FTT #1

Paul Greenberg begins his book by setting the scene, 1978, in Greenwich, Connecticut. He describes the winter of ‘78 as having “a fierce blizzard, temperatures were often below zero and at one point it snowed for thirty-three hours straight.” It was a rough winter for the pond near the cottage his mother would rent. The pond is Greenberg’s “rightful hunting ground” therefore the fish were also his. He predicts it was the winter conditions that killed the fish or the copper sulfate from a few years back. Greenberg would eventually obtain enough money to buy a boat and would find a river downstream of his pond that led into the sea. On this boat he would begin to learn to navigate without a GPS, find fish, and what fish would come in during certain seasons associated with the blooming flowers. In his early thirties, he was back on the East Coast after years of traveling abroad. Greenberg decided to get back to his roots and go fishing again. He was surprised to hear that the fish he was used to seeing in that area and according to the blooming flowers were not as he had remembered. After talking to many fishermen along the coast he came to the conclusion that fish had been decreasing in returning numbers, decreasing in size, and a decrease in time to fish. That would be the beginning of his journey to learn about fisheries. 

As for myself, I learned about a position that had opened in ADF&G and I took it, mainly because I needed a job, not knowing I would be completely obsessed with the commercial salmon fisheries of area M after a few months. I’ve been lucky enough to experience some aerial surveys and some weir work. I didn’t believe it when people said “if you love your job you’ll never work a day in your life” until I started working for fish and game. The lifestyle of the job has really impacted my life and not just by making me change my major to fisheries. 

Based on the first few pages I would say Greenberg would answer our previous question by rating the global fish stocks at a 6. It’s definitely not what it used to be but not quite disastrous? I think he’ll end the book more pessimistic as there are so many more issues impacting the ocean and freshwater systems then there were before. 


4 thoughts on “FTT #1”

  1. I thinks it awesome that you were able to land a job at ADFG. You’ve got your foot in the door and I can imagine the opportunities for networking in the department. I chose to pursue fish and wildlife services too because I want to wake up in the morning, put on my boots, and drive into work with a smile. Choosing a career that you have such passion for and not what number is on your paycheck. Going out into the field for a week or two to conduct research, well sign me up!
    I’m thinking Paul may become more optimistic as he continues to learn and grow, but seeing his actions would not surprise me one bit for him to just throw in the towel.

    1. Hi Matt! That’s a great way to look at a job! I felt that way when I was working over the summer! I was on the fence whether or not Paul would be optimistic because I am hopeful we can help restore the ocean to a healthy state. I could honestly see him going either way in the end.

  2. Hi Kalynn,
    I agree with you on Greenberg having a more pessimistic view of the fisheries by the end of the book. I had a hard time coming up with my answer because guessing what other people would think about a situation is not my strong suit.

    I ultimately chose the view of pessimistic because as Greenberg learned more information about what was going on he would also learn that it is hard to convince others. His Four Fish book is a clear indication of trying to obtain public awareness, but the key is actually getting people to take action.

  3. I agree with all the points aforementioned, I would however say that in the first pages of the book he was probably far more pessimistic towards his thoughts of global health. I hope by the end he will be more optimistic but only time will tell. As Syrena mentioned the point of this book doesn’t really seem to be to learn about the fisheries, its more to promote people to take action now rather than later. With saying that I think that he will be more pessimistic by the end of the book because he will find that people, as a whole, are hard to change.

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