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Customer Review

4.0 out of 5 stars Fact-packed and graphic, with a glimmer of beauteous potential, 6 April 2013
This review is from: The Unnatural History of the Sea: The Past and Future of Humanity and Fishing (Gaia Thinking) (Paperback)
It's a very fact and eyewitness-account-filled book, but it ultimately paints a vivid picture. Roberts aims to expand the baseline back towards the dawn of commercial fishing, and tries to document the sea's more natural state as best he can. The writing of early observers is stilted, but the scope of the ocean's original wealth grows clear. Then we have tales of overfishing, which relate to technical developments and legal failures. It's far more about documentation than entertainment, but maybe that's what it takes to hammer home the horror of scraping the floor of every continental shelf and seamount down to flattened-out rubble, largely stripped of vegetation or "obstructive" coral and mollusk reefs. Finally, the rather difficult read gets richly rewarding as Roberts documents little miracles of recovery in spots around the world, where a reprieve from trawlers and purse seine nets allows patches of seabed to bloom again. Maybe the book has had some influence, because soon after it's publication the movement for vast new marine parks started to take off, with millions of square miles protected in the Pacific and Indian Oceans.
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