Author Defends Fish From Corporate Greed

Apr 17, 2007, 01:00 ET from Island Press

    WASHINGTON, April 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- From helping save the
 pilgrims, to its role in the growth of industrialized fishing, to the
 environmental battle that continues to be fought today over its survival,
 menhaden sits at the center of many of America's historical and
 environmental milestones, yet it is almost a completely unknown fish. "The
 Most Important Fish in the Sea: Menhaden and America" (Island Press), is
 the story of a fish that is being decimated unnecessarily by one
 corporation, Omega Protein, as each year the company turns billions of
 menhaden into industrial commodities such as chicken feed, linoleum,
 pesticides, and cat food. Renowned cultural historian H. Bruce Franklin
 tells this remarkable tale of survival, science, greed, and politics.
     As numerous individuals and groups work to restore the health of the
 Atlantic and Gulf coastal waters for clean water, abundant fish and
 ultimately a better quality of life, public knowledge of menhaden's life
 and history becomes critical. Most Americans don't realize how menhaden
 have affected our American history, culture and environment. Menhaden:
     -- Made large-scale agriculture viable in the eighteenth and early
        nineteenth century;
     -- Became the nation's largest catch and continues to be the principal
        fish caught along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, exceeding the tonnage
        of all other species combined;
     -- Are crucial to the diet of our most valued saltwater food and game
     -- Help clean and filter the waters along the East Coast preventing algal
     As Franklin explores the menhaden's history in "The Most Important Fish
 in the Sea," he exposes the controversy that has surrounded menhaden since
 the end of the Civil War. The crisis is now reaching a critical point as
 Omega Protein insists on its right to kill as many menhaden as it pleases,
 while millions of environmentalists, recreational anglers, and commercial
 fisherman work together to stop this unnecessary and dangerous destruction
 of the environment.
     Island Press is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization that publishes books
 for scientists, policy makers, environmental practitioners, students,
 journalists, and the general public. Island Press uses a multidisciplinary,
 peer-reviewed approach that brings practical solutions to complex
 challenges like climate change, the depletion of our oceans, sustainable
 energy and agriculture, and species extinction.

SOURCE Island Press