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Publishers Weekly, 2007-06-04 Marine conservation biologist Roberts presents a devastating account of the effects of fishing on the sea. Once abundant aquatic life has declined to the point where "we probably have less than five percent of the total mass of fish that once swam in Europe's seas," he states. Intensive fishing since medieval times has caused this decline gradually over the centuries, so that the fish-deprived sea seems normal to today's generations. Industrial fishing, especially trawling, has virtually eliminated entire habitats, including cod in Canada, oysters in Chesapeake Bay and herring in the North Sea. Now, sophisticated devices such as sonar depth sensors are being used to plunder that last frontier, the deep sea. Callum's alarming conclusion is that by the year 2048, "fisheries for all the fish and shellfish species we exploit today will have collapsed." He argues persuasively for the establishment of marine reserves-protected areas where fish stocks have a chance to recover. His impressive book, replete with quotations from the reports of early explorers, merchants and travelers describing seas teeming with life that's unimaginable today, is a vivid reminder of what we've lost and a plea to save what is left and help the sea recover some of its earlier bounty. Illus. not seen by PW. (Aug. 15) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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