Bluebacks and Silver Brights by Norman Safarik and Allan Safarik, ECW Press

Bluebacks and Silver Brights: A Lifetime in the B.C. Fisheries from Bounty to Plunder

Safarik, Allan

  • A captivating memoir set during the pinnacle of West Coast fishing

    More than a history of the Vancouver fishing industry, Bluebacks and Silver Brights is a collection of great adventures set on the Pacific coast. With dozens of salty tales of hardworking and hard–living fisherman and fish industry workers, this is Norman Safarik’s story of West Coast fishing from the Gulf of Georgia to Prince Rupert, with a detour to New York’s old–time fish markets. With wisdom and insight, Safarik’s story is also an ecological warning, recalling the lost bounty of Canada’s natural resources of a century ago, and their possible extinction today at the hands of government mismanagement and overfishing.

  • NORMAN SAFARIK has worked in the fish industry his entire life. He followed his father in this business and has been succeeded by his son. For 50 years, he knew every fisherman and wholesaler in British Columbia, and along the west coast of the United States. His reach extended to New York City, Montreal, Japan, and Cuba. Norman’s son, poet and editor ALLAN SAFARIK, was born and raised in B.C. Allan’s works include All Night Highway (1997), How I Know The Sky Is a River (1999), and Bird Writer’s Handbook (2003). In 2003, he won the John V. Hicks Manuscript Award for Literary Non–Fiction and in 2005 he won the Saskatchewan Book Award for poetry for When Light Falls from the Sun. Allan Safarik lives in Dundurn, Saskatchewan.
  • Published: June 2012

    ISBN: 9781770410411

    Dimensions: 6 x 9 in.

    Pages: 408


“It’s the personal anecdotes about the more than colourful personalities who inhabited the boats, docks, processing plants, restaurants, bars, and fish-company offices in Vancouver from the 1930s onward that make this book a compelling page turner for anyone interested in Vancouver history.” — Georgia Straight

Bluebacks and Silver Brights is a riveting memoir set during the pinnacle of West Coast Fishing, and it is a book as likely to stir up nostalgia from the Gulf of Georgia to Prince Rupert as it is to provoke broader public debate.” — Comox Valley Echo

“Part business story, part social history, and part eco-memoir, the work chronicles the adventures of fishermen on the Pacific Coast and tells the story of a man who spent his lifetime in the fishing industry. Safarik gives an account of the colourful characters he met in his more than 65 years working with other fishermen who often risked their lives for their work.” — Burnaby Now

“There are plenty of published memoirs of British Columbia’s fishing industry, but none quite like this. Most are told by the fishers, and generally focus on the salmon fishery. Safarik, however, brings a unique insight into the diverse fisheries that British Columbia’s coastal waters once sustained and the people who caught, processed, and bought them.” — BC Studies