Between 1949 and 1955, the State Department pushed for an international fisheries policy grounded in maximum sustainable yield (MSY). The concept is based on a confidence that scientists can predict, theoretically, the largest catch that can be taken from a species’ stock over an indefinite period. And while it was modified in 1996 with passage of the Sustained Fisheries Act, MSY is still at the heart of modern American fisheries management. As fish populations continue to crash, however, it is clear that MSY is itself not sustainable. Indeed, the concept has been widely criticized by scientists for ignoring several key factors in fisheries management and has led to the devastating collapse of many fisheries.
Carmel Finley reveals that the fallibility of MSY lies at its very inception—as a tool of government rather than science. The foundational doctrine of MSY emerged at a time when the US government was using science to promote and transfer Western knowledge and technology, and to ensure that American ships and planes would have free passage through the world’s seas and skies. Finley charts the history of US fisheries science using MSY as her focus, and in particular its application to halibut, tuna, and salmon fisheries. Fish populations the world over are threatened, and All the Fish in the Sea helps to sound warnings of the effect of any management policies divested from science itself.
“Many of us probably would be better fishermen if we did not spend so much time watching and waiting for the world to become perfect.”-Norman Maclean
Though Maclean writes of an age-old focus of all anglers—the day’s catch—he may as well be speaking to another, deeper accomplishment of the best fishermen and fisherwomen: the preservation of natural resources.
Backcasts celebrates this centuries-old confluence of fly fishing and conservation. However religious, however patiently spiritual the tying and casting of the fly may be, no angler wishes to wade into rivers of industrial runoff or cast into waters devoid of fish or full of invasive species like the Asian carp. So it comes as no surprise that those who fish have long played an active, foundational role in the preservation, management, and restoration of the world’s coldwater fisheries. With sections covering the history of fly fishing; the sport’s global evolution, from the rivers of South Africa to Japan; the journeys of both native and nonnative trout; and the work of conservation organizations such as the Federation of Fly Fishers and Trout Unlimited, Backcasts casts wide.
Highlighting the historical significance of outdoor recreation and sports to conservation in a collection important for fly anglers and scholars of fisheries ecology, conservation history, and environmental ethics, Backcasts explores both the problems anglers and their organizations face and how they might serve as models of conservation—in the individual trout streams, watersheds, and landscapes through which these waters flow.
Alaska pollock is everywhere. If you’re eating fish but you don’t know what kind it is, it’s almost certainly pollock. Prized for its generic fish taste, pollock masquerades as crab meat in california rolls and seafood salads, and it feeds millions as fish sticks in school cafeterias and Filet-O-Fish sandwiches at McDonald’s. That ubiquity has made pollock the most lucrative fish harvest in America—the fishery in the United States alone has an annual value of over one billion dollars. But even as the money rolls in, pollock is in trouble: in the last few years, the pollock population has declined by more than half, and some scientists are predicting the fishery’s eventual collapse.
In Billion-Dollar Fish, Kevin M. Bailey combines his years of firsthand pollock research with a remarkable talent for storytelling to offer the first natural history of Alaska pollock. Crucial to understanding the pollock fishery, he shows, is recognizing what aspects of its natural history make pollock so very desirable to fish, while at the same time making it resilient, yet highly vulnerable to overfishing. Bailey delves into the science, politics, and economics surrounding Alaska pollock in the Bering Sea, detailing the development of the fishery, the various political machinations that have led to its current management, and, perhaps most important, its impending demise. He approaches his subject from multiple angles, bringing in the perspectives of fishermen, politicians, environmentalists, and biologists, and drawing on revealing interviews with players who range from Greenpeace activists to fishing industry lawyers.
Seamlessly weaving the biology and ecology of pollock with the history and politics of the fishery, as well as Bailey’s own often raucous tales about life at sea, Billion-Dollar Fish is a book for every person interested in the troubled relationship between fish and humans, from the depths of the sea to the dinner plate.
The Biology of Sharks and Rays is a comprehensive resource on the biological and physiological characteristics of the cartilaginous fishes: sharks, rays, and chimaeras. In sixteen chapters, organized by theme, A. Peter Klimley covers a broad spectrum of topics, including taxonomy, morphology, ecology, and physiology. For example, he explains the body design of sharks and why the ridged, toothlike denticles that cover their entire bodies are present on only part of the rays’ bodies and are absent from those of chimaeras. Another chapter explores the anatomy of the jaws and the role of the muscles and teeth in jaw extension, seizure, and handling of prey. The chapters are richly illustrated with pictures of sharks, diagrams of sensory organs, drawings of the body postures of sharks during threat and reproductive displays, and maps showing the extent of the species’ foraging range and long-distance migrations. Each chapter commences with an anecdote from the author about his own personal experience with the topic, followed by thought-provoking questions and a list of recommended readings in the scientific literature.
The book will be a useful textbook for advanced ichthyology students as well as an encyclopedic source for those seeking a greater understanding of these fascinating creatures.
From the fifty-one-foot whale shark Rhincodon typus to a less-than-one-half-inch fish in the minnow family--the tiny Paedocypris progenetica--fish certainly carry a lot of weight . . . or do they?
A fish's heft in water may vary, but these diverse aquatic animals certainly carry a lot of weight in our ecosystems and environment. From freshwater to ocean habitats, Judith S. Weis offers a fascinating look at these deceptively simple creatures. Fishes may appear to live a dull existence, but appearances change once we understand more about how they survive. These wonders actually possess attributes that would make us superpowers--they can change color, sex, produce light and electricity, regenerate injured fins, prevent themselves from sinking, and some can even walk on land.
Do Fish Sleep? is organized in an easy-to-read and accessible question-and-answer format, filled with more than 55 photographs and over 100 interesting facts from fish biology basics to the importance of preserving and restoring fish diversity and healthy populations. A captivating read for fish enthusiasts of all ages--naturalists, environmentalists, aquarists, scuba divers, and students--this is also the perfect primer for those just about to get their feet wet. Dive in!
Eating the Ocean
Elspeth Probyn Duke University Press, 2016 Library of Congress GT2850.P76 2016
In Eating the Ocean Elspeth Probyn investigates the profound importance of the ocean and the future of fish and human entanglement. On her ethnographic journey around the world's oceans and fisheries, she finds that the ocean is being simplified in a food politics that is overwhelmingly land based and preoccupied with buzzwords like "local" and "sustainable." Developing a conceptual tack that combines critical analysis and embodied ethnography, she dives into the lucrative and endangered bluefin tuna market, the gendered politics of "sustainability," the ghoulish business of producing fish meal and fish oil for animals and humans, and the long history of encounters between humans and oysters. Seeing the ocean as the site of the entanglement of multiple species—which are all implicated in the interactions of technology, culture, politics, and the market—enables us to think about ways to develop a reflexive ethics of taste and place based in the realization that we cannot escape the food politics of the human-fish relationship.
