Sockeye are disappearing, mackerel snap at hooks set for chinook, gray whales shun the coasts, common murres are quitting their colonies: the ecology of the North Pacific, writes Terry Glavin in The Last Great Sea
, is being remade before our eyes. Just why North Pacific marine and coastal environments are so rapidly dying is a matter of much debate. For some fishing communities, Glavin writes, "it was the seals, it was urban development, it was logging, or the pollution of rivers, and always, it was the politicians and the bureaucrats and the Indians." For Americans it was the Canadians, the Japanese, the Russians--the round-robin list of blame goes on. Glavin is less concerned with finding guilty parties than assuring us that these losses are very real. Among other things, he reports a study by University of Victoria biologist Tom Reimchen that documents the importance of nitrogen yielded by salmon carcasses in nourishing the great forests. As these chains are broken, ancient ways of life disappear, too; in one of the books many highlights, Glavin convincingly argues that North America was peopled not by hunters crossing the Bering Sea by way of a land bridge, but by fishers plying the seas from North Asia.
Vividly written, drawing on firsthand travels and a great library of scholarship, Glavins book asks its readers to consider the North Pacific in a new light, and to remember that "we are not just bit players in what goes on out there." --Gregory McNamee
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Terry Glavin is the author of six books and the co-author of four, traversing a variety of subjects from anthropology to natural history. He has won more than a dozen literary and journalism awards, including the Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize, and in 2009 was the recipient of the British Columbia Lieutenant Governor's Award for Literary Excellence. His writing appears regularly in newspapers, magazines and online publications as diverse as Democratiya (New York), Lettre Internationale (Berlin), the National Post, Canadian Geographic and The Tyee. He is a founding member of the Canada-Afghanistan Solidarity Committee. He lives in Victoria, British Columbia.