The Alewives’ Tale, biologist Barbara Brennessel describes the plight of alewives and blueback herring. Collectively referred to as river herring, they have been economically important since colonial times as food, fertilizer, and bait. In recent years they have attracted much attention from environmentalists, especially as attempts are being made, on and beyond Cape Cod, to restore the rivers, streams, ponds, lakes, and estuaries that are crucial for their reproduction and survival. Barbara Brennessel is professor emerita of biology at Wheaton College. She is author of "Diamonds in the Marsh: The Natural History of the Diamondback Terrapin" and "Good Tidings: The History and Ecology of Shellfish Farming in the Northeast."