Demon Fish: Travels Through the Hidden World of Sharks

by Juliet Eilperin
Pantheon
ISBN: 978-0375425127
320 pages; $26.95

As the world is starting to open its eyes to the impacts of over-fishing and over-exploitation of the ocean’s resources, Juliet Eilperin has authored a superb chronology of humankind’s cultural association with sharks. Her book - appropriately titled "Demon Fish" - captures the emotions of fear, respect and awe that have prompted the human perspective on sharks to evolve from that of "sharks as semi-gods" to that of "sharks as moneymaking commodities." Eilperin articulates how modern attitudes have resulted in lucrative industry ventures, from shark-finning for shark fin soup to shark sport-fishing off the U.S. coastlines. These activities threaten to devastate entire populations of shark species that pre-date human existence by about 400 million years. While offering a somewhat bleak outlook for the future of sharks, Eilperin also shares heartwarming success stories of many selfless individuals and organizations that have dedicated their efforts to making a positive impact on shark conservation through their actions, advocacy, and awareness campaigns.

- Rob Tomiak, P.E., contributing author