About the Book
“[Daniel Pauly] is an iconoclastic fisheries scientist ... who is so decidedly global in his life and outlook that he is nearly a man without a country.”—NEW YORK TIMES
“Daniel Pauly is a friend whose work has inspired me for years.”—TED DANSON
Daniel Pauly is a living legend in the world of marine biology. He coined the influential term “shifting baselines,” in which knowledge of environmental disaster fades over time, leading to a misguided understanding of our world. He blew the whistle on the global fishing industry, alerting the public to the devastation of overfishing. And he developed data-driven research methods that led to groundbreaking discoveries.
Daniel Pauly is also a man whose life was shaped by struggle. Born after the Second World War to a white French woman and Black American GI in Paris, Pauly’s childhood has been described as Dickensian. His father left before he was born and his mother, whose family did not accept her and her mixed-race son, fell prey to a manipulative Swiss couple who abducted Pauly under murky circumstances. He was taken to Switzerland, where he was treated cruelly as the couple’s servant.
Pauly escaped to Germany to attend university and, as a young man, travelled to the United States during the 1969 civil rights movement, where he met his father’s family and experienced a political and racial reawakening. From there, he went on to have one of the most decorated careers in the field of marine biology. The Ocean’s Whistleblower “weaves together the challenges of marine research with an astonishing coming-of-age story” (Andrew Sharpless, Oceana) and is told through interviews with colleagues, friends, and Pauly himself. A brilliant book about a brilliant man, The Ocean’s Whistleblower finally profiles one of the most influential scientists of our time.