Born in Vancouver in 1956, Peter Andrew Robson was a key component in the team that produced the Encyclopedia of British Columbia, overseeing the printing of the book. He previously worked as a freelance writer and photographer; he crewed and skippered boats in the Pacific, Atlantic, and Caribbean; and he worked as a tenderman in the BC salmon industry. These experiences led him to jobs as the editor of Westcoast Fisherman and Pacific Yachting. In April of 2006 he was a crewmember/journalist aboard Victoria Clipper in the 30-day, 5,600-mile leg of the Round the World Yacht Race from Qingdao, China to Victoria B.C., making daily postings via satellite to Pacific Yachting's website and to David Black's community newspapers.

Robson has written and edited hundreds of articles on fishing and logging. His books include The Working Forest of British Columbia (Harbour, 1995) and several other titles pertaining to the West Coast, plus a manuscript about the salmon aquaculture industry that Raincoast Books was contracted to publish in 2005. Offering a positive or balanced view of aquaculture in British Columbia, it was released one year later by Heritage House as Salmon Farming: The Whole Story, edited by Mary Schendlinger. It can be read as a response to the award-winning anti-fish farming book from Robson's former employer, A Stain Upon The Sea: West Coast Salmon Farming (Harbour), released two years previously. The Keith Matthews Awards Committee of the Canadian Nautical Research Society awarded Robson's Salmon Farming: The Whole Story an Honorary Mention for Best Book published in 2006 on a Canadian nautical subject or by a Canadian on any nautical subject.

Peter Robson is also the editor of Raincoast Chronicles 23 (Harbour, 2015), a compendium of excerpts from some of the classic West Coast books published Harbour Publishing over a 40-year period. It could described as The Least Boring B.C. Book Ever.

The contributors include Al Purdy, Anne Cameron, Edith Iglauer, Frank White, Patrick Lane and Grant Lawrence. Subjects include sea disasters, bush plane adventures, ghost towns, bizarre characters such as Fred Tibbs of Tofino, confiscation of Japanese fishboats, Triangle Island, Queen Charlotte Airlines, hippies at Sointula, seal hunting, Yuquot (Friendly Cove), cougar hunting and the Read Island murder mystery.

According to publicity materials: "When the first edition of Raincoast Chronicles was produced by a couple of novice publishers in the unlikely location of Pender Harbour in 1972, it boldly announced that it was going "to put BC character on the record."; Printed in sepia ink and decorated with the rococo flourishes characteristic of that extravagant era, the unclassifiable journal-cum-serial-book about life on the BC coast struck a nerve and in time became something very close to what it set out to be-a touchstone of British Columbia identity. Soon the term "Raincoast,"; which had been coined by the editors, was appearing on boats, puppet theatres, interior decorating firms and at least one other publishing enterprise.

"Raincoast Chronicles also created another publishing enterprise-Harbour Publishing. Many of the stories that started out as articles in the Chronicles grew into books and so the White family was more or less forced to get into book publishing to deal with them. That undertaking went on to publish some six hundred books (and counting!) about every possible aspect of BC and, in 2014, celebrated its fortieth anniversary in the biz. To honour that occasion this special double issue of Raincoast Chronicles takes a tour down memory lane, selecting a trove of the most outstanding stories in all those Harbour books and republishing them in one volume."

Peter Robson was project manager for The Sea Among Us: The Amazing Strait of Georgia (Harbour 2014) which is currently nominated for two BC Book Prizes. He was a contributor to Raincoast Chronicles 22 (Nighttime Sojourn with the Sockeye); co-author of Skookum Tugs (Harbour, 2002), winner of the Bill Duthie BC Booksellers' Choice Award; he edited Sunshine & Salt Air (Harbour); and he co-edited Working the Tides: A Portrait of Canada's West Coast Fishery (Harbour, 1996).


Sunshine & Salt Air (Harbour). Editor.
The Working Forest of British Columbia (Harbour, 1995).
Working the Tides: A Portrait of Canada's West Coast Fishery (Harbour, 1996). Co-editor.
Skookum Tugs (Harbour, 2002). Co-author.
Salmon Farming: The Whole Story (Heritage 2006). $19.95 1-894974-07-7
Raincoast Chronicles 23 (Harbour Publishing, 2015) $24.95 978-1-55017-710-7. Editor.

[BCBW 2015] "Forestry" "Maritime" "Fishing"