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Kings of Their Own Ocean

The cover of Kings of Their Own Ocean by Karen Pinchin and water colour of some bluefin tuna.

Investigative journalist Karen Pinchin uses the remarkable tale of an intrepid bluefin tuna as a lens to investigate the history of the industry, ocean science, conservation battles and environmental justice concerns. The book dwells on the battle between Al Anderson, an enigmatic conservationist, and the bluefin tuna industry as they face the threats of financial competition, climate change and overfishing.

Publishers description

This is a tale of human obsession, one intrepid tuna, the dedicated fisherman who caught and set her free, the promises and limits of ocean science, and the big truth of how our insatiable appetite for bluefin transformed a cottage industry into a global dilemma.

In 2004, an enigmatic charter captain named Al Anderson caught and marked one Atlantic bluefin tuna off New England’s coast with a plastic fish tag. Fourteen years later that fish—dubbed Amelia for her ocean-spanning journeys—died in a Mediterranean fish trap, sparking Karen Pinchin’s riveting investigation into the marvels, struggles, and prehistoric legacy of this remarkable species.

Over his fishing career Al marked more than sixty thousand fish with plastic tags, an obsession that made him nearly as many enemies as it did friends. His quest landed him in the crossfire of an ongoing fight between a booming bluefin tuna industry and desperate conservation efforts, a conflict that is once again heating up as overfishing and climate change threaten the fish’s fate.

Kings of Their Own Ocean is an urgent investigation that combines science, business, crime, and environmental justice. As Pinchin writes, “as a global community, we are collectively only ever a few terrible choices away from wiping out any ocean species.” Through her exclusive access and interdisciplinary, mesmerising lens, readers will join her on boats and docks as she visits tuna hot spots and scientists from Portugal to Japan, New Jersey to Nova Scotia, and glimpse, as the author does, rays of dazzling hope for the future of our oceans.

Read more here. For another view on the fishing industry, see our blog To eat fish or not to eat fish? That is the wrong question

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