FREE READ ã The End of the Line How Overfishing Is Changing the World and What We Eat

SUMMARY The End of the Line How Overfishing Is Changing the World and What We Eat

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 book first published in the UK to wide acclaim and now extensively revised for an American audience environmental journalist Charles This book doesn't mince words so I won't mince mine for this review Facts There a


The End of the Line How Overfishing Is Changing the World and What We Eat

Clover argues that our passion for fish is unsustainable Seventy five percent of the world’s fish stocks are now fully exploited or overfished; the most popular varieties risk extinction within the next few decadesClover trawls the globe for answers from Tokyo’s sumptuous fish market to the heart of New England’s fishing industry He joins hardy sailors on high tech boats interviews top chefs whose menu select Clover's book is just as relevant today as it was 15 years ago With 80% of our fi How to Win an Argument... Even When You Lose globe for answers from Tokyo’s sumptuous fish market to the heart of New England’s fishing industry He joins hardy sailors on high tech boats interviews top chefs whose menu select Clover's book is just as relevant today as it was 15 years ago With 80% of our fi

Charles Clover Ö 1 FREE READ

Ions can influence the fate of entire species and examines the ineffective organizations charged with regulating the world’s fisheries Along the way he argues that governments as well as consumers can take steps to reverse this disturbing trend before it’s 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 great Surprising how little has really changed since publication in 2006Well balanced d

10 thoughts on “The End of the Line How Overfishing Is Changing the World and What We Eat

  1. says:

    This book doesn't mince words so I won't mince mine for this review Facts There are too many humans on this earth for any of us to pretend like we can eat what we want when we want and otherwise behave as if we aren't one of BILLIONS of humans currently occupying I wanted to write infesting the earth Our populations are not shrinking but the earth's resources most certainly are The problem as I this book many books perpetually see it Capitalism see also the monopolistic greed running this country since Day 1 YOLO mentality and the idea of Western progressfreedom to do whatever we want whenever we want—Eat as much fish Fly to as many places as we want to visit throughout our lifetime Use single use plastic because it's too hard not to— ALL of it is diametrically opposed to true conservation ethics and the climate overpopulation crisis currently facing our planet What I appreciate most about this book its honesty Cloves comes straight out of the gate swinging and when it comes to issues of life altering importance I'm perpetually here for it From the introduction Unfortunately our love affair with fish is unsustainable And on the next page The perception changing moment for the oceans has arrived It comes from the realisation that in a single human lifetime we have inflicted a crisis on the oceans greater than any yet caused by pollutionEvery chapter is so dense with data case studies and marine history that I could hardly read a page without swimming off to write a five paragraph essay; I left myself endless notes in the marginsThe crux of this book We excel at taking than we give At not knowing how to live and let live Our oceans are legitimately dying because we as a global population of humans have and continue to overfish the ever loving cod out of them The way we treat our oceans like the way we treat nearly everything on this planet ie as if this earth can replenish itself like magic as billions of humans take and take and take is embarrassing Or it should and would be were enough of us paying attention This book isn't any uplifting than this review but that isn't this book's job Nor is it mine This book's job is to tell the truth the whole truth and now than ever we need books and humans that care about being honest then they do about making money serving corporate interests selfish humans and unsustainable industries feel better about themselves Books like these are so important as I believe honest words about anything and everything are too and I'm grateful for finding it just as I'm grateful for finding my voice on conservation issues that keep me up at night The bottom line We might not be able to fix what's been broken since before I was born but we and every elected andor appointed official throughout the world should be exhausting every effort to at least try Five stars for the stark well written reminder we're all in this together and that without healthy oceans there can be no healthy earth

  2. says:

