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Brian Fagan

Fishing: How the Sea Fed Civilization

Penguin Press


Brian Fagan’s Fishing is ambitious in scope, chronicling the history of non-recreational fishing from its prehistoric roots to modern times, with a warning that sustainable fishing—a challenge to humankind all through history—is in imminent danger. Fagan casts his net wide (sorry), reeling in (sorry) anthropology, geography, economics and politics, along with some global fishing tech. Contrary to the popular depiction of early humans as spear-carrying mammoth hunters, Fagan suggests the more accurate image is that of the opportunistic angler—drawing marine sustenance by hand, net, hook and harpoon and carefully reading the seasons. Thought-provoking stuff.

– Bruce Collier
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