Bild på författaren.

Callum Roberts

Författare till The Unnatural History of the Sea

8+ verk 421 medlemmar 11 recensioner

Om författaren

Callum Roberts is professor of marine conservation at the University of York in England.

Inkluderar namnet: Dr. Callum Roberts

Verk av Callum Roberts

Associerade verk

Granta 153: Second Nature (2020) — Bidragsgivare — 37 exemplar

Taggad

Allmänna fakta

Medlemmar

Recensioner

This book left me too angry and depressed to write coherently, so instead here's a brief glossary of terms which I hope might give you some idea why:
   trawling (technol.): a type of fishing in which the ocean floor is scraped clean, not only of fish, but of every living thing—vertebrate and invertebrate, coral, even chunks of the reefs themselves. An industry which extracts fish as a non-renewable resource, like coal or oil. Underwater strip-mining on a near-global scale.
   ghost fishing (technol.): the stuff of nightmares. A process whereby a length of abandoned gill-netting, perhaps miles long and either lost during fishing or deliberately dumped overboard at the end of a trip, continues to fish. It stands upright on the seabed snaring everything which swims, floats or crawls into it—fish, turtles, dolphins, everything. Eventually the sheer weight of corpses forces the net down flat. The bodies then rot and are scavenged by crabs until, released, the netting stands back up again. The whole process is then repeated, again and again...indefinitely. Losing and dumping fishing gear is routine, so the world's oceans are littered with these perpetual death-traps.
   inrage (psychol.): similar to, but the opposite of, outrage; what happens inside your head at the precise moment you read about trawlermen complaining that their nets are often damaged by coral reefs.
   dodo (zoolog.): an extinct species of flightless bird, wiped out in a manner which we moderns condemn while, simultaneously, treating the entire biosphere with the same ignorance and contempt.
   bluefin (zoolog.): a species of tuna, formerly abundant, but now rapidly following the dodo into oblivion. So scarce and valuable has it become, that it is now worth using sonar, helicopters and even spotter planes to locate individual fish then guide the boats in for the kill. As Callum Roberts puts it: "This isn't fishing any more, it's the extermination of a species."
   money (econ.): the system of exchange responsible for this madness: as a commodity becomes ever rarer, so its price rises to ridiculous levels. The last bluefin tuna of all—worth millions—will also be the most ruthlessly pursued.
   growth (econ., as in economic growth):the process by which everything shrinks except the size of the human population.
   marine nature reserves (ecolog.): one of the most bizarre concepts ever devised by the imagination, apparently—politicians in particular find it utterly incomprehensible.
   shifting environmental baselines (psychol.): the conceptual flaw at the heart of this apocalypse. Each fresh generation of Homo sapiens sees only its own small section of the decline; there's little perception of the longer-term depletion, and none whatever of the original superabundance (at times "more fish than water") which existed back at the start before human beings began plundering it. This flaw is found even amongst ecologists who study what is left of these ecosystems; thus conservationists work back to "baselines" which aren't meaningful baselines at all, just slightly earlier points back up the slope—points which, moreover, creep downhill from one decade to the next.
   Homo sapiens (zoolog.): arguably the least intelligent of the primates; the only one, arboreal or otherwise, currently sawing through the very branch it is sitting on.
   Earth (astron.): third planet of eight orbiting a G-class main-sequence star midway between 61 Cygni and Sirius. An ocean planet (71% of its surface area). Abundant life, but currently in the throes of its sixth (and primarily marine) mass-extinction event.
   The Unnatural History of the Sea by Callum Roberts (bibliog.): a meticulously detailed—and relentless—book by a leading authority on the subject. Reduced this reader, during its second half in particular, to despair.
   despair (psychol.): a state of mind, impossible to express in a mere book review (perhaps impossible in words at all), in which you find you no longer care what happens to the human race, but that what is being done to the beautiful Earth fills you with sorrow.
… (mer)
1 rösta
Flaggad
justlurking | 6 andra recensioner | Jul 4, 2021 |
In Ocean of Life, Callum Roberts shows how the oceans have changed - from prehistoric times to today. His focus is on man-made changes, dealing with such topics as overfishing, destructive fishing methods, plastic and chemical pollution, winds and currents, excessive noise, dead-zones, disease, farm-fish etc. The book is however, not all doom and gloom. Roberts dedicates the last quarter of his book to methods that may work to restore or at least diminish the negative effects humans have on ocean life - provided people are willing to implement them. This is a well-written, articulate, interesting and engaging book, with short chapters covering specific topics. What happens to the Oceans is relevant to everyone on this planet, and this book provides an eye-opening summary of the importance of the Oceans and how humans have and can effect them for good or ill.… (mer)
1 rösta
Flaggad
ElentarriLT | 3 andra recensioner | Mar 24, 2020 |
I had previously read [b:The Sea Around Us|542766|The Sea Around Us|Rachel Carson|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1349123606s/542766.jpg|2423508] by Rachel Carson, which had by far the deepest impact on me of any book about the ocean I have ever read, and revolutionized the way I perceived the ocean. I had also previously read [b:Moby-Duck: The True Story of 28,800 Bath Toys Lost at Sea and of the Beachcombers, Oceanographers, Environmentalists, and Fools, Including the Author, Who Went in Search of Them|9595216|Moby-Duck The True Story of 28,800 Bath Toys Lost at Sea and of the Beachcombers, Oceanographers, Environmentalists, and Fools, Including the Author, Who Went in Search of Them|Donovan Hohn|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1347689267s/9595216.jpg|14482244], which introduced me to the Great Garbage Patch and many other negative impacts humans have had on the ocean, so this book was not quite the shock to me that it appears to have been to many other reviewers. However, it is considerably blunter than either of the other two, and becoming livid with outrage over the atrocities perpetrated against the ocean and its life would not be an unreasonable reaction to reading it. I would definitely recommend it for the complacent and people who just don’t know, as well as for those interested in “natural” history.