    Resources exist to be consumed And consumed they will be if not by this generation then by some future By what right does this forgotten future seek to deny us our birthright? None I say Let us take what is ours chew and eat our fill CEO Nwabudike Morgan The Ethics of GreedWhen talking about global warming one of the things I tell people is that if they really want a sense of paralyzing despair to overcome them all they need to do is look at what humanity is doing to the oceans And while I'm usually talking about ocean acidification and pollution overfishing is just as applicable Clover's book is uite strident but it has a right to be The population of fish has dropped in many places by around 95% There are entire populations of fish where than 50% of the catch is taken illegally Huge parts of the ocean are essentially in a total free for all much the same as assault on the bison in the 19th century American west and with much the same end effect Spanish fleets under foreign flags travel to Senegal to meet the demand for fish in Spain and while regulation is patchwork in national waters in international waters literally anything goes While some consumers are very concerned about where their food comes from and how it was raised most people don't even care anything about their fish except that it tastes good And worst of all the ocean itself is inscrutable enough that we barely even know how many fish there are much less how many we can safely take The End of the Line is most devoted to detailing the problems which it does extensively The book lays most of the problem on fishermen and on politicians' unwillingness to go against them even though they form a tiny constituency Most people's image of fishermen is that of heroic men in oilskins wresting their livelihood from the bosom of Mother Ocean but nowadays it's much likely to be teams in large boats tracking fish with radar and vacuuming them up with enormous nets or strip mining the ocean floor In some cases bycatch catching fish other than what the fishermen are looking for is up to 50% of the total catch One of the major problems is that fishing is usually regulated by time ie fishermen can spend a certain amount of time at sea which encourages them to catch the largest amount possible in that time to make the most money One of the few places The End of the Line points out as well managed is Iceland which sells off the fish uota as property rights Each fisherman can catch a certain number of fish per year and can sell or transfer their uota if they like It works in Iceland and Clover seems to suggest that this is the way forward for fisheries management elsewhere though he devotes only a couple pages to the possibility of consolidation and monopoly I'm afraid I can't see a widescale implementation of this as anything other than selling off the seas to multinational corporations absent any kind of effective international enforcement and Clover spends a lot of time explaining how there's barely any effective domestic enforcement when it comes to fisheries much less international He does have a point when he mentions that it's impossible to maximize the social ecological and economic aspects of fishing all at the same time and something will have to giveA lot of the other reviews describe the book as dry which seems nearly incomprehensible to me I found it to be a compelling read but this is a subject I have a lot of interest in which might make the difference It's true that there's little human element and Clover blithely brushes off the health of fishing dependent coast communities and the livelihoods of the people there His position is basically that either they can survive or the sea can and if the fish die they'll lose their jobs anyway which is true but not very sympathy inducingFarmed fish can help but they're not even a bandaid much less a panacea Clover brings up that farmed fish are much less competitive than wild fish and interbreeding between them and wild fish makes the wild fish less likely to survive Even if there was a foolproof way to prevent domesticated fish from escaping which there is not farmed carnivorous fish still reuire overfishing to sustain because they're fed fish meal made from wild fish and it would be ecological just to eat the fish the meal comes from directly and cut out the middlefishIt's not totally bleak Other than the example of Iceland's better management the book also points to fishing reserves in New Zealand where fish swarm in numbers not seen in decades and which are economic boons as well since they've become major tourist locations and fishermen nearby who are allowed to fish near but not on the reserve report higher catches that they've seen in a long timeThere's a list of seven ways to solve the catastrophe at the end of the book which I'll summarize here Fish less Eat less fish overall Know where your fish comes from Choose less wasteful methods of fishing Give property rights to fishermen Create reserves Make fisheries responsible managing international waters as well as local ones Regain control of the sea by the populationThe last one is a bit vague and The End of the Line is doom and gloom than solutions but I think that speaks to the scale of the problem which is literally world wide in scope One of The End of the Line's major points is that all of this is happening because the public is mostly unaware of the problem and there are few better ways to become aware than to read this book Even if I don't agree with all of his solutions it's obvious that what we're doing now isn't working and Clover points out some alternate methods that are having some success so we'd be fools to ignore them Otherwise we'll be telling our children about what fish tasted like when we were young and fish wasn't only for the rich Bon appétit

  3. says:

    An incendiary diatribe about the destruction wrought by overfishing this book is eye opening Although Clover’s tone is strident his research is impeccable; with journalistic detail he repeatedly documents the waste and folly of modern fishing methods Clover lets no one off the hook fishermen politicians scientists consumers all are complicit If you eat fish you should read this book

  4. says:

