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on 4 April 2017
Still enjoying reading it - a good book
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on 2 August 2004
I first heard about this book on BBC Radio 4's 'Start The Week' where Andrew Marr described it as one of the few recent books that had left him feeling furious. Marr was spot on. This book sets out clearly the full ruthless horror that is industrial fishing and the irreversible damage it has been inflicting on the world's seas. How many of us know anything of modern fishing and still think of fishermen as quaint and harmless Captain Birds Eye? The seas and their increasingly desperate situation have gone largely unnoticed compared to land based farming and the state of our countryside. Hopefully this book will be a marine version of 'Silent Spring' and help bring about some form of solution. But as the book shows, solving this situation will be no easy task when faced with the comic nightmare that is the political, bureaucratic, commercial and scientific system trying to manage the seas and fishing. The book ends with a helpful guide to choosing which fish are okay to eat and those fish for which the situation is increasingly bleak and should therefore be avoided at all costs. The book is very accessible and written by the Daily Telegraph's environment editor. A must for anybody concerned with the state of our world's environment.
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on 10 March 2006
Working for a fisheries enforcement agency, I found myself agreeing with most of what Mr Clover has written and would heartedly recommend it to those with an interest in the marine environment. Sadly, the narrative does wander and looses focus near the end. There are a few errors that pedants could pick up (claiming that Greenland Halibut is also known as Turbot for example) but there were two big points I disagreed with the author on. Firstly, he is very negative on the use of Satellite Monitoring in Fisheries Control, which has really become an effective tool over the last few years - sadly, UK courts will often disregard this and the views of expert witnesses. Secondly, he touts the use of Blue Whiting as a replacement for Cod. With ICES now calling for a ban on Blue Whiting fishing to the ludicrously high weights of fish caught (Norway alone have an individual quota of 1 million tons which is the total quota ICES have recommended!) This is another fishery we could well leave alone.
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The title does not look firstly as tantalizing as what all these pages really contain. You should really take a look inside and you will very probably realize how good this book is.
The End Of Line is definitely one of the best non-fiction books I have bought in the last couple of years. Here you can read what is really happening in the oceans worldwide. People often do not care much for what they don't see, but the consequences of what they (we) are letting happen to the fish resources are terrible.
Mr. Clover explains in a very professional and passionate way the crimes (the word is not an exageration) commited by such countries as Spain and the rest of the European Union, by Japan and many others, in their pursuit of profit: depleting the fish resources of many poor countries, bribing and coercing the government of those countries to let them do what they want with the fish, hiding reports to the public opinion. What the EU is doing about controls is really a bad joke.
We consumers need to wake up. Yes, eating fish is good for your health. Now, if no radical change takes place in the way we are destroying the oceans' biological resources, we are going to be in real trouble in the future and the next generations more so.
This all sounds pretty dramatic and it really is.
Thanks, Mr. Clover
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on 15 April 2005
Clover does the research and makes an eloquent appeal to limit the rape of the world's oceans - trawling fleets cause destruction on a scale that beggars belief and with an effect that would be immediately banned if the techniques were used on land.
Mankind has a last opportunity to prove that he is not so stupid that he will destroy his own chance of a future - reading Clover's account of how EU bureaucrats and government "scientists" and politicians go about ensuring that we have sustainable stocks of fish does not give me any grounds for optimism. Clover has done a splendid job in appealing for common sense and action, but I fear that his warning will not be heeded.
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on 14 October 2005
This book is a revelation. There is so much here that I did not know.
Every chapter is full of interest and examples of day-to-day fishing malpractices that illustrate so well the environmental madness that dominates this industry and the self-interest of those who form fishing policy. We are left in no doubt that the EU is one of the worst offenders. Did you know that it is estimated that about half the cod and haddock landed in the UK falls outside the fishing quotas, i.e. is stolen from you and me?
Charles Clover also puts forward well-argued case for allocating fishing rights for areas of ocean to escape from the "Tragedy of the Commons".
If you have an environmental conscience, you should read this book - and you'll probably adjust your fish buying habits. (See Andrew Marr's review quotes on the cover)
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on 13 July 2005
I first heard about this book on BBC Radio 4's 'Start The Week' where Andrew Marr described it as one of the few recent books that had left him feeling furious. Marr was spot on. This book sets out clearly the full ruthless horror that is industrial fishing and the irreversible damage it has been inflicting on the world's seas. How many of us know anything of modern fishing and still think of fishermen as quaint and harmless Captain Birds Eye? The seas and their increasingly desperate situation have gone largely unnoticed compared to land based farming and the state of our countryside. Hopefully this book will be a marine version of 'Silent Spring' and help bring about some form of solution. But as the book shows, solving this situation will be no easy task when faced with the comic nightmare that is the political, bureaucratic, commercial and scientific system trying to manage the seas and fishing. The book ends with a helpful guide to choosing which fish are okay to eat and those fish for which the situation is increasingly bleak and should therefore be avoided at all costs. The book is very accessible and written by the Daily Telegraph's environment editor. A must for anybody concerned with the state of our world's environment.
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on 22 April 2014
This well researched and passionate book eloquently tells the story of how, in just a few decades, we managed to bring the oceans at the verge of ecological disaster. Three quarters of all marine fish species are at the brink of, or actually below, sustainable population levels. The oceans have already lost more than 90 per cent of large predatory fishes and it is estimated that by mid-century all species currently fished will be extinct. As a naturalist who enjoyed David Attenborough’s BBC documentaries in this childhood I am deeply shocked at the status of our oceans as described in this book. Equally shocking is the detailed elucidation of the systemic political and economical forces behind this shameless exploitation of this irreplaceable resource. This book is a wake-up call. If we do not act now, as consumers, voters, and political activists, then the damage to these invaluable ecosystems will be total.
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on 27 June 2010
I thought that Clover really got his teeth into the topic of the crisis of our fisheries. The book is packed full of hard hitting facts that are eloquently presented by a thoughtful writer.
I have to admit a certain bias that I work in fisheries management myself, and so already had a standing interest in the subject. However, even though the book is aimed at the general public I found plenty inside to keep me interested, despite the fact that I disagree strongly with his commendations that the European Union needs to privatise the sea if they are to be properly managed.

This aside I thought it was an excellent work of non-fiction. If you want to know more about the disastrous plight of wild marine life then look no further.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 25 July 2009
I cannot fault this book. I was a captive audience having already sympathised with the subject area, and I was not disappointed. It is well researched and not emotive. The author skill fully 'trawls' (pardon the pun) through the data without a fluffy bunny brigade mentality, and gives suggestions for how we can put the wrongs right. I came away feeling more knowledgeable whilst being more disillusioned about the future of fish. It made me think more about what fish I buy; I will be buying less fish like salmon which may be farmed but is fed with fish from the sea (read the book for more about this) and I will be looking on packs of fish for MSC status before giving sellers my money.
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