Synopses & Reviews
"No one writing today can match William McCloskey's knowledge of fishing or the breadth of his experience at sea. He is the writer of record on world fishing."--William Warner, Pulitzer Prize winner, author of Beautiful Swimmers
and Distant Waters
What reviewers said about Fish Decks, William McCloskey's previous book:
"His achievement has been to write a paean for a way oflife."--Smithsonian
"His love for the fishing trade in all its aspects imbues every page of this vivid book."--Washington Post Book World
"A gripping account of his experience among the independent, vigorous men and women with whom he hauled lines and gutted fish under hand-numbing conditions."--Publishers Weekly
"His vivid descriptions of maritime fishing might well be placed beside Peter Matthiessen's Men's Lives for anyone interested in understanding the hard price these people pay for their chosen way of life."--Library Journal
"The book is an eloquent statement about the poor health of the world's fisheries, as well as the lives of the world's fishermen. Few recent books have told their story in such epic proportions.
Those who put to sea for a dangerous and chancy living could ask for no better chronicler than McCloskey, who has sailed with fishermen and women in all the seas of the world. In this thrilling account, his vivid prose puts readers right on deck as the nets are hauled in. His love of the boats, the fishermen, and the sea shines through this moving and fascinating tribute to a way of life. 32 illustrations. Color insert.
McCloskey's vivid prose puts you right on deck, working like the devil as the decks roll, the spray flies, and the nets are hauled. His love of the boats, the fishermen, and the sea shines through this fascinating tribute to a way of life.
Their Fathers' Work takes us from Bristol Bay, Alaska, to Chile, Indonesia, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, the Grand Bank, and Newfoundland. We meet prosperous fishermen and others who barely subsist; sometimes the two work within sight of one another. Change is a constant: traditional fisheries modernized within living memory; village grounds overwhelmed by industrial fishing; stocks threatened by overfishing or pollution; political pressures; and changes in what the world will permit fishermen to catch. Beneath the change, however, fishing remains the same. Whatever the language or circumstances, there is still the stalk, the wait, the bitter disappointment of a busted trip, the sleepless work fueled by elation when the nets come back full.
About the Author
William McCloskey is a retired member of the John Hopkins University applied physics laboratory. McCloskey's particular passion is commercial fishing. He began hiring out on sabbaticals and vacations 25 years ago. He has fished all over the world with First and Third world crews of many nationalities. "What such writers as Owen Wister and J. Frank Dobie were to the cowboy, Bill McCloskey may be to the Alaska fisherman."--Anchorage Times. "McCloskey invokes vividly the strenuous but exhilarating life of men against the implecable ocean."--Library Journal. "With all his experiences across space and time, McCloskey occupies a unique position among observers of the world fishing industry. He's been there. He has perspective."--Alaska Fisherman's Journal.
Table of Contents
1 Asking for It--Bering Sea
2 It's a Livin'--Georges Bank
3 Rollers--Chignik, Alaska, 1986
4 Atavism--Chignik, Alaska, 1986
6 Knee-Deep in Crude and Bullshit--The EXXON Valdez Disaster
7 Turbot Warriors--The Grand Banks
8 Myre Remembered--Norwegians
9 Russians and Spaniards--Flemish Cap, 1996
11 Plankton Soup--Chile
12 Siwashers--Chiloe Island, Chile
13 Barefoot on the Java Sea
14 Unseen Forces
15 The Unforgiving Bar--Greymouth, New Zealand
16 The Fish Habits of Japan
17 Fencing the Ocean Commons--The Winners and the Anxious Dispossessed
18 Mr. Bigfoot on the Raw-Bacon Circuit--Japan, 1980 and 1988
19 Harpooners--Ayukawa, Central Japan
20 Hanging Genki with the Squidders
21 Floating Cities--Bristol Bay, Alaska
22 Generations--Past Meets Present
23 Dividing and Protecting the Loot
24 No Promises
25 Changes--Count on Nothing
26 Catching Fish
Maps--Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska, North Atlantic, Chile, Indonesia, North Pacific
Color photographs follow page 132
Black-and-white photographs appear on pages 42 - 43, 104 - 105, 162 - 163, 208 - 209, 258 - 259, 308 - 309, 354.