Roberts gives a fine portrayal of the disastrous human interaction with oceanic life throughout history and even prehistory, and I was surprised to learn how far back overfishing and over-exploiting the ocean really goes. Before I read this I thought of overfishing as having begun in the twentieth century, or maybe a little earlier if whaling is included. I had no idea that whaling had begun as early as the Neolithic – there are rock carvings in South Korea dating from 6000 to 1000 BC that portray people in boats pursuing whales in enough detail that individual species can be identified. The overfishing of European waters began during the Middle Ages, and because of factors as diverse as Viking invasions, the dietary requirements of the Catholic Church, the clearing of land for agriculture, and the damming of rivers for gristmills and aquaculture. Meanwhile, governments tried to ban or at least decrease overfishing as early as 1289, using surprisingly modern reasoning. King Phillip IV of France cited a mixture of health, economic, and environmental concerns in his decree against it: “the fish are prevented by them [the fishing industry] from growing to their proper condition, nor have the fish any value when caught by them, nor are they good for human consumption, but rather bad, and further it happens that they are much more costly than they used to be…”

I also thought of trawler fishing as a twentieth-century development, but it began in the 1300’s, and as early as 1376 there were petitions to ban the practice in English waters. The efforts were in vain, and trawler fishing continues to be used today even though it is vastly destructive to the ocean floor, and has been compared to strip mining. Roberts doesn’t stop there, stating that trawling is “leveling unknown Yellowstone Parks.”

However, the book closes on a note of hope, which I believe as very important because a lot of times hope is what keeps people going. And there is some reason for it, especially if we can constructively channel our outrage over how the ocean has been treated in the past, and start recognizing the ocean as the extraordinary place it really is.
… (mer)
 
Flaggad
Jennifer708 | 6 andra recensioner | Mar 21, 2020 |
I had previously read [b:The Sea Around Us|542766|The Sea Around Us|Rachel Carson|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1349123606s/542766.jpg|2423508] by Rachel Carson, which had by far the deepest impact on me of any book about the ocean I have ever read, and revolutionized the way I perceived the ocean. I had also previously read [b:Moby-Duck: The True Story of 28,800 Bath Toys Lost at Sea and of the Beachcombers, Oceanographers, Environmentalists, and Fools, Including the Author, Who Went in Search of Them|9595216|Moby-Duck The True Story of 28,800 Bath Toys Lost at Sea and of the Beachcombers, Oceanographers, Environmentalists, and Fools, Including the Author, Who Went in Search of Them|Donovan Hohn|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1347689267s/9595216.jpg|14482244], which introduced me to the Great Garbage Patch and many other negative impacts humans have had on the ocean, so this book was not quite the shock to me that it appears to have been to many other reviewers. However, it is considerably blunter than either of the other two, and becoming livid with outrage over the atrocities perpetrated against the ocean and its life would not be an unreasonable reaction to reading it. I would definitely recommend it for the complacent and people who just don’t know, as well as for those interested in “natural” history.

Roberts gives a fine portrayal of the disastrous human interaction with oceanic life throughout history and even prehistory, and I was surprised to learn how far back overfishing and over-exploiting the ocean really goes. Before I read this I thought of overfishing as having begun in the twentieth century, or maybe a little earlier if whaling is included. I had no idea that whaling had begun as early as the Neolithic – there are rock carvings in South Korea dating from 6000 to 1000 BC that portray people in boats pursuing whales in enough detail that individual species can be identified. The overfishing of European waters began during the Middle Ages, and because of factors as diverse as Viking invasions, the dietary requirements of the Catholic Church, the clearing of land for agriculture, and the damming of rivers for gristmills and aquaculture. Meanwhile, governments tried to ban or at least decrease overfishing as early as 1289, using surprisingly modern reasoning. King Phillip IV of France cited a mixture of health, economic, and environmental concerns in his decree against it: “the fish are prevented by them [the fishing industry] from growing to their proper condition, nor have the fish any value when caught by them, nor are they good for human consumption, but rather bad, and further it happens that they are much more costly than they used to be…”

I also thought of trawler fishing as a twentieth-century development, but it began in the 1300’s, and as early as 1376 there were petitions to ban the practice in English waters. The efforts were in vain, and trawler fishing continues to be used today even though it is vastly destructive to the ocean floor, and has been compared to strip mining. Roberts doesn’t stop there, stating that trawling is “leveling unknown Yellowstone Parks.”

However, the book closes on a note of hope, which I believe as very important because a lot of times hope is what keeps people going. And there is some reason for it, especially if we can constructively channel our outrage over how the ocean has been treated in the past, and start recognizing the ocean as the extraordinary place it really is.
… (mer)
 
Flaggad
Jennifer708 | 6 andra recensioner | Mar 21, 2020 |

Listor

Priser

Du skulle kanske också gilla

Associerade författare

Statistik

Verk
8
Även av
1
Medlemmar
421
Popularitet
#57,942
Betyg
4.0
Recensioner
11
ISBN
31
Språk
4

Tabeller & diagram