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Tuna: A Love Story

3.49  ·  Rating Details ·  142 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
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 increasing ...more
Hardcover, 334 pages
Published July 15th 2008 by Knopf Publishing Group (first published January 1st 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Paul Hart
Feb 04, 2012 Paul Hart rated it liked it
A little repetitive at times. Well researched but constant quoting can take away from the narrative. Was hoping for something a little more polemical but he puts for a pretty convincing case at the devastating state of the world's fisheries.
Alex
Jan 19, 2016 Alex rated it liked it
The content of the book is very interesting. Tuna are being over-fished worldwide, and the state of global fisheries is dire. I enjoyed the book for informing me about the issues, but there was nothing special about the writing.
Max Maxwell
Mar 17, 2009 Max Maxwell rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: People who can turn anger into productivity
Recommended to Max by: SEED magazine
To most people, tuna isn't a fish, but rather a food item that comes in a can, disconnected from anything it might've been in life, to be mixed with celery and mayonnaise, or served on a plate with wasabi, without requirement of further contemplation. To Richard Ellis (and other biologists like him), though, the tuna is a masterpiece of evolution, the most perfectly adapted creature on earth, a wonder to behold. And it turns out that this wonder is in serious (immanent, even) danger of being ...more
Paul Pessolano
Feb 25, 2011 Paul Pessolano rated it it was ok
This is a great book - if you are an ichthyologist. This book will inform you of everything and anything you would want to know about Tuna. There are certain parts of this book that remind me of Herman Melville's "Moby Dick". A great story, but his laborious description of whales brought many a reader to their knees.

Why would I want to read this book?

Well, I have heard stories about how great this fish is, and how we are fishing it to extinction. The book does a very good job of telling this par
...more
Jsb
Nov 29, 2008 Jsb rated it liked it
For millions of years the oceans teemed with large, pelagic predatory fish. These species, most majestically the Bluefin Tuna, roamed the oceans at will - crossing the Atlantic in weeks.

Millions of years of evolution made the Bluefin Tuna the perfect fish. The Bluefin Tuna was warmblooded, could accelerate faster a Porsche, and (if it survived larvahood) live for decades.

Tragically, the king of the seas is no match for the sushi craze. Japanese, who never ate Bluefin Tuna until a hundred years
...more
Bryan
Jul 23, 2011 Bryan rated it liked it
Richard Ellis loves tuna. Not so much on the plate, but as a top predator that deserves its place in the world's oceans.

"Tuna: A Love Story" goes way beyond boy-meets-fish. The book is stuffed with facts, figures and research, but the organization needed to sort it out isn't there. It seems to have been written in a rush, perhaps because Ellis wanted the book released while you could still see tuna in the wild. I think many readers will become confused sorting out the details. Charts and tables
...more
Yi-hsin Lin
This book contains a lot of useful information. The major topics regarding bluefin tuna are reasonably addressed; namely, the life cycle and distribution of the fish, the history of the tuna fisheries, the effect of the Japanese sashimi market, current health concerns, and its current conservation status.

Unfortunately the book is unevenly edited and poorly organized. Ellis circles back to the same themes over and over again, sometimes even telling the same stories in different chapters. This mak
...more
Nicholas Forret
I enjoyed the research the author did writing this book. I felt I learned a lot about a creature I knew very little of and enjoyed the history and passion he portrayed in his writing. The only reason I didn't give a better rating had to do with how repetitive it was. Despite my enjoyment of the book, there were a lot of times I found myself struggling to push through facts that were repeated, sometimes across several chapters. Despite that, I'd still recommend it to anyone who is a patient ...more
Chi Dubinski
Mar 29, 2012 Chi Dubinski rated it really liked it
Everything you always wanted to know about tuna. Because of the popularity of tuna as a food fish, especially in Japan where it is prized as sushi, it is now on the brink of extinction. The seas have been overfished, and now "tuna ranches"--similar to cattle feed lots--have become multimillion dollar businesses.

Ellis addresses the importance of tuna to the global economy, the ocean ecosystems, and as a food and sport fish. No longer will you take the ubiquitous can of tuna for granted. Great ins
...more
Fishface
Full of facts and figures about the devastation of the worldwide Tuna population, in the years since the fish were upgraded from cat-food-only or emergency rations for the poor, to the world's priciest and most-sought-after sashimi ingredient. Not a lot of evidence of love in here for these remarkable fish -- even the auhor fails to really capture the essense of why he thinks Tuna are so great, the way he did so beautifully in his book about the Giant Squid. He quotes Zane Grey, who did a better ...more
Caroline
Aug 15, 2008 Caroline rated it really liked it
Non-fiction but read like an engaging PBS special. Pretty disheartening to learn about how this blue fin tuna is almost extinct because of human's unwillingness to learn how to share and care for the world. When did the morals we learned in Preschool become obsolete?

