First Fish Tank Thursday Discussion Question

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In the opening pages of Four Fish, Paul Greenberg has a personal experience on a favorite child-hood pond that sets him on to a journey to learn about fisheries.  What was this experience for Greenberg and have you had a similar profound event that sent you on a mission for knowledge? At this point of the book, how do you think Greenberg would have answered our question about the health of world fisheries? By the end of the book do you think he will have become more optimistic or pessimistic compared to how he started? 

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3 thoughts on “First Fish Tank Thursday Discussion Question”

  1. in the beginning of the book, Paul mentions how he had a favorite fishing pond and one winter it was sub zero outside and all of the fish inside of that pond had died. although the freezing temperatures most likely killed the fish, it could’ve also been the substance they put into the pond to kill off all of the algae. that event led to him adventuring onward and exploring the ocean which had lead to his passion for understanding every thing there is to know about fisheries.

    in the first grade my grandfather took me to a small town outside of the Sierra Nevadas called lone pine, which was riddled with rich history and more importantly, many good fishing spots! every year after that, i would go up at the exact same time, and i started to love fishing. athough i havent really had an experience where i wanted to set out on a quest for knowledge, but i knew from those fishing trips that i would most likely end up persueing something in fishing, and here we are!

    i wouldnt be able to give an exact answer as to how Greenberg would describe the current state of fisheries, but if i were to guess, i would say that he would describe the current state of fisheries as “ok”. i bet towards the middle of the book he will mention how they are currently in a bad state but he believes that they are going to get much better very soon.

    1. Part of the reason I find his perspective interesting is because he says he doesn’t know what caused the fish to die off in the pond! While the main factor was probably the freezing temperatures, I like that he mentions the other factors that could have harmed the fish as well. I think that’s something to remember, the various fishes in the world have more than one thing working against them. It ultimately can be a multitude of negative impacts that can cause a species to die out.

      That’s really cool that you had a little fishing spot that your grandpa showed you. Happy childhood memories seem to be a common theme for those of us who are pursuing fisheries and marine sciences!

  2. At this point of the book, how do you think Greenberg would have answered our question about the health of world fisheries? By the end of the book do you think he will have become more optimistic or pessimistic compared to how he started?

    From what it sounded like in the beginning of the book, Paul Greenberg’s experience with his favorite pond began with the curiosity of what happened to his favorite fishing pond. Trying to figure out whether the sub zero temperatures, copper sulfate, or the poaching that occurred destroyed his plentiful pond. All would lead him towards research about the ocean and the study of fish.

    My experience with fish would be that I would catch it and either release it back in the waters or bring it home. I’ve always wanted to know more about the ocean and what secrets that it still holds, I just was never able to ask the right questions to steer me in the correct path. So what better way to learn about what the ocean holds by learning about it and fishing all at once.

    With the way the introduction ended, I would say that he would say the health of all fish would be declining. The patterns he once memorized down to the “T” had vanished into thin air. Areas of fish that he used to go to would not produce the same amount of fish it once did. Stating that humans have over exploited the resources of the oceans for our own personal gains. Though the book may have started a little gloom, I believe that there is some light at the end of the tunnel to change his perspective into an optimistic one.

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