Philip Marsden

Following the fickle fish

Donald S. Murray’s fascinating Herring Tales shows how vast shoals of this fickle fish have for centuries been appearing in our waters — only to disappear again

Fish stories come in two varieties: the micro-version of a hundred riverside bars, blokeish boastings of rod-and-line tussles with individual fish in which man and beast are fairly evenly matched. Then there is the macro-version, the one that tells of the fate of entire stocks — the cod of the Grand Banks, the European hake, the bluefin tuna of the Mediterranean, the haddock of the Atlantic, the whale everywhere.

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