The history of biology is populated by numerous model species or organisms. But few vertebrate groups have aided evolutionary and ecological research more than the live-bearing fishes of the family Poeciliidae. Found throughout tropical and subtropical waters, poeciliids exhibit a fascinating variety of reproductive specializations, including viviparity, matrotrophy, unisexual reproduction, and alternative mating strategies, making them ideal models for research on patterns and processes in ecology, behavior, and evolution.
Ecology and Evolution of Poeciliid Fishes is a much-needed overview of the scientific potential and understanding of these live-bearing fishes. Chapters by leading researchers take up a wide range of topics, including the evolution of unisexual reproduction, life in extreme environments, life-history evolution, and genetics. Designed to provide a single and highly approachable reference, Ecology and Evolution of Poeciliid Fishes will appeal to students and specialists interested in all aspects of evolutionary ecology.
When pulled from the mud of creeks, ponds, rivers, or the sea, the eel, with its slick, snake-like body, emerges as an extremely mundane and even unappealing fish. But don’t let the appearance fool you—the eel has been one of the world’s favorite foods since ancient Greece, and the eel’s life cycle is one of the most remarkable on the planet—during the middle ages, impoverished Londoners survived on eel and the eel later saved the Mayflower pilgrims from starvation on American shores.
In Eel, RichardSchweid chronicles the many facets of these slippery creatures from their natural history to their market value and contemporary consumption to their appearance in art and literature and finally to their present threatened status. So far, eels have steadfastly refused to reproduce in captivity, apparently requiring the vastness of the open ocean to successfully mature—which has imperiled the species’ long-term survival. Schweid explains that freshwater eels are born in remote ocean depths and make a journey of thousands of miles to fresh water where they spend most of their lives before making a return journey to the ocean to mate and die.
Well-illustrated and containing many little-known facts about this surprising fish, Eel will appeal to general readers of natural history and others wishing to discover something more about the common unagi on the sushi menu.
Olsen's invaluable manual presents diagnostic characteristics of the fish, amphibian, and reptile bones commonly found in archaeological sites in the southeastern and southwestern United Stares. An appendix describes in detail the osteology of the wild turkey.
Double-decker buses, bowler hats, and cricket may be synonymous with British culture, but when it comes to their cuisine, nothing comes to mind faster than fish and chips. Sprinkled with salt and vinegar and often accompanied by mushy peas, fish and chips were the original British fast food. In this innovative book, Panikos Panayi unwraps the history of Britain’s most popular takeout, relating a story that brings up complicated issues of class, identity, and development.
Investigating the origins of eating fish and potatoes in Britain, Panayi describes the birth of the meal itself, telling how fried fish was first introduced and sold by immigrant Jews before it spread to the British working classes in the early nineteenth century. He then moves on to the technological and economic advances that led to its mass consumption and explores the height of fish and chips’ popularity in the first half of the twentieth century and how it has remained a favorite today, despite the arrival of new contenders for the title of Britain’s national dish. Revealing its wider ethnic affiliations within the country, he examines how migrant communities such as Italians came to dominate the fish and chip trade in the twentieth century.
Brimming with facts, anecdotes, and images of historical and modern examples of this batter-dipped meal, Fish and Chips will appeal to all foodies who love this quintessentially British dish.
On 13 August 1990 members of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe filed a lawsuit against the State of Minnesota for interfering with the hunting, fishing, and gathering rights that had been guaranteed to them in an 1837 treaty with the United States. In order to interpret the treaty the courts had to consider historical circumstances, the intentions of the parties, and the treaty's implementation. The Mille Lacs Band faced a mammoth challenge. How does one argue the Native side of the case when all historical documentation was written by non- Natives? The Mille Lacs selected six scholars to testify for them. Published here for the first time, Charles Cleland, James McClurken, Helen Tanner, John Nichols, Thomas Lund, and Bruce White discuss the circumstances under which the treaty was written, the personalities involved in the negotiations and the legal rhetoric of the times, as well as analyze related legal conflicts between Natives and non- Natives. Justice Sandra Day O'Connor delivered the 1999 Opinion of the [United States Supreme] Court.
Whether sitting in a boat with a rod and reel trying to outwit a largemouth bass or watching bluntnose minnows dart among the rocks of a sparkling stream, many people are attracted to fish. Hundreds of species can be found in the ponds, lakes, rivers, and streams of the Upper Midwest, from the beautifully colored orangethroat darter to the prehistoric-looking shovelnose sturgeon. This much-needed addition to Iowa’s popular series of laminated guides—the twenty-eighth in the series—describes twenty-nine fish species, including some of the most sought after game fish like bluegill and largemouth bass, as well as less common species like logperch and the snakelike American eel.
Terry VanDeWalle includes a thorough description of each species, and covers the Upper Midwest states of Kansas, Illinois, South Dakota, North Dakota, Iowa, Missouri, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Nebraska, and Wisconsin.
The careful descriptions and habitat and diet information in Fish inYour Pocket—enhanced with superb photographs by underwater photographer Garold Sneegas—make it extremely useful for anglers and naturalists alike.
A significant number of the world's ocean fisheries are depleted, and some have collapsed, from overfishing. Although many of the same fishermen who are causing these declines stand to suffer the most from them, they continue to overfish. Why is this happening? What can be done to solve the problem.The authors of Fish, Markets, and Fishermen argue that the reasons are primarily economic, and that overfishing is an inevitable consequence of the current sets of incentives facing ocean fishermen. This volume illuminates these incentives as they operate both in the aggregate and at the level of day-to-day decision-making by vessel skippers. The authors provide a primer on fish population biology and the economics of fisheries under various access regimes, and use that information in analyzing policies for managing fisheries. The book: provides a concise statistical overview of the world's fisheries documents the decline of fisheries worldwide gives the reader a clear understanding of the economics and population biology of fish examines the management issues associated with regulating fisheries offers case studies of fisheries under different management regimes examines and compares the consequences of various regimes and considers the implications for policy makingThe decline of the world's ocean fisheries is of enormous worldwide significance, from both economic and environmental perspectives. This book clearly explains for the nonspecialist the complicated problem of overfishing. It represents a basic resource for fishery managers and others-fishers, policymakers, conservationists, the fish consuming public, students, and researchers-concerned with the dynamics of fisheries and their sustenance.
