The Bottom Line
- Overview of natural history and issues surrounding cod, tuna, salmon and sea bass.
- Engaging writing style
- Raises interesting ethical questions about the food we eat.
- Beware: will make you think twice about the seafood you eat, and where it comes from!
- 284-page book
- Written by Paul Greenberg, who regularly writes on oceans and seafood for the New York Times and other publications.
- Has notes section with references, and an index.
- Published by The Penguin Press
Guide Review - Four Fish By Paul Greenberg
Four Fish: the Future of the Last Wild Food, by Paul Greenberg, tells the story of "the fish that dominate our menus" - salmon, sea bass, cod, and tuna. Greenberg, a writer and avid recreational fisherman, details the history of the harvesting of each species, and looks at where they are now. Much of the book focuses on exploring the development and success (or lack thereof) of the aquaculture industry surrounding each species.
This book is relevant for ocean lovers, seafood eaters, and anyone that has an interest in where food comes from. Greenberg shares lots of interesting facts about each species, sometimes lingering a bit too long on those details, but overall it's an interesting read and it's clear that he loves the subject.
Greenberg concludes with recommendations that will help salmon, sea bass, cod and tuna thrive in the wild, including "a profound reduction in fishing effort." My one criticism of the book is that I felt that it was missing the perspective of the commercial fisherman, with the exception of Ted Ames, a fisherman from Maine.
It's almost an adequate substitute to experience Greenberg wrestle throughout the book with his love of fishing and the thrill of the hunt, and the ethical issues his hobby raises, especially when he fishes for threatened species.
Overall, this is an enjoyable book with a great overview of the 4 species and information about where our seafood comes from.