If you have to eat sushi, learn about what you are eating and where it is coming from. Make informed decisions. Don't be a Goofus when it comes to the environment and the world. Be a Gallant!

Emily
Sep 05, 2008 Emily marked it as to-read
@ Weber.
I heard an interview on NPR with the author. He was soooooo totally excited about tuna that he got me totally enthused too!

Did you know that in 40 degree water a tuna can raise it's own body temp to 80 degrees? That is remarkable! When I was little my mom always made me wear my coat. I don't know why, but wearing a coat when it was 20 degrees outside was SO super embarrassing. I guess tuna children don't have to have that same fight with their tuna mothers.
Kenno82
Dec 07, 2011 Kenno82 rated it it was ok
Ellis' description of tuna farming was eye-opening, as was the state of the bluefin tuna fishery. One has to wonder just how long the fishery can be sustained while the japanese market for a-grade sashimi pays a small fortune for each fish? Unfortunately, the book was full of repetition, which made it a tiresome read at times.
Jim
Dec 23, 2009 Jim rated it liked it
I was shocked to learn how overfished the Bluefin tuna is, and the very real danger to the world's future fish supply. However, the book is full of mind-numbing statistics, which makes it a difficult book for me to appreciate.
Bhall3
Mar 21, 2009 Bhall3 rated it it was amazing
This is a very engaging book on the plight of the tuna. I had the opportunity to hear Mr Ellis speak the other day and he was adamant about not eating tuna at all any more..not that he doesn't love to eat it, but due to the dangerously high mercury content of the fish.
Heather
Apr 12, 2014 Heather rated it really liked it
A must read for tuna lovers and anyone interested in or concerned for the worlds oceans and ocean life - also talks about the worlds tuna fisheries from a business standpoint. Very interesting and informative, written for the lay-person.
Mike
Jan 08, 2010 Mike rated it liked it
good lord, this book needs an editor. half the information was repeated across multiple chapters. otherwise, reading about purse seiners was totally heartbreaking.
Ed Erwin
Dec 07, 2008 Ed Erwin rated it did not like it
I think there is a very good story buried in here somewhere. But this was poorly organized and needed to be seriously edited down. He repeats himself a lot.
Tegan
Feb 15, 2016 Tegan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really changed the way I think about one of my favorite foods and has been really useful for a project I'm doing for university.
Amanda Bird
Dec 02, 2015 Amanda Bird rated it liked it
Ton of good info but tough to stay interested to the end :) I recommend reading this if you want to become more informed about the industry in general.
Jason
Oct 26, 2013 Jason rated it did not like it
There's so much erotica on this site! I don't think it's appropriate. Please flag this. I refuse to read such sleaze.
Michael
Aug 04, 2011 Michael rated it really liked it
Its about fishing, so obviously I liked it, BUT its really scientific... a bit boring. I read it once, bought it a second time by accident and didn't remember reading it the first time.
Renee
Oct 08, 2008 Renee marked it as to-read
Just heard a half hour interview with the author. This seems like a book for anyone who like the ocean, fish, sushi, etc. Can't wait to pick it up.
Michael Meloy
Oct 25, 2009 Michael Meloy rated it liked it
So far, I love this book. I think Ells could use a better editor (too much repetition), but he has an irresistible argument. More Fish, Less Sushi.
Christopher Intagliata
Oct 22, 2008 Christopher Intagliata rated it really liked it
another episode of the strange stories behind our food. Bluefin tuna farms, tokyo fish markets, tuna cowboys...it's all here. Did a segment with Ellis on Science Friday back in September.
Elizabeth
Oct 25, 2012 Elizabeth marked it as to-read
As heard in the Science Times podcast.
Nate
Nate rated it really liked it
Oct 06, 2013
Jacquie
Jacquie rated it really liked it
Nov 23, 2014
Sara
Sara rated it it was ok
Mar 29, 2011
Elaine Roberts
Elaine Roberts rated it it was amazing
Sep 21, 2008
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Richard Ellis is a celebrated authority on marine biology and America’s foremost marine life artist whose work has been exhibited worldwide. His nine books include The Search for the Giant Squid (a Publishers Weekly 1998 Best Book of the Year), Great White Shark, Encyclopedia of the Sea, Men and Whales, Monsters of the Sea, Deep Atlantic The Book of Whales, and Imagining Atlantis.
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