cover image Giant Bluefin

Giant Bluefin

Douglas Whynott. Farrar Straus Giroux, $21 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-374-16208-5

The world's largest finfish, the bluefin tuna can grow to 10 feet and weigh 1500 pounds. It is a favorite with the Japanese, and a single fish has brought $42,000 (a piece of sushi in a Tokyo restaurant can cost $75). Whynott (Following the Bloom) takes us through two seasons of bluefin harpoon fishing off the New England coast from Cape Cod to Maine. He introduces Bob Sampson of Barnstable, whose family has lived and fished on Cape Cod since colonial times. Many bluefin fishermen, Sampson included, use spotter planes; Whynott goes out with one pilot. He observes the catch by Sampson's and other boats and details the route from dockside to the Tokyo fish market. In 1992, environmental groups attempted to limit the catch; fishermen argued that population stocks were plentiful. Whynott has written a fascinating story of the bluefin and the Cape Cod fishermen. (June)