"Summers, I live at fishcamp. June through August, Mondays and Fridays, my partner and I catch and sell salmon that pass our beach on their way to spawning streams. The rest of the week, and parts of May and September, Ken and I mend nets, comb the rocky shoreline for useful poles and cottonwood bark, do a thousand camp chores and projects. We live quite happily in a tiny cabin at the top of the beach." --from Fishcamp
For the past eighteen summers, Nancy Lord and her partner Ken have made a living, and made a life, fishing for salmon off the west side of Cook Inlet on the southern coast of Alaska. In Fishcamp, Lord provides a nuanced and engrossing portrait of their days and months in camp at the inlet.
Beginning with their arrival by plane on a freshly thawed lake, she describes their joys and tribulations as spring gives way to summer and the long months of summer unfold. With poetic cadence and magical tone, Lord draws the reader into life at camp, sharing experiences that range from the mundane to the sublime: the mending of nets; the muscle-wrenching labor of the catch; the exquisite pleasure of an improvised hot-tub; the often unnoticed bounty of the inlet's flora and fauna. Interwoven throughout the descriptions of quotidian adventure are threads of the deeper history of the region -- stories and legends of the native Dena'ina; anecdotes about past and current inlet residents; discussions of the lives of their neighbors, both human and animal, who, like them, live with fish.
Fishcamp is Nancy Lord's eloquent paean to the place she calls home. In clear and richly textured prose, she captures the simple beauty of a life lived with nature, "a part" rather than "apart." As Lord explains, she shows us in Fishcamp "something about what even one place and its infinitely varied life contributes to the connections among us all and to the wholes we call 'world' and 'culture.'...Wherever our places are and whatever we do in them, perhaps we might all begin to pay more attention to the little and big things that do indeed connect in profound ways to all the rest, miles and eons and cultures apart."
Fishcamp is a remarkable combination of personal, cultural, and natural history from what will surely be recognized as one of the most talented new voices of our time.
Fishes of Arkansas
Henry W. Robison University of Arkansas Press, 2019 Library of Congress QL628.A8R63 2019 | Dewey Decimal 597.17609767
The second edition of Fishes of Arkansas, in development for more than a decade, is an extensive revision and expansion of the first edition, including reclassifications, taxonomic changes, and descriptions of more than thirty new species.
An invaluable reference for anyone interested in the state’s fish population—from professional ichthyologists, fisheries biologists, and managers of aquatic resources, to amateur naturalists and anglers—this new edition provides updated taxonomic keys as well as detailed descriptions, photographs, and line drawings to aid identification of the state’s 241 fish species. There is also much information on the distribution and biology of each species, including descriptions of habitat, foods eaten, reproductive biology, and conservation status.
This project and the preparation of this publication was funded in part by a grant from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
This book assembles information on the fish fauna of South Dakota into a conveniently usable form. Ninety-three species are described with precise data on distribution and measurements. Additionally, this book attempts (1) to collect and identify published records of South Dakota fishes, (2) to present keys for the identification of fishes known or expected to occur in South Dakota, (3) to record original distributional data based on 137 fish collections taken throughout the state, (4) to solve some problems involving the systematic status of certain South Dakota species, (5) to clarify or extend information on the distribution of several species in the adjoining Plains area, and (6) to determine the geographic sources of origin of South Dakota fishes and to interpret routes of postglacial dispersal.
Naturalists and recreational anglers will welcome the paperback edition of this comprehensive volume, first published in 1986, which describes every species in the lakes and streams of the Great Basin. Includes an updated checklist of established species, discussion of threatened and endangered species, glossary, bibliography, and index.
Fishes of the Minnesota Region
Gary L. Phillips, William D. Schmid, and James C. Underhill University of Minnesota Press, 1982 Library of Congress QL628.M6P47 1982 | Dewey Decimal 597.0929776
Fishes of the Minnesota Region was first published in 1982. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
From Northern Pike to the Walleye, this is the definitive guide to all of Minnesota's 149 kinds of fishes. Illustrated with over 80 color photographs, this book will appeal to enthusiastic anglers as well as curious naturalists.
Along with a guide to identification, the authors cover habitat, distribution, conservation, and even some recipes. If you catch a fish from one of Minnesota's 10,000 lakes you'll find a description of it in this book.
Between the surface of the sea and depths of two hundred meters lies a remarkable range of fish, generally known as pelagics, or open-ocean dwellers. These creatures are among the largest, fastest, highest-leaping, and most migratory fish on the entire planet. Beautifully adapted to their world, they range from tiny drift fish and plankton-straining whale sharks to more streamlined predators such as tuna, marlin, sailfish, and wahoo.
Fishes of the Open Ocean, from leadingmarine biologistand world authorityon the subject JulianPepperell, is the firstbook to comprehensivelydescribe thesefishes and explore thecomplex and oftenfragile world in whichthey live. In whatwill be the definitivebook on the subject for years to come—and, with over three hundredcolor images, the most lavishly produced as well—Pepperell details theenvironment and biology of every major species of fish that inhabitsthe open ocean, an expanse that covers 330 million cubic miles and isthe largest aquatic habitat on the Earth. The first section of the bookintroduces the various evolutionary forms these fish have taken, as wellas the ways in which specific species interact and coevolve withothers in the food web. A chapter on commercial andsport fisheries explores the human element in thisrealm and considers such issues as sustainability,catch-and-release initiatives, and the risks of extinction.
The second section of the book provides species accounts of open ocean dwellers organized by group, with overviews and general descriptions that are inclusive of range and distribution, unique physiological and morphological attributes, and the role of each species within its ecosystem. Global distribution maps, original illustrations from renowned artist and scientist Guy Harvey, and truly stunning images from some of the world’s leading underwater photographers round out this copiously illustrated volume.
A captivating story of the industry's rise in Alabama.
With a wonderful ear for dialogue and in flowing narrative style, Karni Perez weaves together oral histories collected from early hatchery owners, catfish farmers, processors, and researchers to recount the important contributions made by Alabamians to the channel catfish industry. Perez describes the struggles and glories of fish culture from its early days as an experimental venture to the thriving present-day commercial enterprise that supplies warmwater fish for the American food industry.
