Smarty Pants Podcast

On the Line

Karen Pinchin on what tuna reveal about the fate of our oceans

By Stephanie Bastek | July 21, 2023

Atlantic bluefin tuna have been swimming in our oceans, and in the human imagination, for millions of years. Topping out at more than 1,500 pounds apiece, these apex predators face their greatest threat not from sharks or a dwindling food supply but from our unwillingness to stop overfishing them (to say nothing of the occasional catastrophic oil spill). But our understanding of how these majestic creatures navigate the ocean, defined by an imaginary line through the middle of the Atlantic, has been challenged by recent discoveries—and the life story of one tuna in particular. Karen Pinchin’s new book, Kings of Their Own Ocean, tells the story of that fish: an Atlantic bluefin named Amelia, tagged in 2004 by the fisherman Al Anderson off the coast of Rhode Island and recaptured twice more before her ultimate death in the Mediterranean. Pinchin joins the podcast to talk about what Amelia’s tale has to tell us about fishing and climate, science and commerce, and the future of the seas.

Go beyond the episode:

Tune in every week to catch interviews with the liveliest voices from literature, the arts, sciences, history, and public affairs; reports on cutting-edge works in progress; long-form narratives; and compelling excerpts from new books. Hosted by Stephanie Bastek.

SubscribeiTunes • Stitcher • Google Play • Acast

Download the audio here (right click to “save link as …”)

Have suggestions for projects you’d like us to catch up on, or writers you want to hear from? Send us a note: podcast [at] theamericanscholar [dot] org. And rate us on iTunes!

Permission required for reprinting, reproducing, or other uses.

Comments powered by Disqus