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Hooked: Pirates, Poaching, and the Perfect Fish Paperback

ISBN-13: 978-1594866944 ISBN-10: 1594866945

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Hooked: Pirates, Poaching, and the Perfect Fish + Grand Ambition: An Extraordinary Yacht, the People Who Built It, and the Millionaire Who Can't Really Afford It + The Proving Ground
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Books (May 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594866945
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594866944
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 6.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #787,259 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. The Patagonian toothfish—which can live up to 50 years and grow to six feet long—is an ugly creature considered too bland for eating by most South Americans. Its high fat content, codlike texture and lack of a fishy taste convinced a Los Angeles fish merchant who found the toothfish in Chile in 1977 that, given an exotic new name, it would do quite well in America. By 1998, "Chilean sea bass" had become the hottest restaurant craze: "[e]veryone had to have it." Knecht (The Proving Ground) weaves a parallel plot, which takes place in the South Indian Ocean in 2003, where an Australian patrol boat is hunting down a pirate vessel for stealing toothfish. The chase takes them thousands of nautical miles away to dangerous Antarctic waters and involves South African mercenaries and a dramatic boarding in dangerous seas. Knecht's gripping book flips between the commercial history of the toothfish—just the latest of many culinary fads that end up threatening an ocean species—and the chase, which illuminates the practically lawless world of commercial fishing, where factory boats with vast dragnets can devastate a population in just a couple of years, a practice the author calls "the marine equivalent of strip mining." First serial in the Wall Street Journal. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Hooked is a fish story, a global whodunit, a courtroom drama, and a critically important ecological message all rolled into one."--Tom Brokaw, author of The Greatest Generation

"A high-seas adventure with enough action and suspense to have you holding your breath. A mystery that untangles the roots of a culinary fad fitfully hatched and marketed from Los Angeles. A courtroom thriller. Proof positive that an objective eye is the most persuasive of all. Mr. G. Bruce Knecht, take a bow."--Los Angeles Times

More About the Author

G. Bruce Knecht is a former senior writer and foreign correspondent for The Wall Street Journal and the author of The Proving Ground as well as Hooked: Pirates, Poaching and the Perfect Fish.

After joining the Journal in 1994, he wrote about the banking industry and pursued investigative projects until 1995 when he began covering publishing--books, magazines, newspapers and the press. In 1998, the Journal nominated his articles about how advertisers and retailers influenced the editorial content of major magazines for two Pulitzer Prizes. The same stories won an award from the University of Missouri Journalism School.
In 1998, Knecht moved to Hong Kong to become the Journal's Asia Correspondent. His article about children of American servicemen who are still living in Vietnam won a Human Rights Press Award.

Knecht took a leave of absence from the Journal to write The Proving Ground, which was initially published in June 2001 by Little, Brown & Company in the United States as well as publishers in several other countries. CNN produced a documentary based on the book. Hooked was published by Rodale and several overseas publishers in 2006 and is currently being developed as a documentary. He is currently at work on a book for Free Press that will describe the design and building of a very large yacht in the context of the recent economic crisis.

From 1981 through 1983, Knecht was a reporter and later an assistant editor for Dun's Review magazine. He joined the Los Angeles Herald Examiner in 1984 as its senior financial writer and also worked for The New York Times on a free-lance basis from 1982 to 1985. He was a summer associate at Goldman, Sachs & Company in New York in 1985, and in 1986 he became an associate at Tishman Speyer Properties. In 1987, he joined Lincoln Property Company, first as an associate and later a partner.

He was a London-based free-lance writer from 1991 to 1994, focusing on business and economic topics, particularly those involving the collapse of the Soviet Union. His articles have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times Magazine, The Independent (UK), National Review, Barron's, Conde Nast Traveler, SAIL, and Men's Journal.

Born in Morristown, New Jersey, Knecht received a bachelor's degree from Colgate University and has served on the board of directors of its alumni corporation. He earned an M.B.A. from Harvard University and was a Reuters Fellow at Oxford University.

