May 1, 2011
8:26 PM | Posted by Elana | Edit Post
"Welcome to a special moment in history: a time when your generation, more than any other, has the opportunity to save the planet. And it all begins with fish.
Written by a masterful storyteller, World Without Fish is the alarming true story of what's happening to fish, the oceans, and our environment. It tells how and why the fish we most commonly eat, including tuna, salmon, cod and swordfish, could become extinct within fifty years, and the terrible domino effect this will have: oceans teeming with jellyfish and turning pinkish-orange from algal blooms; seabirds, then reptiles, then mammals disappearing. It describes the effects of overfishing and global warming, and how bottom-dragging nets turn the ocean floor into a virtual desert.
But World Without Fish is also a call to action. With its focus on supporting sustainable fishing, it shows how, from little steps to big, kids can - and must - make a difference. A world without fish? Don't let it happen!"
About the Author:
"Mark Kurlansky is a former commercial fisherman and the New York Times bestselling author of Cod, Salt, The Big Oyster, and other books. He's won numerous awards, including the James A. Beard Award, ALA Notable Book Award, and New York Public Library Best Books of the Year Award. He lives with his wife and daughter, his favorite fishing companion, in New York City and Gloucester, Massachusetts."
Take a look at this video of Mark talking about sustainable fishing and how our kids can save our oceans.
Interview With the Author:
I was extremely fortunate and lucky to have the opportunity to personally interview Mark and Talia Kurlansky last Sunday. We had a wonderful time chatting about fish, fishing, and our mutual love of Massachusetts. Here are some snippets from our conversation:
Me - How did you become a commercial fisherman?
Mark - I always wanted to be a writer, from about third grade on, and I used to think about what a writer should do. And it seemed to me that a writer should...either go to sea or go to war. Since I was adamantly opposed to the war that was going on at the time, I thought going to sea was a better option.
Me - How often do you get to go fishing?
Talia - Every year.
Me - Where do you go?
Talia - We always go to Gloucester and now we go to Idaho fly-fishing.
Mark - I always fly-fish for Rainbow [Trout] in Idaho, and this year decided that she was big enough to come with me and she did great.
Me - Did you catch anything?
Talia - Yeah. Two Rainbow.
Me - What kind of fish do you like to eat?
Talia - My favorite is sardines. I love sardines.
Mark - She likes fresh, grilled sardines...Sardines are a good thing to eat.
Me - What actually prompted you to write this book?
Mark - I've written a number of books that deal with these issues...so as always happens when you write a book you go around talking about it to adults and also to kids in school, and I've found that nobody understood it. People really wanted to, but it was so complicated nobody really understood what was going on, and I thought somebody should lay it out. Although, originally all I wanted to do was a card game. I got this idea for a card game that somehow grew into a book...the object of the game was to take as many fish as possible, but if you ended up taking all of them then you lost.
Me - If current practices continue...how long do you think we have until fish are just going to be gone?
Mark - There's a study that gets misquoted all the time. What this study said was that by the year 2048, if current practices continue, there would not be sufficient biodiversity to be able to recuperate fish stocks that were in decline. Which is not the same thing as saying that there wouldn't be any fish. What it's saying is that you would then have set up a biological situation that could cause everything to crash. But, there's a lot of reason to hope that it'll change, because a lot of people are working on it. The problem is widely recognized, there's just a lot of debate about the solution. But they keep coming up with more and more ideas and better ways of managing fisheries.
Me - What do you think is the most sustainable fish? What do you think is being fished "perfectly"?
Mark - California sardines are good, and Alaskan salmon is good. Most hook and line fisheries, not long line, but a line with one or two hooks are good. Harpoon swordfish is good, not net caught swordfish. You could solve the problem by just going back in technology.
Me - Where did you get the names for the cartoon characters (Kram & Ailat)?
Mark - Should we tell her?
Talia - Yeah.
Mark - It's Mark and Talia spelled backwards.
Me - You got me on that one! That's good! *laugh* Whose idea was that?
(Talia raises her hand)
Mark - Nobody ever catches that either. I'm surprised.
Me - I'm surprised I didn't catch that!
There is more of the interview, but I can't fit everything here or you'd be reading for an hour. Needless to say, we had a lot of laughs, and I left with a distinct craving for fish. :-) Mark and Talia were delightful to talk to, and I hope they enjoyed our meeting as much as I did!
This was a fantastic book! It's great for people of any age to read, even though it's mainly directed toward children. Once you've read it, you will never want to buy any fish that have been caught by unsustainable practices. It might cost a bit more, but it's worth it in order to be able to continue eating fish and other ocean creatures for many years to come.
Inside of the book, you'll learn all about the history of fishing and the current state of our oceans. There is also an explanation of the impact of oil spills on the ocean - and it's not pretty. Throughout the book is a full-color comic interspersed in between chapters. The comic further explains what could happen if we continue to treat the oceans as we have been. The whole book teaches us about the things we can do to help save the fish, including what types of fish are currently being fished sustainably and which aren't. For example, you should buy only WILD ALASKAN Salmon, not Atlantic Farmed Salmon.
This book is a fantastic teaching tool for teachers and parents, and I know you will love learning all about fish!
Cost: You can buy World Without Fish for $10.39 from Amazon.com. ($$$)
Overall: We give World Without Fish a 10/10!
One very lucky reader will win a copy of World Without Fish and a beautiful poster featuring the book jacket and a caption that reads "Save The Oceans. Support Sustainable Fishing."
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First, visit Mark Kurlansky's website. Then, comment here and tell me about another of his books you'd love to read.
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This giveaway will close on May 15, 2011 at midnight.
You must live in the US to enter. The winner will be picked via random.org and will have 48 hours to respond to my email or another winner will be chosen.
Make sure to leave me your email address with at least one of your entries so I can email you if you win. If your email address is on your blogger profile or on your blog that's fine too. If I cannot find your email address, I will mention that when I post the winner of the giveaway, and you'll have 48 hours to email me or another winner will be drawn.
We received a copy of "World Without Fish" free of charge for the sole purpose of this review; no other compensation was received. All opinions expressed are my own.