Much has changed in the 49 years Rigney has been sportfishing off the New England coast. The numbers of giant marlin, swordfish, bluefin tuna, and other game fish have fallen internationally, and most surviving big fish are smaller than when he first went to sea. Whole fisheries have collapsed, and sections of the oceans are dead. Industrial fishing corporations and governments that fail to regulate them are much to blame for overfishing, wasteful bycatch, and habitat destruction. To learn more, Rigney journeyed to fish the coasts of North America, Europe, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand. In recounting his adventures among small-boat operators, harpooners, marine biologists, and Greenpeace activists, Rigney reveals dedicated and courageous advocates who battle corporate greed, bureaucratic corruption, and public apathy. He ends his entertaining and impassioned text with strategic suggestions for sustainable fishing
"In Pursuit of Giants is a very timely and important book, impressively thorough in the extent of its research, including many eloquent interviews at sea with commercial fishermen whose traditional livelihoods, like the splendid animals themselves, are everywhere on the point of disappearance. Like Carl Safina’s Song for the Blue Ocean, it is not only informative but exceptionally well written and a pleasure to read, which should bring it the wide audience it deserves."
- Peter Matthiessen, author of Men's Lives
"In Pursuit of Giants is an exquisitely detailed love story, the tale of Matt Rigney’s love of the lions and tigers of the sea - the bluefin tuna, swordfish, and marlin that make sports anglers’ pulses race. It’s a love story colored with sadness from the unrelenting assaults on these fish from commercial fishing, tuna ranching, and even sports anglers themselves. But it’s also a story of hope - Rigney documents the efforts of men and women he met in his travels around the world, individuals who are trying to save these ocean giants. In Pursuit of Giants should inspire its readers to both love and defend its magnificent subjects."
- Ted Danson, actor and author of Oceana
"[Matt] Rigney provides a glorious read in his examination of sportfishing and the imperiled state of ocean life. The vivid immediacy of this call to action ranges from majestic descriptions of a marlin’s oceanic journey and a Japanese fisherman’s outrage at government-industry collusion to fishing fleet’s devastation of marine life….The "awe and humility" felt in the presence of these fish is sensitively and powerfully wrought throughout this dramatic, transcendental tale."
- Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
"A dramatic account that will appeal to the sportsman and conservationist alike."
- Kirkus Reviews
"[An] entertaining and impassioned text with strategic suggestions for sustainable fishing."
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A New England recreational fisherman for nearly forty years, Matt Rigny is a member of the International Game Fish Association and Oceana, the largest ocean restoration group in the world. He lives in western Massachusetts.