Hooked: Pirates, Poaching, and the Perfect Fish

G. Bruce Knecht

Interweaving a thrilling chase through near-frozen seas with the tale of how the Patagonian toothfish (a.k.a. Chilean sea bass) first came to U.S. restaurants, G. Bruce Knecht covers the birth and—we hope—the death of the market for this endangered fish. In one chapter, I cheered for the fellows who worked in the 1970s to create enthusiasm for the new type of fish among chefs; in the next, I rooted for fisheries enforcement officers trying to catch poachers of the now-depleted stocks. Later, a couple of chapters briefly construct a veritable hall of shame of overfishing. After reading this account, I personally won’t order Chilean sea bass—nor, for that matter, orange roughy—from a restaurant menu ever again. I’ll also think twice about ordering any fish from deep and distant waters.