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Overfishing: What Everyone Needs to Know®
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
Ray Hilborn's commonsensical 2012 book "Overfishing" is a necessary and carefully reasoned corrective to the apocalyptic rhetoric that sometimes accompanies environmentalist debates about the status and future of fishing. Hilborn, an experienced authority on fishing resource managemente and conservation, uses a highly readable question-and-answer format to define terms and provide context to the complex challenge of maintaining fish stocks and fisheries around the world.

In sixteen concise chapters and just one hundred forty pages, Hilborn addresses such topics as the different types of overfishing and why the definitions matter, some historical background, and the proven ways that fisheries can be better managed. In the process, he goes behind the headlines to look at feasible solutions to overfishing that must vary by geography, climate, species and human governance. He notes the current shortfalls and challenges in gathering accurate data on fish populations. He also addresses the additional challenge of illegal fishing and the impact of recreational fishing. His concluding chapters offer some key takeaways on the future of managed fisheries. "Overfishing" is highly recommeded to those interested in fisheries management.
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on February 15, 2015
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent overview of fisheries issues in a question-and-answer format. It's a fairly fast read, with sundry arcane technical terms explained well.

The book takes a middle ground. Some of the published material on fishing is doom-and-gloom, and some is sunny and optimistic. Here, some fisheries are in trouble and some are sound.

Most interesting to me is the idea of artisanal fisheries, that is, giving fishing rights to locals, who thereby gain sustenance and act to preserve the fishery in question. It seems to work. He also argues that trawling is not always so bad, because it is efficient and we need food. Used well, it is not the environmental calamity some seem to think (such as accounts of trawling in coral).

He also emphasizes that there is a lot we simply do not understand well, such as long term effects of oceanic cycles.
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on December 6, 2013
Format: Paperback
Personally I found this book very interesting and I learned a great deal of important information regarding our oceans, human impacts, and fish. This book makes you rethink your own personal impacts on specie life underwater and personal intake of fish from our oceans. Not only did this book discuss many environmental and human effects on the oceans, but he also emphasized the disturbance in our ocean’s food chain. I would have to say I agree with the majority of the author’s ideas and arguments and again I was able to read this book and understand what exactly I was reading. I like the fact Hilborn did not include a bunch of confusing terminology that wasn’t described, the authors provided well thought out questions and explanations for all of the language they were speaking in regards to Overfishing. I definitely feel that this was done intentionally, as the title states that the content of the book is “what everyone needs to know”. Reflecting back on the various concepts of the book, I feel like Hilborn’s main argument was a representation of a positive feedback loop. The author concentrated on specific effects that essentially have grown to disturb our underwater species, ocean food chain, and ocean water temperatures. The system here being the ocean, and the reoccurring patterns in increased ocean temperature in addition of human impacts by fisheries on the ocean floor serving as the inputs that have affected the future outputs of our ocean (and life beneath its surface).
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on September 24, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
This is a really good primer for anyone interested in or studying fisheries management. It gives a very general introduction to all the issues. The discussion of marine protected areas and protected species is rather limited and could be rounded out. However, it's an easy read and thoughtful overview of all the major issues facing global fisheries
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on May 14, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Ray Hilborn explanes the actual status of
overfishing, how it began and how the actual
fishery managers deal with it.
He shows that more and more fisheries worldwide
are fished using maximum sustainable yield. But
there is still some concern and we have to continu
limiting the world wide fishing capacity and the fishing pressure.
Wonderful book, that everyone should read.
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on April 2, 2015
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Good book. Doesn't derive it's information from subjectiveness and emotions like organizations GreenPeace & PETA.

Considers fishery related topics logically and realistically.

Easy read, and not very long. Keeps you interested.
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on October 20, 2014
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Informative, touches most of the bases but covers too much territory and not enough information on each of the many categories.
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6 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on August 23, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This book discusses fishing in regards to the "maximum sustainable yield". This means the maximum yield that can be sustained, given today's fish populations. It nearly entirely disregards the catastrophic population reductions that have occurred over the past few centuries. Today's populations are as little as less than one percent of the populations that existed 500 years ago. Many creatures are extinct or severely endangered. "Overfishing, What everyone needs to know" seems to me to be a blatant attempt to convince people everything is okay, when almost nothing actually is.

For a more accurate overview of the situation, I recommend these books:

The Most Important Fish in the Sea: Menhaden and America
Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World
The Unnatural History of the Sea
Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food
The End of the Line: How Overfishing Is Changing the World and What We Eat
The Big Oyster: History on the Half Shell

In addition to the inaccurate assessment of the state of the world's fisheries, much of this book has such poor grammar that it is almost nonsensical. It makes me wonder whether the author used nonsense to deliberately obfuscate the issues he's trying to describe.

Overall, I found this book insulting to my intelligence and the good work of researchers around the world.
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