William's Reviews > Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food

Four Fish by Paul Greenberg
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Sep 19, 10

Read in September, 2010

This is essentially a policy book about how to sustainably manage wild fish and meet rising demand will require a mix of government controls on fishing and on carefully regulated aquaculture.

Some fish make less sense than others for aquaculture, and Greenberg introduces a number of fish that seem well-suited for aquaculture, due to their low dependency on fish feed. Some fish, like salmon, require a diet of fish meal that makes raising them a net loss on sea life. Others are vegetarian or, at least, require less fish oil/feed. These include tilapia and carp as well as a lot of other fish I'd never heard of (barramundi, hoki, tra, and kahala aka Kona Kampachi.

For many fish, like cod, local or national level controls on fisheries (ie Georges Bank and Grand Banks) can work to restore levels. Though it will always be challenging for regulators to do this.

For large fish like bluefin tuna, that take years to reach maturity, Greenberg maintains that international bans on fishing them are necessary to restore numbers. He puts them in the same category of other large sea animals like whales and dolphins, or terrestrial ones like elephants, lions and tigers, that deserve protection.

He also suggests that large scale fishing operations should not receive any subsidies, and that any subsidies in the fishing industry should go to organizations that are aimed at raising fish more efficiently using less feed.

Great stuff. If anyone is down here and actually read this review and recommends other books about fish, I'm interested.
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message 1: by Jeff (new)

Jeff WillyP, JB here. Great review, this is a topic I'm increasingly interested in, the more time I spend in and under the ocean as an amateur scuba diver. I've never heard of fish, other than whales, being put in the same category as the big African animals, but it makes sense. I'm always saddened when I hear how spectacular many of the world's reefs used to be prior to big-time corporate fishing ops, and when I see charts that compare fish species and numbers with those of, say, 30-40 years ago. It's making much more of a greenie environmentalist out of me.

Good stuff, thanks for posting, I'll put this one on my list.


William I hadn't either--might be a stretch, but it makes sense. I'm getting greener and greener too. Might have to move back to CA at some point. How's everything with you?


Manuel Wanskasmith "The Story of Sushi" is also a good fish book, but it's more about food and cuisine.


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