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The End of the Line: How Overfishing Is Changing the World and What We Eatby Charles Clover
Synopses & Reviews
Alaska pollock is everywhere. If youandrsquo;re eating fish but you donandrsquo;t know what kind it is, itandrsquo;s almost certainly pollock. Prized for its generic fish taste, pollock masquerades as crab meat in california rolls and seafood salads, and it feeds millions as fish sticks in school cafeterias and Filet-O-Fish sandwiches at McDonaldandrsquo;s. That ubiquity has made pollock the most lucrative fish harvest in Americaandmdash;the fishery in the United States alone has an annual value of over one billion dollars. But even as the money rolls in, pollock is in trouble: in the last few years, the pollock population has declined by more than half, and some scientists are predicting the fisheryandrsquo;s eventual collapse.
In Billion-Dollar Fish, Kevin M. Bailey combines his years of firsthand pollock research with a remarkable talent for storytelling to offer the first natural history of Alaska pollock. Crucial to understanding the pollock fishery, he shows, is recognizing what aspects of its natural history make pollock so very desirable to fish, while at the same time making it resilient, yet highly vulnerable to overfishing. Bailey delves into the science, politics, and economics surrounding Alaska pollock in the Bering Sea, detailing the development of the fishery, the various political machinations that have led to its current management, and, perhaps most important, its impending demise. He approaches his subject from multiple angles, bringing in the perspectives of fishermen, politicians, environmentalists, and biologists, and drawing on revealing interviews with players who range from Greenpeace activists to fishing industry lawyers.
Seamlessly weaving the biology and ecology of pollock with the history and politics of the fishery, as well as Baileyandrsquo;s own often raucous tales about life at sea, Billion-Dollar Fish is a book for every person interested in the troubled relationship between fish and humans, from the depths of the sea to the dinner plate.
"In this devastating book, first published in Great Britain and now revised and updated for North American readers, Clover, environment editor of London's Daily Telegraph, shows that fishing with modern technology has put us just a hairsbreadth away from destroying entire ocean ecosystems. New England's fisheries have collapsed, the fish stocks of West Africa's continental shelf are overexploited, few cod are left in Newfoundland's Grand Banks, and, according to one study, 90% of the large fish in the ocean in 1950 have disappeared. Clover finds many people to blame, including trawlers with huge nets that destroy everything in their wake, incompetent scientists, dishonest governmental agencies, celebrity chefs with endangered species on their menus, and the general public, which pays no attention to how the fish it eats is obtained. He's especially critical of the European Union, the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization and countries like Japan and Spain that persist in illegal fishing. Clover's hard-hitting approach will probably anger some, but his argument that we will soon run out of fish unless we take drastic measures — such as establishing huge no-take zones where fish stocks can recover — is persuasive." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Book News Annotation:
In a single human lifetime, says British journalist Clover, overfishing has inflicted a crisis on the oceans greater than any yet caused by pollution. He takes readers on a journey around the world to explore the various dimensions and controversies, and to reveal the extent of the damage inflicted in order to satisfy consumers' appetite for fish. Annotation ©2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
In this vivid, eye-opening book--first published in the UK to wide acclaim and now extensively revised for an American audience--environmental journalist Charles Clover argues that our passion for fish is unsustainable. Seventy-five percent of the world's fish stocks are now fully exploited or overfished; the most popular varieties risk extinction within the next few decades.
Gourmands and health-conscious consumers alike have fallen for fish; last year per capita consumption in the United States hit an all-time high. Packed with nutrients and naturally low in fat, fish is the last animal we can still eat in good conscience. Or can we?
In this vivid, eye-opening book—first published in the UK to wide acclaim and now extensively revised for an American audience—environmental journalist Charles Clover argues that our passion for fish is unsustainable. Seventy-five percent of the world’s fish stocks are now fully exploited or overfished; the most popular varieties risk extinction within the next few decades.
Clover trawls the globe for answers, from Tokyo’s sumptuous fish market to the heart of New England’s fishing industry. He joins hardy sailors on high-tech boats, interviews top chefs whose menu selections can influence the fate of entire species, and examines the ineffective organizations charged with regulating the world’s fisheries. Along the way he argues that governments as well as consumers can take steps to reverse this disturbing trend before it’s too late. The price of a mouthwatering fillet of Chilean sea bass may seem outrageous, but The End of the Line shows its real cost to the ecosystem is far greater.
About the Author
Kevin M. Bailey is a senior scientist at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center and affiliate professor at the University of Washington.
Table of Contents
Prologue: Fishing Lessons
1and#160;Introduction: White Gold Fever
2and#160;A Historical Background: From an Inexhaustible Ocean to the Three-Mile Limit
3and#160;Fishing the High Seas: Japan and the Soviet Union Develop the Harvest of Pollock in the Bering Sea
4and#160;Americanization! The Rush for White Gold and the Developing Fishery
5and#160;An Empty Donut Hole: The Great Collapse of a North Pacific Pollock Stock
6and#160;Viking Invasion: Norwayand#8217;s Link to the Pollock Industry
7and#160;A New Fish on the Block: Advancing Knowledge of Pollock Biology
8and#160;A New Ocean: Changing Concepts of Ocean Production and Management of Fisheries
9and#160;Factories of Doom: The Pollock Fishing Industry Clashes with the Environment
10and#160;All in the Family: Olympic Fishing and Domestic Strife in the Industry
11and#160;Bridge over Troubled Water: Tranquility after the American Fisheries Act
12and#160;Alaska Pollockand#8217;s Challenging Future
Appendix A: Terminology
Appendix B: Other Abbreviations
What Our Readers Are Saying
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