As Perez states, "The catfish industry started out in Alabama as a do-it-yourself and figure-it out-yourself kind of enterprise." We hear how men who were mostly cattle farmers learned to nudge male and female fish into spawning in crudely constructed aquaria, how growers discovered the dissolved oxygen needs of their "herd" when big die-offs occurred, how Lenson Montz and Otis Breland designed the first paddle aerator to remedy the problem, how farmers eventually trained a bottomfeeding species to rise to the water surface to eat so their numbers could be better estimated. In one dramatic story, we learn how a man experimenting with the first skinning machine lost a piece of his hand in front of a crowd of horrified locals. (After it was retrieved from the skin basket, it was reattached by a town doctor and healed perfectly.) Ironically, the man was a representative of the engineering firm tasked with designing the machine; he had never before seen a catfish in his life. The machine was modified and became an essential component of modern fish processing.
In addition to telling the remarkable stories of individual contributions by farmers and researchers, Perez explains the positive effects played by improved public infrastructure, continued biological research, state legislation, and federal recognition of aquaculture as agriculture.
From Chapter Three:
"You're crazy," the bank officer declared with a friendly chuckle. "Why,
the Warrior River is full of catfish for anyone who wants them. There are
more in there than people will ever eat. And you think you're going to go
sell them when folks can go get them for nothing? That's just a bunch of
From Chapter Two:
“A crop duster's error, a visit by a curious feed company researcher, a
fluke of the weather, a coincidental encounter at a gas station. . . . How
could the three men, or anyone else for that matter, guess that these
chance circumstances would play into the birth of an industry that would
mushroom over the next forty or so years into one of the largest
contributors to the state's economy and that of the entire southeastern
Fisheries management today is highly contentious. The interests of fishers and fish processors, coastal communities, the government, and environmental organizations are often different and can even be mutually incompatible.Fishing Grounds offers a comprehensive assessment of the legal, social, economic and biological context of marine fisheries management in the United States. Drawing on interviews with stakeholders from all sides of the issue, the authors seek common ground -- and points of unresolved controversy -- among the diversity of interests and viewpoints involved. Chapters examine: history and background status of marine fisheries fishery productivity from biological, social, and economic perspectives ownership of fishery resources management structures and incentives the roles of science and evaluation Each chapter begins with legal, technical, and conceptual background to help readers understand the sets of issues involved and follows that with a balanced presentation of stakeholder views.Fishing Grounds presents a useful overview of fisheries management options and positions regarding those options, providing valuable insight into the opinions and concerns of stakeholders and the sets of incentives to which those stakeholders respond. It is an important work for fisheries management professionals in industry, government agencies, and nongovernmental organizations, as well as for students and researchers involved with fisheries and fisheries management.
With more than 29,000 species, fishes are the most diverse group of vertebrates on the planet. Of that number, more than 12,000 species are found in freshwater ecosystems, which occupy less than 1 percent of the Earth’s surface and contain only 2.4 percent of plant and animal species. But, on a hectare-for-hectare basis, freshwater ecosystems are richer in species than more extensive terrestrial and marine habitats. Examination of the distribution patterns of fishes in these fresh waters reveals much about continental movements and climate changes and has long been critical to biogeographical studies and research in ecology and evolution.
Tim Berra’s seminal resource, Freshwater Fish Distribution,maps the 169 fish families that swim in fresh water around the world. Each family account includes the class, subclass, and order; a pronunciation guide to the family name; life cycle information; and interesting natural history facts. Each account is illustrated, many with historical nineteenth-century woodcuts.
Now available in paperback, this heavily cited work in ichthyology and biogeography will serve as a reference for students, a research support for professors, and a helpful guide to tropical fish hobbyists and anglers.
Manitoba's ninety-three species of fish give the province the third most diverse fish population in Canada. The provinceís variety of geological features, with its major lakes, rivers, tributaries, and watersheds, is due in large part to its history as the basin for Glacial Lake Agassiz. This, combined with its access to the waters of Hudson Bay and large American river systems, has provided habitat for a wide diversity of freshwater fish. Species from lampreys to goldeye, catfish to perch, bigmouth bass to slimy sculpin swim in waters from arctic rivers in the north to Red River tributaries and down to the Mississippi in the south.Freshwater Fishes of Manitoba is a comprehensive, user-friendly guide. Each species is accurately depicted in detailed colour photographs and accompanying map, with descriptions of physical characteristics, spawning and feeding habits, distribution, habitat, ecological role, and economic importance. The guide also includes an extensive glossary, keys to identifying the families, species, and subspecies, and information on documentation and preservation of specimens. Freshwater Fishes of Manitoba is not only the definitive guide to these fishes of Manitoba, it is also accessible and reliable for a range of users from general fishers to professional fish biologists.
The Freshwater Mussels of Ohio
G. Thomas Watters, Michael A. Hoggarth, and David H. Stansbery The Ohio State University Press, 2009 Library of Congress QL430.6.W38 2009 | Dewey Decimal 594.409771
Nearly 200 years ago, a naturalist named Rafinesque stood on the banks of the Ohio River and began to describe the freshwater mussels he found there. Since that time these animals have become the most imperiled animals in North America. Dozens of species have become extinct, and it is estimated that two-thirds of the remaining freshwater mussels face a similar fate. Yet, despite their importance, the mussels of Ohio remain a poorly documented and largely mysterious fauna.
The Freshwater Mussels of Ohio by G. Thomas Watters, Michael A. Hoggarth, and David H. Stansbery brings together, for the first time, the most up-to-date research on Ohio’s mussels. Designed for the weekend naturalist and scientist alike, it synthesizes recent work on genetics, biology, and systematics into one book. Each species is illustrated to a degree not found in any other work. Full-page color plates depict shell variation, hinge detail, and beak sculpture. Full-page maps show the distribution of each species based upon the collections of numerous museums (with historical distributions dating from the 1800s). In addition to species accounts, the book has a substantive introduction that includes information on basic biology, human use, and conservation issues. Extensive synonymies, a key to all species, and an illustrated glossary are included as well.
Until now, there has been only one source of data on global fishery catches: information reported to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations by member countries. An extensive, ten-year study conducted by The Sea Around Us Project of the University of British Columbia shows that this catch data is fundamentally misleading. Many countries underreport the amount of fish caught (some by as much as 500%), while others such as China significantly overreport their catches.
The Global Atlas of Marine Fisheries is the first and only book to provide accurate, country-by-country fishery data. This groundbreaking information has been gathered from independent sources by the world’s foremost fisheries experts, and edited by Daniel Pauly and Dirk Zeller of the Sea Around Us Project. The Atlas includes one-page reports on 273 countries and their territories, plus fourteen topical global chapters. National reports describe the state of the country's fishery, by sector; the policies, politics, and social factors affecting it; and potential solutions. The global chapters address cross-cutting issues, from the economics of fisheries to the impacts of mariculture. Extensive maps and graphics offer attractive and accessible visual representations.
