The High Season

It’s mid-July, and the high summer season is upon us–Blaine County’s population takes a five-fold jump from spring slack.  The July book arrivals are being checked out almost as fast as they hit the shelves.  Still remaining on display, an oceanographic triptych from our new non-fiction shelves including works on the natural history of sharks, sperm whales, cephalopods, and sea slime.

Demon Fish has a strong thread of investigative journalism, as the author, Juliet Eilperin, traveled the world to explore the world of sharks.  She found cultures where the apex predator co-existed profitably with man, as well as cultural fads (shark-fin harvesting) that are endangering the apex predator across whole ecosystems.  Richard Ellis’ exploration of  Physeter macrocephalus, The Great Sperm Whale, uses history, art and literary references to round out his natural history.  Ellen Prager investigates far more arcane dwellers of the deeps in her book Sex, Drugs and Sea Slime.  The lurid title disguises a solid discussion of the importance of the underlying ecosystems supporting sea life, as well as new and slimy sources of biomedical advances, drugs, and food for the future.  Next month, a new book by Hardy Jones, Voice of the Dolphins, will explore humans and dolphins and the parallel risks the two species experience from toxic contaminants and destructive fishing techniques.

Getting hot outside?  Traffic backing up?  Duck in and immerse yourself in Oceania @ the Community Library.

Published in: on July 14, 2011 at 12:27 pm  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Just read the Time Magazine article about fish farming. The thrust of the article seemed to be that the oceans are doomed and the only hope for fish is farming. Hmmmm.

    • There is evidence that farming can harm wild fish stocks–sea lice infestations that crashed many salmon harvests on the western seaboard of Canada have been traced to farmed fish stocks. Fish farming science has a long way to go.

      edt 2:45 pm: A quick search brings up this link from Scotland and the UK–the salmon farming conflicts are being investigated in the Atlantic, as well, as wild salmon stocks drop in Scotland.

      • There is a horrific photo in the above article showing live fish on a conveyor dry belt waiting to be inoculated with antibiotics. Now… that can’t be good for anybody.


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