    Clover's book is just as relevant today as it was 15 years ago With 80% of our fish stocks fully exploited overexploited or on the brink of collapse this is essential reading for the average consumer The very first paragraph brings to attention the difference in value we place on creatures on land versus the seaImagine what people would say if a band of hunters strung a mile of net between two immense all terrain vehicles and dragged it at speed across the plains of Africa This fantastical assemblage like something from a Mad Max movie would scoop up everything in its way predators such as lions and cheetahs lumbering endangered herbivores such as rhinos and elephants herds of impala and wildebeest family groups of warthog and wild dogA lot of us hold contradictory beliefs when it comes to ethical consumption; most of us would be horrified at the idea of eating a poached endangered mammal but endangered and often illegally caught cod are welcome to the dinner table This book does a very good job of highlighting how difficult it is to actually get your hands on sustainably caught fish even coming to the conclusion that you might be likely to find sustainable fish at McDonalds than at a Michelin star restaurant Some reviews have noted the writing is dry at times but I would like to know who can manage to make the Common Fisheries Policy and uotas and stock and all the rest of it sound interesting If there's one reservation I have about this book it's that I think Clover was too easy on the consumer yes changes at the governmental level are imperative to solve this crisis but we as individuals need to be critical when it comes to what fish we eat and a green label doesn't necessarily absolve guilt The sweeping inclusion of herring and blue whiting as fish to eat with less conscience is uestionable considering the sustainability of these fishes depends entirely on which stock they have been sourced from Seeing as around 30% of our fish is mislabelled meaning your sustainably caught cod could uite easily be endangered Atlantic cod is there really such thing as conscience free fish?

  5. says:

    I don’t eat fish I am allergic and I am still very glad I read this book It transformed the way I think about fishing and the oceans About a month and a half ago I accidentally got tickets to see a deep sea diver present information about the current state of the oceans She was very damning and bleak and recommended this book as further reading I am glad I took her up on it The book starts off bleak and depressing About 60 pages in I was worried that all it was going to be was a catalogue of failure after failure of fish stock But the book does move on to show some successes and possible changes that can be made There were several points of the book that struck me First off that everyone “owns” the oceans Fisherman tend to talk about their ownership of water but in truth I own it as much as they do and should have as much of a say in what goes on as I do Secondly I was fascinated by the theory that if given no balances or limits a commercial fishery will go bankrupt I want to study this idea The idea being as long as are allowed to bring in and fish they will continue to do so driving the price down so low by over supplying that they can’t make money And since fish are not infinite the population will collapse and the fishery is left with nothing Does oil work the same way? Is that why OPEC is actually a good thing to set limits on production???Also just learning about how fish are caught was eye opening The fact that so many other wildlife are caught in fishing nets is something I never thought about Oftentimes 50% or of creatures in a net will be the intended fish species It would be like dragging nets over large fields of cows but getting sheep deer birds raccoons suirrels bunnies and every other type of animal in the nets as well Most of these unwanted species are simply thrown overboard and will die Wasteful As little as 10% of the biomass of what is caught is ever eaten Not very efficient Clover points out there are 3 aspects of fishing 1 Ecological – how well the fish are doing in the sea Pretty easy to grasp 2 Economical – does the fishing industry make money Also easy to grasp 3 Social – allowing people to live the “traditional” fisherman life This is a little abstract but comes down to subsidizing people to fish or not fish so that they can remain fisherman In coastal areas these people tend to be loud and vocal and a powerful voting block Clover then goes on to say that all three of these areas can not be successful They are ultimately opposed to each other and 1 must be allowed to fail Since it makes no sense to let the ecological side failor there would be no fish it leaves 2 options Letting the economical side fail does not make much sense either why have an industry that loses money and encourages poverty? So that leaves the option of changing the social mindset of the fisherman life Paying people to fish or not fish ultimately is bad for the other two parts of the euation and should be stopped The author pointed to several wins in the way things are changing that should be emulated Creating even small “no fish” zones have shown that fish populations soar Many larger areas should be created to act as reserves Again we do this on land why not the sea? Secondly fisherman need to have a stake in a healthy fish population That is there needs to be set limits so that fisherman have incentive to make the most of their stake by catching large mature fish Thirdly there needs to be information about fish that goes with the fish Where was the fish caught by what method by which boat? Only with information can consumers and restaurant owners make choices Along with the additional information enforcement needs to be made Right now in many areas of the world as much as 50% of the fish are landed and processed illegally because governments look the other way This encourages illegal catches and punishes those doing things the legal way One odd tidbit I found is that the author says your fish sandwich from McDonald’s is actually friendly to the eco system than many fancy fish dishes at upscale restaurants McDonald’s using fish stock that is harvested in a sustaining way whereas many fish at upscale restaurants are actually on endangered lists themselves or caught with other fish that are endangered It would be like paying lots of money for a dinner of Bald Eagle Gorilla or Giant Panda It is not accepted with land animals and should not be accepted with fish Another fun fact is that all scrimp have been rinsed with chlorine bleach to clean them Yum The book can be a little bit of a wanderer but it is well worth the read

  6. says:

