Entanglements: The Intertwined Fates of Whales and Fishermen by Tora Johnson


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Here's what the critics are saying about Entanglements...

~ See additional press coverage of Entanglements & Tora Johnson here.~

Barnes and Noble has named Entanglements to their prestigious Discover Great New Writers list of seasonal picks for fall 2005!

From the Barnes and Noble selection committee: "Fans of The Secret Life of Lobsters will love this new book from Tora Johnson...an intimate exploration of the clash between human and marine life....Johnson navigates these choppy waters with heart and hope."


Publisher's Weekly listed Entanglements in a "preview of the season's best" books on nature and the environment.


Tora Johnson has a knack for storytelling, but also a sense of balance in her reporting and an evident commitment to truth-telling. In this compelling book, she confronts one of the thorniest, most searing wildlife-human conflicts of the day. She does so with sensitivity for the human antagonists, conveying their foibles, passions, grace, and ordinariness, and with a solid understanding of the animals (from minute copepods to gigantic whales) and their marine environment.

-- Randall R. Reeves, chairman, Cetacean Specialist Group of the World Conservation Union, and author of National Audubon Society Guide to Marine Mammals of the World.


Johnson guides us through a conflict which has raged for over 400 years. With ease the reader is introduced to the personalities and struggles that tie two of nature's strongest-willed creatures together, the fishermen and the whale.

-- John Pappalardo, Cape Cod Commercial Hook Fishermen's Association, Chatham, Massachusetts


The book, handsomely illustrated and carefully researched, explores the centuries-long struggles between fishermen, scientists, and environmentalists over the North Atlantic right whale. In particular, Ms. Johnson examines in a measured and understanding way the conflict between those whose livelihoods and cultures lead them to use and abuse whales and those who would preserve the right whale, whose population of just a few hundred may be approaching extinction. In general, it is a story whose corollary may be found in similar clashes across the globe between man's use of natural resources and mankind's responsibility for conserving those same resources.

-- Doug Cabral, Martha's Vineyard Times Click here to see the rest of this review.


Whales, fishing and writing are Johnson’s areas of expertise. She puts them all together and we get the best of her in this book.

Her firsthand experiences disentangling "the saucy whale" in Newfoundland, and retellings of other disentanglement efforts are gripping reading.... But for Johnson it’s not just gratuitous adventure. One of the great services her book does is to debunk the myths about...whales without lessening the urgency of their plight.

--Aaron Porter, Ellsworth American


Hannah Merker of the Maine Sunday Telegram recommends Entanglements for your summer reading list. See the article here.


Johnson...writes clearly and with feeling for all sides of the controversies surrounding whale entanglement.

--Nancy Bent, Booklist


[Johnson] gives considerable insight into the broader issues of conserving our marine resources and considerable understanding of the ongoing difficulties faced by fishers as well... Entanglements is an easy and informative read.

-- Ian Stirling, Society for Marine Mammalogy Newsletter


Tora Johnson, despite taking on the daunting task of “mapping the political minefields of fisheries management and whale protection,” has written an extremely readable history of whale entanglements in the North Atlantic. Johnson allows the reader to tag along on her journey to discover why, despite the efforts of hundreds of scientists, fishermen, and ordinary citizens on both sides of the border, whale entanglement remains such a serious problem.... Johnson's accounts... are an invaluable case study of how long-simmering tensions, mistrust, and the federal bureaucracy can smother great ideas and frustrate participants to the point they walk away from the table.

-- Stephanie Showalter, The SandBar


In spite of other responsibilities, I couldn’t put the book down.

...a serious, humorous, informative, sad, optimistic, engaging and thought-provoking book that explores the clash of cultures and personalities among fishermen, scientists, whale advocates and agency managers struggling to save both the North Atlantic right whale and the livelihoods of thousands of Atlantic coastal families.

... the book will stimulate more much-needed outside-the-box discussions on how to manage both fisheries and whales for the benefit of both.

-- Hans Neuhauser, Editor, Right Whale News Read the complete review here (pdf).


~ See additional press coverage of Entanglements & Tora Johnson here.~

Now in paperback!