A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World
In this book best-selling author Mark Kurlansky tells the story of cod. It’s engaging, fascinating, scary, important and for humanity, somewhat embarrassing. He mixes the stories of modern fishermen with the histories of fishing on the world’s great cod banks while documenting the destruction of the great northern Atlantic cod fishery. Basques may have fished these waters prior to Columbus and the fishery fed Europeans for 500 years. Development of methods of preserving cod fueled the age of discovery, making possible long ocean voyages. Squabbles over the rights to the great cod banks helped develop international law. Modern technology in a race to capture as much cod as possible in a few decades destroyed a once bountiful ecosystem most likely beyond its ability to recover. Kurlansky’s book is a must read for anyone interested in cod or the environment. The New York Public Library declared it one of the 25 best books of the year.