Hook to Plate: the state of Marine Fisheries; a Commonwealth Perspective ISBN 978-0- 903850-37-7

The recently published Census of the Oceans has highlighted the impact man is having on all aspects of the marine environment and the plant and animal populations which live there.

This book contains descriptions and discussion of fisheries as a component of the food supply. It explores the history of fisheries and their exploitation by coastal communities.

Although it takes a Commonwealth perspective, the lessons are equally applicable to management of all marine fisheries.

The complexities of internal, national and international trade are explored in terms of WTO agreements and the impact of subsidies, not just on the food supply of countries offering subsidies, but also the adverse effects on those nations which do not support their fishery industry.

Individual chapters by specialist authors explore diverse topics such as fisheries and food security, industry organisation, management and the role of cooperatives, the role of marine protection areas in enhancing stocks and the international law of the sea. Chapters explore the options for long term solutions with regional policies to improve the management of fish stocks.

Topics are explored in well researched and referenced chapters and the book is well written and edited. It contains 16 chapters by 24 specialist authors who explore the wasteful and inefficient features of fisheries.

Chapters deal with prospects for improving the sustainability of fisheries so that the industry can more readily provide for the well being of coastal communities dependent upon fishing as well as international trade.

The book will make essential reading for anyone involved in fisheries policy whether at national or international level. The challenges facing fisheries management to produce a sustainable industry which supports adequately the communities dependent upon fish are clearly identified.

Reviewed by Ed Richard Bourne and Mark Collins. The Commonwealth Foundation, London SW1Y 5HY.

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