Four Fish

Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild FoodFour Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food by Paul Greenberg

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Paul Greenberg charts the exploitation and decline of four fish - wild salmon, European sea bass, cod, and bluefin tuna - in this thoroughly depressing work. Much of the book is spent channelling representatives from various commercial fishing operations, or alternatively from environmental groups. Some attention is paid to the question “so, if we shouldn’t eat these fish, what should we eat?“. (Spoiler: Greenberg says barramundi, tilapia, and “kona kampachi”, a trade name for almaco jack)

The book comes alive only when Greenberg stops quoting and instead talks about his own ambiguous relationship to these fish as an amateur fisherman. Beyond those parts, I’d have much preferred to have read a distillation of his thesis as an article in the New Yorker. But, and I say this without intending to be cruel, that would require a writer who has more eloquence than Greenberg.

My recommendation: unless you are obsessed with the topic, skip this one.

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