While it has long been clear that the world’s oceans are in trouble, the lack of reliable data on fishery catches has obscured the scale, and nuances, of the crisis. The atlas shows that, globally, catches have declined rapidly since the 1980s, signaling an even more critical situation than previously understood. The Global Atlas of Marine Fisheries provides a comprehensive picture of our current predicament and steps that can be taken to ease it. For researchers, students, fishery managers, professionals in the fishing industry, and all others concerned with the status of the world’s fisheries, the Atlas will be an indispensable resource.
Living work of art, consumer commodity, scientific hero, and environmental menace: the humble goldfish is the ultimate human cultural artifact. A creature of supposedly little memory and a short lifespan, it has held universal appeal as a reservoir for human ideas and ideals. In ancient China, goldfish were saved from predators in acts of religious reverence and selectively bred for their glittering grace. In the East, they became the subject of exquisite art, regarded as living flowers that moved, while in the West, they became ubiquitous residents of the Victorian parlor. Cheap and eminently available, today they are bred by the millions for the growing domestic pet market, while also proving to be important to laboratory studies of perception, vision, and intelligence.
In this illuminating homage to the goldfish, Anna Marie Roos blends art and science to trace the surprising and intriguing history of this much-loved animal, challenging our cultural preconceptions of a creature often thought to be common and disposable.
This is the first volume to integrate information on ways in which the nervous and endocrine systems interact to mediate crucial aspects of reptile behavior. Although the authors pay particular attention to reproductive behavior, from initial recognition and evaluation of potential partners to decisions about reproduction, they also deal with other survival behaviors.
Recent decades have been marked by the decline or collapse of one fishery after another around the world, from swordfish in the North Atlantic to orange roughy in the South Pacific. While the effects of a collapse on local economies and fishing-dependent communities have generated much discussion, little attention has been paid to its impacts on the overall health of the ocean's ecosystems.In a Perfect Ocean: The State of Fisheries and Ecosystems in the North Atlantic Ocean presents the first empirical assessment of the status of ecosystems in the North Atlantic ocean. Drawing on a wide range of studies including original research conducted for this volume, the authors analyze 14 large marine ecosystems to provide an indisputable picture of an ocean whose ecology has been dramatically altered, resulting in a phenomenon described by the authors as "fishing down the food web." The book:provides a snapshot of the past health of the North Atlantic and compares it to its present statuspresents a rigorous scientific assessment based on the key criteria of fisheries catches, biomass, and trophic levelconsiders the factors that have led to the current situationdescribes the policy options available for halting the declineoffers recommendations for restoring the North AtlanticAn original and powerful series of maps and charts illustrate where the effects of overfishing are the most pronounced and highlight the interactions among various factors contributing to the overall decline of the North Atlantic's ecosystems.This is the first in a series of assessments by the world's leading marine scientists, entitled "The State of the World's Oceans." In a Perfect Ocean: The State of Fisheries and Ecosystems in the North Atlantic Ocean is a landmark study, the first of its kind to make a comprehensive, ecosystem-based assessment of the North Atlantic Ocean, and will be essential reading for policymakers at the state, national, and international level concerned with fisheries management, as well for scientists, researchers, and activists concerned with marine issues or fishing and the fisheries industry.
For millennia the great fish—marlin, bluefin tuna, and swordfish—have reigned over the world’s oceans and awed human beings. Naturalists, photographers, sportfishermen, and writers from Zane Grey to Ernest Hemingway have been inspired by their beauty, power, and sheer size. But like much other marine life today, these fish face perilous reductions in their populations due to destructive and illegal fishing, inept fisheries management practices, and dramatic changes in ocean ecology, including those wrought by climate change. In Pursuit of Giants is a moving elegy and a call to arms for the protection of these creatures, as well as a five-year, 75,000-mile global adventure story that takes author Matt Rigney on a quest to discover how once-thriving species are now threatened. Rigney’s pilgrimage to encounter these giants takes him from the sportfishing mecca of Cabo San Lucas, to the Great Barrier Reef, from New Zealand to Nova Scotia, Japan and the Mediterranean, as he joins commercial and sport fishermen, marine biologists, fish-farming pioneers, and ocean activists to investigate the dangers these species face, and the various efforts being made—or not—to protect them.
Marty Crump has searched for salamanders along the Amazon River; she has surveyed amphibians and reptiles in hostile Huaorani Indian territory; she has been stung by a conga ant and had run-ins with an electric eel, a boa constrictor, and a bushmaster viper. In the course of her travels she has dined, not always eagerly, on wild rat, parrot, guinea pig, and chicken foot soup. And for those among us who prefer our experiences to be vicarious and far away from biting insects, venomous snakes, and inhospitable surroundings, she has written In Search of the Golden Frog.
The book is a detailed and fascinating chronicle of Crump's adventures as a field biologist—and as a wife and mother—in South and Central America. Following Crump on her research trips through Costa Rica, Ecuador, Brazil, Argentina, and Chile, we learn of amazingly diverse landscapes, equally diverse national traditions and customs, and the natural history of her subject of study, the frog. In leading us through rain forests and onto windswept coasts, Crump introduces us to such compelling creatures as female harlequin frogs, who pounce on males and pound their heads against the ground, and also sounds an alarm about the precipitous decline in amphibian populations around the globe.
Crump's perspectives as both a scientist and a mother, juggling the demands of family and professional life, make this highly readable account of fieldwork simultaneously close to home and wildly exotic. A combination of nature writing and travel writing, the richly illustrated In Search of the Golden Frog will whet travelers' appetites, affirm the experiences of seasoned field biologists, and offer the armchair naturalist vivid descriptions of amphibians and their habitats.
A King Salmon Journey
Debbie Miller and John H. Eiler University of Alaska Press, 2014 Library of Congress QL638.S2M478 2014 | Dewey Decimal 597.56156
Two thousand miles is a staggering distance for any kind of journey. But imagine making it not by car or even foot—but by fin. That’s what faces Chinook, a female king salmon, as she takes a dramatic trip to safely deliver her eggs. From the Bering Sea, up the Yukon River, and on to the Nisutlin River, A King Salmon Journey takes young readers on an engaging ride through the waters of Alaska and Canada, bringing to life the biology—and mystery—of one of the world’s most popular fish. Based on the story of a real-life Chinook, this beautifully illustrated book deftly combines science with a fast-paced tale of survival and perseverance.
