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Book Club: The New Fish

"The New Fish" by Simen Sætre and Kjetil Østli offers an intriguing dive into Norway's fishing industry, framed through the story of one fish that revolutionized an entire sector: the farmed salmon. This book isn't just about aquaculture; it's a detailed exploration of how this industry impacts local economies, traditional lifestyles, and the environment.

Authors Simen Sætre and Kjetil Østli, both known for their incisive journalism, navigate through complex narratives about innovation, controversy, and the consequences of rapid industrial growth. The salmon, in their telling, becomes a symbol of modern challenges in global sustainability practices. By focusing on Norway—a pioneer in fish farming—the authors shed light on broader issues of food production, ecological impact, and the future of global fish supplies.

"The New Fish" provides a thorough history of the salmon farming industry in Norway, tracing its origins, explosive growth, and the myriad challenges it faces today. From technological advancements that made mass production possible to the socio-economic shifts in small Norwegian communities, the book examines the multifaceted impacts of this booming industry. It delves into the controversies of environmental degradation, such as water pollution and the spread of diseases among wild fish populations, which are juxtaposed with the economic benefits that salmon farming has brought to remote areas.

Sætre and Østli enrich their narrative with personal stories from a variety of perspectives: the local fishermen whose lives have been forever altered, scientists grappling with ethical dilemmas, and industry moguls pushing the boundaries of technology and profitability. These human stories add depth to the statistical and scientific data, painting a more nuanced portrait of the situation.

"The New Fish" is a thought-provoking book offering a critical look at the promises and pitfalls of a booming industry, encouraging a conversation about responsible consumption and the ethical treatment of our planet’s resources. This book is an important read for anyone concerned with the future of food and the delicate balance of nature in the face of human innovation.

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