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Shrimp: The Endless Quest for Pink Gold

Popular Science

By: Jack Rudloe(Author), Anne Rudloe(Author)

260 pages, Figs

Prentice Hall

Hardback | Jan 2010 | #184201 | ISBN-13: 9780137009725
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £15.99 $21/€18 approx

About this book

The story of shrimp is as delicious as the creatures themselves. Renowned nature writers Jack and Anne Rudloe tell that story with passion, revealing a hidden history that has spanned millennia. You'll discover the human stories and heritage behind centuries of shrimping, around the world; meet the most remarkable of the world's 4,000 species of shrimp; come aboard ragged old shrimp boats, and spy on high-tech shrimp tanks; discover why shrimp may be a restaurant's best friend, and a land speculator's worst nightmare. You'll meet people who love to eat shrimp, the fishermen who roam the seas catching them, and the aquaculturists who raise them in ponds, selling them more cheaply than fishermen ever could. You'll gain powerful new insights into a conflict that's as old as humanity itself: the conflict between hunter-gatherers and farmers. You'll discover the vastness and diversity of both nature and humanity, as you travel from abandoned Mayan tombs to the California Gold Rush; from the heart of Cajun country to the English Channel. You will learn things you never imagined about microbiology and real estate, about economics and ecosystems. And, as you meet the people around the world who've caught, sold, cooked, and loved shrimp, you might just meet your own ancestors. Read Shrimp: The Endless Quest for Pink Gold, and you'll never feel the same way about shrimp again: you'll love it even more.

"Shrimp: The Endless Quest for Pink Gold is a deep and expert look not only at an important human food source, but also of the fragile complexity of the ecosystem in which it is created."
– Edward O. Wilson, Pellegrino Research Professor, emeritus, Harvard University

"Jack and Anne Rudloe aren't just Florida literary treasures, they are national treasures. Their most recent work, Shrimp, is among their best – and that is very good, indeed!"
– Randy Wayne White, author of the Doc Ford series

"Rich in stories of seamen and the sea, Shrimp tells a fascinating story not only of the little creature itself, but of all the trials and tribulations the intrepid shrimper goes through to harvest it up. As scientists and marine biologists, the Rudloes know whereof they speak, and as writers, they have the talent and grace to make it interesting."
– From the Foreword by Winston Groom, author, Forrest Gump

"Most humans are said to be composed 90% of water, but for those of us who grew up on the Gulf of Mexico, I think that other 10% must be shrimp. The Rudloes leave the Living Dock behind for a voyage to the land of Pink Crustaceans, and I for one am happy to be aboard for that voyage."
– Jimmy Buffett


Foreword ix

Chapter 1: Going Shrimping 1
Chapter 2: About Shrimp 15
Chapter 3: Glory Days 27
Chapter 4: Shrimp in the Grass 49
Chapter 5: Microscopic Monsters 73
Chapter 6: The Shrimp Run 93
Chapter 7: Rock Shrimp and Spotted Prawns 121
Chapter 8: Turtles, TEDs, and Troubles 139
Chapter 9: Wetlands and Real Estate 175
Chapter 10: In Search of the Perfect Prawn 205
Chapter 11: The Miracles of Chitin 229

Acknowledgments 241
About the Authors 242
Index 243

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Jack and Anne Rudloe operate Gulf Specimen Marine Laboratories, Inc. – a unique environmental education center and public aquarium that supplies marine organisms to schools and research laboratories – in Panacea, Florida. (See their web site at

Jack has spent years working on shrimp boats, participated in the International Indian Ocean Expedition and has made collecting trips for the New York Aquarium and the National Cancer Institute. He has written six highly acclaimed and widely reviewed nonfiction books on the sea. His novel Potluck, a story of shrimping and smuggling, has been called a Florida classic.

Anne Rudloe has published two nonfiction books, Priceless Florida and Butterflies on a Sea Wind – a book on Zen mediation – and has also written many scientific research papers. Together, Anne and her husband have published articles in National Geographic, Smithsonian, Sports Illustrated, Natural History, Audubon, and other magazines. They have been featured in several major television documentaries on PBS and Jack has been interviewed on The Today Show, Good Morning America, Fox Network, and National Public Radio. In addition to writing columns for the Tallahassee Democrat, Anne is also an adjunct professor at Florida State University.

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