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The Fish Market: Inside the Big-Money Battle for the Ocean and Your Dinner Plate

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  83 ratings  ·  22 reviews
Gulf Wild — the first seafood brand in America to trace each fish from the sea to the table — emerged after grouper, the star of fried fish sandwiches, fell off menus due to overfishing. The brand was born when the government privatized the rights to fish to fix the problem. Through traceability, Gulf Wild has met burgeoning consumer demand for domestic, sustainable seafoo ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published November 15th 2016 by St. Martin's Press
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Dec 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Don’t even have the words for how impressed I was by this book. I went into it with only the vaguest idea of what it would be about. Van der Voo does a phenomenal job of explaining this multi-layered and multi-perspective-driven economic system.

Turns out, fishing politics are incredibly complicated, and tie in so many timely concepts. Small-scale farming. Sustainable eating. Local food movements (or in the case of seafood, the lack thereof; van der Voo points out that if you buy a filet-o-fish
Apr 21, 2020 rated it it was ok
An extremely comprehensive view of the fishing industry from commercial and private POVs. It was a little too in depth for me and fragmented at times, but very informative of the environmental, political, and psychological aspects of this cut throat industry.

Ngl it was a struggle to finish this :/ In retrospect , I chose this book off the shelf because I had sushi a few nights prior and the fish on the cover looked delectable - my eyes were bigger than my reading appetite!
Mar 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It’s a great read for anyone at all interested (and everyone should be, imho) in the interest big money had taken in fishing conservation, fair employment practices, safe operations, and greed. Van Der Voos interviewees make the point that much good has come from the practice of fish shares, but this is nearly always unnecessarily combined with privatizing the industry. Consequently, fishing rights are mostly held by a few huge companies that have edged out smaller operations, including those fa ...more
Stephen Yoder
Dec 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Very well-written book. The journalism here is rather solid in that van der Voo clearly elucidates how there are winners & losers across the board now that catch shares are spreading across the globe (and especially in the coastal fisheries for the USA). I can't really quickly summarize this book (and the notion of catch shares & privatization of the seas) in terms of a positive or a negative, which is the subtle point of this book as well. There are some clearly positive things that happen when ...more
Michael Parker
Mar 03, 2017 rated it liked it
This book isn't at all about the exciting and fast-paced world of fish mongers, but about the obscure yet consequential catch-share movement (epidemic?). If you don't know what catch-shares are now, you will by the end of this book. Hard to say if that's a good thing, as the subject is rather staid. And van der Voo's handling of the subject doesn't really help; she takes a very ambiguous stance -- half participative field journalist, half policy reporter, hopping from Alaska to New England to Fl ...more
Deb Rudnick
Feb 06, 2017 rated it liked it
I thought this book was really interesting. The author does a great job of looking at how catch sharing is transforming fisheries, economically and socially. I was less impressed by the scientific aspects of this issue, which I felt were barely addressed, around the science and uncertainty underlying global fisheries predictions and management. But as an exploration of their socioeconomic components, it's fascinating. ...more
Carmel Finley
Jun 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
I am utterly amazed by this book. Lee van der Voo has done something I thought was impossible, to write an understandable book about fisheries catch shares and have it be both accurate and easy to read. There is voluminous literature on catch shares in many, many academic journals, all of it couched in the dense vernacular of social scientists, with their irritating acronyms and obtuse theoretical constructions. Even for somebody with an interest in the subject, it can be heavy lifting.
But van d
Feb 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
A well-crafted and well-researched tome, this book elaborates all this is good and bad about the US Government's efforts to prevent the overfishing of American waters, and the extinction of numerous fish species. Van der Voo spent a lot of time with fishermen, on fishing boats, in marine association meetings all around the country to understand the advantages and disadvantages of catch shares, the government's efforts to privatize the ocean, to prevent over-fishing and make commercial fishing sa ...more
Sarah Gerdes
Oct 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I purchased this book after catching half the interview on NRP when it was released. Well written, of course, and an easy read. I guess my overall comment is that after reading it, I felt like I'd caught all the highlights of the book on the interview, and I was expecting to be continually wow'd in each chapter. As an author of non-fiction myself, I know that's what I strive to do for the reader-and perhaps I fall short of that myself. Still, if you didn't catch the on-air interviews, and are in ...more
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: giveaways, abandoned
I won this in a Goodreads Giveaway. At the time, I was actually curious about the fish market. Unfortunately, as I cracked open the book and began reading, I became much less intrigued. Admittedly, I did not finish reading this book. I am giving this book 2 stars, because, although I was not interested, it isn't poorly written. I suggest this book only to those who are truly interested in the topic!! I apologize for not giving this book as much of my time as it deserves. I intend to donate my co ...more
Jan 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is a thorough account of how Catch Shares work, and who gets left behind when they are implemented in the name of managing fisheries without managing the communities that depend on them. Highly recommended for any seafood lover. Should be required reading for fisheries managers.
Susan Csoke
Jan 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A fabulously interesting book all about fish from the ocean to your plate. So whether you are a fisherman or a seafood lover, you will enjoy reading this book!!!!! THANK YOU GOOD READS FIRST READS FOR THIS FREE BOOK!!!!!
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent and fair journalistic account of the transition to catch shares and the social havoc it has caused as the fishing industry becomes increasingly consolidated into owners and renters of rights to fish.
Kevin Keating
Jul 17, 2020 rated it liked it
I was really looking forward to this book but didn't enjoy it as much as I wanted to. Heard an interview on the subject of our fishing industry and it sounded intriguing. But the book kinda jumped around a lot and it was hard to keep it all straight - who was who, etc. ...more
Jun 24, 2017 rated it liked it
There wasn't a lot in here that I didn't know but I still enjoyed it quite a bit. ...more
Eliel Lopez
Aug 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
A very interesting read. It was the first I had heard of catch shares.
May 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
Just didn't grab me, even though there is a chapter on Port Orford, Oregon. ...more
Mar 03, 2017 rated it liked it
I wanted to like this book more than I did. I am quite familiar with the concept and implementation of catch shares so I didn't really learn much new by reading it. ...more
Dec 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaways
I received this book as a Goodreads giveaway.

Having never watched Deadliest Catch, I missed the revolution in the fishing industry over the past two decades. A revolution in the form of a new regulatory tool called catch shares which, in effect, privatized a natural resource in an attempt to regulate and instill some order in an industry that had previously operated in a state of controlled chaos.

Gone are the "Derby Days" in which a severely shortened fishing seasons could see ships and their c
Jan 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Before this book I didn't even know what catch shares were. This book talks about the changes to the fishing industry as a result of environmental concerns - to preserve fishing populations for future generations. It talks about how the catch shares program has been privatized and gives individual stories of the impact that privatization (holding the fishing rights in a few hands) has had on communities and individual small fishermen. This is a fairly well balanced book. My one problem is I thin ...more
Dec 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Van der Voo clearly researched her subject thoroughly. She conveys her findings in an engaging manner, placing the reader in the boats with some colorful characters , and explaining the effects of fishing regulations through their experiences. A quick informative and entertaining read on a subject that could easily have turned into a bore.
rated it did not like it
Jan 07, 2017
Lucianna Wolfstone
rated it it was amazing
Dec 22, 2017
rated it really liked it
Jun 29, 2017
John Verlinden
rated it it was amazing
Nov 04, 2019
Amy Pochodylo
rated it it was ok
Apr 18, 2017
rated it liked it
Apr 10, 2019
Bonnie Morse
rated it it was amazing
Mar 02, 2018
rated it it was amazing
Nov 10, 2018
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Jan 19, 2017
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