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The Secret Life of Lobsters: How Fishermen and Scientists Are Unraveling the Mysteries of Our Favorite Crustacean Hardcover – Deckle Edge, June 1, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
In the 1980s, the lobster population in the waters off the coast of Maine was declining, threatening disaster for the state's lobster fishing industry. Government scientists attributed the drop-off to overfishing and recommended raising the minimum legal size of lobsters that could be harvested. Lobstermen disagreed, contending that their longstanding practice of returning oversized lobsters to the sea as brood stock would take care of the problem. In this intriguing and entertaining book, Corson, a journalist who has reported on such diverse subjects as organ transplants and Chinese sweatshops, brings together the often conflicting worlds of commercial lobstermen and marine scientists, showing how the two sides joined forces and tried for 15 years to solve the mystery of why the lobsters were disappearing. He brings the story to life by concentrating on the lobstermen and their families who live in one Maine fishing community, Little Cranberry Island, and alternating narratives of their lives with accounts of the research of scientists who, obsessed with the curious life of lobsters, conduct experiments that are often as strange and complex as the lobsters themselves. Corson provides more information about the lobster's unusual anatomy, eating habits and sex life than most readers will probably want to know, but he makes it all fascinating, especially when he juxtaposes observations of human behavior and descriptions of the social life of lobsters. However, by the end of the book, the answer to the puzzle remains elusive.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Some like their lobster dipped in drawn butter; others prefer their lobster laced with electronic monitors. Plunging into its cold North Atlantic home, a prizewinning alternative-press writer sheds the light of investigative journalism on a crustacean attracting as much attention in recent years from curious biologists as from hungry diners. As deftly as a lobsterman handling the coiled ropes of his trap buoys, Corson knots into a single brisk narrative the differing--often conflicting--perspectives of the fishermen who catch and sell lobsters, the marine scientists who track and explain the creatures, and the environmentalists who lobby for increased legal protections for the species. The narrative focuses particularly on the growing tensions between Maine fishermen, who harvested record numbers of lobsters in the nineties, and federal officials interpreting disputed demographic data as evidence of overfishing. The story of how these tensions intensify will teach readers a great deal about a species that deploys more than mere claws when it wages war over profits and seafood. A lively yet conceptually sophisticated work. Bryce Christensen
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top customer reviews
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He studied the reports from governmental workers; therefore he gave an unbiased "report" of the secret life
of lobsters. However, being from Southwest USA, I learned more than I wanted to know about lobsters.
My favorite portions were about the family life of the people who are isolated on an island for years.