Basically, "The Omnivore's Dilemma," but with fish. It's not exactly that, but it's clearly benefiting from the momentum of the new food consciousness. Greenberg picks four key fish (salmon, tuna, bass, cod) and traces their history, our consumption of them and what might happen if we don't curb fishing. It's not as thoughtful, nuanced and provocative as Michael Pollan, but if you eat fish on a regular basis, you should probably read this. Makes a good double feature with that "Cod" book.
Finally a book about nature in the modern world that offers some hope! Seriously. Yes, we're quickly turning most of our oceans into deserts, but the author chronicles a couple of cases where we shut down fisheries and the fish actually came back! And we're not talking about a symbolic species like the bald eagle. One of the success stories is about cod--an ugly, tasteless but economically important fish.
The author offers a credible path for sustainable management of many of our fisheries. Now we need a book that explains how we can overcome our tendency towards self-centered, scientifically illiterate behavior that allows us to destroy our natural world and our future. I will forever remember the anecdote of the elder whose response to the closure of a key fishery around his village was, "But not all of them are dead yet!"
An important book on the history and the future of four important fish: the salmon, the bass, the cod and the tuna.
Paul Greenberg has written a very readable book. Much but not all of the book is written in the first person narrative --- that makes the book more immediate and more involving. It’s sort of like a chat with the guy with the fishing pole in his hand. That’s one of the things that makes this book such a good catch to read. Greenberg’s “Four Fish”, Salmon, Tuna, Bass, and Cod (don’t they almost make your mouth water) are the stars of this book. And that’s the problem --- they do make your mouth water. They’ve been on our menus and on our plates so long and so often that all of them have been fished and fished to the point of extinction. What to do, what to do? Greenberg’s answer seems to be stop fishing and stop farming. But do the fishing right --- select the most appropriate fish for domestication. The four fish may not be the best fish for that domestication. Fortunately, they’re not the only fish in the sea (I couldn’t helps myself --- that one just swam in to the sentence).
Fish often reads like a detective novel. Why, for example, the sea bass should never have been chosen for domestication. All the pitfalls and hurdles the researches had to overcome before they could produce a fish capable of being raised in captivity. And then there are the bad practices --- pollution, disease. There’s the effect farming has on wild fish stock. And finally, the question: do we have the right, ultimately, to displace the wild stock of our rivers and oceans and to eventually convert these rivers and oceans into aquaculture pens?
Most informative, and really well-written. Information useful for those who buy and eat from the sea, or for those who care for the health of the oceans.
An argument for smart aquaculture.
great science writing from someone who was weaned on his subject. As a "seafood" guy I found this very compelling
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