    This book contained uite a bit of useful information; however I'll be on the lookout for another book to recommend because the writing isn't the most spellbinding to say the least It took a bit of determination to finish reading it To summarize illegal overfishing and overfishing in general has depleted fish stocks The amount of fish has been overestimated in the past due to a mix of ineptitude and falsified records We're slowly coming to realize that WE'RE FUCKED Unless something is done uickly and we stop allowing a minority of people fishermen to deplete a resource that should belong to all of us and future generations What can you do as a consumer? Stop eating so much goddamned fish Hold restaurants accountable for the source of their fish when you do partake Avoid endangered fish reference seafood guides etc The truth is that most restaurants WON'T know where the fish they serve comes from because we don't prioritize ethics and demand sustainability when it comes to the food on our plate It's a complicated matter to navigate through all the bullshit and try to eat sustainable fish People who pin the future of fishing on auaculture fish farming ignore the unsustainable nature of feeding captive fish wild caught fish as well as the dangers inherent in such a system sea lice disease interference with wild breeding It seems that one of the few hopes for our oceans is to set up no fishing reserves And yes the author does eat fish; in fact he fishes for sport Even some fishermen see the need to regulate this industry and that current regulations are mostly an unenforced joke My boyfriend is reading a poem aloud to annoy me while I try to write this so yeah that's the gist of it read the book yourself for thorough informationThe author specifically says avoid the following Atlantic cod Atlantic haddock Atlantic halibut Bluefin tuna Caviar Chilean sea bass Grouper Orange roughy sharks skates and rays Snapper and swordfish Fish to be wary about include shrimp and tuna both of which cause a huge bycatch issue despite dolphin friendly marked cans He stresses that his list is not definitive and you should reference other guides such as FishBase and the IUCN Red List both of which are listed belowBecause I'm returning my copy of this book to the library tomorrow WEB SITES listed in the bookBlue Ocean Institute Seafood GuidehttpwwwblueoceaninstituteorgFishBase lists 28500 species of fish with information about everything from their rarity and ability to withstand fishing pressure to how they reproducehttpwwwfishbaseorgFood and Agriculture Organization of the United NationshttpwwwfaoorgMarine Conservation Society UK Good Fish GuidehttpwwwfishonlineorgMonterey Bay Auarium Seafood Watch guidehttpwwwmbayaorgNational Audubon Society Seafood Wallet cardshttpwwwaudubonorgRed List of threatened species produced by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural ResourceshttpwwwredlistorgRogues' gallery of IUU fishermenhttpwwwcoltoorgStock assessments in the North Atlantic compiled by the International Council for the Exploration of the Seahttpwwwicesdk

  7. says:

    Drier than an overcooked tuna steak While the statistics regarding overfishing are compelling and a little scary the author relies too heavily on numbers generated by environmental defense organizations and gets very little information from fisherman commercial and recreational and fishing organizations; when he does it is poo pooed and brushed aside The book could have been so much better While not a technical treatise on fisheries it is too reliant on data and not enough on the human element the stories and potential for calamity In addition there is way too much hyperbole herephrases such as abomination and senseless slaughter and the like find their way too often into the author's lexicon A much better book deeper in science and history but entirely enjoyable is The Unnatural History of the Sea by Callum

  8. says:

    Surprising how little has really changed since publication in 2006Well balanced discussion of fisheries issues and sustainability cunundrumsMSC certification has proven to be problematic and not the panacea predicted but customer awareness and traceability have improved considerablyWish it didn't seem so topical Hope that is because what was radical in 2006 is conventional wisdom in 2014

  9. says:

    An essential book for anyone who is serious

  10. says:

