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Overfishing: What Everyone Needs to Know Paperback – 28 Jun 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: OUP USA (28 Jun. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199798141
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199798148
  • Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 1.3 x 13.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 550,985 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


Ray Hilborn (Univ. of Washington), a well-known fishery biologist, presents a comprehensive analysis of the overfishing problem, and he correctly points out that many species are not being overfished. (J. C. Briggs, CHOICE)

About the Author

Ray Hilborn is Professor in the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences at the University of Washington. Ulrike Hilborn is a writer and has worked with her husband, Ray, for 37 years.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Hance Smith on 14 Jun. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a timely introduction to one of the most high profile and intractable problems in the management of natural resources, designed for the general reader. The underlying theme of the first three chapters is overfishing and recovery of fisheries. The next three chapters deal with key factors involved, including management, levels of fishing effort generated by development pressures, and climate. There follows systematic evaluation of types of fisheries - mixed, High Seas, deep water, recreational, and small scale and artisanal. Particular impacts are then dealt with, including illegal fishing,trawling, Marine Protected Areas, and ecosystem impacts. The book concludes with an assessment of the current status of overfishing. Particular strengths of the book include a clear, accessible style, short chapters, subhead themes often expressed as questions, and highly selected further reading organised by chapter.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By F. G. Lelliott on 4 Jun. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Before reading this book I thought overfishing had a singular definition, but Ray Hilborn shows us that there are many definitions for overfishing, depending on which criteria you apply.

Written in a Q&A style, this book is neither a dry, academic, tome or a tub-thumping, environmentalist vision of an oceanic apolcolypse, but lays out the issues in an easy to digest form.

Looking at the global fisheries industry, Ray Hilborn's experience and expertise are clearly evident on every page, covering a wide spectrum of topics, from historical overfishing to illegal fishing, from economic overfishing to marine protected areas.

If you are looking for a clear, concise book on the causes and effects of, and possible solutions to, overfishing, I would highly recommend this one.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Magnus Johnson on 29 Jun. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ray Hilborn is one of the most respected fisheries scientists in the world and is unusual in that he has not jumped on the gloom/doom bandwagon funded by various international NGOs. Here he presents a lucid and balanced view of fisheries based on decades of experience in the field. His opinion is generally that while there are and have been problems, the fishing industry is getting its house in order. He points out that if we take fish out of the sea there will be fewer than there would be if we did not. Effective fisheries management needs to get the balance between impact and extraction correct. He suggests that eating fish is more environmentally friendly than eating beef, dairy products or lamb and points out the damage that farming does to land in terms of biodiversity loss is greater than that of any fishing activity. The book is written in such a way that anyone interested in the issues around fisheries, from lay-person to scientist will enjoy reading it. The text is uncluttered by the usual referencing style of scientific writing but there is an extensive, chapter by chapter, further reading section at the end of the book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 8 reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Defining a Problem... 2 July 2012
By HMS Warspite - Published on
Format: Paperback
Ray Hilborn's commonsensical 2012 book "Overfishing" is a necessary and carefully reasoned corrective to the apocalyptic rhetoric that sometimes accompanies environmentalist debates about the status and future of fishing. Hilborn, an experienced authority on fishing resource managemente and conservation, uses a highly readable question-and-answer format to define terms and provide context to the complex challenge of maintaining fish stocks and fisheries around the world.

In sixteen concise chapters and just one hundred forty pages, Hilborn addresses such topics as the different types of overfishing and why the definitions matter, some historical background, and the proven ways that fisheries can be better managed. In the process, he goes behind the headlines to look at feasible solutions to overfishing that must vary by geography, climate, species and human governance. He notes the current shortfalls and challenges in gathering accurate data on fish populations. He also addresses the additional challenge of illegal fishing and the impact of recreational fishing. His concluding chapters offer some key takeaways on the future of managed fisheries. "Overfishing" is highly recommeded to those interested in fisheries management.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Conclusion of my written book review (lengthy) #geographyclass 6 Dec. 2013
By Imani - Published on
Format: Paperback
Personally I found this book very interesting and I learned a great deal of important information regarding our oceans, human impacts, and fish. This book makes you rethink your own personal impacts on specie life underwater and personal intake of fish from our oceans. Not only did this book discuss many environmental and human effects on the oceans, but he also emphasized the disturbance in our ocean’s food chain. I would have to say I agree with the majority of the author’s ideas and arguments and again I was able to read this book and understand what exactly I was reading. I like the fact Hilborn did not include a bunch of confusing terminology that wasn’t described, the authors provided well thought out questions and explanations for all of the language they were speaking in regards to Overfishing. I definitely feel that this was done intentionally, as the title states that the content of the book is “what everyone needs to know”. Reflecting back on the various concepts of the book, I feel like Hilborn’s main argument was a representation of a positive feedback loop. The author concentrated on specific effects that essentially have grown to disturb our underwater species, ocean food chain, and ocean water temperatures. The system here being the ocean, and the reoccurring patterns in increased ocean temperature in addition of human impacts by fisheries on the ocean floor serving as the inputs that have affected the future outputs of our ocean (and life beneath its surface).
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Excellent survey. Explains technical terms very well. 15 Feb. 2015
By lyndonbrecht - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent overview of fisheries issues in a question-and-answer format. It's a fairly fast read, with sundry arcane technical terms explained well.

The book takes a middle ground. Some of the published material on fishing is doom-and-gloom, and some is sunny and optimistic. Here, some fisheries are in trouble and some are sound.

Most interesting to me is the idea of artisanal fisheries, that is, giving fishing rights to locals, who thereby gain sustenance and act to preserve the fishery in question. It seems to work. He also argues that trawling is not always so bad, because it is efficient and we need food. Used well, it is not the environmental calamity some seem to think (such as accounts of trawling in coral).

He also emphasizes that there is a lot we simply do not understand well, such as long term effects of oceanic cycles.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Overfishing, concerns everyone 14 May 2013
By Joris Surmont - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ray Hilborn explanes the actual status of
overfishing, how it began and how the actual
fishery managers deal with it.
He shows that more and more fisheries worldwide
are fished using maximum sustainable yield. But
there is still some concern and we have to continu
limiting the world wide fishing capacity and the fishing pressure.
Wonderful book, that everyone should read.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
good primer on fisheries issues 24 Sept. 2013
By Alexis T. Gutierrez - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a really good primer for anyone interested in or studying fisheries management. It gives a very general introduction to all the issues. The discussion of marine protected areas and protected species is rather limited and could be rounded out. However, it's an easy read and thoughtful overview of all the major issues facing global fisheries
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