289 pages, Maps, figs
More than 15 percent of the critically endangered right whales and threatened humpback whales in the western Atlantic Ocean become entangled in fishing gear each year. In an era when both whales and fishermen are endangered species, how can this problem be resolved? Johnson, a former commercial fisherman and ecology professor, writes clearly and with feeling for all sides of the controversies surrounding whale entanglement. The collapse of the cod fishery and the ensuing scramble to keep fishing for whatever else is out there has meant that much more fishing gear, in a multitude of types, is set out in the same waters in which the whales feed. Fishermen cannot afford to lose their gear or their catch, and the whale population cannot recover from the losses sustained from entanglement. Johnson covers the politics and battles surrounding fisheries issues in general, and whale entanglement specifically, in a conversational writing style.
A serious, humorous, informative, sad, optimistic, engaging and thought-provoking book. - Right Whale News "Handsomely illustrated and carefully researched.... A story whose corollary may be found in similar clashes across the globe." - Martha's Vineyard Times "Explores the clash of cultures and personalities among fishermen, scientists and whale advocates struggling to save both the endangered North Atlantic right whale and the livelihoods of thousands of Atlantic coastal families." - Sea Technology "This is not simply a tale of fish killers vs. whale huggers. In wide ranging reporting, Johnson weaves a fascinating story of efforts to protect whales and preserve a fishing culture." - Underwater Naturalist"
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