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Tuna: A Love Storyby Richard Ellis
Synopses & Reviews
The author of The Book of Sharks, Imagining Atlantis, and Encyclopedia of the Sea turns his gaze to the tuna — one of the biggest, fastest, and most highly evolved marine animals and the source of some of the world's most popular delicacies — now hovering on the brink of extinction. In recent years, the tuna's place on our palates has come under scrutiny, as we grow increasingly aware of our own health and the health of our planet. Here, Ellis explains how a fish that was once able to thrive has become a commodity, in a book that shows how the natural world and the global economy converge on our plates.
The longest migrator of any fish species, an Atlantic northern bluefin can travel from New England to the Mediterranean, then turn around and swim back; in the Pacific, the northern bluefin can make a round-trip journey from California to Japan. The fish can weigh in at 1,500 pounds and, in an instant, pick up speed to 55 miles per hour.
But today the fish is the target of the insatiable sushi market, particularly in Japan, where an individual piece can go for 75 dollars. Ellis introduces us to the high-stakes world of "tuna ranches," where large schools of half-grown tuna are caught in floating corrals and held in pens before being fattened, killed, gutted, frozen, and shipped to the Asian market. Once on the brink of bankruptcy, the world's tuna ranches — in Australia, Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, and North Africa — have become multimillion-dollar enterprises. Experts warn that the fish are dying out and environmentalists lobby for stricter controls, while entire coastal ecosystems are under threat. The extinction of the tuna would mean not only the end of several species but dangerous consequences for the earth as a whole.
In the tradition of Mark Kurlansky's Cod, John Cole's Striper, John Hersey's Blues — and of course, Ellis's own Great White Shark — this book will forever change the way we think about fish and fishing.
"Our foremost contemporary ocean chronicler, Richard Ellis, offers here an impassioned plea to consider the grandeur — and the tragic demise — of the swiftest, strongest fish that migrate across our water planet. While fully documenting the unique biology and fascinating history of the tuna species, Ellis casts clear light on the practice of 'tuna ranching' aimed at keeping humans sushi-supplied despite the disappearance of wild bluefin populations. This is nature writing at its best, from the heart." Dick Russell, author of Eye of the Whale and Striper Wars
"Eminently readable and reliably authoritative, Tuna: A Love Story, is one of the best 'single'-fish species books ever written." Tim M. Berra, author of Freshwater Fish Distribution
"By far, the most comprehensive, documented and balanced analysis on the fate of Tuna I have read so far." Roberto Mielgo Bregazzi, CEO, Advanced Tuna Ranching Technologies
The author of The Book of Sharks, Imagining Atlantis, and Encyclopedia of the Sea turns his gaze to the tuna — one of the most highly evolved of marine animals and the source of some of the world's most popular delicacies — now hovering on the brink of extinction. Illustrated.
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.
About the Author
Richard Ellis is the author of more than a dozen books. He is also a celebrated marine artist whose paintings have been exhibited in museums and galleries around the world. He has written and illustrated articles for numerous magazines, including Audubon, National Geographic, Discover, Smithsonian, and Scientific American. He lives in New York City.
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
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