    Charles Clover’s book The End of the Line is a heartbreaking story about the seafood industry’s War on Fish The poor fish don’t have much of a chance any because there’s nowhere to hide from the latest technology The eventual outcome of this systematic massacre is already obvious — both sides are going to lose When the nets finally come up empty the unemployed fishers will shape shift into burger flippers security guards and homeless panhandlers But until that final day they’ll keep expanding the fleet and fishing like there’s no tomorrowBack in the good old days of the Stone Age there were vast numbers of fish and a few scattered clans of low tech subsistence fishers Most people in prehistoric Europe lived near the water because that’s where the food was In the days before trawlers the oyster population was astonishing Many were the size of dinner plates and some oyster reefs were so big that they hindered navigation The Thames and Rhine rivers had huge salmon runs There were massive sturgeons in the Rhine delta It was an era of glorious abundanceWith the passage of centuries tribal subsistence fishing eventually mutated into a business and sustainability drifted away into the mists of the past Commercial fishers had an entirely different mindset one with vivid fantasies of wealth and power Some refer to it as get rich uick fever a painful incurable spiritual disease Using the technology of the day they caught as many fish as possible and converted them into money No matter how much they made their burning hunger for treasure could never be satisfied Over time new technology enabled fishers to increase their landings By 1848 the “inexhaustible” halibut fishery on Georges Bank crashed after a mere decade of overfishing It was once common to catch halibut as big as a man but these fish are rarely seen at markets today The advent of steam powered trawlers radically increased overfishing Today there are 89 million floating fish factories 480 feet long that can catch and freeze 440 tons of fish per day and store 7700 tons in the hold The Technology Fairy is a demonIn 1500 there were 4400000 tons of cod off Newfoundland By 2003 there were just 55000 tons Cod fishing was shut down in 1992 and 44000 people lost their jobs The cod have yet to show signs of recovery The same is true for the North Sea mackerel which collapsed in the 1970’s Tuna sharks and swordfish are swimming briskly down the Dinosaur Trail Experts calculate that global fish production peaked in 1988 and may now be declining at a rate of 770000 tons per year Production statistics don’t include bycatch — the fish sea mammals birds and turtles that are caught but tossed back because they can’t be sold Nobody keeps records on bycatch but some believe that one third of the global catch is dumped overboard almost all of it dead or dying usually because of ruptured swim bladders or drowningClover complains that we can put a man on the moon but no nation does a competent job of managing fisheries with the possible exception of Iceland Everybody can see that the industry is heading for disaster There are already plenty of intelligent rules on the books but effective enforcement is almost non existent Overfishing generates good income fuels the economy and hurts no one except for our children the auatic ecosystem and poor people in foreign countries — none of whom can vote The bottom line is that nobody will voluntarily back off because the fish that you don’t catch will be caught by someone else Monthly payments on modern boats are huge and for many fishers the only way to pay the bills is to catch and sell illegal fish There are many ways of getting illegal fish to market Port inspectors often look the other way especially in Spain and Portugal Extremely inaccurate paperwork is submitted and accepted Illegal fish are delivered in mismarked boxes If an inspector appears at port A the boat will unload at port B and truck the catch to the processor Few violators get busted and punished The huge economic benefits of pirate fishing far exceed the trivial risks Four times every day all fish stop what they’re doing bow their heads and fervently pray for World War III on the dry land above because world wars put a halt to most fishing activities War provides a much appreciated break from the underwater mass extermination They also pray for skyrocketing energy prices catastrophic stock market crashes and major bankruptcies in the seafood sector They’re sick and tired of being the target of genocidal maniacs Who can blame them?During the research process Clover was surprised to discover that McDonalds got a top score for their fish all of which is certified by the Marine Stewardship Council MSC At the opposite end of the spectrum are most chi chi restaurants World famous celebrities who would never dream of wearing a fur coat are often photographed with famous chefs who serve the seafood euivalent of rhinoceros steaks or condor barbeue — species on the brink of extinction like the extremely endangered tuna served at gold plated sushi places MSC certified fish is also sold at Wal MartClover has no kind words for auaculture which many perceive to be the amazing high tech “solution” to all of our seafood problems Industry is vacuuming up the smaller fish in the ocean to make feed for high value fish raised in horrid concentration camps This game cannot last long Be aware that “organic” farmed salmon is given feed made from overfished speciesThankfully Clover provides us with a brilliant alternative to auaculture Rather than feeding low value fish to concentration camp salmon why don’t we simply eat the perfectly edible blue whiting herring horse mackerel and sand eels? They could provide us with excellent high uality protein and oils that totally bypass the mega harmful worlds of agriculture and auaculture Eating small wild fish is healthier for us much less cruel causes less harm to the seas and makes us feel like an intelligent species Did you know that recreational fishers catch 30 percent of the cod taken off the coast of Maine? Did you know that about 25 percent of “catch and release” fish die soon after being returned to the water? Sport fishers now have sonar fish finders GPS systems and small fast boats Their impact is not insignificant Anglers often break the rules and their chances of getting caught are close to nilClover provides us with intelligent effective commonsense solutions that are politically impossible unfortunately We should set aside 50 percent of the ocean as reserves where fishing is prohibited We should also cut back industrial fishing by 50 percent We should create an aggressive full scale oceanic police force that would have absolute authority to promptly end illegal fishing and provide extra generous punishment to offenders We should consume less fish and shop mindfully And so on “We have on offer two futures One reuires difficult active choices starting now If we don’t take those choices the other future will happen anyway”

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