Fans of The Secret Life of Lobsters will love this new book from Tora Johnson: an intimate exploration of the clash between human and marine life and the devastating effects of fishing nets on the whale population.
"We just want to go to work, and we don't want to kill a whale." Such are the sentiments of a Maine lobsterman, and Johnson, a science professor, guides readers through this 400-year-old dilemma and introduces readers to the personalities (both human and marine) affected by the conflict -- from the lobstermen who fish the rocky shores of Maine to the humpback whales literally bound and gagged by the fishing gear they've encountered.
"As small trap fisheries creep seaward, more whales are entangled in their deadly gear, dozens or even hundreds of miles offshore." But cutting back on lobster trap limits and crab and fishing quotas only causes rage and despair in fishermen and their coastal communities." A pragmatist at heart, Johnson believes that to polarize the debate between fisheries and whales "is the path to ulcers and failure." She argues that freedom for both whales and humans lies in exercising creativity, trust, and responsibility from the bottom up, rather than from the government down. "[We] have a chance to decide whether the next millennium will witness and demise or the return of whales and fisheries in the North Atlantic." Johnson navigates these choppy waters with heart and hope. (Fall 2005 Selection)