Demon Fish: Travels Through the Hidden World of Sharks

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Demon Fish approaches the topic of sharks through many lenses — historic, religious, scientific, economic, and cultural.  The book focuses on how public perception and consumption of sharks has affected their health and numbers, from the history of shark attacks to the continued public relations nightmare of Jaws and the demand for shark fin soup in China (an expensive delicacy that kills 73 million sharks each year).

In her writing, Julie Eilperin consistently touches on themes of conservation and how little scientists actually know about certain ocean ecosystems and species of sharks.  And with shark populations dropping so drastically — some species have been diminished as much as 99 percent — there may not be much chance in the future to learn more. 

“In many ways marine biology is at a pivotal moment, when we are discovering the richness of the ocean at the very time we are grasping how we’ve managed to deplete it over the last few centuries. Preserving what’s left, as well as rebuilding parts of it to a semblance of what it used to be, requires us to relinquish some of the power we have exercised in the past. It requires living with sharks.”

Juliet Eilperin is a journalist and author.  She has written for The Washington Post since 1998, and her books include Demon Fish and Fight Club Politics: How Partisanship is Poisoning the House of Representatives.

Published:  2011
Length:  295 pages
Set in:  Oceans (various)