The holiday shopping season is almost over, and you’re probably still searching for a few last-minute gifts. We’re here to help with five must-read books for ocean-lovers on your gift list.
Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food
By Paul Greenburg
Salmon, tuna, bass, and cod—these four fish are the key players in the American seafood market, and the last truly wild food that many people eat. But where do we draw the line between wildlife and dinner? Through the lens of these four species, award-winning author Paul Greenberg explores the complexes of the modern fishing industry.
Best For: The fisherman
Ocean of Life: The Fate of Man and the Sea
By Callum Roberts
In this hefty-but-readable volume, conservation biologist and writer Callum Roberts explores he explores life’s intimate link with the oceans. Roberts manages to pull stories from across the globe and disparate realms of science into a readable, comprehensive portrait of how mankind is irreparably altering ocean health, and what needs to be done to reverse course.
Best For: The science lover
Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World
By Mark Kurlansky
Who knew how much of American history hinged on one fish? This slim and readable book will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about the humble codfish. Spanning centuries of history, from Viking explorers to hardy New England fisherman, Kurlansky’s book reveals how cod literally changed the world.
Best For: The history buff
The Perfect Protein: The Fish Lover's Guide to Saving the Oceans and Feeding the World
By Oceana CEO Andy Sharpless and Suzannah Evans
With Earth’s human population expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, we need wild fish more than ever to feed us. The bad news is that wild fish populations are in decline because of overfishing, destruction of habitat, and bycatch. The good news, as Sharpless explains, is that if just 25 coastal nations of the world—including the United States—take three steps to better manage their wild seafood supply, our oceans will become more biodiverse and will be capable of feeding hundreds of millions more people every day at a sustainable rate.
Best For: The foodie
In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex
By Nathaniel Philbrick
In 1820, an eighty-five-foot bull sperm whale rammed into the Nantucket whaleship Essex. The once-lucky whaleship sank, stranding the 20-man in the middle of the pacific with just three rickety rowboats. They were nearly 3,000 miles from land. Philbrick weaves a chilling story of the crew’s struggle for survival—through storms, illness, and cannibalism—that is as fascinating as it is grim.
Best For: The adventurer
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