Thursday, April 19, 2007

Hooked: Pirates, Poaching and the Perfect Fish - G. Bruce Knecht

The Basics: Hooked: Pirates, Poaching and the Perfect Fish, G. Bruce Knecht, 2006, 278 pages, hardcover

How I found it: My dad recommended this one, even going so far as to send me a special email urging me to read it.

What's it about?: This is the true story of a boat of Australian fisheries enforcement officers trying to stop illegal poaching of the Patagonian toothfish in their territorial waters. The Patagonian toothfish, more commonly served in North American under the name Chilean Sea Bass is a fish of recent popularity, but is fast becoming as overfished and endangered as cod. The Uruguaian poachers don't care though - they just want to make money. The book follows the course of a multi-day high seas chase through dangers Antarctic waters as the fisheries officers attempt to arrest the poachers.

Did I like it?: While this book didn't really sound like something I would typically be interested in, I couldn't put it down. It is well written, a great story, and has a good environmental message. It actually made me want to take a Law of the Sea course next year, although I can't ever imagine practicing Maritime Law. It is a real life action adventure story, as well as a bit of really interesting background information about how the fish we eat gets to our plates.

Will you like it?: If you like good non-fiction, this is a must read. It's a great story and it will teach you a bit about the state of our oceans while you are at it. This book is far from dry, despite its subject.

But don't take my word for it: the usual collection of reviews from Amazon, a brief review from the Sacramento News and Review, one from (scroll down), an article about the book from the environmentalist website Grist (which I love), and one from the BC-based Tyee (which I actually read every day - I guess I missed this article).

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