Jonathan Balcombe's new book is What a Fish Knows: The Inner Lives of Our Underwater Cousins. From his Q & A with Deborah Kalb:
Q: You describe fish as “the most exploited (and overexploited) category of vertebrate animals on Earth.” How has that situation developed?Learn more about the book and author at Jonathan Balcombe's website.
A: We’ve been fishing for millennia. Most fishing…has been sustainable, not self-destructive. In the last couple of centuries we’ve developed trends that are problematic, with a growing population and advances in technology.
It’s like bobbing for apples with our hands, not our mouths. People are able to locate large schools of fishes with technology, and are able to take as many as they want to, [leading to extinction for some species].
Q: Do you see this trend continuing?
A: In the near future. I’m hopeful [looking further ahead that people] will start to change their behavior. There’s a 10 percent decline in meat consumption in the U.S. over the last decade, so trends change. In the near future, the situation doesn’t look great, but I’m hopeful there will be a turning point.
It’s critical for...[read on]
The Page 99 Test: Second Nature.