along the dank Tennessee
Huntsville, AL, US of A
"Hooked is a fish story, a global whodunit, a courtroom drama -- and a
critically important ecological message all rolled into one." -- Tom Brokaw
My name is Melissa Silverstein and I am working with Rodale Press to get the
word out about Hooked: Pirates, Poaching and the Perfect Fish, an exciting
new book by G. Bruce Knecht, an award-winning Wall Street Journal reporter
that combines a high seas adventure story with a culinary history to show
how our tastes have enormous consequences for the world around us.
Over the past two decades Chilean Sea Bass, originally known as Patagonian
toothfish, has been embraced by chefs and diners everywhere. The explosive
demand has fueled such rampant over-fishing that the fish now faces an
uncertain future. Part high seas adventure, part popular history, part
thought-provoking expos, Hooked traces how Patagonian toothfish went from
an obscure, unappealing fish to become the favorite target of fleets of
pirate fishing vessels.
Hooked is an adventure story built around one of the longest pursuits in
nautical history, which resulted when an Australian patrol boat spotted an
illegal fishing vessel near Antarctica. In weaving the culinary history
with the 4,000-mile chasewhich went halfway around Antarctica through
building-size waves, densely packed ice, and an obstacle course of
icebergsthe author demonstrates his ability to Rrecount a tale more
thrilling than fiction,S as Walter Cronkite raved about KnechtUs previous
book, The Proving Ground. Hooked is populated by fiercely determined good
guys, villains who are also sometimes empathetic, and another character that
deserves our attention: the threatened Patagonian toothfish.
The book also describes how a little-known Californian seafood merchant
"discovered" Chilean Sea Bass and invented its inaccurate but appealing
name, and how it went from being an unknown "utility fish" in Chinese
restaurants to a favorite-in-top-rated restaurants and ultimately the fish
that seemingly everyone in American had to have. Hooked also explains how
pirate fishermen are only too happy to satisfy the soaring demand, what some
chefs have done in attempting to reverse the damage, and how it is that
populations of many the world's most desirable fish are less than ten
percent of what they were fifty years ago.
Did you know?
Chilean Sea Bass is not a bass and few are caught in Chilean waters.
Many, perhaps most of the toothfish that are imported to the U.S. are caught
While 1,000 chefs have pledged not to serve toothfish until the problem of
illegal fishing is eliminated, many othersincluding those who work-in-
high-volume restaurants, caterers and hotelscontinue to sell vast amounts
Viarsa, the fishing vessel described in Hooked, harvests 300 tons of
toothfish during during a typical voyage-which is worth $3 million, twice as
much as the value of the boat itself.
A longline used to catch toothfish can stretch for more than a dozen miles
and carry 15,000 baited hooks
BREAKING NEWS! Viarsa's owner was arrested on April 19, 2006 in Miami where
he will go on trail for smuggling large quantities of Chilean Sea Bass into
Thanks so much.
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