Salmon. Peter Coates.

London: Reaktion Books, 2006. Octavo, paperback, colour and black and white illustrations.

Reaktion Animal Series. This book relates the natural and cultural history of the salmon, a symbol of fortitude, fecundity, self-sacrifice, loyalty to place, and unwavering pursuit of destiny. Introducing the reader to the 'king of fish', it encompasses the salmon's evolutionary, ecological, and human stories., Inspired by the remarkable homing instinct of one of the natural world's greatest wonders, we have selected the salmon as a symbol of fortitude, fecundity, self-sacrifice, loyalty to place and unwavering pursuit of destiny. Yet the salmon has become a deeply paradoxical and controversial creature. Celebrated for centuries as the noblest of fish, it is now just as likely to be deplored as the ignoble product of the aquatic equivalent of battery farming. Peter Coates, an environmental historian, introduces the reader to the 'king of fish'. "Salmon" examines the natural history of the salmon and looks at it from the perspectives of those who have studied it, eaten it, pursued it, fought over it, pondered its meaning and absorbed it into culture and art. This innovative biography of a species encompasses the salmon's evolutionary, ecological and human stories, ranging from Nova Scotia to Norway and from Korea to California, and stretching from prehistory to the future. Anyone who has ever eaten or tried to catch one will want to read the book that is the first to serve up the 'complete' salmon., Mark Kurlansky treated us to the story of cod, and Peter Coates serves up the salmon in a way that will appeal to academics, anglers, and fish eaters alike. Other titles in this animal series are available.

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