Wednesday, November 30, 2011

World Without Fish

World Without Fish Mark Kurlansky

Fish are dying out because of over-fishing, climate change, and a whole host of other issues. Once fish die out, it’ll start a chain reaction to other animals and then land creatures and surprisingly soon we’ll see catastrophic effects to human life.

This is a book with a MISSION. It’s written to turn us on to the problem facing fish and our oceans, written to spur us into action (there’s a whole chapter on how to start a movement.) Despite that, Kurlansky does a WONDERFUL job of explaining the complexities at play here. You can tell how much he’s studied this because there’s not one simple solution, there’s not one simple problem. This guy gets the sheer complexity and tiny facets of the issue and does a fantastic job of explaining them to younger readers. It also gets props for its excellent design. Major points in the text are handwritten in large letters, often in varying colors. There’s a comic that runs throughout showing how everything can die off within a generation. There are several solutions on how to help, and not one is stop eating fish, because Kurlasnky seriously respects fisherman and the role they play in alerting us to, and helping solve, the problem.

That said... the text is a bit alarmist and while I don’t doubt its accuracy, if you’re going to have something this extreme, you need some source notes and a bibliography to back it up. The only thing that gets cited is The Origin Of Species.

Seriously people--CITE YOUR SOURCES! Give us a bibliography of where we can check your facts instead of just organizations to get involved. Why is this such an issue?

Book Provided by... my local library

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MotherReader said...

Sounds interesting. While I hear about protecting our oceans, I haven't read anything so specific to fish - and subsequently us - in the equation. But like you, I'd want some sources.

Sean said...

Interesting publication. I'm guessing that Kurlansky hopes that readers interested in deeper treatments (and source material) will dig into his other books, like "Cod" or "The Last Fish Tale." I devoured "Cod" (pun intended) on a flight from DC to Houston back in 1998. I'm glad he's still writing about fish and fishing, as well as expanding his reading audience.