One of the Great Lakes region’s most precious natural resources is its fishery, with its intricate web of aquatic life, the environments it inhabits, and the people who use and enjoy these areas. The Great Lakes fishery supports not only an important commercial fishing industry but also tourism in eight different states and two countries, attracting millions of recreational anglers each year. As valuable as the fishery is, it is equally fragile. Since the 1950s, state, provincial, and federal agencies have coordinated efforts to manage the fishery and protect it from a range of threats, from the spread of invasive species to nutrient pollution to habitat destruction.
Now in its fourth edition, The Life of the Lakes examines the complex portrait of the Great Lakes fishery, including the history of the fishery’s exploitation and management, the current health of the Lakes, and the outlook for the future. Featuring more graphics, photos, and illustrations than ever, all printed in full color, the new edition of this engaging book is a perfect resource for general readers, teachers, and students looking for an easy-to-follow guide to the Great Lakes fishery. This book is published in collaboration with Michigan Sea Grant (www.michiganseagrant.org), a cooperative program of the University of Michigan and Michigan State University.
All over the world, salmon populations are in trouble, as overfishing and habitat loss have combined to put the once-great Atlantic and Pacific Northwest runs at serious risk. Alaska, however, stands out as a rare success story: its salmon populations remain strong and healthy, the result of years of careful management and conservation programs that are rooted in a shared understanding of the importance of the fish to the life, culture, and history of the state.
Made of Salmon brings together more than fifty diverse Alaska voices to celebrate the salmon and its place in Alaska life. A mix of words and images, the book interweaves longer works by some of Alaska’s finest writers with shorter, more anecdotal accounts and stunning photographs of Alaskans fishing for, catching, preserving, and eating salmon throughout the state. A love letter to a fish that has been central to Alaska life for centuries, Made of Salmon is a reminder of the stakes of this great, ongoing conservation battle.
How and why do trout think? How do they decide where to eat and which food to eat? Why do they refuse to behave as predicted, stumping anglers by rejecting a larger fly for a smaller one or not responding at all to anything in an angler’s box? How do trout know to bolt to one particular covered area after being hooked or flushed? Why can trout smell better than humans but not remember as well? Citing the most recent scientific findings in a readily understandable form, Thomas C. Grubb, Jr. addresses these questions and more in The Mind of the Trout. It is the first book to bring together many varied concepts of cognitive ecology as applied to trout and their salmonid relatives: char, salmon, grayling, and whitefish.
Northern Fishes was first published in 1974. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
With the greatly increased interest in fishes and fishing since the earlier editions of this work were published, there has been need for a revised version of this indispensable book on the fishes of the Upper Mississippi Valley. This, the third edition, revised, of Northern Fishes by Samuel Eddy and Thaddeus Surber, contains much new material and up-to-date information based on current knowledge about fishes, their environment, and fishing techniques.
The book covers more than 160 species with descriptions and line drawings to illustrate almost all of them. The authors discuss recently introduced species and their importance to sportsmen and provide current data on the distribution of northern fishes. There are keys for the identification of the species and information about where they are found and their habits. This edition also contains a number of additions to the species list which result from rather extensive collecting of specimens since the earlier editions were compiled.
Before presenting the data on individual species, the authors provide basic information about fishes in general—their structure, classification and origin, their food, and their parasites. The revised, updated section on fishing techniques includes information about spin casting. There are important chapters on lake dynamics, fish population dynamics, management of Minnesota and northern waters for fish production, and improvement of lakes and streams. The detailed information about species is arranged according to families. For further reading or reference there is a bibliography.
According to the Yup’ik Eskimo of Alaska, fish are not to be played with. It’s an adage instilled in children that’s as basic as looking both ways before crossing the street, but at its heart lies a concern for nature. Yup’ik traditions are tested each generation by this people’s struggle for survival, the admonition not to play with fish has been further tested by the arrival of sport fishing from the south. Worlds are colliding—whose will emerge unscathed? Robert J. Wolfe, a cultural anthropologist from California, spent twenty years in Alaska documenting the traditional hunting and fishing practices of Alaska Natives. During that northern sojourn he discovered much about sustainable relationships between people and nature and about the basis of meaningful communities. In Playing with Fish he has crafted a series of thought-provoking essays on nature, culture, and the human condition that convey unsuspected lessons from the North. In contrasting California and Alaska—worlds far apart yet connected by peoples, cultural traditions, and ecology—Wolfe not only draws distinctions between compass points, he also conveys memorable stories about nature and life. He depicts bears and humans as both neighbors and ancient adversaries, and how cultural views about bears can destroy or preserve those relationships. He shows us Alaskan villages where security is found not in locks but in neighbors, unlike electronically sealed suburban California homes, their lawns studded with security signs. And he describes the peaceful resolution of conflict between California bird hunters and Eskimos of the Bering Sea coast over declining geese numbers, where small humanizing acts tipped the balance in favor of cooperation. Blending insights into subjects as diverse as music and chaos theory, Wolfe challenges readers to reflect on their own personal conduct within nature and within our multicultural world. Playing with Fish is a delightful and insightful collection of modern parables that offer a new way of looking at cultural and ecological issues, reminding us that the road between two worlds is always a two-way street.
The angler’s dream of fishing pristine waters in unspoiled country for sleek, healthy trout has turned fishing into a form of theater. It is a manufactured experience—much to the detriment of our rivers and streams. Americans’ love of trout has reached a level of fervor that borders on the religious. Federal and state agencies, as well as nongovernmental lobbying groups, invest billions of dollars on river restoration projects and fish-stocking programs. Yet, their decisions are based on faulty logic and risk destroying species they are tasked with protecting. River ecosystems are modified with engineered structures to improve fishing, native species that compete with trout are eradicated, and nonnative invasive game fish are indiscriminately introduced, genetically modified, and selectively bred to produce more appealing targets for anglers—including the freakishly contrived “golden trout.” The Quest for the Golden Trout is about looking at our nation’s rivers with a more critical eye—and asking more questions about both historic and current practices in fisheries management.
America’s western rivers are under assault from development, pollution, invasive species, and climate change. Returning these eco- systems to the time of European contact is often the stated goal for restoration efforts, yet neither the influence of indigenous societ- ies on rivers at the time of contact nor the deeper evolutionary relationships are yet understood by the scientific world. This volume presents a unique synthesis of scientific discoveries and traditional knowledge about the ecology of iconic river species in the American West.
