Book recommendation - on menhaden!

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Posted by Bill Martin on 2011-08-18 21:26:50

"The Most Important Fish in the Sea" by H. Bruce Franklin. I've had on my list for a while, and finally got a copy from the library. Highly recommended! I imagine many of the folks on this board have well-thumbed copies of this book, because it's a good one.

Here's an excerpt:

"Pick one up. Your hands are now coated with thin, slimy mucus. Even if the fish is alive, your nostrils will be assailed by a distinctive foul odor, much more pungent if the fish has been dead awhile. You may not be able to get this smell off your hands, even with repeated washings, for many hours. Unlike the stench of skunks, the scent of menhaden is not a defense mechanism, but paradoxically quite the opposite. Indeed, perhaps the only predator that finds this smell repellent is Homo sapiens. Most marine predators and scavengers seem to find it irresistible. That is why menhaden in almost form - dead or lie, whole bodies of small chunks, ground-up mush, oil or even the scent itself - are used for bait."

Of course lots of striper stories included, some of them quite sad, as indeed the whole book is, in many ways.

Now I need to see what I can find on sardines.

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