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Customer Review

on 9 December 2013
This is a remarkable book. First, it is hard to produce something stimulating, even jazzy, on a subject like fish; and second, the author, while no scientist himself, has enough practical knowledge in his field to be able to say to the boffins, Yes, and so you assert, but what actually works is this. The result is a work that will be immensely readable to all except the many members of past and present Scottish governments who have, until recently, failed to lift a finger to ameliorate, let alone prevent, the ecological nightmare that is salmon fish-farming on the west coast of Scotland. How harmless, how pastoral do those small rectangles of buoys look to the tourist dawdling beside the sea lochs of Argyll! Little can he know what lies beneath - but he should, and this is where he should go to learn everything there is about salmon cages, burial pits, Dead Zones and the chances of survival of that most noble and enigmatic of our migratory fish, the wild Atlantic salmon. In fact the author could have cut back on his diatribes here in favour of more space in other areas. Climate risk (which affects river temperatures); political risk should Scotland, which is essentially a socialist country, vote for independence next year; and the place of netting and underwater turbines (as in the Pentland Firth) in any inshore marine policy, these are subjects on which I would have liked more of the author's pugnacity. I personally would be surprised if wild salmon is still on the menu in fifty years time but if it is it may well owe a debt to this feisty book, which deserves all the popularity it gets. My only criticism is that the entries for the bibliography have been compiled arsy-versy. But this isn't a book people will buy for its reading list.
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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars