John Malcolm


YOB: 1931
Experience: Commercial Fisherman
Regions: Otago, Catlins, Fiordland
Interview Location: Palmerston, NZ
Interview Date: 02 February 2016
Post Date: 25 October 2017; Copyright © 2017 John Malcolm and Steve Crawford


CRAWFORD: To what extent has your knowledge of the ocean and its ecosystems been influenced by Māori culture, Māori knowledge? 

MALCOLM: Not at all.

CRAWFORD: What about on the Science side? 

MALCOLM: Well, I try to avoid it. They used to tag Crayfish and Soles. And I’ve never been a believer in that. Never. 

CRAWFORD: Never a believer in fish tagging? Why? 

MALCOLM: This is how they cleaned out fish overseas. You can follow them too much, keep on their tails. Clean them out fast. At one stage I had dozens of tags from Soles and Crayfish, and I wouldn’t hand them in because I am dead set against that scientific part. 

CRAWFORD: How much of what you have learned by Science comes to you through TV or news or talking with people? How much have you learned about the way that the ocean and the marine ecosystem works from science? 

MALCOLM: I’d say very low. When we were fishing locally, I think there were 17 different patches, we’d go around systematically Blue Codding and that. And we did it in a systematic way. You wouldn’t stay till the last scale - you just keep moving. Just like the farmers’ rotational grazing and the crops. Keep them there one day, then move on.

CRAWFORD: That was something that came up from the local system? Science didn’t bring that in? 

MALCOLM: No, it was just something that we did. 

CRAWFORD: In general, you would rate input from Science to your knowledge as very low? 


Copyright © 2017 John Malcolm and Steve Crawford