Also in this issue is a Q&A with author Mark Kurlansky, whose 1997 international bestseller Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World is a seminal work of non-fiction about overfishing.
I spoke to him about his new book, The World Without Fish: How Kids Can Help Save the Oceans, which explains the current crisis in the oceans in easy-to-digest language and graphics, and outlines how kids can help.
What inspired you to write The World Without Fish?
MK: Iâ€™ve been writing about fish for many years. I talk to kids about it a lot and I noticed a few things. They are tremendously interested, partly because kids just really like fish. Weâ€™re raising a generation with a great sense of environmental urgency; they want to know about these things. Itâ€™s a very complicated thing, much more complicated than itâ€™s often presented. Consequently, kids are perplexed about whatâ€™s going on. So I thought I would explain it.
Has your daughter read the book? Is she interested in ocean issues?
MK: Yes, she has. Itâ€™s a very ambitious book for kids, and I wanted to know about anything she found difficult or hard to understand. Sheâ€™s really into it. Sheâ€™s my fishing buddy. We spend our summers in Gloucester fishing for striper.
What do you hope kids (and adults) take from your book?
Iâ€™d like them to appreciate the complexity of the issue to understand that itâ€™s not that people arenâ€™t doing anything -- a lotâ€™s being done, but theyâ€™re still struggling to figure out what works. I wouldnâ€™t mind them coming away with a little respect for fishermen and their struggles with the issue. This all can be turned around and if it isnâ€™t, it will be a huge disaster.