Climate Change and the Ecology of the Gulf of Maine: History, Biodiversity, Fisheries, and the Pollution Cocktail

H.G. Brack
1st edition, 2020

The focus of this publication is the impact of human activities in the form of greenhouse gas emissions and environmental chemicals on the biodiversity and ecology of the Gulf of Maine. We use the term “pollution cocktail” to describe the effluents of the rapidly growing global military-industrial consumer society, the legacy of the age of plastics, and its progeny, the information technology revolution.
nitions, protection action guidelines, and comments on the 1997 fuel cladding failure accident that resulted in the closure of the Maine Yankee Atomic Power Company plant.

The Kirkus Review of this publication reads:

"An environmental work explores the way pollution has altered the waters off Maine. The Gulf of Maine is a robust and vital environment, home to some of the world’s most productive fisheries. This biodiversity—and the economies that are sustained by it—is increasingly threatened by the plastics, chemicals, and other eco-toxins present in the Gulf’s waters. These pollutants, along with rising ocean temperatures, acidification, invasive pathogens, and unsustainable fishing practices, are coming together to pose an existential threat to the ecology of the Gulf and neighboring habitats. With this book, Brack seeks to diagnose these problems and describe their particular impacts on the health of the region. After a discussion of the history of cataclysmic climate change on the global scale—since, as the author points out, “any commentary on the ecology and biodiversity of the Gulf of Maine must begin with the observation that this bioregion is only one small component of an interconnected finite biosphere”—he sets his sights on the Gulf itself, including its geography, hydrology, biology, and the effects of both human commerce and regulation. He concludes by enumerating the specific threats that exist for Maine fisheries, many of which cannot be solved outside of addressing the global climate crisis. This is a technical work, and Brack’s prose is suited for its purpose: “It’s also important to note the role the diadromous fisheries played in the early economy of Maine fisheries. Diadromous fish are those species that migrate between the sea and freshwater environments.” The text features maps, charts, and graphs displaying information on fish landings, catch limits, invasive species, water cycles, and other relevant data. The author offers few solutions—indeed, there are few local fixes for a globalized crisis—but he does a fine job laying out the parameters of the problem and how it may worsen over time. This is not a work that will appeal to average readers, but those with a stake or interest in the ecology or economy of the Gulf of Maine may find the facts contained here helpful, if grim. A useful and sober evaluation of the changing situation in the Gulf of Maine."

Softcover, 8" x 10"
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