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Hooked: Pirates, Poaching, and the Perfect…

Hooked: Pirates, Poaching, and the Perfect Fish (2006)

by G. Bruce Knecht

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This book reads like an adventure story. Knecht recounts the true story of an Australian Fisheries patrol boat chase of a pirate fishing vessel that had been taking Patagonian toothfish (commercially known as Chilean Sea Bass - how the name change occurred is also part of this story) illegally off Heard Island. The chase went on for weeks through incredibly bad weather and under the most difficult legal conditions. The ship was finally boarded with the help of the South African Navy and then sailed to Australia where the crew was put on trial. I won't spoil the ending for you by revealing the outcome.

Unfortunately, the ultimate message is not optimistic. Short of a worldwide effort to stop illegal fishing in order to prevent the total destruction of a species, I doubt that anything can be done (although the example of porpoise-safe tuna fishing might be one way.) I had difficulty putting this book down.
( )
  ecw0647 | Sep 30, 2013 |
Solid, gripping pirate-chasing adventure story interspersed with the story of the Patagonian toothfish (aka Chilean Sea Bass). Well-written, eye-opening and ultimately heartbreaking at the end. Worth a look. ( )
  satyridae | Apr 5, 2013 |
Fantastic book. Best summed up by Knecht himself, "this is, quite simply, a remarkable story and one that involves all of the most important issues that face on of mankind's oldest industries". I should add that it's a remarkable story in the hands of Knecht. Others would not have done the story justice. Much like Proving Ground, Knecht looks for more in the story than what first appears. ( )
  kenno82 | Sep 18, 2011 |
The Viarsa is caught in Australian waters, possibly poaching Patagonian toothfish (a.k.a. Chilean Sea Bass). A chase across the southern hemisphere ensues.

I think the structure of this book is meant to heighten the dramatic tension of the story of the Viarsa — short bursts of action finishing with a courtroom drama, interspersed with background information. It seems contrived as you read on, however, since each possibly tense moment is resolved without much conflict. ( )
  bexaplex | Oct 12, 2009 |
Follow the strange slow motion pursuit of fish pirates that are raiding and depleting the Patagonia toothfish population (aka Chilean Sea Bass). Antarctic ice, a hurricane-sized storm, armed boarding and more occur as it plays out over a period of weeks. Interviews with both fisheries agents and the pirates give the differing views of the issue.
  g3orgia | Jun 7, 2007 |
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"On August 7, 2003, an Australian patrol boat initiated a chase that would lead halfway around Antarctica. The quarry was a single fishing boat loaded with Patagonian toothfish - better known as Chilean Sea Bass - but the stakes were global: the fate of a species, and control of the world's oceans." "Welcome to the new world of high-seas piracy. G. Bruce Knecht transports you to the bottom of the earth where a crew of rogue fishermen and their pursuers match wits and tempt disaster as they race through building-size waves, densely packed ice, and an obstacle course of icebergs in what became one of the longest pursuits in nautical history. And as the chase threatens to turn violent, Knecht relates the pirates' side of the story, explaining why they do not believe they have done anything wrong." "Hooked also chonicles the ascendance of Chilean Sea Bass - how a little-known California seafood merchant "discovered" the previously unwanted fish and invented its inaccurate but appealing name, and how chefs fell in love with the flakey white fish that became a best-selling dish at restaurants across America. Knecht approaches the story from every angle and explains how the populations of many of the world's most desirable fish are less than 10 percent of what they were fifty years ago." "From the Southern Ocean's most treacherous waters to the Northern Hemisphere's most fabulous kitchen's, Hooked is at once a thrilling tale and a popular history that shows why our tastes have all manner of unintended consequences for the world around us."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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