In Pursuit of Giants: One Man’s Global Search for the Last of the Great Fish

Matt Rigney, Author
Matt Rigney. Viking, $26.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-670-02335-6
Reviewed on: 04/09/2012
Release date: 06/14/2012
Open Ebook - 352 pages - 978-1-101-56052-5
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An avid fisherman, Rigney provides a glorious read in his examination of sportfishing and the imperiled state of ocean life. The vivid immediacy of this call to action ranges from majestic descriptions of a marlin’s oceanic journey and a Japanese fisherman’s outrage at government-industry collusion to fishing fleets’ devastation of marine life. Arguing that the extinction of much ocean life is highly possible within decades, Rigney’s passionate advocacy of conservationist ethics is imbued with direct experience and eschews simplistic bromides. As he claims that sportfishers can help sustain an economy and act as a pro-conservation force, he notes that partial successes in reversing the depletion of marine life cannot offset the impact of commercial overfishing, indiscriminate slaughter of bycatch, and dishonest reporting of catch and evasion of regulations. Portraits of traditional swordfish harpooners and their empathy for the fish they harvest act as a foil to impersonal large-scale fishing, and grant depth to the profession: “The opportunity to experience ocean wilderness and explore what it means to be human... is why many venture out on the sea in pursuit of giants.” The “awe and humility” felt in the presence of these fish is sensitively and powerfully wrought throughout this dramatic, transcendental tale. Agent: Richard Abate, 3 Arts Entertainment. (June)
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