The Unnatural History Of The Sea

1883 Words8 Pages
On The Unnatural History of the Sea Callum Roberts set himself the difficult task of cataloguing evidence that today’s oceans are depleted and struggling against overfishing and human influence, while still remaining optimistic about the future of the world’s oceans in his book The Unnatural History of the Sea. Roberts begins by painting a picture of the oceans as they may have been before human influence had drastically depleted species and changed ecosystems through fishing. From this point, he maps out centuries of development in fishing and shows how drastically changed and depleted the world’s oceans are today because of human exploitation. With the explanation of modern day fishery policy and a strong case against the practice of trawling, Roberts shows how humanity continues to exploit the ocean as if it were an endless resource. In spite of all this, the author, in the end, attempts to develop a positive outlook by explaining what can be done to stop the rapid decimation of fisheries, including reevaluation of fishery regulations and development of marine reserves. Historical accounts of abundant fisheries can clearly show the phenomenon of shifting baselines when compared to what we observe in our oceans today. Roberts argues for Pauly’s shifting baseline theory and provides strong evidence supporting its existence. In order to stop historical amnesia and the attitude that the ocean is an endless resource, we must be able to understand how we have changed the
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