His qualifications indisputable, Greenberg’s enquiries on how we fish salmon, sea bass, cod and tuna led him on a journey to Alaska, Israel and the Shetlands, where he spends time with a cast of fascinating characters. Where consumers consume – our intake of fish has doubled over the last fifty years as stocks are depleted – Greenberg considers the deep and meaningful questions. The advantages of wild over farmed fishing; whether humankind can live in harmony with marine life, or inherently needs to tame and control it; the need for us to become ‘herders’ or stewards of fish rather than hunter-gatherers, are just a few.
Abounding in insights and interesting detail, Greenberg’s conclusions and proposals for solutions should become a benchmark for how we collectively approach the problems of sustaining the fish populations in our seas. Framed by a scene of recent fishing with his daughter, it is his love of relationship – father to daughter, humankind to their environment – that prevails. With the same consideration of the journey for the fish from sea to plate, these mysterious creatures stand a good chance of prevailing, too.
Four Fish: A journey from the Ocean to Your Plate by Paul Greenberg (Penguin) £14.99