An avid sailor, Knecht raced across the Atlantic Ocean on Mari-Cha IV, the yacht that broke the 100-year-old transatlantic race record.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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See all 39 customer reviews
One of the fish and it's surge to popularity and extinction.
semisatistfiedcustomer
At the very least, reading this book will make you hesitate the next time you choose which fish you might like for dinner.
S. Alex
The book is extremely well written and the stories are really quite riveting.
Frederick S. Goethel

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By R. Allen on May 16, 2006
Format: Hardcover
When was the last time you ordered fish at a restaurant? Have you ever wondered how those fish got there? How about Chilean Sea Bass? My wife and I have ordered it dozens of times. Very tasty. One of my favorites. Once you read "Hooked", you might want to reconsider. "Hooked" is an adventure tale of how our oceans are being stripped of fish in unenlightened ways. This book is fascinating reading as fast paced as an adventure novel. I guarantee you'll enjoy it and learn so much about things you never knew about--fish, our oceans, ice, maritime laws. Every person who has ever ordered fish from a restaurant should read it. I highly recommend it.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By R. Spell VINE VOICE on May 29, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book detailing an illegal fishing expedition in Australian water resulting in a forced boarding after a lengthy chase to north of South Africa, as well as the resulting trial. But that is not the most interesting story of the book. The author details the discovery of Chilean Sea Bass (bass? what a joke), the marketing angle, and the subsequent ecological tragedy as the sea beds are over fished in 15 years. The author did excellent research and tells this compelling tale while teaching the reader about the fishing industry, legal and illegal, and the current state of our fishing beds. One concern I have about the book is it is somewhat disjointed as he jumps from country to country at one point adding in a story of a fishing company owner living in America who is arrested for importing fish illegally caught. Also, in many respects the trial at the end of the book is very anti-climatic.

Overall though, this is a very interesting book where you will learn quite a bit about the fishing industry and problems with our supplies of fish.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By apg/drs on May 4, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Perfect fish? This is the perfect book! Hooked is part pirate chase, part history, part courtroom drama, and part musings on globalization. And it is incredible. Knecht somehow threads disparate stories together to tell a tale about the consequences of an advertising executive's decision to change the name of Patagonian toothfish to Chilean Sea Bass, and the resultant mania it caused. Basically, sophisticated urban diners search for the new, new thing combined with a fish so oily that inexperienced chefs could not over-cook it results in... the worlds longest pirate chase.
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Format: Hardcover
HOOKED: PIRATES POACHING AND THE PERFECT FISH promises much for a wide audience, from those interested in fishing to others researching modern-day pirating and the politics of the sea. The explosive world-wide demand for popular fish has all but fostered over-fishing and all but condoned seafood piracy: HOOKED combines culinary history with a world-wide chase to document the fading Chilean Sea Bass, a prehistoric-looking fish with the richness of tuna and the texture of butter. It's hard to place this rich text: part culinary history, part social inquiry, largely environmental exploration - it also fits under 'True Adventure'. Many will find it compelling.

Diane C. Donovan

California Bookwatch
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gone Sailing on December 7, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Even if one doesn't care about the plight of marine species like Chilean Seabass this book makes a great read! It is a thrilling good guy bad guy story taking place in a desolate part of the world. It also very informative and insightful regarding Marine Conservation.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Reed D. Taussig on June 26, 2007
Format: Paperback
Really fun book, everyone I have passed it on to also gave it rave reviews. Excitement, suspense and a little culinary history. A good read
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rick Fox on July 7, 2007
Format: Paperback
It is always a delight to read a thoughtfully written expose of some evil activity that is destroying some part of our enviroment. The more people read books like this, the better chance there is of preventing such disasters in the future. Nicely done and easy to read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By The Sound of Destruction on February 4, 2009
Format: Paperback
The author G. Bruce Knecht broke the 100-year-old transatlantic race record on a yacht in 2005. He is a writer that has been published by the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times magazine.

This book is in my opinion is a very good, reading group book. The stories of Hooked: Pirates, Poaching, and the Perfect Fish, is told very smoothly and flows very well. This is one of the qualities that make the book appealing to middle to high school readers. The way each page is written encourages the reader to continue to read more of the book.

I personally could not put the book down after just reading the first few pages, where it describes the way the Southern Supporter closes in on suspected fish poachers. It was a very addictive book from start to finish.

The book was great because the conflicts between man versus man and man versus nature were breathtakingly epic between the forces of man on one side and the forces of nature's frigid and icy seas trying to stop them on the other. The other major conflict was the pursuit between the boats, Viarsa and the Southern Supporter and their crews.

The author's purpose, to my understanding, was to inform readers about the human impact on the ocean's fisheries. It shows how overused these fisheries are and how irresponsible we are with our natural resources and what people are doing to stop that. It also shows how the Patagonian Tooth fish or Chilean Sea Bass as it is called came to popularity.

It also shows, how lacking of morals, today's people are, for driving a species of fish to the brink of extinction just to fatten their checkbooks. It also shows, how most of the time, they are shielded from justice by hiding behind extradition by living in other countries.
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