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The End of the Line: How Overfishing Is…

The End of the Line: How Overfishing Is Changing the World and What We Eat

by Charles Clover

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This book started out irritating me, and I think it was the brassy holier-than-thou attitude ("Tsukiji may be one of the few fish markets in the world that does not smell of fish... But Tsukiji stinks all the same, for its daily trade is pushing bluefin tuna daily closer to extinction" [p.34]). In the second chapter the author complains loudly about the trade in bluefin tuna (the western atlantic stock is listed as critically endangered, and the eastern atlantic stock is listed as endangered by IUCN) and then proceeds to have some bluefin tuna sashimi for breakfast. However, I started warming to him (despite his poor breakfast choices and awful Adrian Monk publicity photo) and did learn some interesting stuff about the world's fishing industries. Here's where I laughed out loud and genuinely started liking the book (he's talking about an unpublished paper about bycatch in the Spanish tuna fleet): "The observers also noted the scientific names, in Latin, of the species caught as bycatch. I looked up the common names with growing disbelief. It amounted to almost the entire cast list of Finding Nemo [he lists 5 species of sea turtles, 3 whale species including humpback, a great white shark, other sharks and rays, etc] On the bright side, they didn't catch any dolphins." [p. 211]. Ha!

Villains that I knew nothing about: the system (or lack thereof) of prosecution for infractions in the EU and in international waters. The entire government of Spain, apparently. Government initiatives in Canada and Scotland that purport to retrain fisherman and decrease fishing capacity but instead create salmon farms and people who are chronically underemployed.

Unlikely heroes: Unilever (owner of Birdseye and Gorton's), one of the original founders (with WWF) of the Marine Stewardship Council. Who knew? I think i'll buy more Birds Eye veggies next time I'm at the supermarket. ( )
2 vote bexaplex | Oct 5, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0520255054, Paperback)

Ninety percent of the large fish in the world's oceans have disappeared in the past half century, causing the collapse of fisheries along with numerous fish species. In this hard-hitting, provocative exposé, Charles Clover reveals the dark underbelly and hidden costs of putting food on the table at home and in restaurants. From the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo to a seafood restaurant on the North Sea and a trawler off the coast of Spain, Clover pursues the sobering truth about the plight of fish. Along with the ecological impact wrought by industrial fishing, he reports on the implications for our diet, particularly our need for omega-3 fatty acids. This intelligent, readable, and balanced account serves as a timely warning to the general public as well as to scientists, regulators, legislators--and all fishing enthusiasts.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:07 -0400)

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a? "As journalist Charles Clover shows in his global exploration of the destruction caused by overfishing, we have inflicted a crisis on the oceans in a single human lifetime greater than any yet caused by pollution. High-tech fishermen are trashing whole ecosystems, wrecking economies, and impoverishing the lives of people in poor countries - all to put fish on our plates." "Clover travels the world to investigate this unfolding disaster, from Tokyo's sprawling Tsukiji fish market to the historic tuna traps at the mouth of the Mediterranean to the heart of New England's fishing industry. He finds that global catches of wild fish have peaked, that 75 percent of stocks are now fully exploited or overfished, and that popular varieties such as bluefin tuna, Atlantic cod, and Chilean sea bass are threatened with extinction. He dismisses claims that aquaculture can meet increased demand and explains why farmed fish may be harmful to our health. Finally, he argues that consumers and voters still have it in their power to reverse these disturbing trends before it is too late."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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