Building from a foundation in fisheries biology and life history data about key species, the book reveals ancient human relationships with those species and describes time-tested Native resource management techniques, drawing from the archaeological record and original ethnographic sources. It evaluates current research trends, summarizes the conceptual foundations for the cultural and evolutionary significance of sustainable use of fish, and seeks pathways for future research. Geographic areas described include the Columbia Plateau, Idaho’s Snake River Plain, the Sacramento River Delta, and the mid-Fraser River of British Columbia. Previously unpublished information is included with the express permission and approval of tribal communities. This approach broadens and deepens the available body of data and establishes a basis for future collaboration between scientists and Native stakeholders toward mutual goals of river ecosystem health.
Every year, wild salmon travel hundreds of miles upstream. They fight fierce river currents, leap over rocks and small waterfalls, and die by the thousands of starvation, disease, and exposure to cold. Even if they surmount these obstacles, the fish risk becoming dinner for hungry predators like bears, birds, and humans. Guided by a keen sense of smell, the survivors travel to their original hatching grounds, where they breed, spawn, and quickly die.
Salmon reveals this amazing life cycle to be just part of the larger story of these fascinating fish. The cultural life of salmon, Peter Coates explains, is rich with myths about “the king of fish,” from lands as diverse as Nova Scotia, Norway, Korea, and California. Coates’s history details the salmon’s cherished symbolic meaning as well as its current status as the ignoble product of fish hatcheries. Encompassing evolutionary, ecological, and cultural perspectives, Salmon is the perfect book for anyone who has ever eaten or tried to catch this delightful—and delectable—fish.
"Fundamentally, the salmon's decline has been the consequence of a vision based on flawed assumptions and unchallenged myths.... We assumed we could control the biological productivity of salmon and 'improve' upon natural processes that we didn't even try to understand. We assumed we could have salmon without rivers." --from the introduction From a mountain top where an eagle carries a salmon carcass to feed its young to the distant oceanic waters of the California current and the Alaskan Gyre, salmon have penetrated the Northwest to an extent unmatched by any other animal. Since the turn of the twentieth century, the natural productivity of salmon in Oregon, Washington, California, and Idaho has declined by eighty percent. The decline of Pacific salmon to the brink of extinction is a clear sign of serious problems in the region.In Salmon Without Rivers, fisheries biologist Jim Lichatowich offers an eye-opening look at the roots and evolution of the salmon crisis in the Pacific Northwest. He describes the multitude of factors over the past century and a half that have led to the salmon's decline, and examines in depth the abject failure of restoration efforts that have focused almost exclusively on hatcheries to return salmon stocks to healthy levels without addressing the underlying causes of the decline. The book: describes the evolutionary history of the salmon along with the geologic history of the Pacific Northwest over the past 40 million years considers the indigenous cultures of the region, and the emergence of salmon-based economies that survived for thousands of years examines the rapid transformation of the region following the arrival of Europeans presents the history of efforts to protect and restore the salmon offers a critical assessment of why restoration efforts have failed Throughout, Lichatowich argues that the dominant worldview of our society -- a worldview that denies connections between humans and the natural world -- has created the conflict and controversy that characterize the recent history of salmon; unless that worldview is challenged and changed, there is little hope for recovery. Salmon Without Rivers exposes the myths that have guided recent human-salmon interactions. It clearly explains the difficult choices facing the citizens of the region, and provides unique insight into one of the most tragic chapters in our nation's environmental history.
Season of the Gar is a fang-infested, monster-headed, armor-plated romp through the prehistoric swamps and murky rivers of America’s most feared and demonized fish. Follow Mark Spitzer on his lengthy and often frustrating quest from Texas and Louisiana, Missouri, and Arkansas to catch his own gar. Read about his sometimes bizarre angling adventures in search of this air-breathing freshwater giant (up to ten feet in length and well over three hundred pounds) as he separates fact from fiction. Spitzer draws on folklore, science, history, his own pet gar, and even gar recipes to tell this unique and exciting literary eco-tale about a fish that has inspired imaginations for centuries, a fish many have hated, a fish many have thrown on the shore to die.
When populations of striped bass began plummeting in the early 1980s, author and fisherman Dick Russell was there to lead an Atlantic coast conservation campaign that resulted in one of the most remarkable wildlife comebacks in the history of fisheries. As any avid fisherman will tell you, the striped bass has long been a favorite at the American dinner table; in fact, we've been feasting on the fish from the time of the Pilgrims. By 1980 that feasting had turned to overfishing by commercial fishing interests. Striper Wars is Dick Russell's inspiring account of the people and events responsible for the successful preservation of one of America's favorite fish and of what has happened since.
Striper Wars is a tale replete with heroes--and some villains--as the struggle to save the striper migrated down the coast from Massachusetts to Maryland. Russell introduces us to a postman at arms against a burly trap-net fisherman, a renowned state governor caving to special interests, and a fishing-tackle maker fighting alongside marine biologists. And he describes how champions of this singular fish blocked power plants and New York's Westway Project that would otherwise compromise its habitat. Unfortunately, those who cheered the triumphant ending to the campaign, as the coastal states enacted measures that enabled the striped bass to make its comeback, have found the peace transitory--there is now a new enemy emerging on the front.
In recent years a chronic bacterial disease has struck more than seventy percent of the striped bass population in the primary spawning waters of the Chesapeake Bay. Malnutrition seems to be a significant factor, brought on by the same overfishing that plagued the bass in the first battle--only this time, the overfishing is devastating menhaden, the silvery little fish upon which the bass feed. Lessons learned during the first conservation battle are being applied here, highlighting a need for a whole new ecosystem-based approach to conserving species.
Only with constant vigilance by concerned citizens, Dick Russell reminds us, can environmental victories be sustained. This particular fish story is a personal one for him, and he follows the striper's saga today all the way to California, where the fish was introduced in 1879 and where agribusiness now threatens its future. For his conservation work during the 1980s Russell received a citizen's Chevron Conservation Award.
A perfect fish in the evolutionary sense, the broadbill swordfish derives its name from its distinctive bill—much longer and wider than the bill of any other billfish—which is flattened into the sword we all recognize. And though the majesty and allure of this warrior fish has commanded much attention—from adventurous sportfishers eager to land one to ravenous diners eager to taste one—no one has yet been bold enough to truly take on the swordfish as a biographer. Who better to do so than Richard Ellis, a master of marine natural history? Swordfish: A Biography of the Ocean Gladiator is his masterly ode to this mighty fighter.
