"Tora Johnson has a knack for storytelling, but also a sense of balance in her reporting and an evident commitment to truth-telling. In this compelling book, she confronts one of the thorniest, most searing wildlife-human conflicts of the day. She does so with sensitivity for the human antagonists, conveying their foibles, passions, grace, and ordinariness, and with a solid understanding of the animals (from minute copepods to gigantic whales) and their marine environment."--Randall R. Reeves, chairman, Cetacean Specialist Group of the World Conservation Union, and author of National Audubon Society Guide to Marine Mammals of the World
"Johnson guides us through a conflict which has raged for over 400 years. With ease the reader is introduced to the personalities and struggles that tie two of nature's strongest-willed creatures together, the fisherman and the whale."--John Pappalardo, Cape Cod Commercial Hook Fishermen's Association, Chatham, Massachusetts
Entanglements explores the clash of cultures and personalities among fishermen, scientists, and whale advocates struggling to save both the endangered North Atlantic right whale and the livelihoods of thousands of Atlantic coastal families. By most counts, about 300 of these whales remain in the North Atlantic, and scientists warn that collisions with fishing gear are contributing to their decline.
The political climate that surrounds the world's most endangered large whale is contentious, complex, and heartrending. Without pointing fingers or laying blame, Tora Johnson explores every side of the issue. She takes us to sea with fishermen who struggle to stay in business, setting traps and gillnets in the whale's habitat, and with members of the rescue teams who attempt to cut away deadly rope and net from whales in the wild. Weaving their stories and her personal observations into a discussion of the science and history of the conflict, she offers an admirable balance of perceptions, backgrounds, and agendas.
Her thoughtful discussion of the plight of fishermen and whales and of the frustrations between fishing communities and conservationists presents an authentic microcosm of the global conflict between human demands on the environment and nature's finite capacity for supporting those demands.
Tora Johnson teaches geographic information science and marine studies at the University of Maine at Machias. She is the author ofGuide to Freshwater Animals Without Backbones
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"A serious, humorous, informative, sad, optimistic, engaging and thought-provoking book."
"Will stimulate more much-needed oustide the box discussions on how to manage both fisheries and whales for the benefit of both."
--Right Whale News
"Handsomely illustrated and carefully researched."
"It is a story whose corollary may be found in similar clashes across the globe."
--Martha's Vineyard Times
"Without pointing fingers or laying blame, Tora Johnson explores every angle of the issue in this compelling book."
"An extremely readable history of whale entanglements in the North Atlantic. Johnson allows the reader to tag along on her journey to discover why, despite the efforts of hundreds of scientists, fishermen, and ordinary citizens on both sides of the border, whale entanglement remains such a serious problem."
"Comprehensive and engaging . . . Whales, fishing and writing are Johnson's areas of expertise. She puts them all together and we get the best of her in this book."
"Entanglements explores the issues from all sides."
"A thought-provoking and ultimately melancholy book."
--Northern Sky News
"Ms. Johnson has really done her homework in writing this compelling piece. . . After reading her work, one cannot help but understand the complexity of the problem."
--Flukeprings: Newsletter for the Whale Center of New England
"could not have been more appropriately titled"
"shows the author's understanding of the complex and emotion-laden conflict"
--The Gulf of Maine Times
"an alarming glimpse into a future that seems ominous for both the whales and the fishermen"
"a balanced account of this complex and polarizing issue"
"A solid foundation of research supports the work"
"Clearly understands the complexities of this struggle, and writes about it in a very personal and compelling way."
"One hopes that all the groups who are directly involved will read Johnson's book and take the necessary measures to resolve this problem."
"Tora Johnson succeeds in clearly bringing across the multidimensional and complex aspects of the whale of a problem that plagues east coast USA and Canada."
"An excellent and very readable account of a complex, difficult, and very timely issue."
--Whale and Dolphin Magazine
--The Cape Codder
"This is not simply a tale of fish killers vs. whale huggers. In wide ranging reporting from small boats at sea cutting lines off whales to uncomfortable meetings with fishermen, Johnson weaves a fascinating story of efforts to protect whales and preserve a fishing culture."
"This book explores the clash of cultures and personalities among fishermen, scientists and whale advocates struggling to save both the endangered North Atlantic right whale and the livelihoods of thousands of Atlantic coastal families."
" Johnson's informative, detailed, and very personal account of the effort to save both critically endangered whales and a way of life provides one very tangible example of the many worldwide conflicts arising from constant human demands for finite resources from the enviornment."
"Explores the clash of cultures and personalities among fishermen, scientists, and whale advocates struggling to save both the endangered North Atlantic right whale and the livelihoods of thousands of Atlantic coastal families. Without pointing fingers or laying blame, the book explores every side of the issue."
--Abstracts of Public Administration, Development, and Environment