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Fish Market : Inside the Big-Money Battle for the Ocean and Your Dinner Plate (Hardcover) (Lee Van Der
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Gulf Wild, the first seafood brand in America to trace each fish from sea to table, emerged after the speckled grouper (star of fried fish sandwiches) fell off menus due to overfishing. The brand was born when the government divided the rights to fish it among qualifying fisherman to fix the problem. Through traceability it has met burgeoning consumer demand for domestic, sustainable seafood, selling in boutique grocers and catapulting grouper from the hamburger bun to the white tablecloth. But the property rights that saved grouper also shifted control of ocean fish from public to private, adding a premium and forever changing the relationship between wild seafood and the people that eat it.
Rights-based fishing became national policy in 2010 in a push toward conservation, and controls 50 percent of the value of American seafood. From aboard fishing vessels from Alaska to Maine, inside restaurants of top chefs, and the halls of Congress, journalist Lee van der Voo tells the story of people and places left behind in this era of privatization —a story that traces seafood dollars from U.S. docks to Wall Street. She explores the methods that investors, equity firms, and seafood landlords have used to capture the upside of the sustainable seafood movement, and why many people believe in them. She also explains why consumers don’t have to buy sustainability from Wall Street, or choose between the environment and their fisherman.