Kings of Their Own Ocean
This is a tale of human obsession, one intrepid tuna, the dedicated fisherman who caught and set her free, the promises and limits of ocean science, and the big truth of how our insatiable appetite for bluefin transformed a cottage industry into a global dilemma.
In 2004, an enigmatic charter captain named Al Anderson caught and marked one Atlantic bluefin tuna off New England’s coast with a plastic fish tag. Fourteen years later, that fish—called Amelia for her ocean-spanning journeys—died in a Mediterranean fish trap, sparking Karen Pinchin’s riveting investigation into this remarkable species' marvels, struggles, and prehistoric legacy.
Over his fishing career, Al marked over sixty thousand fish with plastic tags, an obsession that made him nearly as many enemies as friends. His quest landed him in the crossfire of an ongoing fight between a booming bluefin tuna industry and desperate conservation efforts, which 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. As Pinchin writes, “as a global community, we are collectively only ever a few terrible choices away from wiping out any ocean species.” Through her exclusive access and interdisciplinary, mesmerizing lens, readers will 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 the author does, rays of dazzling hope for the future of our oceans.