“Kings of Their Own Ocean” by Karen Pinchin
The marvelous tale of one fish, the fisherman who first caught her, and how our insatiable appetite for bluefin tuna turned a cottage industry into a massive global dilemma.
In 2004, an enigmatic charter captain named Al Anderson caught and tagged one Atlantic bluefin tuna off New England’s coast. Fourteen years later that same fish—dubbed Amelia for her ocean-spanning journeys—was caught again, this time in a Mediterranean fish trap.
Over his fishing career, Al marked more than sixty thousand fish with plastic tags, an obsession that made him nearly as many enemies as it did friends. His quest landed him in the crossfire of an ongoing fight between a booming bluefin tuna industry and desperate conservation efforts, a conflict that is once again heating up as overfishing and climate change threaten the fish’s fate.
Kings of Their Own Ocean is an urgent investigation that combines science, business, crime, and environmental justice. Through Karen Pinchin’s exclusive interviews and access, interdisciplinary approach, and mesmerizing storytelling, readers join her on boats and docks as she visits tuna hot spots and scientists from Portugal to Japan, New Jersey to Nova Scotia, and glimpse, as Pinchin does, rays of dazzling hope for the future of our oceans.
A note from the author:
“In Kings of Their Own Ocean, I entwined a vibrant, fast-paced creative non-fiction narrative with a deep dive into the culture and history of our global seafood systems through the lives of one obsessive Rhode Island fisherman and one bluefin tuna — Amelia — he tagged and chased across the seas. I’m a longtime Afishionado customer , and really love that the store champions knowledge, choice, and above all top-notch quality and taste, with the added benefit of supporting local fishers and communities. In this book, you’ll visit ancient Spanish set nets, two strange stories of how small-town Atlantic Canada shaped this multi-billion-dollar industry, and hopefully draw closer to this spectacular, gorgeous fish. I’m so happy Afishionado will be carrying my book!”