Hungry for fish

Paul Greenberg’s Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food meshes gentle admonitions about the nonsustainability of fish as food with some joyous fishing stories. His lifelong love of catching fish leads to eloquence on the thrill of fighting the big ones. But those big ones are increasingly scarce. Greenberg reports on why it’s happening and what’s being done, focusing on four of the best-known food fish: salmon, sea bass, cod and tuna. In each case, technology increased exploitation, and some creative technological fixes are being attempted to grow these fish as livestock. None of these fish makes a good farm animal, though Greenberg suggests a couple of species most Americans have never heard of as possibilities. He smoothly relates some complex science as easily as telling stories over a few beers. Although he is clearly an optimist loath to give bad news, his explorations into the future of fish are mostly pessimistic.