Tag Archives: fish

** The Last Lobster by Christopher White


The reproductive cycle of the lobster depends, a lot, on the temperature of the water, which is why there are no more lobsters off New York City but the Maine fisheries are booming, or at least they were, as Canadian waters warm up, too.  The Last Lobster: Boom or Bust for Maine’s Greatest Fishery? goes fishing with the Maine lobstermen (the rare women doing that job call themselves lobstermen, too), explains the rather long supply chain from them to our plates, and desserts about climate change. I most enjoyed the visits with the lobstermen. It’s pretty rough sailing, tough and dangerous work, and it also starts ungodly early.

It’s also clear that placing reasonable limits on fishing would help everyone, and some cities have tried to implement local regulations that work surprisingly well, at least if the water temperature would stay constant. And lobstermen have done well expanding their reach into the supply chain, which requires ingenuity and very different skills than those required on the boat.

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Filed under New fiction

Tuna by Richard Ellis

Do you like sushi? If so, be prepared for a large dose of guilt as you read Tuna.  Although the author seems determined to blame the Japanese for the devastation of blue-fin tuna populations, I suppose anyone who eats the stuff shares the blame, regardless of where they live.

The book presents an encyclopedia of facts about tuna, way too many for the average reader, or at least for me. And the author could use some help presenting quantitative information: Edward Tufte would have a field day transforming the awful tables of data in the book into simple graphs that would illuminate the points. But it’s clear that killing slow-growing carnivores is not sustainable in the long run, which is the main point of the book. We can only hope that the farming experiments under way around the world will prove successful. The descriptions of the experiments under way in Australian fishing farms are the most interesting and hope-producing parts of the book. Skip as much of the boring stuff as needed to get to them.

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Filed under Non fiction