An attractive new book showcases the many species of fish that dwell in the gulf of Maine.
Anyone curious about natural history, and about fish in particular, will appreciate the vividly illustrated Here’s the Catch: The Fish We Harvest from the Northwest Atlantic by Wade Kearley (Boulder Publications, Newfoundland and Labrador; softcover; 165 pages; $46.95). As the title implies, the book focuses on the fisheries of Atlantic Canada, which are the same species — and often the very same fish — that migrate through the Gulf of Maine and into Maine’s rivers and lakes.
Kearley, an author and journalist, presents fifty-two species in this well-organized and highly accessible encyclopedia. In straightforward language, he describes each fish’s habitat, appearance, and life history. There are maps, diagrams, and graphs, but most striking are Derek Peddle’s rich watercolor illustrations, which could sell this book on their own.
Kearley also summarizes the status of each fishery, which, most Mainers won’t be surprised to hear, is often in steep decline. That, he explains, is the impetus for Here’s the Catch. Atlantic Canada and the northeastern United States, he writes, owe their rich culture and diversity to fish. His and Peddle’s collaboration is their contribution to a hopeful future.