A Love Story

Book - 2008
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The author of The Book of Sharks, Imagining Atlantis, and Encyclopedia of the Sea turns his gaze to the tuna--one of the biggest, fastest, and most highly evolved marine animals and the source of some of the world's most popular delicacies--now hovering on the brink of extinction. In recent years, the tuna's place on our palates has come under scrutiny, as we grow increasingly aware of our own health and the health of our planet. Here, Ellis explains how a fish that was once able to thrive has become a commodity, in a book that shows how the natural world and the global economy converge on our plates. The longest migrator of any fish species, an Atlantic northern bluefin can travel from New England to the Mediterranean, then turn around and swim back; in the Pacific, the northern bluefin can make a round-trip journey from California to Japan. The fish can weigh in at 1,500 pounds and, in an instant, pick up speed to fifty-five miles per hour. But today the fish is the target of the insatiable sushi market, particularly in Japan, where an individual piece can go for seventy-five dollars. Ellis introduces us to the high-stakes world of tuna ranches, where large schools of half-grown tuna are caught in floating corrals and held in pens before being fattened, killed, gutted, frozen, and shipped to the Asian market. Once on the brink of bankruptcy, the world's tuna ranches--in Australia, Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, and North Africa--have become multimillion-dollar enterprises. Experts warn that the fish are dying out and environmentalists lobby for stricter controls, while entire coastal ecosystems are under threat. The extinction of the tuna would mean not onlythe end of several species but dangerous consequences for the earth as a whole. In the tradition of Mark Kurlansky's Cod, John Cole's Striper, John Hersey's Blues--and of course, Ellis's own Great White Shark--this book will forever change the way we think about fish and fishing.
Publisher: New York, NY : Knopf : 2008
ISBN: 9780307267153
Branch Call Number: 333.956 EL59t
Characteristics: 334p illus


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The reason why the tuna are going extinct is because fisheries want them to go extinct. I call this the "economics of extinction". That there is money to be made by driving species to extinction. The best example of this is the Bluefin Tuna. One Bluefin can go for a million dollars. And with a price tag that big on your head your chances of surviving are real low. Companies like Mitsubishi have over 10 years supply of Tuna in their wearhouses. They could stop fishing and let the tuna replenish. But no. They want them gone because as the numbers of fish in the ocean go down, the prices of the dead fish in the wearhouses go up. And once there are no more Bluefin, they will be priceless and will bring these destructive, greedy companies lots of money.

I'm just baffled that humans value property and money over life, themselves, and others. This shows that we are not intelligent at all. We are just utterly, and ecologically insane. as a species we're insane.

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