“It’s not fish ye’re buying, it’s men’s lives.” This Sir Walter Scott quotation provided Peter Matthiessen with the title of his book “Men’s Lives, “on the history and decline of the South Fork’s inshore fishery — and about the men whose lives depended on it. The quote has an ominous ring, and I wasn’t surprised that it kept coming to me when I was in Nova Scotia last week.
The flight from La Guardia to Halifax is a cinch: A small plane operated by Chautauqua Airlines for Delta gets you there in less than an hour and a half, and makes it hard to believe you are traveling to another country and have to bring along your passport. So it was with what you might call careless abandon that, in the air headed to Nova Scotia, I filled out a Canadian customs declaration. Too much abandon, as it turned out. Just exactly why I answered in the negative when ticking off the query that asks if you are bringing in food remains unclear even to me.