The swordfish, whose scientific name means “gladiator,” can take on anyone and anything, including ships, boats, sharks, submarines, divers, and whales, and in this book Ellis regales us with tales of its vitality and strength. Ellis makes it easy to understand why it has inspired so many to take up the challenge of epic sportfishing battles as well as the longline fishing expeditions recounted by writers such as Linda Greenlaw and Sebastian Junger. Ellis shows us how the bill is used for defense—contrary to popular opinion it is not used to spear prey, but to slash and debilitate, like a skillful saber fencer. Swordfish, he explains, hunt at the surface as well as thousands of feet down in the depths, and like tuna and some sharks, have an unusual circulatory system that gives them a significant advantage over their prey, no matter the depth in which they hunt. Their adaptability enables them to swim in waters the world over—tropical, temperate, and sometimes cold—and the largest ever caught on rod and reel was landed in Chile in 1953, weighing in at 1,182 pounds (and this heavyweight fighter, like all the largest swordfish, was a female).
Ellis’s detailed and fascinating, fact-filled biography takes us behind the swordfish’s huge, cornflower-blue eyes and provides a complete history of the fish from prehistoric fossils to its present-day endangerment, as our taste for swordfish has had a drastic effect on their population the world over. Throughout, the book is graced with many of Ellis’s own drawings and paintings, which capture the allure of the fish and bring its splendor and power to life for armchair fishermen and landlocked readers alike.
James Owen Reaktion Books, 2012 Library of Congress QL638.S2O94 2012 | Dewey Decimal 597.57
Leaping effortlessly from bright streams into the human imagination, the trout has an ancient fascination that can be traced back to Stone Age cave dwellers, and it thrives today in our diet, religion, folklore, history, science, literature, and, of course, fishermen’s tales.
James Owen reveals here why the trout beguiles us so. Taking myriad forms, the fish has a vitality and physical beauty that brings to mind pure waters and quiet, outdoor spaces. This biography of the trout showcases the animal as sacred fish, edible fish, farmed fish, and a fish of scientific investigation. In telling this story, Owen follows the trout around the world: starting in Europe and North America, he then follows the voyage that took the creature from England to Australia in the nineteenth century. Along the way, he presents a diverse cast of characters, from obscure British saints and fly-fishing nuns to visionary inventors, jazz singers, and counterculture novelists—all united by this magical animal.
Trout will delight and surprise anglers who have ever cast a fly and anyone who has caught a glimpse of its stunning camouflage.
In a Panamanian pond, male túngara frogs (Physalaemus pustulosus) gather in choruses, giving their "advertisement" call to the females that move among them. If a female chooses to make physical contact with a male, he will clasp her and eventually fertilize her eggs. But in vying for the females, the males whose calls are most attractive may also attract the interest of another creature: the fringe-lipped bat, a frog eater.
In the Túngara Frog, the most detailed and informative single study available of frogs and their reproductive behavior, Michael J. Ryan demonstrates the interplay of sexual and natural selection. Using techniques from ethology, behavioral ecology, sensory physiology, physiological ecology, and theoretical population genetics in his research, Ryan shows that large males with low-frequency calls mate most successfully. He examines in detail a number of explanations for the females' preferences, and he considers possible evolutionary forces leading to the males' success.
Though certain vocalizations allow males to obtain mates and thus should be favored by sexual selection, this study highlights two important costs of such sexual displays: the frogs expand considerable energy in their mating calls, and they advertise their whereabouts to predators. Ryan considers in detail how predators, especially the frige-lipped bat (Trachops cirrhosus), affect the evolution of the túngara frog's calls.
Humanity can make short work of the oceans’ creatures. In 1741, hungry explorers discovered herds of Steller’s sea cow in the Bering Strait, and in less than thirty years, the amiable beast had been harpooned into extinction. It’s a classic story, but a key fact is often omitted. Bering Island was the last redoubt of a species that had been decimated by hunting and habitat loss years before the explorers set sail.
As Callum M. Roberts reveals in The Unnatural History of the Sea, the oceans’ bounty didn’t disappear overnight. While today’s fishing industry is ruthlessly efficient, intense exploitation began not in the modern era, or even with the dawn of industrialization, but in the eleventh century in medieval Europe. Roberts explores this long and colorful history of commercial fishing, taking readers around the world and through the centuries to witness the transformation of the seas.
Drawing on firsthand accounts of early explorers, pirates, merchants, fishers, and travelers, the book recreates the oceans of the past: waters teeming with whales, sea lions, sea otters, turtles, and giant fish. The abundance of marine life described by fifteenth century seafarers is almost unimaginable today, but Roberts both brings it alive and artfully traces its depletion. Collapsing fisheries, he shows, are simply the latest chapter in a long history of unfettered commercialization of the seas.
The story does not end with an empty ocean. Instead, Roberts describes how we might restore the splendor and prosperity of the seas through smarter management of our resources and some simple restraint. From the coasts of Florida to New Zealand, marine reserves have fostered spectacular recovery of plants and animals to levels not seen in a century. They prove that history need not repeat itself: we can leave the oceans richer than we found them.
In January 2010, the Gemini was moored in the Swinomish Slough on a Native American reservation near Anacortes, Washington. Unbeknownst to almost everyone, the rusted and dilapidated boat was in fact the most famous fishing vessel ever to have sailed: the original Western Flyer, immortalized in John Steinbeck’s nonfiction classic The Log from the Sea of Cortez.
In this book, Kevin M. Bailey resurrects this forgotten witness to the changing tides of Pacific fisheries. He draws on the Steinbeck archives, interviews with family members of crew, and more than three decades of working in Pacific Northwest fisheries to trace the depletion of marine life through the voyages of a single ship. After Steinbeck and his friend Ed Ricketts—a pioneer in the study of the West Coast’s diverse sea life and the inspiration behind “Doc” in Cannery Row—chartered the boat for their now-famous 1940 expedition, the Western Flyer returned to its life as a sardine seiner in California. But when the sardine fishery in Monterey collapsed, the boat moved on: fishing for Pacific ocean perch off Washington, king crab in the Bering Sea off Alaska, and finally wild Pacific salmon—all industries that would also face collapse.
As the Western Flyer herself faces an uncertain future—a businessman has bought her, intending to bring the boat to Salinas, California, and turn it into a restaurant feature just blocks from Steinbeck’s grave—debates about the status of the California sardine, and of West Coast fisheries generally, have resurfaced. A compelling and timely tale of a boat and the people it carried, of fisheries exploited, and of fortunes won and lost, The Western Flyer is environmental history at its best: a journey through time and across the sea, charting the ebb and flow of the cobalt waters of the Pacific coast.