Courage on the high seas

The Shetland Islands and the Faroes may seem to be somewhere out there in distant waters, marginal and in the greater scheme of things not very important in the history of the world. But from a maritime perspective it is precisely the fact that they are suspended in mid-ocean, surrounded by water that teems with fish (if one knows where to look) that has given them a role in human history out of all proportion to their size. In his fascinating account of the part played by these islands in the harvesting of cod and herring from the North Atlantic, John Goodlad raises vital questions about the world’s food supplies.