Pirates, Poaching, and the Perfect Fish
By G. Bruce Knecht
(Rodale Books, Hardcover, 9781594861109, 328pp.)
Publication Date: May 2, 2006
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"This modern pirate yarn has all the makings of a great true adventure tale and is also an exploration of the ways our culinary tastes have all manner of unintended consequences for the world around us."
Hooked" is a story about the poaching of the Patagonian toothfish (known to gourmands as Chilean Sea Bass) and is built around the pursuit of the illegal fishing vessel "Viarsa "by an Australian patrol boat, "Southern Supporter, "in one of the longest pursuits in maritime history.
Author G. Bruce Knecht chronicles how an obscure fish merchant in California "discovered" and renamed the fish, kicking off a worldwide craze for a fish no one had ever heard of - and everyone had to have. And with demand exploding, priates were only too happy to satisfy our taste for Chilean Sea Bass.
Knecht - whose previous book "The Proving Ground" was hailed by Walter Cronkite as "a sailing masterpiece...a tale more thrilling than fiction"-captivates readers by deftly shifting among the story's nail-biting elements: The perilous chase at sea through frenzied winds, punishing waves, and an obstacle course of icebergs; the high-stakes environmental battle and courtroom drama; and the competitive battle among the world's restaurants to serve the perfect, flaky, white-fleshed fish.
From the world's most treacherous waters to its most fabulous kitchens, "Hooked "is at once a thrilling tale and a revelatory popular history that will appeal to a diverse group of readers. Think "Kitchen Confidential" meets "The Hungry Ocean. "
G. BRUCE KNECHT is a New York-based writer for The Wall Street Journal. His work has also been published in the Atlantic Monthly and the New York Times Magazine.