Gourmands and health-conscious consumers alike have fallen for fish; last year per capita consumption in the United States hit an all-time high. Packed with nutrients and naturally low in fat, fish is the last animal we can still eat in good conscience. Or can we?
In this vivid, eye-opening bookfirst published in the UK to wide acclaim and now extensively revised for an American audienceenvironmental journalist Charles Clover argues that our passion for fish is unsustainable. Seventy-five percent of the worlds fish stocks are now fully exploited or over-fished; the most popular varieties risk extinction within the next few decades.
Clover trawls the globe for answers, from Tokyos sumptuous fish market to the heart of New Englands fishing industry. He joins hardy sailors on high-tech boats, interviews top chefs whose menu selections can influence the fate of entire species, and examines the ineffective organizations charged with regulating the worlds fisheries. Along the way he argues that governments as well as consumers can take steps to reverse this disturbing trend before its too late. The price of a mouthwatering fillet of Chilean sea bass may seem outrageous, but The End of the Line shows its real cost to the ecosystem is far greater.
Clover neither sensationalizes nor heckles, he simply lays out the facts, and is merciless at pointing the finger at the guilty parties - from the trawlers with vast nets that destroy everything in their paths, to incompetent and/or dishonest scientists; to celebrity chefs who proudly display the "marine equivalent of panda, rhino and great apes" on their menus; to sports fisherman (23% of endangered species caught in North American waters are caught by sports fisherman) and to the general public for whom eating fish has become "a kind of dietary talisman". However, it is the governments that take the greatest tongue lashing, and with good reason. From self-interested governments who deny there's a problem and hamper ocean conservation; to the governments who allow their fishermen to glibly ignore international rules; to European Union countries (such as Spain) who buy morally questionable fishing right from poor countries for pathetic amounts of money. (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
Mark Kurlansky, author of Cod
Clover has taken on a major issue of our times with an inquiring intelligence.
Booklist - Donna Seaman
[T]o really grab people's attention there's nothing like the dispatches of a good investigative reporter. British environmental journalist Clover covers it all.
[R]ead Clover's sobering book, and adjust diet accordingly.
Starred Review. [T]his devastating book... shows that fishing with modern technology has put us just a hairsbreadth away from destroying entire ocean ecosystems.
The Daily Main (UK)
Devastating . . . a succinct and powerful crash course on the pressing environmental issues surrounding fish that should send consumer awareness soaring.
The Independent (UK)
Persuasive and desperately disturbing, this book is the maritime equivalent of Silent Spring.
Time Out London
Ignorance is no excuse if you care about marine life ... [Clover] is unusually well informed, offers facts and firsthand observations instead of speculation, and writes in an engaging way that's not sensational.
The Glasgow Herald, Scotland
This is a revealing and well-paced book, full of colour and just enough detail to make the unfolding disaster real. But, more than that, this is an important book - a first attempt to put fisheries rather than whales or dolphins on the public's conservation radar.
Here is the world’s fishing industry laid bare, gutted and filleted for all to see: the greed, the folly, the waste and destruction. You will never look at a fish supper in the same way again.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by Bob Smyth A must for anyone who loves the ocean I read the book a couple months ago and started reading it again. I found it so full of useful information. I am an advocate for wild, healthy oceans and have done volunteer work with the Ocean Conservancy and Monterey Bay aquarium for the past 18... Read More
Today, the British know
the North Sea as muddy and
cold. It's always been cold,
but evidence suggests that
it wasn't always muddy. Just
100 years ago there were
vast oyster beds up to 120
miles long in many areas of
this shallow sea, but they
were all fished out before
WWII. Over-fishing removed
the oysters and the hard
substrate of shells that
formed the sea base leaving
a muddy base - thus both
increasing the sediment and
removing the useful bivalves
that stabilized the sediment
by consuming it as food.
beam trawling, it takes 16 lbs of dead
marine animals to produce 1
lb of sole out of the North
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